The San Francisco Foundation Makes $34 Million Investment in Oakland

0053_8692_BC_179For Immediate Release
Contact: Jen Thom, 415-733-8565

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The San Francisco Foundation Makes $34 Million Investment in Oakland

OAKLAND, CA— Today, The San Francisco Foundation announced a $34 million large-scale investment creating pathways of opportunity in the City of Oakland. An anonymous East Bay donor of The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) turned to CEO Fred Blackwell and the team at TSFF for their leadership and long-standing expertise in Oakland’s nonprofit and public sectors. See photos from the event by clicking here.

The investment focuses on scaling proven solutions to ensure Oakland will be a city of opportunity in which all residents can participate in, prosper, and reach their full potential through closing the achievement gap, affordable housing, creating cradle-to-career pathways of opportunity, growing middle wage jobs, and removing barriers to health access for parents and children across the city.

“By investing in jobs, housing, education, and healthcare, this holistic approach will create pathways of opportunity in Oakland neighborhoods that need it most,” said Fred Blackwell, CEO of The San Francisco Foundation. “We are proud to work hand-in-hand with our donor who is deeply committed to the children and families of Oakland, and wants to ensure that all of Oakland is a place of opportunity. Together, we are turning the tide for our future generations, investing in our kids and the possibilities that are in store when all residents can access the prosperity and economic growth that this region has to offer.”

Support will focus on fueling partnerships with the Oakland Unified School District, the Alameda County Public Health Department, the Mayor’s Office, and more than 15 community-based organizations with longstanding commitments to Oakland’s vibrant and diverse communities including Asian Health Services, Best Babies Zone, Black Girls Code, California School-Based Health Alliance, Center for Employment Opportunities, David Glover Education & Technology Center, Destiny Arts Center, East Bay Asian Local Development Corp, East Oakland Youth Development Center, EastSide Arts Alliance, Hack the Hood, Hidden Genius Project, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Kiva Oakland, Oakland Community Land Trust, Oakland Public Education Fund, Qeyno Labs, Restore Oakland, a project of The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and ROC; Youth Impact Hub, Unity Council, Urban Strategies Council, #YesWeCode, and Youth UpRising.


The work together will create new opportunities for Oakland residents with the greatest barriers to employment who will now be able to access opportunities in the region’s economy, including people who were formerly incarcerated, undocumented immigrants, low-income entrepreneurs starting small businesses, women and people of color under-represented in the growing tech sector.

“Opportunity is not yet equal across different racial and ethnic groups, and the future of Oakland depends on making large-scale changes to build a new economy for the 21st century. We all have a stake in removing those barriers, to expand opportunity.” said Blackwell. “We are working with our donors, and our public, private and nonprofit sector partners to make sure that everyone, regardless of race, class, or where they live in Oakland, has a fair shot at a good life and opportunities to live to their full potential. This reality is in our reach. This is our moment to seize it.”



“Oakland deserves to be a city where everyone is healthy, safe and prosperous, and our children have the skills and hope to fulfill their dreams,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “I am grateful to The San Francisco Foundation for sharing my vision for Oakland and taking direct action to make it a reality. Under CEO Fred Blackwell’s leadership, The San Francisco Foundation is making a tremendous investment in Oakland that will help protect and preserve our diverse communities, produce equitable health and educational outcomes for our young people and ensure shared prosperity for long-time residents.”

“The gift epitomizes the kind of civic commitment and local partnerships needed to build a school district that cares for the whole child and prepares every student for college, career, and community success,” said Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Antwan Wilson. “The generosity of this donor and the San Francisco Foundation will help us expand our Social and Emotional Learning and Restorative Justice initiatives, strengthen programs serving African-American boys and girls, and provide extra support for Community Schools so that Every Student Thrives!”


“With as little as nine to twelve months of training in computer coding, these young adults are able to successfully compete for entry-level jobs earning between $55,000 to $75,000, once they are socialized into the high tech work environment and are capable of representing themselves and their skills to tech employers.” – Van Jones, #YesWeCode

“East Oakland Youth Development Center is excited about The San Francisco Foundation’s focused vision on Oakland impact,” said Regina Jackson, President and CEO of East Oakland Youth Development Center. “We are honored to host the unveiling of extraordinary opportunities for Oakland nonprofit organizations. As one of the selected service organizations, this investment and the related impact is incalculable, this is GREAT NEWS for Oakland’s community. Our young people deserve safe, beautiful spaces to be nourished and challenged in. That’s what this investment means—a magnificent expanded space to facilitate and encourage growth both mentally and physically. The impact on the surrounding community will be immeasurable.”

“The Unity Council is honored to be partnering with the San Francisco Foundation as part of its Oakland Opportunity. The funding will have an immediate impact in the East Oakland community especially around senior affordable housing, and the second phase of the Fruitvale Transit Village where it will support the development of 80 affordable family apartments. We are grateful for this thoughtful and generous investment in East Oakland and we are excited to continue to do good, lasting and impactful work in the community.” – Chris Iglesias, CEO, The Unity Council

“Access to quality health services is urgently needed now that we are getting our communities insured,” Sherry Hirota, CEO, Asian Health Services. “This extraordinary grant will allow Asian Health Services to create more access and include the important social supports for families to be healthy and thrive.”

“The great economic equalizer of our generation, the great revolution of this generation, is indeed technology,” founder of Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code. “By embedding these skills and abilities in our youth today, we can change the nation—one girl, one woman and one generation at a time.”

“This financial support will protect family members from the trauma of deportation and family separation, and assist them in obtaining work authorization, improving their employment opportunities and access to benefits. Taken together, these elements will significantly strengthen the social fabric, workforce, and economy of Oakland.” – Sally Kinoshita, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

“Through these integrated programs and services, Restore Oakland will provide space and create opportunities for Oakland residents, particularly formerly incarcerated people and their families, to achieve economic stability and self- empowerment through an industry that can offer security and long-term growth.” – Zachary Norris, Executive Director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

“Through this investment, we will prove that you can change the place without the displacement of the people by alleviating poverty and building equity.” – Olis Simmons, President & CEO, Youth UpRising

The Oakland Community Land Trust has a long-term vision for community development and empowerment in Oakland and a proven strategy. Lot by lot, home by home, we are building and stewarding a portfolio of community-controlled assets that will serve low- income residents of our city forever.” – Steve King, Executive Director

“For over 30 years, members of the EastSide Arts Collective have united art with activism to work for community empowerment and cultural economic development, and to build bridges between the diverse communities that reside in the neighborhood and the broader East Bay.” – Elena Serrano, Program Director of EastSide Arts Alliance

“Health is more than just health care. Health is about a lifetime of opportunities and experiences that are driven by the conditions where people live, work and play.” – Kiko Malin, Best Babies Zone Director

“It is very exciting to see an investment of this magnitude in support of the health, education and well-being of Oakland’s children and families,” said James W. Head, president and chief executive officer of the East Bay Community Foundation. “Many longstanding organizations that have a strong track-record of effectively serving this community will benefit significantly from this generous donation.”

Breakout of the Investment

Projected Impact:

  • $34 million total
  • 731 new affordable housing units built
  • 2,502 new jobs created
  • 62,570 people served