Over 65 years of partnering in the Bay Area as a catalyst for social change

1868

Anthony Zellerbach begins selling paper from his horse-drawn wagon in San Francisco.

1956

The Zellerbach Family Fund is founded by Jennie B. Zellerbach with an initial contribution of $54,600.

1965

Jennie B. Zellerbach passes away, leaving most of her estate, about $4 million, to ZFF, making the foundation one of the Bay Area’s leading grantmakers.

1966

ZFF commits $1 million for the construction of Zellerbach Hall at the University of California at Berkeley.

1966

San Francisco Botanical Garden dedicates the Jennie B. Zellerbach Garden in memory of ZFF’s founding donor.

1967

ZFF begins funding neighborhood arts programs and becomes one of a few funders focusing on community arts rather than large arts institutions.

1968

Seeking greater impact, ZFF shifts from making grants based on the interests of family members and reorganizes as a general-purpose, private foundation focused on the needs of communities in the SF Bay Area.

1968

Zellerbach Hall opens with Igor Stravinsky attending for the performance of his “Symphony of Psalms” and “Oedipus Rex”.

1974

ZFF pledges $1 million to the San Francisco Performing Arts Center for the building of the Harold L. Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall (completed in 1981).

1975

ZFF makes a grant to the International Institute to benefit Southeast Asian refugees, marking the beginning of the foundation’s support for immigrants and refugees.

1976

The Community Arts Advisory Committee, later called the Community Arts Panel, is established, leading the way for ZFF to be one of the Bay Area’s first foundations to institutionalize participatory grantmaking by and for the Bay Area arts community.

1978

Harold L. Zellerbach passes away; Bill Zellerbach becomes board chair.

1981

ZFF is a founding member of Northern California Grantmakers.

1981

ZFF is a founding member of the Arts Loan Fund, established to alleviate cash-flow problems created by reimbursement or grant payment policies of national, state, and local public funding sources. A collaborative among Bay Area arts funders and Northern California Grantmakers, the Arts Loan Fund still exists today.

1990

Partnered with UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare to create the Bay Area Social Services Consortium (BASSC), a cross-sector partnership that promotes social service research, training, and policy development to strengthen public sector social services in the SF Bay Area.

1991

ZFF funds the Zellerbach Family Fund Chair “Innovations in Social Welfare” at UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare

2000

ZFF partners to establish the San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (SFCIPP) to advance the rights of children impacted by parental incarceration.

2001

The Jennie B. Zellerbach garden undergoes major renovation making the space a place of rest, beauty, and celebration for the greater San Francisco community.

2007

ZFF is a founding partner of the California Immigrant Integration Initiative (CIII), a dedicated effort for funders to strategize and develop funding partnerships.

2008

ZFF grants seed support for One Family Program to provide contact visiting for children with parents in SF jails. The program is later recognized as a national model.

2012

ZFF partners with other funders to establish the Bay Area DACA collaborative to ensure the availability of community education and legal services to undocumented youth and their families.

2016

William J. Zellerbach, who served on ZFF’s board for 50 years, and as ZFF’s Chairman for 40 years, passes away at 96 years of age. Bill’s legacy of collaboration, innovation, and generosity remain fundamental to the culture and values of ZFF.

2017

ZFF seeds the establishment of a rapid response network in Northern California to respond to the escalation of immigration enforcement.

2017

ZFF joins 40 California philanthropic institutions in signing the Joint Statement in Support of DACA.

2018

ZFF is a founding funder of California Children’s Trust, an initiative to reimagine California’s approach to children’s behavioral health.

2018

ZFF joins more than 200 other institutions signing a statement in support of children and families seeking refuge in the United States.

2018

The WJZ Award is established in honor of late ZFF Board Chair Bill Zellerbach. The award recognizes Bay Area organizations developing visionary approaches to advance social justice and address the pressing needs faced by communities throughout the Bay Area.

2019

San Francisco’s BAYCAT awarded inaugural WJZ Award for Social Change.

2020

Hip Hop for Change, Inc. awarded 2020 WJZ Award for Social Change.

2020

ZFF establishes COVID Response Grants to provide emergency pandemic relief to support the Bay Area arts community.

2020

ZFF joins a collaborative of funders and the State of California to establish the California Immigrant Resilience Fund.

2021

WJZ Award for Social Change awarded to Youth Together.

2021

ZFF joins the Youth Power Fund, a network of foundations and individual donors committed to creating more equitable, just, and effective social, economic, and political systems in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

2021

An analysis of COVID-19 relief support provided to Bay Area artists and cultural organizations highlights ZFF’s COVID Response Grants as a critical resource for the region’s arts community.

2021

ZFF is a founding member of the Bay Area Culture Funders for Equity, a funder collaborative committed to amplifying the voices, power, arts and cultures of people of color and other vulnerable communities in the Bay Area.

2022

ZFF implements its strategic framework focusing on safety, belonging, and the power of arts and culture.

Who We Are

Our Vision

We envision a vibrant Bay Area region rich with diverse expressions and experiences, where people feel safe and connected; live with a sense of belonging, shared humanity, and dignity; and have equitable opportunities to thrive.

Our Mission

The Mission of the Zellerbach Family Foundation is to be a catalyst for constructive social change by initiating and investing in efforts that strengthen families and communities.

To create a more equitable world,

we must first be able to imagine it.

Our Values

Responsibility, Integrity, and Humility

We embrace our responsibility to dedicate our resources, influence, and position to meaningfully contribute to the lives of individuals and communities who call the Bay Area home. We value and commit to honesty, trustworthiness, and acting in service to others.

Equity and Diversity

We believe in fairness, inclusion, and opportunities for everyone, especially those excluded historically and structurally from resources and decision making. We celebrate the richness of our differences and value the role of diversity in strengthening mutual appreciation, respect, and understanding across cultures and communities.

Self-Determination

We value and believe in the ability and right of everyone to have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities.

Intentional and Continuous Learning

We value learning from and with others. We commit to being open to new ideas and adapting our work as we navigate through changing circumstances and acquire new information.

Imagination

We value the exploration and advancement of new approaches to create effective and sustainable solutions to the needs and challenges of our communities. We embrace risk-taking, creative thinking, and innovation.

Partnership

We value collaboration and meaningful, authentic relationships across the philanthropic, non-profit, public, and private sectors, and the communities we serve.

Legacy and Perpetuity

We celebrate the work, effort, and spirit of those who came before us and acknowledge the need to support future generations in responding to the challenges they will inevitably face.

Board

  • Thomas H. Zellerbach 

    Chair of the Board

  • Jeanette M. Dunckel
  • James W. Head
  • Ravi Karra
  • Karin Kissane

    Treasurer

  • Hilary Reek

    Vice Chair and Secretary

  • Stephen R. Shapiro
  • Suchi Somasekar
  • Lisa Steindler

Staff

Chief Financial Officer

President and Executive Director

Program Officer,
Arts & Culture

Program Officer,
Safety & Belonging

Program Officer,
Safety & Belonging

Information Technology Director

Grants Manager

Financials

This summary of the Zellerbach Family Foundation’s assets and grantmaking is for the year ending December 31, 2020, and reflects program funding prior to the investment areas established in the 2022 strategic framework.

General Finances
Total Assets $159,306,311
Total Giving $5,313,775
Community Arts Grants
Total Amount $812,500
Number of Grants 114
Average Grant Amount $7,100
All Other Grants
Total Amount $4,501,275
Number of Grants 120
Average Grant Amount $38,472