Heising-Simons Foundation: Grants for the Bay Area

OVERVIEW: The Heising-Simons Foundation supports climate and clean energy, education, human rights, local and emerging opportunities, and science in the Bay Area of California.

FUNDING AREAS: Climate and clean energy, education, human rights, local and emerging opportunities, science

IP TAKE: This funder prioritizes grantmaking in Silicon Valley, especially education for underprivileged students.

PROFILE: Established in 2007, the Heising-Simons Foundation is a family foundation in Los Altos, California. This is the foundation of Mark Heising and Liz Simons, who met while attending the University of California, Berkeley in 1979. Simons founded Stretch to Kindergarten, an early education program, and Heising is a chip design engineer who holds several U.S. patents. The couple signed the Giving Pledge and was joined on the foundation board by their daughter, Caitlin Heising. Grantmaking supports climate and clean energy, education, human rights, local and emerging opportunities, and science.

The foundation has been committing the most grant dollars to education lately, followed by science and then climate and clean energy. Climate and energy grants fund advancing policies and spurring large-scale efforts to curb pollution, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and transform energy sectors that create pollution. Education grants are focused on helping children of color and children from low-income families succeed in school from an early age. The funder awards human rights grants to benefit immigrant communities and people impacted by the U.S. justice system. Science grants go to physical science research. Finally, the foundation also seeks local opportunities beyond these program areas in its home region. These local grants address nonprofit resilience in Silicon Valley, arts and culture, health and human services, environment, education, and science and technology.

Foundation grants tend to range from $5,000 to $500,000. Learn more about past grantees in the funder’s online grant database. Grantmaking is often focused on the California counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, and San Francisco.

This foundation does not accept unsolicited submissions for grants. For invited grantseekers, the funder reviews proposals on a rolling basis. Direct general questions to the staff at 650-887-0277 or info@hsfoundation.org.

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