Grantmaking Priorities and Restrictions

The Atkinson Foundation hopes to provide opportunities for individuals to attain their highest potential in areas of educational, social, and economic life; to assist their efforts to become independent and self-sufficient; and generally to improve the quality of their lives.

The foundation has two distinct geographic locations and focus areas:

San Mateo County, California: For organizations that provide direct services to residents of San Mateo County, primary consideration will be given to programs that benefit:

  • Children, youth, families; immigrants, the elderly and the ill; those who are economically at-risk; people with mental and/or physical disabilities; and those suffering from drug, alcohol or physical abuse. Services include: enrichment programs, counseling, rehabilitation, job training, respite and child care, family planning, health education, and programs that meet basic human needs.
  • Schools, community colleges, adult and vocational schools, and related organizations serving the needs of students in San Mateo County. Services include: counseling, remedial and/or enrichment activities, scholarship programs, day care, health and vocational education.
  • Church-related organizations serving the spiritual, material, and social welfare needs of individuals and families in San Mateo County. Selected support for ecumenical efforts and theological education.

International: For U.S. nonprofits with a history of funding from the foundation, primary consideration will be given to programs that provide assistance, support, and training to address the following issues in Southern Mexico or Central America:

  • The sustainable development of water and food resources, with a particular interest in clean water and sanitation
  • Microenterprise and economic development initiatives
  • Nutrition and food resources
  • Health education and family planning
Additional Considerations:
  • Organizations and specific requests for funding are reviewed favorably if the organization demonstrates cooperation with other service providers, has diverse and broad-based support from the community, and has the potential for replication.
  • The foundation does not support research, individuals, events, annual appeals, advocacy efforts, sports group sponsorship, or statewide/national umbrella organizations.
  • The foundation employs the following “pause year” policy: any organization that receives three years of consecutive funding must take a one-year rest before receiving additional support.