• Made the inaugural grant for “Fairness in the Fields”, creating the first consumer-facing label and certification/monitoring system for U.S. growers complying with a comprehensive set of farm labor standards.
  • Re-launched the California Civil Rights Coalition.
  • Created the first statewide network of undocumented “DREAMer” youth advocating for immigrants’ rights and immigration reform.
  • Provided early support for what would become the CA Domestic Workers Alliance, which won a statewide Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights.
  • Made the inaugural grants to Futures Without Violence and Center for Youth Wellness to advance policy change addressing childhood trauma (now funded by federal and state government).
  • Co-founded the California Civic Participation Funders Group.
  • Created Funders for Safety and Justice in California.
  • Created a powerful new campaign, Californians for Safety and Justice, shrinking the prison system and investing the savings in treatment and crime prevention (now working nationally as the Alliance for Safety and Justice).
  • Launched the Leading Edge Fund.



  • Backed formerly incarcerated leaders fighting employment discrimination against people with criminal records. The movement has won anti-discrimination policies for all federal hiring, statewide in fourteen states, including California, and in more than 100 cities nationwide.
  • Provided first grant for Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the largest civil rights class action lawsuit in U.S. history (making $1.2m in grants and loans over ten years).
  • Early funder of a network of accountable economic development organizations, including LAANE, EBASE, CAUSE, and Partnership for Working Families.
  • Provided seed funding for day laborer and worker centers across the state.
  • Supported San Francisco advocates who won more than $30 million in employment, affordable housing and other community benefits from Bayview Hunters-Point developer, Lennar, Inc.
  • Funded campaign that made California the first state in the nation to provide paid family leave.
  • Created first statewide reentry council.
  • Board adopted an explicit exclusion for direct service grants (2005).



  • Supported Asian Pacific American Legal Center, ACLU and Asian Law Caucus representing Thai workers held as virtual slaves in an El Monte sweatshop, resulting in an award of more than $4 million in damages.
  • Kicked off a nine-year, $6 million initiative that resulted in the complete overhaul of California’s child support system.
  • Funded the successful legal challenge to California’s anti-immigrant Prop 187.
  • Co-founded Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, which now has more than 150 member foundations across the country.




  • Gave seed funding for what would become the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
  • Launched the Child Care Law Center.
  • Provided early support for Radio Bilingue, which now operates Spanish language radio stations across five states.
  • Was the second largest funder in the nation to support legalization services under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, making 42 grants over three years.



  • Launched the San Francisco Child Abuse Council.
  • Provided start up funding for Legal Services for Children, the first nonprofit law firm for youth in the country.
  • First foundation in the U.S. to appoint a Latino trustee (Herman Gallegos).
  • Second foundation to appoint an African American trustee (Norvel Smith).



  • Initiated what would become the National Council of La Raza.
  • Gave the first grant to create the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
  • Supported farm labor families to form the Farm Workers Organization of Tulare County. The group became part of the National Farm Workers Association and in 1965, helped organize the famous grape pickers strike.
  • President Ruth Chance and several others launched Northern California Grantmakers.



  • Launched some of the first education programs for farmworker children.
  • Established the nation’s first health clinics for farmworkers, ultimately leading to the federal Migrant Health Program, now funding 165 clinics across the country.
  • Spurred massive juvenile justice reforms.
  • Conducted 20-year evaluation of every grant.



  • One of only two foundations to assist Japanese American families sent to internment camps.
  • Launched fourteen child care centers across the state, including some in migrant worker camps.
  • Co-funded the creation of the San Francisco Foundation.
  • Established the statewide geographical scope for the foundation.
  • First Bay Area foundation to diversify its board beyond family and business associates of the founder.



  • First foundation west of Chicago to hire professional staff and the first to open an office.
  • Made Rosenberg’s inaugural grants, including supporting reproductive rights for migrant farmworker women in the Central Valley, research into Valley Fever and Sylvatic Plague, and grants to advance “inter-cultural relations”.

Stay Connected