The Atkinson Foundation provides 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 distributes approximately one million dollars in grants each year. Most grants range between $5,000 and $15,000. Grant amounts vary depending on an organization’s size, project, and need.

Eligible organizations must meet the following guidelines to be considered for grant funding. The foundation supports:

  • Public charities operating under an IRS 501(c)(3) status or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Organizations that provide direct services to residents of San Mateo County, California

Applications are due by February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1. Requests received after each deadline will be considered at the following deadline (i.e., an application received on May 15 will be reviewed in August). The Board meets quarterly to review proposals and make decisions. Applicants can expect prompt notification once a decision has been reached.

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

The Atkinson Foundation seeks to provide both ongoing support for effective nonprofits, and to acknowledge and support new and promising organizations. To achieve this goal, the foundation employs the following “pause year” policy: any organization that receives three years of consecutive funding must take a one-year break before applying again for funding.

New applicants are welcome to call the foundation to determine if their organization is within guidelines before submitting a proposal. Click here for staff contact information.