Swig Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Swig Foundation focuses its grantmaking on the San Francisco Bay Area and funds art, education, youth, and other nonprofit organizations.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, education and youth, health, human services, environment, San Francisco community

IP TAKE: The Swig Foundation flies under the radar, with a minimal web presence and no clear guidelines for grantseekers.

PROFILE: Established in 1957, the Swig Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of the Swig family, which has been prominent in the Bay Area for decades. Benjamin Swig founded The Swig Company in the Bay Area in 1936, and the company achieved early renown as the force behind the Fairmont Hotel brand. The Swig Foundation's trustees are part of the Swig family. Grantmaking areas of interest include arts and culture, education and youth, health, human services, environment, and the San Francisco community.

The Swig Foundation flies under the radar, with a minimal web presence, and no clear guidelines for grantseekers. However, the Swig family has had strong ties to the art world going back decades, and Swig's current trustees also reflect this. Art support has gone to San Francisco Modern Museum of Art, Monterey Jazz Festival, and Headlands Center for the Arts. Swig also funds arts education organizations, such as The Imagine Bus Project and the San Francisco Arts Education Project. The Swig Foundation's grantmaking supports education in the Bay Area as well. Past grantees include Resources for Indispensable Schools and Educators, Mills College in Oakland, Menlo School, Summer Search Foundation, and College Track.

The Swig Foundation also earmarks funds for health. Past Bay Area grantees include J David Gladstone Institutes, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, and the Seva Foundation. Swig supports human services community organizations in the Bay Area. Past grantees include Homeless Prenatal Program, Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, and the Chinatown Community Development Center. The Swigs are also interested in the environment. Past grantees include San Francisco Parks Trust, Muttville, a senior dog rescue outfit, Center for Ecoliteracy, and Golden Gate National Parks.

Many grants foundation grants are under $10,000 each. Review the funder’s recent tax records to learn more about local giving. In a recent tax year, a little under $900,000 went out of the door with a few hundred grants made. Grantmaking largely focuses on the Bay Area of California but extends beyond this region as well.

It does not appear that this foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications and rather supports pre-selected organizations. Direct general questions to the foundation at 415-291-1100.

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