Sakana Foundation: Bay Area Guide

OVERVIEW:  The Sakana Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Bay Area couple Bill and Sakurako Fisher. The foundation invests in arts and cultural institutions in the Bay Area.

IP TAKE:  The foundation keeps a low public profile and does not accept unsolicited proposals.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts & Culture, Education

PROFILE: Preferring a low public profile, the Sakana Foundation does not operate a website. Its founder, Bill Fisher, is a son of Gap founders Don and Doris Fisher. He attended Princeton and Stanford and has served in various roles at Gap, as well as managing partner of Manzanita Capital, a London based private equity firm. 

He and his wife Sakurako, also a Stanford graduate, conduct their philanthropy through the Sakana Foundation, which awarded around $2.7 million in a recent year. In a previous year, the foundation awarded more than $10 million, but the bulk of that went to a donor advised fund.

The couple’s Bay Area giving via the foundation heavily focuses on arts and cultural institutions. The Fisher family has deep ties to the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), on whose board Doris has served since 1980. Sakurako joined the SFS board in 1992 and is currently board of governors president. Through the Sakana Foundation, the couple has supported SFS, as well as places like Exploratorium, Museum of the African Diaspora, Asian Art Museum (Sakurako is half Japanese), and Counterpulse, which provides space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovation.

Grant sizes in a recent year ranged from as low as $5,000 to $199,000. The Fishers have also supported their mutual alma mater Stanford, as well as places like UC Berkeley. The foundation has not provided a clear way for getting in touch.


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The Sakana Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple but below is an address

Sakana Foundation
1 Maritime Plz., Ste. 1400
San Francisco, CA 94111