Milagro Foundation: Bay Area Grants

OVERVIEW: This Bay Area funder supports causes for vulnerable children and youth related to education, arts and health.

FUNDING AREAS: Children & youth, education, arts, health

IP TAKE: The best opportunities for Milagro funding in the Bay Area is in the field of education. Organizations that assist youth with college access and serve impoverished communities in the Bay Area typically see Milagro’s support.

PROFILE: The Milagro Foundation was established by Carlos Santana and his family in 1998 to support programs for underrepresented and vulnerable children and youth. Milagro means “miracle” in Spanish, and the foundation gets its funds from concert ticket donations, Santana-licensed products, and donations from philanthropic partners and individual donors.

This foundation funds many causes for children and youth in the San Francisco Bay Area and also nationally and internationally. Its areas of focus are education, health and arts. It especially focuses on organizations that work with kids at risk for poor health, illiteracy, and who have insufficient educational and cultural opportunities. Priority is given to programs that work with children for two or more years and that show collaboration among multiple agencies.

The Milagro Foundation’s educational funding is all about the San Francisco Bay Area, college access, closing the achievement gap, and breaking the cycle of poverty. Meanwhile, the health program is focused on mental health and disease eradication in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally. The foundation has not funded as many arts grants in recent years and does not appear to be funding many new arts causes at this time.

Between 1998 and 2014, the foundation supported children in 36 states and 35 countries, awarding over $5.8 million to 355 agencies. Funding occurs three times per year, with health grants in the winter, education grants in the fall, and Kellogg projects in the spring/early summer. Kellogg projects provide healthy food and nutrition education in the following places: New Orleans, Marin City in the Bay Area, and New Mexico and Arizona, through the Center for American Indian Health.

You can learn about past grantees by searching by region, year, or name. However, the foundation has not accepted unsolicited grant applications since 2006. This is due, in part, to the fact that the executive director received over 3,000 grant requests each year: Nionety-nine percent had to be rejected because of funding restrictions.

Two staff members to know are Executive Director Shelley Brown and Associate Director Ruthie Moutafian. General questions can be directed to the San Rafael-based staff at 415-460-9939 or


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