San Francisco Foundation




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $153,318,491
Expenses: $167,683,582
Assets: $1,448,095,082

Executive Director:

Fred Blackwell




Left-of-center donor advised fund

The San Francisco Foundation (SFF) is a California-based provider of donor-advised funds which makes grants primarily to left-of-center and liberal organizations in the United States. The organization is one of the largest donor-advised fund provieders in the United States: In 2015, the organization was the 45th-largest grantmaker in the country, paying out a total of $132-million. [1]


The San Francisco Foundation was founded shortly after World War II to help reinvigorate minority communities in the Bay Area of California. The organization was founded to assist  Japanese-Americans who had been ordered housed in internment camps by the Franklin Roosevelt administration during the war in getting back into the work force when many businesses would not hire them. The organization has since transformed its goals and uses funds and grantmaking to advocate expanded abortion rights, liberal expansionist immigration policy, and other left-of-center issues. [2]


Fred Blackwell is the CEO of the San Francisco Foundation. He previously worked as a city administrator for the city of Oakland, California. He also worked as a director for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a left-of-center private foundation which makes grants to left-of-center and liberal organizations advocating for a variety of issues. [3]



San Francisco Foundation makes a large amount of grants annually to organization which push expansionist immigration policy. Notably in 2018, the organization made grants of $157,500 to Black Alliance for Just Immigration, $10,000 to National Immigration Law Center, $1,035,000 to Power California (formerly known as Mobilize the Immigrant Vote), and $1,620,000 to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. [4]


SFF makes grants annually to organizations which push for more lenient abortion legislation in the United States. In 2018 the organization made grants of $85,000 to the National Network of Abortion Funds, $250,000 to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, $2,137,220 to various state- and-region level Planned Parenthood offices, and $75,000 to NARAL Pro-Choice America. [5]


SFF funds a number of organizations in the United States which support various levels or reform concerning environmental issues. In 2018, the organization made grants of $275,000 to, $360,000 to the Tides Center, $145,000 to the Tides Foundation, $948,834 to the Environmental Defense Fund, and $60,000 to the Groundswell Fund. [6]


The San Francisco Foundation was one of the original donors to fund the creation of the California Black Freedom Fund (CBFF) at the end of 2020. The CBFF is a left-of-center grantmaking organization that funds California-based groups that seek to eliminate what it perceives as systemic racism. It used funding from the original donors to provide grants that went towards advocacy for targeted redistricting, so-called racial equity, and the firing of who it determines are racist police officers. [7]

LGBT Issues

The organization makes a large number of grants annually to support organizations focused on LGBT issues as well as more broadly focused organizations which house programs to support such issue. For example, in 2018, the organization made grants of $156,000 to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, $15,000 Queer Cultural Center, and $165,000 Horizons Foundation to go toward an LGBT Permanent Endowment within the organization. [8]

Left-of-Center Grantmaking

SFF also makes a large number of grants annually to organizations which advocate for left-of-center and liberal issues. For example, the organization made a $114,000 to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a controversial left-of-center organization which serves as a watchdog of what it claims to be extremist organizations. It also supports organizations which push race-politics such as the ACLU to which it made a $149,000 grant, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, to which it made a $25,000 grant. The organization also made a $10,000 grant to the Hopewell Fund, a left-of-center organization which pushes liberal economic policy and that is managed by Arabella Advisors, a left-of-center company that advises a number of left-leaning organizations. . [9]


In 2015, SFF was one of the top 50 organizations in the United States in terms of assets and grants made. The endowment of the organization has grown slightly since 2015 as the organization held assets of $1,457,089,134 at the end of 2018. The organization made grants totaling $156,829,340 in 2018. [10]

SFF has received a number of grants from left-of-center organizations. Notably, it received a $7.5-million grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the left-of-center grantmaking entity founded by Hewlett Packard founder William Hewlett. [11] It also received a $100,000 grant from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, a left-of-center grantmaking foundation founded by David Packard, the other of the two founders of Hewlett-Packard. [12] The organization also received a $100,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation, a Michigan-based left-of-center grantmaking organization. [13]


