Wells Fargo Foundation: Bay Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The Wells Fargo Foundation supports education, housing, job training, and human services organizations in the Bay Area counties of Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma.

FUNDING AREAS: Community development, education, human services

IP TAKE: Even though Wells Fargo is a huge corporation, its Bay Area grantmaking is broken down into very specific purposes.

PROFILE: Established in 1979, the Wells Fargo Foundation is the philanthropic extension of the Wells Fargo company, a banking, investment, and financial services leader. The foundation awards grants to organizations in every state across the country. However, the foundation's program areas vary from state to state, and many of funds are being directed to the San Francisco Bay Area. The foundation aims to create “solutions that help strengthen the communities in which we operate and grow local economies around the world.” Bay Area and Northern California interests are community development, education, and human services.

Bay Area groups should focus community development grant proposals on programs that create affordable housing, provide job training, and benefit either small businesses or farms. Education proposals in the Bay Area should focus on K-12 students from low- to moderate-income families and provide training for teachers working with those kids. Human services proposals should provide basic needs assistance, health education programs, and child care services in low- to moderate-income communities. Low- to mid-income families are defined as those bringing in less income than 80 percent of the area median income in that community. The foundation award grants not only to non-profit organizations but also to governmental agencies, tribal organizations, and public school systems. In addition to the state-by-state giving program, Wells Fargo has separate giving programs for financial education, a housing foundation, an employee giving program, an environmental stewardship program, and a regional foundation that serves low-income neighborhoods.

Foundation grants often range from $10,000 to $3 million. Learn more about foundation giving in its corporate social responsibility report. Wells Fargo divides this region of the country into two sections for grantmaking purposes: Greater San Francisco (Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma) and Northern California (Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba). The foundation does not commonly fund multi-year programs or capital campaigns.

The Wells Fargo Foundation accepts unsolicited grant requests from nonprofits in this region. For nonprofits operating in one of the San Francisco Bay counties, the point of contact is Mario Diaz at 415-537-8247 and diazm@wellsfargo.com. Nonprofits one of the other Northern California counties should contact Karen Woodruff at 916-678-3696 and karen.c.woodruff@wellsfargo.com.

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