Leadership Programs and Awards

Leadership Programs and Awards

The San Francisco Foundation has responded to the challenges and opportunities of the Bay Area for more than 70 years. In that time, we have developed lasting partnerships across communities and invested in long-term transformative work of community leaders and up and coming leaders in neighborhoods throughout the region. These commitments are lived out in the following programs that are integral to the vision of equity in the Bay Area.

Bay Area Leads Fund

The Bay Area Leads Fund underwrites the foundation’s leadership work—from advocating for equitable policies, to research and community engagement. The fund builds on grantmaking, donor support, and impact investing tools to create a Bay Area where everyone thrives. Through donor support, the Bay Area Leads Fund helps inform public opinion and advocates for systemic change across the Bay Area.


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 the Foundation Alliance with Interfaith to Heal Society, best known and regarded as the FAITHS program. This nationally-recognized program enhances the work of faith-based organizations to organize and advocate for equitable policies and improve community services in their neighborhoods and collectively for the region.

Koshland Civic Unity Program

Community members and leaders know the experience of working, living, raising a family, and making ends meet in their neighborhoods better than anyone else. For every neighborhood cohort, we select 12 community members to serve as Koshland Civic Unity Program Fellows for five years. We seek out leaders who are committed to improving lives in their neighborhood. The Koshland Fellows are proven bridge builders in their community, making connections and building a sense of belonging.

Koshland Young Leader Awards

The Koshland Young Leader Awards recognize the next generation of leadership in our community, providing a one-year award of $10,000 to outstanding San Francisco public high school juniors who balance extraordinary family, economic and societal pressures with the discipline required for academic excellence and the drive to succeed at community leadership.

Multicultural Fellowship Program

The Foundation’s two-year philanthropic leadership development program. The fellowship equips emerging leaders of color with the experience, knowledge, and network within the power structure of philanthropy to increase racial equity and economic inclusion in the Bay Area. For more than 30 years, the Multicultural Fellowship has been a career accelerator for leaders who are motivated, creative agents of change. The fellows’ experiences and perspectives shape, influence, and challenge the foundation’s work as well. Fellows have developed new initiatives, strengthened the approach of the work of the foundation, and brought experiences in that too often are unheard in philanthropy.

The Womxn of Color, Womxn of Power Program

In partnership with Leaderspring, the Womxn of Color, Womxn of Power program is designed to support womxn of color to move into positions of decision-making power and access to resources while building community power. Bay Area womxn-of-color leaders will be selected to participate in a year-long training and coaching program focused on racial equity and systems change. As part of a cohort, they will also build strong ties with other rising womxn-of-color leaders, and this professional network will continue to expand as ongoing cohorts graduate and join.