Place-Based Grants

children's hands planting a flower

The Foundation’s primary grantmaking strategy is place-based. We seek opportunities to make clusters of complementary grants in specific communities, supporting public and nonprofit organizations that serve essentially the same children, youth, and families.

Our goal is to achieve more capable, responsive, and effective community organizations and institutions. Through the sustained, concerted efforts of those organizations, we expect community residents to realize benefits including:

  • the healthy development and education of children
  • the economic and social advancement of their families
  • the opportunity to influence the conditions that shape their lives

We respond first and foremost to the capacities and vision of the community. Then we seek ways to build on the insights, resources, and achievements generated through our grantees’ efforts. Our decision to engage and invest in a community represents a mutual commitment that we hope will grow over time. In the last stages of our involvement, we look to help our grantees position themselves for long-term sustainability, adaptability, and accomplishment.

To that end, communities must meet the following criteria to be considered for funding:

  • The community is located in Northern or Central California.
  • The community is experiencing acute and widespread poverty, as evidenced by the number of students who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch.
  • The community has a strong “sense of place” that arises from factors such as location, history, and the shared goals and deep-rooted relationships among residents, community-based organizations, and educators.
  • The community presents opportunities for investment in all the following program areas: Families, Education, and Youth.
  • Community partners are advancing racial justice and equitable outcomes for people and communities of color.
  • Local leaders demonstrate commitment to the community by championing issues and efforts beyond the scope of their own roles and agencies.