Neda Nobari Foundation: Grants for the Bay Area

OVERVIEW: The Neda Nobari Foundation promotes social and environmental justice through arts and education. The foundation has several different focus areas through which grants are given to Bay Area organizations. 

FUNDING AREAS: Innovative arts, impact cinema, earth advocacy, holistic education, edge media

IP TAKE: The foundation accepts grant requests. Those working within the Iranian-American community may have an advantage. 

PROFILE: The Neda Nobari Foundation is the foundation of Neda Nobari, who immigrated to the United States from Iran in 1978 when she was 15. She graduated from San Francisco State in 1984 and went on to work at Bebe Stores, where she was once vice chair. She ended her long run at Bebe last decade and has since turned to philanthropy. Today the foundation aims to promote social and environmental justice through arts and education. Grantmaking focus areas are innovative arts, impact cinema, earth advocacy, holistic education, and edge media.

One of the Neda Nobari Foundation's focus areas is Holistic Education, by which the foundation means "that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to spiritual values such as compassion and peace." The foundation supports San Francisco State University’s Guardian Scholars Program and the Golestan Center for Language Immersion and Cultural Education in Berkeley, which teaches Iranian culture to children. The foundation also supports Bay Area organizations through its Innovative Arts, Impact Cinema, Earth Advocacy, and Edge Media focus areas. For each focus area, the foundation describes in detail what animates its interest in the area. The arts focus area, for example, focuses on democratizing access to inspiring art projects and bringing together cultures, disciplines, generations, and faiths. Through these different areas, the Neda Nobari Foundation has supported Bay Area organizations like Beats Rhymes and Life and Butimar Productions in Menlo Park. 

Of late, grants have rarely exceeded $50,000, and many are in the $10,000 to $20,000 range. Learn more about local giving in the funder’s annual reports. Grantmaking is focused on the Bay Area and throughout California.

For giving cycles, the foundation typically accepts letters of interest. Submit these requests online via the foundation website. The funder makes about 40 to 60 grants per year. Direct general questions to the foundation staff via online form.

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