Supporting the Bay Area during COVID-19

Supporting the Bay Area during COVID-19

San Francisco Foundation was at the leading edge in responding to COVID-19. We mobilized our grantmaking, fundraising, and relationships to support the Bay Area by:

  • Creating the SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund with an open application process specifically targeted to grassroots community and faith organizations working on safety net issues in the Bay Area
  • Hosting San Francisco’s Give2SF emergency fund
  • Working with our donors to create a Keep Oakland Housed emergency fund to support rental assistance in Oakland
  • Activating an existing disaster relief program set up more than 10 years ago to provide grants to nearly 40 community anchor organizations
  • Mobilizing resources to offer workshops and other online support to Bay Area community and faith organizations

San Francisco Foundation is committed to a just economic recovery that centers the leadership and vision of the people most impacted by the pandemic’s health and economic crises. Our vision is focused on the months and years ahead, while we also continue to partner with our grantees, donors, and other funders to address immediate and emerging needs in the Bay Area.

Please click on the sections below to read more about how we continue to support the Bay Area during COVID-19:

SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

We established the SFF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide funding to nonprofits working on housing, food security, job loss, and supporting people targeted by racism as a result of the pandemic.

Our donors and other philanthropic partners have generously contributed more than $4 million to the fund, and we have made grants to more than 375 Bay Area community organizations helping their communities cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more about the fund and the impact to our communities and grantees, read our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Report. To support this fund with a gift or donation, visit this page.

ERF Grants Charts
Charts reflect grants made from SFF’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund through July 9, 2020.
Nonprofit Support

San Francisco Foundation works with trusted partners and community organizations to help Bay Area nonprofits adapt and strengthen their financial management, operations, and program strategies. These resources are available to our grantees and all nonprofits in the Bay Area.

Navigating Federal Resources and Finance Practices 

Financial Management Associates (FMA) is providing resources, tools, public clinics, and advice to help all Bay Area nonprofits access the parts of the federal stimulus and response resources (CARES Act) that pertain to nonprofits. You can access these resources including recorded clinics that were offered to our nonprofit partners and grantees in FMA’s Paycheck Protection Program Toolbox.

CompassPoint Nonprofit Services curated a comprehensive list of resources specifically for Bay Area nonprofits, including guides for employers and workers, and resources for coping with mental health, disability justice, and domestic violence.

Support for Virtual Fundraising and Remote Work

Catchafire is offering free webinars and other COVID-19 resources for all nonprofit and community organizations on building team culture while working virtually, fundraising in the time of COVID-19, and developing virtual fundraising events. Plus, Bay Area nonprofits can share ideas and access Catchafire experts on their shared Slack channel.

LogMeIn (which owns GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar) is offering nonprofits three free months of their online meetings, video conference, and remote desktop support products.

Network For Good offers a Free Fundraising Resources Library accessible to all nonprofits. The resources library includes virtual fundraising toolkits and webinars on how to communicate digitally during a crisis.

Organizational Crisis Response Webinars

Third Plateau has made available a recorded four-part webinar series on crisis response best practices for nonprofits looking to develop systems and strategies to respond, mitigate, and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The series covers rapid needs assessment, developing an emergency response plan, resiliency and risk monitoring, and leadership and equity in uncertain times.

San Francisco Foundation Grantmaking

San Francisco Foundation is committed to supporting our grantees through this time of unprecedented crisis. We have made substantial changes to lessen and eliminate requirements for grantees at all stages of the grants process:

  • Most new grants are for general operating support.
  • Existing project support grants may be converted to general operating support grants.
  • Grant requirements are still considered complete even if conferences, events, or other project deliverables had to be postponed or canceled.
  • Grant resources may be used to cover costs associated with canceled events or other COVID-19 related impacts
  • Implemented new processes to ensure that grantees continue to receive their funding in a timely and safe manner.

For questions about your grant or requests to convert a project grant to general operating support, please reach out to your contact at SFF or email us at programs[at]

Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building 

San Francisco Foundation’s Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building is continuing to support COVID-19 recovery efforts, with a focus on work that builds community power, strengthens the voice of Black Bay Area residents and people of color, or advocates for systems change.

Interested organizations can learn more about the fund and complete an application.

Focus on Housing Policy

Housing is an important aspect of our work to advance racial equity and economic inclusion. The Covid-19 crisis is making the future of our neighborhoods more uncertain as rent and mortgage relief, eviction moratoriums and small business relief continues to be staggered and uncertain.

Having stable, affordable homes for all our residents is essential to creating a diverse, vibrant, thriving Bay Area. Stable housing is better for people’s health, helps kids do better in school, allows residents to stay in their jobs and build wealth, and makes our communities more connected and successful.

Along with our grantmaking, we support the creation of — and advocate for — housing policies at the local, regional, and state level that will help make housing more affordable for communities of color in the Bay Area and will help keep Bay Area residents in their homes and neighborhoods. In response to COVID-19, we have increased our focus on unhoused communities, tenant protections, and homelessness prevention. Here are some of our key housing policy and advocacy activities to date:

  • Legislation: Prior to COVID-19, San Francisco Foundation supported the successful passage of policies such as Assembly Bill 1482, a landmark renter protection bill that is now the strongest anti-rent-gouging policy in the country; and measures to support additional affordable housing production and preservation.
  • Philanthropic Voice: We collaborated with philanthropy and community partners to weigh-in on key policy issues that impact those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic including an open letter for a more inclusive California and response letter to the 2020 Census being cut short.
  • Sign-on Letters: San Francisco Foundation was a signatory on a number of housing related letters to policymakers including the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to Pass Eviction Moratoria (March 2020) and to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, led by Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California and AllHome on Affordable Housing Priorities in the Federal Stimulus Package (April 2020).