Clif Bar Family Foundation




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $3,805,312
Expenses: $3,850,812
Assets: $425,185



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Clif Bar Family Foundation is the corporate philanthropy of Clif Bar and Company, a manufacturer of snack foods. It funds a number of left-of-center advocacy groups, especially those with an environmentalist outlook.


In 1992, Clif Bar and Company was founded as a food business targeting cyclists: Gary Erikson, himself a cyclist, sought a more nutritious handheld road snack than energy bars. So, he and his family created their own bar made mostly from organic ingredients. He called it a Clif Bar, naming it after his father Clifford. 1

The company is a major supporter of organic farming initiatives: It made a $10 million investment in organic farming research endowments. 2 The company further created the Clif Ag Fund to strengthen economic resilience of organic farmers in the Clif Bar supply chain. The program’s first investment was $10 million to a low cost wind-power leases for about 80 farmers. 3


Clif Bar and Company established the Clif Bar Family Foundation in 2006 to make grants to small and mid-sized nonprofit groups that focus on environmentalism, public health, and organic farming. 4

The family serves as the directors and officers. 5

The foundation says it funds nonprofit groups that might otherwise go unfunded and focuses on helping the groups in areas such as the law, marketing and accounting. 6


The foundation’s first initiative was “Seed Matters.” This initiative was launched in 2009 and aimed to improve organic seed. Since that time, Seed Matters awarded more than $1 million in funding to organizations and researchers. This includes funding the first Ph.D. fellowships in organic plant breeding. 7

The foundation says it has supported hundreds of organizations focused on preserving open spaces, pedestrian and bike-friendly areas and expanding urban forests. It also focused public health grants for organic farming and “tackling the root causes of climate change.” 8

The foundation asserts its priorities are interconnected. Examples are that it claims healthier food systems improves water quality, makes communities safer and fights climate change. It also asserts identifying sources of chronic illnesses in the environment can create movement toward organic farming. Further, it asserts bike trails create more green jobs and lower emissions. 9

Grant Recipients

Notable recipients of Clif Bar Family Foundation grants include the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Green America, the Sustainable Markets Foundation, Pesticide Action Network North America, and Friends of the Earth. 10


  1. Our Journey. Clif Bar and Company. Accessed January 26, 2020.
  2. Mainwaring, Simon. “Purpose at Work: How Clif Bar Drives Business Growth Through Higher Purpose.” Forbes. May 12, 2019. Accessed January 26, 2020.
  3. Mainwaring, Simon. “Purpose at Work: How Clif Bar Drives Business Growth Through Higher Purpose.” Forbes. May 12, 2019. Accessed January 26, 2020.  
  4. Clif Bar Family Foundation. Clif Bar Company. Accessed January 26, 2020.
  5. Our Story. Clif Bar Family Foundation. Accessed January 26, 2020.
  6. Clif Bar Family Foundation. Clif Bar Company. Accessed January 26, 2020.
  7. Clif Bar Family Foundation. Clif Bar Company. Accessed January 26, 2020.
  8. Our Story. Accessed January 26, 2020.
  9. Mission Priorities. Clif Bar Family Foundation. Accessed January 26, 2020.
  10. Data compiled by subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted January 29, 2020.

Donation Recipients

  1. (National) (Non-profit)
  2. Alliance for Climate Education (Non-profit)
  3. Anacostia Watershed Society (Non-profit)
  4. As You Sow (Non-profit)
  5. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (Non-profit)
  6. Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) (Non-profit)
  7. Center for Environmental Health (Non-profit)
  8. Center for Food Safety (Non-profit)
  9. Center for Health Environment and Justice (Non-profit)
  10. Citizens Climate Education Corporation (Non-profit)
  11. Climate Action Campaign (Non-profit)
  12. Corporate Accountability International (Non-profit)
  13. Council on the Environment-GrowNYC (Non-profit)
  14. Earth Island Institute (Non-profit)
  15. Endangered Species Coalition (Non-profit)
  16. Food Animal Concerns Trust (Non-profit)
  17. Fund for the City of New York (Non-profit)
  18. Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (Non-profit)
  19. Global Greengrants Fund (Non-profit)
  20. GRID Alternatives (Non-profit)
  21. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (Non-profit)
  22. Kentucky Coalition (Non-profit)
  23. Los Angeles Waterkeeper (Non-profit)
  24. Oakland Institute (Non-profit)
  25. Oregon Environmental Council (Non-profit)
  26. Project South (Non-profit)
  27. San Juan Citizens Alliance (Non-profit)
  28. Sky Island Alliance (Non-profit)
  29. Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (Non-profit)
  30. Story of Stuff Project (Non-profit)
  31. Sustainable Markets Foundation (Non-profit)
  32. TSNE MissionWorks (Non-profit)
  33. Tides Center (Non-profit)
  34. Transportation Alternatives (Non-profit)
  35. Trust for Conservation Innovation (For-profit)
  36. Turtle Island Restoration Network (Non-profit)
  37. Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2006

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form PF $3,805,312 $3,850,812 $425,185 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $4,296,139 $4,044,662 $470,685 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $3,528,360 $3,916,697 $219,208 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $3,278,609 $2,775,695 $607,545 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $2,164,725 $2,316,807 $104,631 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Clif Bar Family Foundation

    1451 66TH ST
    EMERYVILLE, CA 94608-1004