What is the Opus Community Foundation Concerned with in the Bay Area?

When we’ve covered the Opus Community Foundation’s grantmaking in the past, we’ve primarily focused on its Arizona and Los Angeles area giving. But there’s another region that this corporate bank funder pays attention to as well that’s worth a closer look.


Opus tends to give more in California than anywhere else, and a few of these grants find their way to the Bay Area pretty much every giving cycle. In its most recent grant cycle, the foundation approved 41 new grant awards, and 24 of these went to California groups. Grantmaking within the state continues to be focused on education, financial literacy, community health services, work readiness programs, and the arts.

So let’s learn a bit about the Bay Area groups that have been catching Opus’ attention lately.

One of the recent Bay Area grantees was the Bay Area Financial Education Foundation. Like many bank funders, financial literacy is a big part of Opus’ local funding, and this particular grant went towards funding a workshop for high school economics teachers.

Another Bay Area grantee from the last cycle was CASA of Contra Costa County. This is a grant that’s going towards training volunteers to help abused and neglected children.

Admittedly, the bulk of Opus’ California giving does tend to stick to the Southern part of the state, but Bay Area groups should still keep Opus on their radar. This funder has only been in the philanthropic scene since September 2010, but it’s caught on quickly and has been giving out grants at an impressive pace. Opus gives where its banks are located, and there are 32 banking offices in California. Due to the proximity of Opus banks, San Rafael, Pleasant Hill, and Danville may be of the greatest interest in the Bay Area.

So to sum it up, these are the issues that Opus has been most interested in throughout the Bay Area lately:

  • Leadership training
  • Financial education for youth
  • Abused and neglected children

The foundation’s financial literacy grants are lumped together with its education ones, and financial ones are targeted at students in Pre-K through 12th grade. It doesn’t have a separate funding area for children and youth causes, so these are lumped in with community health and human services. Health and health-related assistance for children, especially safety net services, are often funded by Opus.

Bay Area groups can apply for grants of up to $10,000 on a rolling basis, and there are no deadlines to adhere to. Learn more about the application process here.