Hearst and the Bay Area: What this National Funder Cares about Locally

With headquarters on both coasts in New York and San Francisco, the Hearst Foundations are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to nonprofit funding. The foundations are worth at least $825 million, and they funded over $34 million across 311 culture, education, health, and social service grants in 2014.

Although organizations anywhere in the U.S. that have operating budgets over $1 million are in the running for Hearst money, the foundation hasn’t neglected the nonprofits close to home. In fact, Hearst just awarded over $1.4 million in grants to seven Bay Area nonprofits. Here’s a snapshot of what Hearst is most concerned about on the local scene right now.

Mental Health

The largest recent local award was a health grant of $650,000 to Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto. Instead of funding access to care or uninsured patient care like many local funders are doing these days, the Hearst Foundations awarded this grant to fund mental health research, specifically in the fields of psychiatry, behavioral sciences, and neurosurgery.

Pregnancy & Prenatal Care

Hearst has also been showing its support for the Bay Area’s youngest residents—even ones that haven’t even been born yet. Hearst just awarded $250,000 to the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital to fund a two-year pilot project to explore noninvasive technology that could potentially detect and treat fetal conditions.

Children’s health care and mental health were big issues for Hearst in 2014, as grants were made last year to the Venice Family Clinic, Community Medical Centers in Fresno, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital too.

Youth Media

Although the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the Hearst Foundation are independent private philanthropies that operate separately from the Hearst Corp., which owns the San Francisco Chronicle, you’ll often see support for newspaper and mediaespecially on the local level. The William Randolph Heart Foundation, for example, funds two programs specifically for young journalists in addition to traditional grantmaking.

Youth Radio just received a $150,000 Hearst grant to expand its technology education programs. This organization was founded in Berkeley back in 1992 and has since expanded to bureaus in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and D.C. The Bay Area outlet has relocated to downtown Oakland to reach diverse and underserved kids.

Local Prisons

Reentry from incarceration and the economic toll of incarceration for minor offenses are big issues in the Bay Area today. So not surprisingly, the Hearst Foundations have jumped on the funding bandwagon to support local prison reform. In the most recent grant cycle, Hearst provided the Prison University Project with $75,000 to help San Quentin State Prison inmates pursue higher education.