About the Foundation

We are a small family foundation seeking to make a difference in a world of many needs. Our choice of mission and priorities are profiled here.

As a family foundation, we seek to express and further the values we were taught: a respect for the capabilities and dignity of all people, a belief in the power of ideas and in individual empowerment, a commitment to systemic change, a reverence for learning, faith in the ability to create a better world and an obligation to the San Francisco Bay Area that has been our family home for five generations.

The focus of our grantmaking is the systemic reduction of poverty. We feel a responsibility to expand the choices available to people with all too few. Poverty, in all its forms, has been increasing ever since 1973 in this country. We are more divided as a nation than at any time in our lifetimes. Almost all trends run in the wrong direction.

Our mission is to help change this direction. We do not believe that an expansion of the welfare state or increased charity alone are the answers. We believe that this society must find ways to expand the opportunity to produce. We must introduce new programs and policies that allow those on the margins of the economy a reasonable chance to craft their own futures.

We are looking for model organizations with an effective track record and for new projects which offer innovative changes likely to create a broad impact or which provide a lasting impact on fewer lives. While we respect the need for direct service, our interest is in organizations and projects with explicit strategies and promise for system and policy change. Our focus is the San Francisco Bay Area; however, we recognize that poverty exists all over the country and that innovative solutions often emerge across this larger world. Thus we occasionally consider projects beyond this region, projects that offer lessons or benefits for the Bay Area. We recognize that poverty and opportunity in the Bay Area will be affected and effected by efforts at the state and national levels.

Most of our grants are still relatively small to groups with antipoverty strategies ranging from organizing to model program development to policy advocacy. We delight in renewing support to high performing organizations. We seek to increase the utility of our modest grants by offering general support that gives organizations the ability to use the funds where they believe they can be most effective and by keeping our grantmaking requirements simple and minimal.

Over our 27+ years of grantmaking, our impact in underserved communities has deepened. We continue to grow and learn from our grantees and strengthen our partnerships to sustain organizations, individuals and ideas that have the capacity of truly changing the face of opportunity in the Bay Area and across the nation.