Sakana Foundation: Grants for the Arts

OVERVIEW: The Sakana Foundation was founded by the Bay Area couple Bill and Sakurako Fisher. The couple’s arts-related giving focuses on museums, theaters, dance, and more.

IP TAKE: The foundation lacks transparency and tends to prioritize regional and local Bay Area organizations. It does not accept unsolicited proposals. 

PROFILE: Son of Gap founders Don and Doris Fisher, Bill Fisher has served in various roles for Gap as well as managing partner of Manzanita Capital, a London based private equity firm. Bill and his wife Sakurako, a fellow Stanford graduate, conduct their philanthropy through the Sakana Foundation, which awarded around $2.7 million in a recent year. In another previous year, the foundation awarded more than $10 million in grants; however, a majority of that spending went to a donor advised fund.

The couple's philanthropy supports arts organizations largely located in the Bay Area. The Fisher family has deep ties to the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), on whose board Doris has served since 1980. Sakurako joined the SFS board in 1992 and currently serves as its president. 

In the past, Sakana has supported the San Francisco Symphony. It has also supported the Exploratorium; Museum of the African Diaspora; Asian Art Museum (Sakurako is half Japansese); Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Centre Pompidou Foundation; Creative Capital; Hope Mohr Dance; and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, on whose board Sakurako sits.

Unfortunately, the foundation maintains a low public, which makes it difficult to ascertain the foundation's art funding priorities. 


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Sakana Foundation
1 Maritime Plz., Ste. 1400
San Francisco, CA 94111