Sara & Evan Williams Foundation: Bay Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The Sara & Evan Williams Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Twitter billionaire Evan Williams and his wife, Sara. Established in 2011, the foundation has focused so far on evironmental issues, education and youth, with a Northern California focus.

FUNDING AREAS: Environment, Education & Youth, TBD

IP TAKE: While the foundation doesn't have a website or a clear way to get in touch with the couple, the Williamses have shown a willingness to support community-based initiatives in the bay area.

PROFILE: The Sara & Evan Williams Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Twitter billionaire Evan Williams and his wife Sara, who serves as president of the outfit. The foundation was established in 2011, and under $100,000 went out the door that year. That number increased to around $2 million in a recent year, and they gave similar sums the following year. The Williamses are just getting started, but should be watched carefully, particularly for those working in the Bay Area.

So far, the couple has shown an interest in environmental and education reform issues in the San Francisco Bay Area. Environmental support has gone to the Energy Foundation ($25,000 in a past year), which describes itself as a "partnership of major foundations interested in sustainable energy." Money has also gone to the Marin Agricultural Land Trust. Outside of San Francisco, the couple has supported Grist, an environmental news publication in Seattle, and, an "international effort to raise awareness of the need to decrease carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million."

It's worth noting that the couple has also supported the environment through Community Initiatives, which works with local nonprofits in San Francisco. One of these efforts is Food Systems.

Speaking of education, the couple has given to 826 Valencia, which helps youth with their writing, Mission Graduates, which prepares students for college and beyond, and Little School, "a relationship-based, inclusive pre-school committed to providing individualized, quality education to young children." Support has also gone to the Marin Primary and Middle School.

Some of the couple's biggest work so far has involved their support of, "a nonprofit design organization that works to empower the poor," which was tapped to help reform the school cafeteria. The Williamses gave IDEO over $1 million in a past year. Money has also gone to Marin Link, " a nonprofit incubator, fiscal sponsor, and multi-faceted resource," and the Kindling Foundation, which selects one organization a year to fund. Past grantees have included local environmental nonprofits.

The couple has also supported the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, and the Computer History Museum. A large, $500,000 grant went to the UCSF Foundation in a past year. Support has also gone to That Man May See, a nonprofit founded by two UCSF researchers with the aim of accelerating discoveries in the preservation of sight.

The Williams Foundation is just getting started, but Evan Williams and his wife Sara should be watched for greater giving down the line. At the end of a recent year, the foundation reported over $18.7 million in assets and over $1.6 million in total giving.


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The foundation provides no clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple, but an address is listed here:

Sara & Evan Williams Foundation
235 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104