A Look at Hearst's Latest Local Grants—and Its Broad Reach

As we recently pointed out, the billion-dollar Hearst Foundations has a soft spot for Bay Area nonprofits and gave over $1.4 million to local groups earlier this year.

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

But in that article, we speculated that these were Hearst’s top concerns on the local level for 2015: mental health, pregnancy & prenatal care, youth media, and local prisons. Well, the foundation’s most recent round of local grants has proved us wrong.

These grants show its interest in the local arts and culture scene, with $300,000 going to the Exploratorium and $250,000 going to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The grants will fund English language learner programs at the hands-on science museum and live performance programs at the art museums.

Local education and youth nonprofits also came out on top in Hearst’s recent grant cycle. Reading Partners, a fourth grade reading proficiency program, received $100,000 and New Door Ventures of San Francisco got $50,000 for its youth workforce development program.

As a hybrid of arts and youth funding, Hearst also provides scholarship support, such as the $125,000 commitment toward San Francisco Art Institute scholarships. Higher education and scholarships were a critical part of this recent cycle. Over in Montana, Hearst awarded Carroll College $100,000 to develop its humanities program, and Lourdes University got $100,000 for scholarships.

So what these last couple rounds of Hearst funding tell us is that Hearst funding truly is all over the board. At this point, we won’t be surprised to see Hearst’s fall grant cycle funding entirely different causes across the country. There are currently just four funding priorities at Hearst (culture, education, health, and social service), but it feels like a lot more.

Hearst gets over a thousand grant requests each year from diverse nonprofits all over the U.S., and only about 300 of them get lucky. Oakland nonprofits have also been catching Hearst’s attention lately, including 2015 grants to the Oakland-based Family Independence Initiative ($50,000) and California Division of the American Cancer Society ($75,000).

Then again, Oakland is getting all sorts of much-needed funding attention these days.

Related: Guessing Game: Who's the Anonymous Donor That Just Showered Millions on Oakland?

Check out the foundation’s online grant application process and FAQ for the most up-to-date guidelines and deadlines. You can find a full list of Hearst grantees by state, category and year on the Grant Recipient Database.