Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund

OVERVIEW: Most of this funder’s support stays in its home region, the San Francisco Bay Area. The biggest giving areas have been Jewish life and local hospitals.

FUNDING AREAS: Children’s health and education, Israel and Jewish affairs, the arts and civic life

IP TAKE: This is one of the more modest Pritzker philanthropies but it’s a very locally focused one. Learn about the Pritzker couple’s local affiliations and aim to collaborate with one of them on a new pilot project.

PROFILE: The Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund was established in 2002 and is based in Redwood City, California. This foundation mostly gives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it also supports causes in Israel.

Starting at Hyatt, John Pritzker co-founded a number of companies, including Ticketmaster, before returning to hospitality via his investment firm, Geolo Capital. His net worth has been estimated at $2.3 billion. John serves as the foundation’s chairman today.

Lisa Stone Pritzker serves as foundation president. She holds a Master’s in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco. A few of the organizations she supports are UCSF’s Center for Health and Community as well as the Child Trauma Center at SFGH, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. 

For children’s health and education grants, this foundation looks for programs that value a coordinated and holistic approach to serving children. Most of these grants stay in the Bay Area, but the foundation also considers pilot programs in other cities to meet this goal.

Jewish life grants fund programs that provide a vital, caring, and engaged local Jewish community. Through their foundation, the Pritzker couple also gives to vulnerable children and communities in Israel with these grants. Although arts and civic life grants are less common with this funder, it does support arts groups that prioritize imagination, aspiration, compassion, and community.  

Past foundation grantees include the University of California San Francisco (benefiting the Benioff Children's Hospital), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco. The foundation tends to stick to grantees that it has a personal affiliation with. For example, John Pritzker has been an executive council member of the University of California at San Francisco and served as past president of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation. Lisa Pritzker has served on the Advisory Board of the Osher Center at the University of California, San Francisco and on the board of directors of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

In a recent year, the foundation’s assets were over $31 million and giving exceeded $13 million. This is not a funder that accepts unsolicited letters of inquiries or proposals. There is an online portal for nonprofits that receive an invitation from the foundation to apply. These letters of inquiry are reviewed on a rolling basis, and staff members reply to applicants within a month. Final funding decisions are typically made within three months. Inquiries can be directed to the staff at inquiries@ljpff.org or (650) 365-4646.

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