Non-profit

Someland Foundation

Location:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Tax ID:

45-3438376

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $61,548,991
Expenses: $7,123,095
Assets: $80,657,688

Formation:

2011

President:

Sara Williams

Type:

Grantmaking foundation

The Someland Foundation, formerly known as the Sara and Evan Williams Foundation, is a left-of-center grantmaking foundation founded and financed by Evan Williams, the billionaire co-founder of Twitter, and his wife, Sarah Williams.

The Foundation keeps a low profile and has no website. In 2018, philanthropic manager Abbey Banks became the Foundation’s executive director. [1]

Evan and Sara Williams

Evan Williams is a co-founder and original board member of Twitter. He served as CEO for less than a year before stepping down in 2010 to focus on product development. In 2012, he founded the online publishing platform Medium. In the late 2010s, he began steadily divesting his ownership of Twitter, selling 30% in 2017,[2] and almost half of what was remaining in 2018 down to less than 2% of the company. [3] In 2019, he stepped down from the Twitter board.

Sara Williams was an interior designer for commercial spaces and has served as the president of the Someland Foundation since its establishment. [4] Together, the Williamses have an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion. [5]

Political Contributions

Evan and Sara have contributed to Democratic PACs, organizations, and candidates. In 2012, Evan donated $10,000 to End the Gridlock, a Democratic PAC. [6] In 2013, together they gave nearly $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee. [7] In 2015, Evan donated $2,700 to the Democratic presidential campaign of Lawrence Lessig (D-MA). [8]

Funding

The Someland Foundation is solely funded by contributions from Sara and Evan Williams and the gains from endowment investment. A significant portion of these contributions came in the form of gifted Twitter stock. [9]

The Foundation was established in 2011 with two donations from Sara and Evan Williams totaling $20 million. [10] In 2014, they donated another $10 million,[11] in 2015 another $62 million,[12] in 2017 another $29 million,[13] and in 2018 an additional $100 million which largely came from Evan Williams divesting almost half of his 3.9% stake in Twitter. [14] As of 2018 (the last year tax returns are available), Sara and Evan Williams have given $221 million to the Foundation.

Grants

The Someland Foundation primarily funds left-of-center nonprofit advocacy groups. In 2018, the Foundation gave:[15]

The Foundation also funds numerous nonpartisan education organizations, including the Nueva School and 826 Valencia, a nonprofit which supports underfunded students. [16] In August 2020, the Foundation gave $10 million to the San Francisco Unified School District, which had received funding from the Foundation since 2015. The funds aim to eliminate the “digital divide” between students with and without the infrastructure for online-based education. [17]

In April 2020, the Foundation gave $50,000 to SF New Deal, a nonprofit providing relief funds to individuals and small businesses in San Francisco impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. [18]

In September 2020, the left-of-center grantmaking Libra Foundation announced the creation of a $36 million fund to support Black Lives Matter-aligned organizations. The Someland Foundation has been announced as one of the project’s funders, along with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the JPB Foundation among other left-of-center nonprofits. [19]

References

  1. “Abbey Banks.” LinkedIn. September 15, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/abbey-banks-2b43251/. ^
  2. Wagner, Kurt. “Twitter co-Founder Ev Williams is selling 30 percent of his stock for ‘personal reasons.’” Recode. April 6, 2017. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://www.vox.com/2017/4/6/15208314/twitter-ev-williams-founder-board-selling-stock. ^
  3. “Someland Foundation Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 14, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/453438376/12_2019_prefixes_42-45%2F453438376_201812_990PF_2019121716963335. ^
  4. “Evan and Sara Williams.” Inside Philanthropy. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/guide-to-individual-donors/evan-williams.html. ^
  5. “#378 Evan Williams.” Forbes. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/profile/evan-williams/#7eb8369a2134. ^
  6. “Donor Lookup.” Open Secrets. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?employ=twitter. ^
  7. “Williams.” Open Secrets. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=asc&q=williams+&sort=A&type=donors. ^
  8. “Donors.” Open Secrets. September 15, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=asc&page=4&q=williams+&sort=A&type=donors. ^
  9. Chaykowski, Kathleen. “Billionaire Twitter Cofounder Evan Williams Unloaded Nearly Half of His Twitter Stake Since April.” Forbes. December 9, 2018. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathleenchaykowski/2018/12/09/billionaire-twitter-cofounder-evan-williams-unloaded-nearly-half-of-his-twitter-stake-since-april/#6ad9ee38715a. ^
  10. “Someland Foundation Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/453438376/2012_11_PF%2F45-3438376_990PF_201112. ^
  11. “Someland Foundation Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/453438376/2016_01_PF%2F45-3438376_990PF_201412. ^
  12. “Someland Foundation Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/453438376/2017_03_PF%2F45-3438376_990PF_201512. ^
  13. “Someland Foundation Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/453438376/02_2019_prefixes_45-46%2F453438376_201712_990PF_2019020516067177. ^
  14. “Someland Foundation Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 14, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/453438376/12_2019_prefixes_42-45%2F453438376_201812_990PF_2019121716963335. ^
  15. “Someland Foundation Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 14, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/453438376/12_2019_prefixes_42-45%2F453438376_201812_990PF_2019121716963335. ^
  16. “Someland Foundation Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 14, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/453438376/12_2019_prefixes_42-45%2F453438376_201812_990PF_2019121716963335. ^
  17. McLean, Tessa. “Twitter co-founder Evan Williams donates $10M to SFUSD.” SFGate. August 4, 2020. September 15, 2020. https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Twitter-Evan-Williams-donates-10M-SFUSD-15458129.php. ^
  18. “Someland Foundation Contributes $50,000 to SF New Deal to Support Relief Efforts.” CISION. April 22, 2020. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://www.prweb.com/releases/someland_foundation_contributes_50_000_to_sf_new_deal_to_support_relief_efforts/prweb17071218.htm. ^
  19. Daniels, Alex. “Foundations Pool $36 Million for Black-Led Organizing Groups,” September 17, 2020. https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Foundations-Pool-36-Million/249351. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: January 1, 2012

  • 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 $61,548,991 $7,123,095 $80,657,688 $1,294,487 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $10,811,129 $2,271,441 $27,380,073 $169,117 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $1,054,459 $2,190,397 $18,710,704 $27,200 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $962,324 $2,473,854 $19,078,339 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2011 Dec Form PF $20,194,771 $100,296 $20,111,430 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Someland Foundation

    135 MAIN STREET 20TH FLOOR
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105-1854