Akonadi Foundation: Grants for the Bay Area

OVERVIEW: The Akonadi Foundation is solely focused on racial justice in Oakland, California.

FUNDING AREAS: Racial justice

IP TAKE: This is one of the most targeted and specific foundations in the Bay Area. It is a great place to turn to for funding for small events, such as healing clinics, festivals, community gatherings, and public art projects.

PROFILE: Established in 2000, the Akonadi Foundation is based in Oakland, California. Its mission is racial justice, toward which it has awarded thousands of grants totaling millions of dollars since its establishment. In 2012, the foundation shifted grantmaking to focus solely on Oakland. The funder’s racial justice focus extends to policy, advocacy, and culture shifts for local people of color.

The foundation’s two main programs are the Arc Toward Justice, which concentrates on youth of color ages 14-24, and the Beloved Community Fund, which supports public arts and cultural events in Oakland. The Arc Towards Justice Fund aims to stop the criminalization of youth of color, to end the school-to-prison pipeline, and to foster overall wellness. This fund was launched in 2013 and gives grantees one-year operating support grants up to $75,000. At times, this fund closes its doors to new applications so it can focus on current grantees. Previous grantees for this invitation-only fund include the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network, and Black Organizing Project. The Beloved Community Fund prioritizes racial trauma and healing, representations of youth of color that defy stereotypes, and structural effects of police brutality and racial inequality. All of these free arts and culture events must take place within the Oakland city limits. For this fund, the foundation awards project-specific grants between $2,000 and $15,000. Another funding venture is the So Love Can Win Fund, created as a rapid response fund to counter racial inequality and hate against local communities of color. This fund has awarded one-time grants of $3,000 to $5,000 to neighborhood collectives, spiritual practitioners, frontline activists, and other groups and individuals working to negate the impact of hate groups.

Overall, foundation grants are typically between $2,000 and $100,000. View past grantees on the funder’s website. A majority of grantees have been in the Bay Area, but others are based elsewhere in the country. Oakland, California is the foundation’s primary geographic focus.

Historically, some foundation funds have accepted applications while others are by invitation only. Check the foundation website to learn about current and open grant opportunities. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at 510-663-3867 or info@akonadi.org.


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