Three Things to Know About the Marcus Foundation's Grantmaking

The George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Bay Area couple George and Judy Marcus. Marcus was born a Greek island not too far from Athens, but his family moved to San Francisco when he was a youth. Marcus attended San Francisco State University where he met Judy, also a student at the university. Marcus graduated with an economics degree and also holds a degree from Harvard Business School. Marcus worked as a broker at Grubb & Ellis in San Jose, before leaving in 1971 to set up his own shop, Marcus & Millichap Company. While Marcus isn't currently on the Forbes billionaire list, the Los Altos Hills resident controls a $1.9 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

In 2013, the George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation held around $5.5 million in assets and gave away close to $2 million. While the foundation doesn't have much of a web presence or a clear way to get in touch with the couple, the Marcus Foundation has funded a number of outfits in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here are a few must knows:

1. Education is a Strong Interest of the Couple

A major site of philanthropy has been San Francisco State, the couple's mutual alma mater, and where Judy sits on the board of directors. The couple established the SF State International Center for the Arts with a $3 million gift. Philanthropy has also supported scholarships, and endowed the Robert A. Corrigan Chair in American Studies. A recent $500,000 grant to the San Francisco State Foundation in 2013 supported the Corrigan Chair.

Other education giving of late has involved Bay Area outfits such as Oakland School of the Arts, Pathways for Kids, "which serves to empower San Francisco’s underserved inner city youth by exposing them to career opportunities through mentoring and motivational Programs," San Jose State University Judo, Stanford University, and East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, "a community-based, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to promote educational opportunities and academic success for students in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park by providing educator micro grants directly to teachers in the classroom."

2. Bay Area Support Has Also Gone to Religious Outfits and Greek Causes

Steady support has gone to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco which oversees the western region of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In 2013, the outfit received $100,000. Other recent grantmaking includes support of United Religions Initiative, "a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world," San Francisco Interfaith Council, St. James Orthodox Church, and Elios Charitable Foundation whose mission is to to "preserve the values of Hellenic culture."

3. Assorted Sums Have Gone Elsewhere

The couple also has an interest in supporting human services outfits in the Bay Area such as Avenidas, "a private, non-profit agency celebrating over 40 years of helping mid-Peninsula seniors live well, learn and maintain their independence," and InnVision Shelter Network. Money has also gone to health outfits such as . Bay Area Cancer Connections, formerly known as Breast Cancer Connections, and Blossom Birth Services, among others. In the environment, money has gone to Humane Society of Silicon Valley, and Tuolumne River Trust. In arts and culture, outfits such as San Jose Museum of Art, local public radio station KALW, and San Francisco Zoological Society have been funded.

Finally, it's worth noting that modest sums have streamed to a donor advised fund at Schwab Charitable. The Taube Foundation, meanwhile, a Bay Area philanthropy we've written about before, received a $135,000 grant in 2012. As you can see the George and Judy Marcus Foundation is involved in quite a bit in the Bay Area and should be on the radar of grantseekers working in this region.

Related: The George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation: Bay Area Grants