Chamberlin Family Foundation: Bay Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The Chamberlin Family Foundation's Bay Area grantmaking focuses on Richmond and West Contra Costa County. The foundation has a particular interest in improving education systems. 

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Youth

IP TAKE: The foundation has web presence, but does not accept unsolicited proposals. 

PROFILE: In 2006, Susan and Steve Chamberlin established the Chamberlin Family Foundation. Steve is the founder and chairman of Chamberlin Associates, a commercial development firm in the Bay Area. Susan, meanwhile, worked in architecture and project management. In recent years, the foundation has given away a few million a year.

The mission of the foundation is to "invest in people and ideas that create transformational and sustainable change in K-12 public education where inequitable opportunities impede student potential." The forces here are personal as both Susan and Steve are products of education. The foundation states that it cares about "quality schools." Sometimes it partners with public school systems, but other times it invests outside the system with an eye towards new approaches.

The Chamberlin Foundation's grantmaking centers on areas where they family has personal ties, including the city of Richmond, and the surrounding region of West Contra Costa County. Outside of California, a component of the family's giving takes place in Hawaii, where the Chamberlins grew up and met.  

The foundation's website does not provide a list of recent grantees. Instead, recent grantmaking is ascertained through tax records. Grantees have included California Charter Schools Association, KIPP Bay Area, Silicon Schools Fund, Berkeley Chess School, Teach for America - Bay Area, and New Leaders, "a national nonprofit that develops transformational school leaders and designs effective leadership policies and practices for school systems across the country." An important grantee here is Richmond Promise. In 2015, Chamberlin gave $1 million to support the organization which provides "local students with academic and financial support they will need to succeed in college and obtain well-paid employment."

Unfortunately for grantseekers, the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. 


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