Bothin Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Bothin Foundation supports social services, education, the arts, and environmental causes in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and San Mateo counties.

FOCUS AREAS: Social services, academic enrichment, youth development, arts, environment

IP TAKE: By solely providing capital grants that build capacity, the Bothin Foundation takes a refreshingly different approach for supporting direct service nonprofits in the Bay Area.

PROFILE: Established in 1917, the Bothin Foundation is the foundation of Henry E. Bothin of San Francisco. This is a locally focused nonprofit that provides capital grants in the region. Grantmaking interest areas are social services, academic enrichment, youth development, arts, and the environment.

While the Bothin Foundation has broad interests, it has a narrow way of supporting them. The foundation only provides capital investment grants intended to build the capacity of its nonprofit grantees. Within these categories, Bothin provides building renovation grants to fund contracted labor associated with a project, including labor for removal and installation, as well as the hiring of contractors and engineers. Technology grants go towards equipment purchases and infrastructure upgrades, but they do not support website development or software. Bothin also supports vehicle purchases for transport, as well as vehicle costs like insurance, gas, and wrap-around print advertising. Past support has gone to the Agricultural Institute of Marin, Aim High, and Literacy for Environmental Justice.

Grants from the Bothin Foundation generally fall into range of $5,000 to $50,000. View the funder’s grantmaking history on its About page. The Bothin Foundation focuses on the Bay Area, specifically San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and San Mateo counties. It generally does not fund hospitals (some exceptions are made for public hospitals and community clinics). Also, the foundation only gives grants to K-12 schools that exclusively service children with learning differences and developmental disabilities.

The Bothin Foundation has an open application process online, and it will only fund an organization every four years. There are three deadlines per year that coincide with board meetings and decision-making. Direct general questions to the staff at 415-561-6540 or to individual staff members via email.

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