Lots of well-heeled donors who grew up and lived in the Bay Area remain committed to local causes after they've made it big. But you might not be familiar with Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert, one such philanthropic couple.
Carl found success after founding Sunstream Homes, which joined with the Crocker Land Company to create one of the region’s first large-scale planned communities. Carl was the president of the local home builders' association, a regional director and lifetime director of the National Association, president of the Associated General Contractors, and chairman of the Building Industry Conference Board. He passed away in 1974 and his wife Celia in 2000.
Here are three things that Bay Area grantseekers should know about this foundation:
Grants Stay Local
For over 20 years, the foundation has kept grantmaking in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. If you scroll through the list of recent grantees, you’ll see that there are really no exceptions to this rule.
The foundation made local news for providing a $2,500 grant to the Daly City Public Library and for its Gellert Family Business Awards. The annual awards recognize extraordinary business achievement and community service. Recent recipients were Henry’s House of Coffee and Aunt Ann’s In-House Staffing in 2015 and Java Beach Café and Harrington Galleries in 2014.
Gellert Funds a Wide Range of Causes
Funding at the Gellert Foundation benefits various types of nonprofits in the area. The foundation's Bay Area support has gone to educational institutions, social services for the homeless, affordable low-income housing, and religious, public, and private school education.
Take a look at the causes funded in 2015 to get a sense of what Gellert has supported recently—everything from basic needs support to facility upgrades and tuition assistance. Gellert often supports causes for children and youth in the Bay Area, and education is a big part of its annual grantmaking strategy.
Unsolicited Applications Are Welcome
Unlike many funders in the area, Gellert does not require a letter of inquiry and welcomes unsolicited grant applications from eligible nonprofits. It uses an online grant system through which it accepts applications.
Applications are due once per year on the 15th of August. Although that’s technically the deadline, grantseekers should know that they can complete their online application by August 5 to have it reviewed before the busy deadline. The grant guidelines provide a great deal of technical instruction on how to submit an application, but not a lot of guidance regarding what the foundation is looking for in new programs and grantees.
Questions about the application process should be directed to Program Officer Rosa King at 650-985-2080 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about this funder, check out IP’s full profile, The Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation: Bay Area Grants.