101 Montgomery Street, Suite 850
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 391-9001
Type of foundation: Independent
Types of grants: General operating, program/project, rapid response (within six weeks), small convening opportunities, program-related investments
Description: In 2012, this family foundation announced that it had adopted a new mission and guidelines to guide its future grantmaking. The new mission is: “We ignite change. We support transformative leadership and courageous storytelling to inspire action toward a sustainable, just, and peaceful future.” While all grants will be grounded in this mission, the foundation will continue to support its long-standing interest areas of peace, environment, reproductive health and rights, and money in politics. The foundation has identified these particular areas of interest: sustainable food systems, money in politics, reproductive justice and climate/energy solutions. The foundation is also interested in exploring the fields of women in peace building and alternative economics. The foundation is particularly interested in projects that explore the connections among the issue areas. All grants going forward will be grounded in the foundation’s dual mission of supporting transformative leadership and courageous storytelling.
In the area of transformative leadership, the foundation expects to fund:
- Institutions that are training, convening and coaching leaders.
- Networks of leaders working across difference in issue, approach or constituency.
- Exemplary organizations that demonstrate new ways of working, creative collaboration and transformative leadership qualities.
The foundation defines courageous storytelling as:
- Speaking truth to power.
- Using visual art, music, drama, film, writing and creative social media to amplify critical issues and to blend personal with political, emotional with intellectual.
- Disrupting our understanding of the status quo, or giving voice to previously unheard narratives.
- Communicating compassion, linking our past to our future, and offering positive visions/dreams of what might come next.
In this area, the foundation expects to support:
- Creative media (art, film/video, music, drama, writing, photography) that captures imagination, expands our understanding of critical social and environmental problems, and articulates a positive vision for the future.
- Exemplary and emerging leaders or efforts that command attention and convey clear narratives with passion, vision and impact.
- Artist capacity building organizations that help creative artists engage with social and environmental change organizations or campaigns, or provide artists with experiences and/or information that can help them work more effectively on real world problems.
The foundation is approaching 2012 as an “exploratory year” during which it intends to work with both existing and new grantees who bring innovative approaches to its articulated goals.
Sample grants: Some past grants are listed below. Note that these grants were made before the foundation announced its new mission.
- $50,000 to Advocates for Youth for The Time Is NOW: Mobilizing for Youth SRHR and Climate Change Mitigation in 2012 (2011).
- $45,000 to Citizens for Global Solutions Education Fund U.S. Engagement in U.N. Peacekeeping Operations (2011).
- $39,500 to Aftermath Project for War Is Only Half the Story Youth Education Initiative (2010).
- $35,000 to Climate Solutions for Green Jobs and Climate Equity Campaign Project (2011).
- $30,000 to Air Traffic Control Education Fund for Musicians Expanding and Strengthening the Environment & Sustainability Movement (2011).
- $30,000 to PROOF: Media for Social Justice (2011).
- $30,000 to Public Radio International for The World (2009).
- $25,000 to American Public Media for Speaking of Faith (2009).
- $25,000 to AfterImage Public Media for The Island President (2011).
- $14,500 to Bay Area Video Coalition for Green 21: Got H2O?
Fit for public broadcasting: The foundation’s new focus on igniting change, in part through courageous storytelling, opens interesting new possibilities for public media. The foundation is explicitly interested in media projects, including creative social media. It has a history of support for public media, including traditional broadcast. Projects that leverage public media’s strong storytelling skill to engage people, especially around the foundation’s key interest areas, should be of interest. There are opportunities especially for stations that bring creative/innovative approaches to storytelling across media platforms and/or across key issue areas.
Eligibility: Applicants must have 501(c)(3) tax status and must be based in the United States. For environmental issues, the foundation will only fund domestic activities.
How to apply: Interested applicants should submit an online letter of inquiry. The foundation will invite full proposals from those that best match its guidelines and offer the greatest potential for learning about our new fields.
Giving range: Most grants are in the $20,000 - $50,000 range.
Assets: $66.5 million (as of December 2010)
Total giving: $3.6 million in 2011