Marin Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Marin Community Foundation supports education, health, economic opportunity, environment, and safety net services through its Buck Family Fund

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, economic opportunity, environment, safety net services

IP TAKE: Although MCF gives preference to Marin County organizations, nonprofits still have a chance at a grant if they are anywhere in the Bay Area.

PROFILE: Established in 1987, the Marin Community Foundation (MCF) is a community foundation based in Novato, California. Marin residents Leonard and Beryl Buck launched the foundation with the assets in their trust. Since that time, more than 400 families, individuals, businesses, and community groups have contributed assets to support causes in Marin County and the greater Bay Area. Through the Buck Family Fund, MCF supports education, health, economic opportunity, environment, and safety net services.

A majority of recent grants have been going towards closing the education achievement gap, and a good number of grants have been going to ending the cycle of poverty lately. This foundation typically distributes over $80 million in grants each year and is the tenth largest community foundation in the U.S. Across all interest areas, grantmaking is focused on assisting low-income people, people of color, immigrants, older adults, and disconnected youth.

Buck Family Fund grants through MCF typically range from $15,000 to $100,000. View information about past grants on the funder’s website. Although giving from the Buck Trust is limited to organizations serving the county, almost all of the foundation's grant money stays in the Bay Area. The foundation's discretionary grants benefit the residents of Marin County, unlike grants from the Foundation's donor-advised funds, which support efforts both locally and in communities around the world. Overall, most grants stay local, although other funding goes nationally and internationally too.

The application process begins with MCF issues an RFP invitation, and interested nonprofits can register on the foundation's online grant center. Only then can nonprofits submit a letter of intent, and selected applicants are invited to send in a full proposal. Direct questions about the grantmaking process to Jonathan Logan, vice president for engagement at 415-464-2503. Submit general questions to the staff via online form.

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