In order to be eligible for a grant from the Bothin Foundation, applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Be a public charity operating under an IRS 501(c)(3) status or be fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization;
  • Serve significant numbers of the residents of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and/or San Mateo counties;
  • Provide direct service to disadvantaged children and youth, low-income families, and/or people with disabilities; and
  • Have not received a grant from the foundation in the last three full years.

Funding Priorities

Successful Grant Applications will:
  • Be for capital projects that can 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);
  • Be durable capital investments that directly impact clients and have an immediate need and/or are time sensitive;
  • Be a direct service organization serving at least 50% low-income families and/or children (exception: for programs that serve those with disabilities exclusively, disability status and low-income status are given equal weight); and
  • Request a grant in the range of $5,000 – $50,000 based on need.
Types of Grants:

Building Renovation Grants

  • The 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.
  • The foundation only supports building renovations for buildings located in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and/or San Mateo counties.

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.
  • The foundation does not fund website development projects or software.

Vehicle Projects

  • The foundation prioritizes vehicle purchases that transport participants.
  • Insurance, gas, advertising on van (wrap-around printing), and warranties are not covered by grants.


  • 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 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.