About Us

We invest in Families, Education, and Youth to collectively increase the opportunity for lasting community improvement. 

Our work is guided by the following beliefs:

  • We believe that lasting community change is possible.
  • We believe in taking a holistic approach to addressing the unique needs and realities of a community.
  • We respect the commitment and expertise of local organizations.
  • We believe that authentic change happens when community stakeholders work independently.

Since 1956, we have granted nearly $300 million to more than 2,000 non-profit organizations and public schools. Visit our grants database to learn more about the work we have funded.

Our Staff

Our staff members have worked in nonprofits, school districts, and other spaces that we now serve. We respect the knowledge and perspectives of grantees and residents in the communities with whom we partner. 

Our Board

Cowell has a volunteer board committed to Cowell’s mission, values, and place-based grantmaking approach. Our directors live in Northern California.

Our History

The S.H. Cowell Foundation was established in 1956 through a bequest from Samuel Henry Cowell. 

Our Financials

We post updated financial information annually.