William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation

OVERVIEW: The William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation supports medical research, access to college, higher education, and the arts in the Bay Area and beyond.

FUNDING AREAS: Medical research, access to college, higher education, the arts

IP TAKE: Propose a program that gets children and teenagers interested in science in the Bay Area.

PROFILE: Established in 1991, the William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation is a private foundation based in San Francisco, California. The foundation is managed by Pacific Foundation Services, LLC. The founder has been one of the city's biggest venture capitalists for decades, devoting much his time to medical research. While most of his investment career was built in medical and scientific industries, his foundation’s philanthropic reach also extends to the arts, architecture, music, and the environment.

Although the foundation's primary focus areas are higher education and medical research, the yearly grantmaking budget is rounded out with a couple of donations to the arts. Bowes has served on boards and committees for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Exploratorium, Grace Cathedral, the UCSF Foundation, the Institute for Systems Biology, the Asian Art Museum, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Hoover Institution. Most of the Bowes grant money goes toward annual campaigns, building renovations, capital campaigns, general operating support, and scholarship funds each year. The foundation does not make grants to individuals.

Foundation grants typically range from $10,000 to well into the millions of dollars each. View past IRS Form 990s on the funder’s website homepage. The Bowes Foundation awards about $25 million to $30 million in grants each year, and many them cross into million-dollar territory. Many grants are awarded in San Francisco and the Bay Area, although some grants go to national groups based in New York and Washington, DC as well.

The Bowes Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals, and there are no published guidelines for grantseekers. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at 415-561-6540 or to Executive Director Derek Aspacher at daspacher@pfs-llc.net.

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