Friedman Family Foundation: Grants for the Bay Area

OVERVIEW: The Friedman Family Foundation 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 to focus specifically on the Bay Area.

PROFILE: Established in 1964, the Friedman Family Foundation (FFF) is based in San Francisco and 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. After Howard passed away in 1988, Phillis added her three children onto the foundation board. The funder aims to “to fund programs that attempt to end the cycle of poverty,” and interests revolve around creating systemic change to accomplish this goal.

FFF 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. Overall, the foundation provides general operating support to poverty organizations so that they can decide what the best uses of the funds are.

A majority of past grants have been between $5,000 and $10,000. Grantseekers can find information on past grants made by the foundation on its Recent Grants page and Grantee Highlights page. In recent years, the foundation has awarded between $500,000 and $530,000 in total grants. Although the Bay Area is the geographic priority of FFF, it occasionally funds a statewide or national cause related to poverty as well. FFF does not support films, videos, conferences, seminar, capital, scholarships, individuals, research, or special or fundraising events.

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, the funder accepts full applications by invitation only. Full applications are typically due in February/March, June, and November each year. Direct general inquiries to the staff at 650-342-8750 or


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