The George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation: Bay Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of real estate investor George M. Marcus and his wife Judith.  

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Religious & Greek Causes, Health, Human Services, Arts & Culture

IP TAKE: The foundation doesn't have much of a web presence, and there are no available guidelines for grantseekers.

PROFILE: George Marcus was born in Greece and raised in San Francisco. Marcus graduated with a degree in economics from San Francisco State University in 1965. At the university, he met his wife, Judy, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1962. Marcus worked as a broker at Grubb & Ellis in San Jose before leaving in 1971 to set up his own shop, Marcus & Millichap Company. Marcus was also one of the original founders and directors of Plaza Commerce Bank and Greater Bay Bancorp.

Marcus and Judy move their philanthropy through the George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation, which was established in the late 1990s, and in 2013, held around $5.5 million in assets and gave close to $2 million. Much of the couple's grantmaking focuses in on the Bay Area, and a major site of philanthropy has been San Francisco State, the couple's mutual alma mater, where Judy now sits on the board of directors. The couple established the SF State International Center for the Arts with a $3 million gift. Philanthropy has also  supported scholarships, and endowed the Robert A. Corrigan Chair in American Studies.

Other education giving of late has involved Bay Area outfits such as Oakland School of the Arts, Pathways for Kids, "which serves to empower San Francisco‚Äôs underserved, inner-city youth by exposing them to career opportunities through mentoring and motivational Programs," San Jose State University Judo, Stanford University, and East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, "a community-based, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to promote educational opportunities and academic success for students in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park by providing educator micro grants directly to teachers in the classroom." 

Marcus and Judy also have an interest in supporting religious outfits and Greek causes in the Bay Area. Steady support has gone to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, which oversees the western region of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In a past year, the outfit received $100,000. Other recent grantmaking includes support of United Religions Initiative, "a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world," San Francisco Interfaith Council, St. James Orthodox Church, and Elios Charitable Foundation, whose mission is to to "preserve the values of Hellenic culture."

The couple also has an interest in supporting human services outfits in the Bay Area. Past money has gone to places such as Avenidas, "a private, nonprofit agency celebrating over 40 years of helping mid-Peninsula seniors live well, learn and maintain their independence," Community Services Agency in Mountain View, InnVision Shelter Network, Community Youth Center, and John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes.

Money has also gone to health outfits in the Bay Area. Funds have recently gone to Bay Area Cancer Connections, formerly known as Breast Cancer Connections, and Blossom Birth Services, among others. Support has gone to environmental outfits such as Humane Society of Silicon Valley, and Tuolumne River Trust, and to arts and culture outfits such as San Jose Museum of Art, local public radio station KALW, and San Francisco Zoological Society. It's also worth mentioning that money has recently streamed to a donor advised fund at Schwab Charitable, some of which has gone towards scholarships. In a past year, as well, a $135,000 grant went to the Taube Foundation, an active charity in the Bay Area with interests in supporting Jewish culture and more.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)


The George and Judy Marcus Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple, but below is an address:

The George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation

777 S. California Ave.

Palo Alto, CA 94304