FAITHS Program

FAITHS Program

A religious person is someone who holds God and humanity in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair. — Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

The faith community has historically been at the forefront of advocating for racial and economic equity, and it remains a crucial voice today. In 1993, The San Francisco Foundation created FAITHS (Foundation Alliance with Interfaith to Heal Society) — now a nationally recognized program — to enhance the work of faith-based organizations and congregations to organize and advocate for equitable policies and improve services and outcomes in their neighborhoods and the region. FAITHS is now a multi-faith network of more than 600 congregations, faith-based agencies, and community organizations that address racial and economic equity issues in the five Bay Area counties that the foundation serves (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo). FAITHS grantmaking and other program activities align with the foundation’s goals to ensure that every Bay Area resident has access to a good job, lives in a safe and affordable home, has a strong political voice, and can live in a community that provides real opportunity.

Our Focus

FAITHS convenes faith leaders, offers technical assistance, capacity building trainings, and grants to support greater racial and economic equity in the region.

Community Partners Grants

Every year, the FAITHS program provides grants to assist congregations and faith-based organizations to strengthen interfaith and race relations, increase civic and cultural participation, support leadership, and provide community service to low-income residents and communities of color.

Faith-based organizations in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties are eligible to apply for a grant for one to two years. Grants range from $6,000-$8,000 per year.

See more information under the Grantmaking Strategies section below about the 2021 FAITHS Community Partner grants program which is accepting applications beginning Monday, September 28, 2020.

Questions? Please email Michelle Myles Chambers at mmc[at]sff.org.

Expand the sections below for more information.

Grantmaking Strategies

FAITHS grants support programs that strengthen interfaith and race relations, increase civic and cultural participation, develop leaders, and provide community services to low-income residents and communities of color. We are support programs addressing the needs of our communities during COVID-19, including housing, and food insecurity.

The grantmaking program will support faith-based organizations and congregations to:

  • Build and strengthen the capacity of organizations and leaders to engage in racial and economic equity issues, through nonpartisan voter engagement, policy advocacy, and community
  • Provide programs that promote economic security, educational opportunity, and community well-being.
  • Provide programs and activities that address institutional and structural racism, discrimination, and implicit

Priority will be given to applicants that:

  • Serve low-income communities and people of color in one or more of five Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo).
  • Provide programs for underserved communities (e.g. low-income people of color, systems involved and/or formerly incarcerated residents, low-wage workers, youth, homeless individuals, seniors, and immigrants).
  • Leverage additional in-kind and financial

Grant duration and range:

Applicants can apply for a grant for a one year grant in the range of $6,000 – $8,000 or a two year grant in the range of $6,000 – $16,000.

Funding Exclusions:

All applicants must meet the general eligibility criteria. FAITHS will not fund capital improvements, grants to individuals, or event sponsorships.

To submit an application please log into our grantee portal.

The application process opens September 28, 2020 with a submission deadline of October 30, 2020.

  • If approved, grant will begin with a start date of January 1, 2021 for 12 months
  • Visit the Grantee Portal Login to begin the online application process To learn more, please contact programs[at]sff.org.
Capacity-Building Trainings and Technical Assistance

In partnership with OCCUR, FAITHS provides capacity building and technical assistance workshops for Bay Area faith- and community-based organizations providing community services and civic engagement programs. These sessions focus on strengthening organizational and program effectiveness. For more information, visit amodelbuiltonfaith.org or contact OCCUR at (510) 839-2440 or info@occurnow.org.

COVID-19 Bi-Weekly Community Response Meetings

FAITHS implemented a bi-weekly meeting to provide timely support, information, and resources to Bay Area faith-based organizations. These meetings have included presentations by SF Mayor’s Office of Housing, Bolder Advocacy training, Federal resources, and Nonprofit Housing Association of NorCal.  We will continue these meetings until we have returned to our ‘new’ normal.

To join and receive the bi-weekly meeting invites for your organization, please email Chanterria McGilbra at CMcGilbra[at]sff.org.

Quarterly FAITHS Community Leaders Meetings

FAITHS consists of a diverse representation of the Bay Area’s faith-based community leaders representing 5 counties: San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo. Our quarterly meetings bring leaders together for trainings, information/resource sharing, and community reconnection.

For our community leaders who would like to join and receive the quarterly meeting invites, please email Chanterria McGilbra at CMcGilbra[at]sff.org.

Civic Engagement

In partnership with the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, FAITHS provides trainings and policy briefings for its grantees and broader network. Through these trainings, faith- and community-based organizations learn how to successfully engage in nonpartisan voter registration, education and policy work that supports the foundation-wide focus on racial and economic equity.