Safeway Foundation: Bay Area Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder is headquartered in the Bay Area and gives local and corporate sponsor grants here. Focus areas are health & human services, hunger relief, education, and people with disabilities.

FUNDING AREAS: Health and human services, hunger relief, education, and helping people living with disabilities

IP TAKE: The best way to get involved with this foundation in the Bay Area is to enlist the volunteer services of a local Safeway employee at your nonprofit. Grants supported by a corporate employee are localized to the Bay Area

PROFILE: The popular grocery store chain, Safeway, established a philanthropic foundation that focuses locally on the communities it serves.

The Safeway Foundation’s areas of grantmaking focus are health and human services, hunger relief, education, and helping people living with disabilities. The funder’s health and human services grantmaking contributes to medical research and for efforts that improve the lives of people with cancer, especially breast cancer and prostate research cancer research. Safeway’s hunger relief program is an obvious one given the nature of the corporation’s business, and it regularly gives to food banks and feeding programs for those in need.

Meanwhile, Safeway’s education program is all about youth development, after-school programs, and physical education programs. Safeway stores also participate in an eScrip program that allows shoppers to donate grocery purchases to a school they choose. Last but not least, Safeway’s disabilities program often supports national organizations like Easter Seals, the Special Olympics, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The foundation donates about $200 million each year through grants and product donations to nonprofits. The foundation divides its support into local community funds, national funds, and requests brought forth by corporate employees. In addition to providing grants, the foundation also considers requests to donate food and sponsor events.

The Safeway Foundation uses an online application system, reviewing local grants biannually and national/multi-regional grants quarterly. You can expect to wait about two months to get a response to your grant application. Most local grants in the Bay Area are between $2,500 and $10,000. But it’s important to note that all requests in California must be sponsored by an employee. If your organization isn’t already affiliated with a Safeway employee, consider speaking to your local store manager to see if they would be willing to sponsor your cause.

The Safeway Corporation is headquartered in Pleasanton, California in Alameda County in the Bay Area. Grants supported by a corporate employee are typically localized to the San Francisco Bay Area, and these grants are also between $2,500 and $10,000. These requests are reviewed by the funder’s Employee Giving Committee, which meets quarterly.

National grants are typically for $10,000 to $25,000 and for project support, not general operating support. In general, Safeway also does not support capital or building campaigns, other foundations, sports teams, advocacy programs, or religious or political causes. A significant part of Safeway’s strategy lately has involved programs that fight childhood obesity, and the foundation recently supported such programs at North East Medical Services, the Center for Ecoliteracy, and the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, just to name a few local recipients.

Questions about applying for a grant can be directed to safeway.foundation@safeway.com. Check out the funder’s news section to read through recent press releases about its support.

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