Westly Foundation: Grants for Northern California

OVERVIEW: The Westly Foundation supports education, health, and at-risk children and youth in California.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, at-risk children and youth in California

IP TAKE:  Much of this funder’s support stays in the San Francisco Bay Area, but any early- to mid-stage youth nonprofit in the state should know Westly.

PROFILE: Established in 2000, the Westly Foundation is the foundation of Steve Westly, the founder and managing director of the Westly Group, a renewable energy venture capital firm, and his wife, Anita Yu. The couple has strong ties to Menlo Park, California. Steve Westly was previously the California State Controller and the senior vice president of marketing and business development at eBay. Anita Yu has experience in the tech sector and as a parent. Grantmaking interests are education, health, and at-risk children and youth in California.

Originally known as the Steve and Anita Westly Foundation, this foundation supports initiatives to make the state of California, and eventually the world, a better place for children. They have pushed recently to support young social entrepreneurs through the Westly Prize for Young Innovators of California, which has been part of the funder’s strategy since 2012. The foundation’s education funding seeks to close the achievement gap and equip kids to succeed in the global economy. The youth program involves mentoring, financial literacy, leadership development, and career training in California and beyond. The health program involves supporting high-quality and affordable healthcare for children and youth in California. A fourth funding category, called Our World, works to improve local, regional, and statewide ecosystems for children. Local grantees include the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League, East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring, Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, and KQED.

Approximately 20 grants, ranging from $15,000 to $25,000, are awarded per year. Learn about other featured grantees here. Additional financial data can be viewed on GuideStar. The Westly Foundation's mission starts locally and thinks globally. As a result, the funder supports mostly local causes in the Bay Area and elsewhere in California but wants to apply lessons learned to places elsewhere in the country and the world.

The Westly Foundation accepts grant applications by invitation only. However, nonprofits can submit their organizations’ information in the funder’s online grant portal to get on its radar. Most grants are for one-year periods, and the board meets throughout the year to review proposals. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at contact@westly.org.


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