Grantmaking Guidelines

Eligible organizations must meet the following guidelines to be considered for grant funding. The foundation supports:

  • Public charities operating under an IRS 501(c)(3) status or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization;
  • Organizations serving the residents of San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, and Sonoma counties, and limited to Palo Alto in Santa Clara County; and
  • Programs focusing on one or more of the following areas:

College Access and Persistence, ensuring low-income, at risk students persist academically on a pathway through secondary school and into college with the help of high-quality academic and college bound programs in school or after school;

Cultural Enrichment, providing youth with equal access to participatory arts education fostering an appreciation of the arts while promoting community engagement through cultural experiences;

Environmental Education, particularly high engagement programs that provide outdoor experiential, wilderness, and environmental science education;

Vocational Development, providing disadvantaged youth with work-readiness, in-demand skills training, set in workplace-like environments, including internships and paid employment opportunities.

The foundation prioritizes the support of organizations that promote college access and encourage community service for low-income youth. Grants in the arts are made to groups that predominately serve youth. The foundation prefers to receive requests for specific projects and programs.

The foundation does not support medical research, individuals, endowments, events, annual appeals, or religious organizations other than those providing non-sectarian services to the community.

Rest Year Policy

The Kimball Foundation seeks to provide both ongoing support for effective nonprofit organizations, and to identify and support new and promising organizations. To achieve this goal, the foundation employs the following “rest year” policy: any organization that receives four years of consecutive funding must take a one-year rest before receiving additional support.

Each year of a multi-year grant is counted as one year of support. Organizations that were awarded a multi-year grant prior to this policy in March of 2012, and the remaining portion of the grant constitutes a fifth year of support or greater, will receive the remaining grant funds pending good performance. Following this distribution, the organization must take a rest year. Organizations who have received an Interim grant and that have transitioned to the regular board grant cycle may be counted towards the four consecutive years of funding at staff discretion. This policy does not apply to board discretionary or legacy grants.