Friedman Family Foundation: Bay Area Grants

OVERVIEW: This is a single issue funder that aims to end the cycle of poverty in the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. It supports economic development programs that create systemic change.

FUNDING AREAS: Poverty, financial equity

IP TAKE: Make a request for either general operating support or project support for between $5,000 and $10,000 to this funder, but make sure your anti-poverty organization focuses on the nine counties of the Bay Area.

PROFILE: Based in San Francisco, the Friedman Family Foundation (FFF) is a small family funder that is committed to improving the lives of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area. This has been the family’s home for five generations and is the focus of the foundation’s grantmaking. Phyllis K. Friedman and her late husband, Howard A. Friedman, established the foundation in 1964. After Howard passed away in 1988, Phillis added her three children onto the foundation board. FFF has been in the business of grantmaking for over 27 years.

Reducing poverty is the number one goal of FFF, and it looks for new programs and policies to empower low-income individuals. This is not a direct service funder, but rather one that supports organizations and projects that aim for system and policy change. More specifically, FFF is interested in programs that help the economically underserved create wealth and financial stability, policy efforts that create financial equity, and innovative anti-poverty strategies.

Although the Bay Area is the geographic priority of FFF, it occasionally funds a statewide or national cause related to poverty as well. The foundation’s grants are fairly small, but it provides general operating support to poverty organizations so that they can decide what the best uses of the funds are.

You can find information on past grants made by the foundation on its Recent Grants page and Grantee Highlights page. Most past grants have been about $10,000. In recent years, the foundation has awarded between $500,000 and $530,000 in total grants.

Interested grantseekers can submit a letter of inquiry to FFF at any time. These should be submitted online and be no more than two pages. However, full applications are accepted by invitation only. Full applications are due in March, June, and November each year. Here is a list of things that the foundation does NOT fund: films, videos, conferences, seminar, capital, scholarships, individuals, research, or special or fundraising events.

General inquiries should be directed to 650-342-8750 or info@friedmanfamilyfoundation.org. Lisa M. Kawahara is the grants administrator, sole staff member, and your best point of contact at the foundation. Once you submit a request for funding, expect to wait up to three months for the review process to conclude.

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