Education Grants :: Guidelines

All of the Fleishhacker Foundation’s Education Grants are invested in K-5 literacy programs. Grants are awarded to Bay Area organizations whose work is primarily focused on providing direct literacy services to students from under-resourced public schools. We prioritize programs that address longstanding inequities in access to quality academic resources for students of color, immigrant students, and students from low-income families.

We support programs that improve early reading readiness, promote grade-level attainment by the end of 3rd grade, and ensure that students leave 5th grade ready for the more challenging work of middle and high school, including college preparatory courses. We give priority to programs that work collaboratively with classroom teachers on school-based curricula and those that serve a significant number of students. By focusing our limited resources on these core objectives, we aim to further the impact of dynamic, community-based organizations that are working to expand educational and life opportunities so that each child can reach their full potential.

Annual grantmaking in this program takes place at the Foundation’s spring Board meeting for support of literacy activities during the following academic year. Applications need not be framed in a project-specific manner beyond support for the organization’s core K-5 literacy programming.

Applicants who have received an Education Grant from the Fleishhacker Foundation since 2011 may proceed directly to the online application process. Others may email a short Letter of Inquiry with the subject line “Education Grant: LOI” by December 7th to The Foundation will inform prospective applicants by December 15 if a full proposal is invited. The deadline for a full grant proposal is January 15.

Grantmaking Criteria:

  • Grants will be made to Bay Area nonprofit, community-based organizations providing direct K-5 literacy services to students.
  • Grants will be awarded to organizations whose primary mission is academic support for students attending under-resourced public schools or whose programming is largely concentrated in this area.
  • Grants will only be made to organizations located and primarily offering programming in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo, and/or Santa Clara counties.
  • The Foundation will look more favorably on applicants whose Boards provide strong support for the organization as evidenced by the percentage of Board members making annual gifts.

The Foundation will also consider funding initiatives that provide professional development for educators and/or training for volunteers or families to further strengthen their ability to use distance and blended learning tools effectively for K-5 literacy.


Grants will not be made to individual public, independent, or parochial schools. Grants will not be considered for other types of academic support programs (e.g., math or science), arts education, career-development, homework help, study skills, or general after-school enrichment programs.