  1. “Top 50 Organizations 2015.” Foundation Center. Accessed March 19, 2020. ^
  2. “Our History.” San Francisco Foundation. Accessed March 20, 2020. ^
  3. “User Profile: Fred Blackwell.” Accessed March 20, 2020. ^
  4. 2018 IRS Form-990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. Schedule I, Part II: Continuation of grants and other assistance paid to organizations and governments. ^
  5. 2018 IRS Form-990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. Schedule I, Part II: Continuation of grants and other assistance paid to organizations and governments. ^
  6. 2018 IRS Form-990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. Schedule I, Part II: Continuation of grants and other assistance paid to organizations and governments. ^
  7. California Black Freedom Fund, February 4, 2021. ^
  8. 2018 IRS Form-990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. Schedule I, Part II: Continuation of grants and other assistance paid to organizations and governments. ^
  9. 2018 IRS Form-990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. Schedule I, Part II: Continuation of grants and other assistance paid to organizations and governments. ^
  10. 2018 IRS Form-990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. Schedule I, Part II: Continuation of grants and other assistance paid to organizations and governments. ^
  11. “Grants: San Francisco Foundation.” William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Accessed March 20, 2020. ^
  12. “”Search our grants.” David and Lucille Packard Foundation. Accessed March 20, 2020. ^
  13. “Grants Awarded” Kresge Foundation. Accessed March 20, 2020. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Archana Sahgal
    Former Member
  2. Roger Kim
    Former Staffer

