Bay Area "anchor" institutions have always held an important place in the Koret Foundation's funding strategy. Each year, the San Francisco-based funder provides millions of dollars in support to Bay Area museums, hospitals, medical research, arts and cultural organizations, public broadcasting, and colleges and universities.
Koret just unveiled an initiative to support area institutions of higher education, one that will provide $50 million in funding to 12 colleges and universities. The multi-year grants will focus on student success and building long-term capacity. Colleges and universities receiving funds from Koret are City College of San Francisco; Notre Dame de Namur University; Santa Clara University; San Jose, Sonoma, and San Francisco state unversities; Stanford; University of San Francisco; and the University of California campuses in Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco. For many of these schools, the grants announced under this initiative are the largest they have ever received from the funder.
Koret worked closely with the recipient schools to shape funding in a way that will produce the greatest benefit for the schools and their students. The initiative will address needs related to capital, technology, scholarships, and retention for low-income and first-generation college students. Koret estimates the funding will include support for more than 1,500 students.
Capacity-building activities funded by Koret at these schools will vary based on the strategic priorities of the institutions' presidents and chancellors. Funding also will enable the schools to upgrade their technology and physical facilities. In addition, the Koret funding will support programs to improve student success and graduation rates, as well as strengthen ties between Bay Area and Israeli scholars. The latter ties the higher education initiative to another Koret funding program, which emphasizes Jewish causes.