San Francisco Foundation Authorizes First Grants From its Newly Created SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

San Francisco Foundation Authorizes First Grants From its Newly Created SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund


First grants go out, less than two weeks after fund’s launch.

The San Francisco Foundation announced today that it has begun issuing grants from its SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Less than two weeks after announcing the fund’s creation, the San Francisco Foundation authorized funding totaling $200,000 to thirty-two organizations working on tenant protections, food distribution, worker protections, and support for unhoused people, among other areas. The donor community responded quickly as well—with individual and corporate donors committing to support the fund immediately.

The Emergency Response Fund makes grants of $3,000–$25,000 to frontline nonprofit organizations that are serving: low-wage workers most affected by the crisis; residents who are homeless or in danger of becoming unhoused; people who may not be able to get food during this time; and communities who have been racially targeted as a result of bigotry connected to the pandemic.

The fund was launched on March 17th to provide quick funding to nonprofit organizations in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo counties. This first set of grants will be followed by additional announcements.

An essential component of the fund is to get resources to the community quickly.

“We have already been inundated with requests for funding, with more than three hundred applications in the first week alone,” said Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation. “And of course, the needs across communities are extraordinary. There is a great deal of important work being done to address this by donors and philanthropy across the region. One of the critical roles of our foundation is to make sure that small grassroots organizations that are deeply connected to their communities have the resources they need to quickly serve people on the ground.”

“As this situation develops the need will only get greater,” said Ruben Orduña, the foundation’s Chief of Philanthropy, who oversees the foundation’s fundraising activities. “We are asking donors, corporations and other funders for their help to support this work. Their dollars will go straight back into the communities where the money is needed most, and to the kinds of organizations providing services and leadership to best address this very difficult situation.”

Donors wishing to contribute to the fund can visit

See a full list of organizations that have received funding from SFF’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.