Schox Philanthropy: Grants for the Bay Area

OVERVIEW: Schox Philanthropy supports criminal justice reform, education, environmental sustainability, and other member interests in the Bay Area and beyond.

FUNDING AREAS: Criminal justice reform, education, environmental sustainability

IP TAKE: This unique philanthropic fund is a good local one to know for general operating support because it does not specify how grant money should be spent.

PROFILE: Established in 2017, Schox Philanthropy is a philanthropic fund based in San Francisco, California. This is the foundation of Jeff and Katie Schox, who have a long history of donating to early-stage nonprofits and investing in early-stage entrepreneurs. Patent attorney Jeff is the founder of Schox Patent Group and Trucks Venture Capital, while Katie is a general partner of Trucks Venture Capital and the co-founder of Schox Investments. It funds local efforts for criminal justice reform, education, environmental sustainability, and other emerging interests of the members.

Schox Philanthropy is a unique giving model and the first of its kind. It is designed to engage young tech founders early in their career and get them giving early and often to build up their philanthropic muscles. The fund takes a portfolio-approach to giving where company founders commit one percent equity to Schox Philanthropy, and then when there is a liquidation event, each founder-member (even those that did not have a liquidation event) gets to make a donation. The philanthropy group mostly supports early-stage nonprofits that have been in operation for less than 10 years. It also commonly funds nonprofits that are built to scale so that they can grow quickly and efficiently.

Grants are around $50,000 each. Learn more about this funder’s local on the grants page of the funder’s website. Grantmaking largely focuses on the Bay Area in Northern California, although the fund is not limited to just this geographic region. As the fund grows, it may support a broader geographic area as well. Past local grantees include CodeNation, the Last Mile, Annie Cannons, CURYJ, and Fuse Corps.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits and has an open application process. The application process typically opens in September so that the fund can review proposals in October, make suggestions to members in November, and celebrate award recipients in December. The application is short and straightforward with less than 24 questions. Schox assesses each applicant’s fit with its criteria, sets up phone calls, meets with teams, and does site visits before recommending nonprofits to members. Direct general questions to the staff at info@schox.com or 888-775-9990.

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