Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation: Grants for the Bay Area

OVERVIEW: The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation is based in San Francisco and is primarily focused on education, human services, health, and community needs in the Bay Area. 

FUNDING AREAS: K-12 education, health, human services, community needs

IP TAKE: Education is this funder’s top cause, and funding often goes to public charter schools and effective teacher training.

PROFILE: Established in 1987, Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation is a separate entity from the Charles Schwab Corporate Foundation. The foundation believes that “every person has the potential and deserves the opportunity to lead a happy and productive life” and that education is the key to accomplishing this. Funding areas of interest are K-12 education, health, human services, and community needs.

In the past, over half its money has gone to education, with the next largest amount going to human services and lesser amounts for other types of programs. On education, the foundation prioritizes charter schools and education reform groups, putting money in national players like the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Teach for America. However, the foundation also directs a fair amount of its education funding to local education grantees. Past local charter school grantees include KIPP Bay Area, the Silicon Schools Fund, and the New Schools Venture Fund-Oakland Fund. Meanwhile, under the Human Services and Health grantmaking umbrella, the Schwab Foundation takes on issues like homelessness, poverty and addiction. Unlike the education program, which has a broader focus, this program is focused exclusively on the Bay Area. A major foundation investment is with Tipping Point Community. The funder has made local health grants to the San Francisco Free Clinic, the UCSF Center for Prevention of Heart and Vascular Disease, and the UCSF Fertility Preservation Center.

View a list of past grantees on the funder’s website. Foundation giving is largely focused on California and the Bay Area. However, it supports national educational causes that have a local impact as well.

This foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications, proposals, or letters of inquiry. Instead, the Schwab Foundation relies upon trusted colleagues and experts to identify organizations with goals that align with foundation priorities. To get in touch with general questions, email or call 415-795-4920.


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