• Grants are made to public charities operating under an IRS 501(c)(3) status or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Grants are made exclusively to organizations serving the residents of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and San Mateo counties.
  • The foundation will consider grant applications from the same organization only after three full years have elapsed since the last grant.

Funding Priorities

  • Priority is given to durable capital investments that directly impact clients, and projects that have an immediate need and/or are time sensitive.
  • Priority is given to direct service organizations serving at least 50% low-income families or children (exception: programs that serve those with disabilities; disability status and low-income status are given equal weight).
  • Proposed capital projects should be completed within 12 months of receiving a grant. Please keep this timeline in mind when considering the best time to apply for a grant.
  • For technology grants, the foundation prioritizes requests to purchase equipment that will be used by program participants. Technology grants to support an organization’s infrastructure (e.g., servers, computers for staff use, phone systems) are generally one-time grants.
  • For building renovation projects, the Bothin Foundation will fund any contracted labor directly associated with the project.  This could include labor for removal or installation of materials or the hiring of expertise needed to complete the project, such as engineers or contractors.  The Foundation does not fund staff time for project management.


  • Grants are not made to individuals, religious organizations (except for non-sectarian programs), or K-12 schools that do not exclusively serve children with learning differences and developmental disabilities.
  • The foundation does not award grants for website development projects or software.
  • The foundation generally does not fund hospitals. Occasionally, it will make exceptions for public and county hospitals and community clinics.
  • The foundation does not fund endowment drives, events, general operating expenses, annual appeals, videos, medical research, or scholarships.