Donation Recipients

  1. (National) (Non-profit)
  2. A. Philip Randolph Educational Fund (Non-profit)
  3. A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) (Non-profit)
  4. ACCE Institute (Non-profit)
  5. ACLU of Northern California (Non-profit)
  6. Advancement Project (Non-profit)
  7. Tides Advocacy (The Advocacy Fund) (Non-profit)
  8. Agenda Project (Non-profit)
  9. Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ) (Non-profit)
  10. Alliance for Justice (AFJ) (Non-profit)
  11. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (Non-profit)
  12. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation (Non-profit)
  13. American Lung Association (Non-profit)
  14. Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) (Non-profit)
  15. Animal Welfare Institute (Non-profit)
  16. Anti-Defamation League (ADL) (Non-profit)
  17. Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) (Non-profit)
  18. Aspen Institute (Non-profit)
  19. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (Non-profit)
  20. Bend the Arc (Non-profit)
  21. Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) (Non-profit)
  22. Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Non-profit)
  23. Alliance for Youth Organizing (Non-profit)
  24. California Black Freedom Fund (Non-profit)
  25. California Budget and Policy Center (Non-profit)
  26. California Calls Action Fund (Non-profit)
  27. California Calls Education Fund (Non-profit)
  28. Californians for Justice Education Fund (Non-profit)
  29. Cato Institute (Non-profit)
  30. Causa Justa Just Cause (Non-profit)
  31. Center for Community Change (CCC) (Non-profit)
  32. Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) (Non-profit)
  33. Center for Disaster Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  34. Center for Empowered Politics (Non-profit)
  35. Center for Investigative Reporting (Non-profit)
  36. Center for Media Justice (Non-profit)
  37. Center for Political Education (Non-profit)
  38. Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) (Non-profit)
  39. Center For Reproductive Rights (Non-profit)
  40. Center for Story-based Strategy (Non-profit)
  41. Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) (Non-profit)
  42. Changelab Solutions (Non-profit)
  43. Children’s Defense Fund (Non-profit)
  44. Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco) (Non-profit)
  45. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) (Non-profit)
  46. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) (Non-profit)
  47. Climate One (Non-profit)
  48. Education Fund (Non-profit)
  49. Common Counsel Foundation (Non-profit)
  50. Common Sense Media (Non-profit)
  51. Communities for a Better Environment (Non-profit)
  52. Community Initiatives (Non-profit)
  53. Compassion and Choices (Non-profit)
  54. Confluence Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  55. Connecticut Voices for Children (Non-profit)
  56. Conservation International (Non-profit)
  57. Convergence Center for Policy Resolution (Non-profit)
  58. Corporate Accountability International (Non-profit)
  59. Courage Campaign Institute (Non-profit)
  60. Critical Resistance (Non-profit)
  61. Define American (Non-profit)
  62. Democracy North Carolina (Non-profit)
  63. Demos (Non-profit)
  64. Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (Non-profit)
  65. Earth Island Institute (Non-profit)
  66. Earthjustice (Non-profit)
  67. EarthRights International (ERI) (Non-profit)
  68. East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (Non-profit)
  69. Electronic Frontier Foundation (Non-profit)
  70. Electronic Privacy Information Center (Non-profit)
  71. Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (Non-profit)
  72. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) (Non-profit)
  73. Environmental Grantmakers Association (Non-profit)
  74. Equality California Institute (Non-profit)
  75. Every Voice Center (Non-profit)
  76. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund (Non-profit)
  77. Filipino Advocates for Justice (Non-profit)
  78. Firelight Media (Non-profit)
  79. Foundation for National Progress (Non-profit)
  80. Fractured Atlas Productions (Non-profit)
  81. Free Speech for People (Non-profit)
  82. Global Greengrants Fund (Non-profit)
  83. Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) (Non-profit)
  84. Greenlining Institute (Non-profit)
  85. GRID Alternatives (Non-profit)
  86. Groundswell Fund (Non-profit)
  87. Hopewell Fund (Non-profit)
  88. Horizons Foundation (Non-profit)
  89. Hudson Institute (Non-profit)
  90. Human Rights Campaign Foundation (Non-profit)
  91. Human Rights Watch (Non-profit)
  92. Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) (Non-profit)
  93. Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) (Non-profit)
  94. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) (Non-profit)
  95. International Rescue Committee (Non-profit)
  96. Island Press Center for Resource Economics (Non-profit)
  97. J Street Education Fund (Non-profit)
  98. Jobs With Justice Education Fund (Non-profit)
  99. Juma Ventures (Non-profit)
  100. Just Vision (Non-profit)
  101. Kentucky Coalition (Non-profit)
  102. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) (Non-profit)
  103. Lambda Legal (Non-profit)
  104. Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Non-profit)
  105. Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (Non-profit)
  106. Media Matters for America (Non-profit)
  107. Mi Familia Vota Education Fund (Non-profit)
