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

The Foundation supports organizations that provide direct services to residents of San Mateo County, with primary consideration given to programs that benefit:

  • Children, youth, and families; immigrants; the elderly; those who are economically at-risk; people with mental and/or physical health conditions; those recovering from addiction; those affected by physical abuse.

We focus our funding in two specific program areas, and review proposals using a social justice lens:

Education and Youth Development

The Atkinson Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that provide:

  • In-School Programs, to enhance K-12 public education curriculum and provide academic and/or enrichment activities to underserved students (programs that take place in schools, but are offered by nonprofit organizations)
  • Out-of-School Programs, to provide youth development opportunities to underserved students in grades K-12 (programs that take place away from school sites)
  • Early Childhood Care and Education, to assist low-income families in the caring and early learning journey of their young children
  • Vocational Education, to provide youth and adults who face significant obstacles to employment with training and services that prepare them for job placement
  • Please note: We do not provide funding directly to public or private schools.


The Atkinson Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that provide:

  • Basic Needs such as food, shelter, and/or family support resources to help sustain healthy families and strong communities
  • Mental/Physical Health Services, to support the well-being of youth and adults faced with mental and/or physical health conditions and addictions
  • Senior Programs, to enhance the quality of life for older adults who have limited resources
  • Immigrants/Refugees Programs, to protect the rights of newcomers and create opportunities for forward mobility
  • Women’s Services, such as reproductive and prenatal care, and wrap-around services for survivors of domestic violence, to ensure all women are healthy and safe
Additional Considerations:
  • It is always favorable if an organization demonstrates cooperation with other service providers, and has diverse and broad-based support from the community.
  • The foundation does not support research, individuals, events, annual appeals, scholarships, advocacy efforts, sports group sponsorship, or statewide/national umbrella organizations.
  • Pause Year Requirement:  As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, the Foundation removed the one-year pause requirement for 2021 in order to assist those organizations that are providing critical direct support to residents of San Mateo County.  Please note that due to our limited funds, the Foundation will prioritize organizations providing support for basic needs such as food, shelter, rental assistance, & mental health.

Please Note: if you received a declination in response to your proposal and are planning to resubmit, please contact Stefani Willis, Program Officer, to discuss your program prior to applying again. 

If you are a returning grantee, please apply for the same grantmaking round as the previous year.

If a proposal has been declined, organizations must wait one year to reapply for funding.