The San Francisco Foundation has announced grants totaling $11.5 million in support of efforts to advance racial and economic equity in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The largest combined grant announcement in the foundation's history is part of a new grantmaking strategy announced by the foundation in 2016 focused on "people, place, and power" — expanding access to opportunity by removing systemic barriers to meaningful jobs; anchoring communities that reflect people's culture and identity; and nurturing equity movements to ensure a strong political voice for all. In this funding round, grants were awarded to a hundred and forty Bay Area organizations, a third of them first-time grantees working in areas new to the foundation, including criminal justice reform and community safety.
In an effort to invest more meaningfully in its grantees, the foundation also awarded a greater number of core support grants, grants for longer durations, and larger grants, with the average grant size about $80,000, significantly more than the historical average for the foundation of between $25,000 and $30,000. Grants awarded in this round will support efforts to redirect public funds from incarceration to services, expand tenant protections, defend immigrants, strengthen worker protections, and ensure equitable development that delivers good jobs and affordable housing. Recipients include the Booker T Washington Community Service Center ($50,000), the California Immigrant Policy Center ($120,000), Californians for Safety and Justice ($150,000), the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity ($100,000), the National Housing Law Project ($80,000), and Oakland Rising ($150,000).
"For far too many people in the Bay Area, the color of your skin or the neighborhood you grew up in determines how much money you will make or even how long you will live," said San Francisco Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell. "That has to change. When we launched our equity agenda, it was an acknowledgement that we don't have another day to waste. Today's equity grants announcement is designed to continue to build momentum to take on this enormous challenge."
For a complete list of the 2017 equity grant recipients, see the San Francisco Foundation website.