Koshland Program

The Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Program was established in 1982 by The San Francisco Foundation as a memorial to one of its founders and major benefactors, Daniel E. Koshland, a businessman and philanthropist who committed himself to making the Bay Area a better place in which to live. As a philanthropist, he supported bold – even risky – programs to improve the quality of life for all in the Bay Area community.

Daniel E. Koshland built a reputation for practical, bold, and even risky philanthropy to improve the quality of life for Bay Area residents.

In the spirit of Daniel Koshland’s life and works, the Koshland Civic Unity Program recognizes Bay Area grassroots risk-takers – those social innovators of bold spirit who accept the most stubborn neighborhood problems as a personal challenge and who work collaboratively to overcome them. In recognizing these individuals, the Koshland Committee of The San Francisco Foundation seeks to promote civic unity by building mutual respect among diverse people in the community and encouraging small, voluntary efforts to address neighborhood problems.

Program Goals

Please note: As the foundation implements its equity strategy, we are taking a close look at our special programs, initiatives, and funding collaboratives. Please watch this space for information about the future direction of this work.

Through this program, the Koshland Committee hopes:

  • To build the self-awareness and confidence needed for individuals to be creative and effective leaders in their neighborhoods
  • To stimulate personal and professional growth among neighborhood leaders
  • To increase understanding among different types of people within neighborhoods, and to promote the concept that nurturing these differences is a crucial element in solving neighborhood problems

Our Model

Our model for neighborhood change and leadership development focuses on best practices and lessons learned over our twenty-nine years of work in the Bay Area. Read more about our Koshland Model.

Koshland Neighborhoods and Fellows

The Koshland Program currently works in the five neighborhoods of Jackson Triangle and Harder/Tennyson, Bay Point, Excelsior, San Pablo, and North Fair Oaks throughout the five Bay Area counties served by The San Francisco Foundation.

We partner with and build up the leadership of Bay Area grassroots risk-takers – social innovators who take on the most stubborn neighborhood problems and who work collaboratively to overcome them. Click the links below for more information on the neighborhoods and the brilliant leaders working in them.

JacksonTriangleHarderTennyson_web BayPoint_web Excelsior_web
SanPablo_web NorthFairOaks_web KoshlandArchive_web

Koshland Arts and Culture Mini-Grants Program

The San Francisco Foundation’s Koshland Arts and Culture Mini-Grants Program supports free, community-based artistic and cultural activities that strengthen local neighborhoods. Mini-grants ranging from $500 to $3,000 are provided through a collaboration between the Foundation’s Arts and Culture program and the Koshland Civic Unity Program. Read more.

Koshland Program Staff

Retha Robinson
Retha Robinson
Director, Koshland Program
Nadia Shihab
Nadia Shihab
Koshland Program Coordinator
Marjorie Delgadillo
Koshland Program Assistant


For more information about the Koshland Program at The San Francisco Foundation, please contact us at 415.733.8500 or koshland@sff.org.