  108. Movement for Black Lives (Non-profit)
  109. Movement Strategy Center (Non-profit)
  110. Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) (Non-profit)
  111. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) (Non-profit)
  112. NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation (Non-profit)
  113. National Center for Lesbian Rights (Non-profit)
  114. National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) (Non-profit)
  115. National Immigration Law Center (Non-profit)
  116. National Lawyers Guild Foundation (Non-profit)
  117. National Network of Abortion Funds (Non-profit)
  118. National Park Foundation (Non-profit)
  119. National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF) (Non-profit)
  120. National Police Accountability Project (Non-profit)
  121. National Redistricting Foundation (NRF) (Non-profit)
  122. NEO Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  123. New Israel Fund (Non-profit)
  124. New Organizing Institute Education Fund (NOI Education Fund) (Non-profit)
  125. New World Foundation (NWF) (Non-profit)
  126. Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (Non-profit)
  127. Ocean Conservancy (Non-profit)
  128. Oxfam America (Non-profit)
  129. Faith In Action (Non-profit)
  130. Pacifica Foundation (Non-profit)
  131. Partnership Project (Non-profit)
  132. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) (Non-profit)
  133. Physicians for Social Responsibility (Non-profit)
  134. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) (Non-profit)
  135. Planting Justice (Non-profit)
  136. Ploughshares Fund (Non-profit)
  137. PolicyLink (Non-profit)
  138. Political Research Associates (PRA) (Non-profit)
  139. Power California (Non-profit)
  140. ProPublica (Non-profit)
  141. Prosperity Now (formerly Corporation for Enterprise Development) (Non-profit)
  142. Protect Democracy Project (PDP) (Non-profit)
  143. Proteus Fund (Non-profit)
  144. Public Advocates (Non-profit)
  145. Public Justice Foundation (Non-profit)
  146. Public Policy Institute of California (Non-profit)
  147. Race Forward (Applied Research Center) (Non-profit)
  148. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) (Non-profit)
  149. Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) (Non-profit)
  150. Regeneration Project (Non-profit)
  151. Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) (Non-profit)
  152. Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment (Non-profit)
  153. San Francisco Tenants Union (Non-profit)
  154. Save the Redwoods League (Non-profit)
  155. Schwab Charitable Fund (Non-profit)
  156. Share Our Strength (Non-profit)
  157. Sierra Club Foundation (Non-profit)
  158. Silicon Valley Community Foundation (Non-profit)
  159. Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (Non-profit)
  160. Social Good Fund (Non-profit)
  161. Social Justice Fund Northwest (Non-profit)
  162. Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) (Non-profit)
  163. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) (Non-profit)
  164. State Voices (Non-profit)
  165. Sundance Institute (Non-profit)
  166. Sustainable Conservation (Non-profit)
  167. Sustainable Markets Foundation (Non-profit)
  168. Taxpayers for Common Sense (Non-profit)
  169. Teach for America (Non-profit)
  170. Teaching for Change (Non-profit)
  171. Tenants Together (Non-profit)
  172. The Utility Reform Network (TURN) (Non-profit)
  173. Thousand Currents (Non-profit)
  174. Tides Center (Non-profit)
  175. Tides Foundation (Non-profit)
  176. Transgender Law Center (Non-profit)
  177. Trust for Public Land (Non-profit)
  178. Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) (Non-profit)
  179. United Nations Foundation (Non-profit)
  180. United Way Worldwide (Non-profit)
  181. United We Dream (Non-profit)
  182. Urban Tilth (Non-profit)
  183. Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights (Non-profit)
  184. Voter Registration Project Education Fund (Non-profit)
  185. VoteRiders (Non-profit)
  186. Waterkeeper Alliance (Non-profit)
  187. Watershed Project (Non-profit)
  188. WildAid (Non-profit)
  189. William J. Brennan Center for Justice (Non-profit)
  190. Women Donors Network (WDN) (Non-profit)
  191. Women Make Movies (Non-profit)
  192. Women’s Foundation of California (Non-profit)
  193. Working Partnerships USA (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 2002

  • 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
    2017 Jun Form 990 $153,318,491 $167,683,582 $1,448,095,082 $55,147,462 Y $94,043,894 $0 $9,702,827 $1,785,345 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $196,521,844 $151,910,879 $1,330,445,105 $43,149,257 Y $150,842,426 $0 $9,584,433 $1,539,325
    2015 Jun Form 990 $238,891,137 $140,982,385 $1,377,581,743 $56,913,120 Y $127,520,936 $0 $8,414,517 $1,401,992 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $172,112,752 $109,476,785 $1,315,174,206 $40,139,328 Y $84,760,941 $0 $6,980,124 $1,302,571 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $137,210,111 $101,595,858 $1,171,869,720 $34,613,661 Y $75,366,941 $0 $6,932,517 $1,216,678 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $95,462,657 $101,631,580 $1,070,070,041 $25,263,952 Y $75,925,925 $0 $7,098,675 $1,109,332 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $107,321,316 $93,806,255 $1,088,106,863 $22,768,190 Y $56,150,797 $0 $7,270,866 $995,016 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    San Francisco Foundation

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94111-3703