Integrated Programs Build Stronger Communities

Since its inception, the Zellerbach Family Foundation has focused its work on the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Zellerbach family has deep roots and a long-standing commitment to civic engagement. We advance our mission to be a catalyst for constructive social change by initiating and investing in integrated efforts that strengthen families and communities.

Immigrants and Refugees

Immigrants and Refugees

Supports the successful integration of newcomers and encourages their informed and widespread participation in community life.

Improving Human Service Systems

Improving Human Service Systems

Improves the management, practice, and accountability of public systems serving vulnerable children and families.

Community Arts

Community Arts

Provides project-based support to individual artists and small and mid-size arts organizations to make new and innovative work accessible to Bay Area cultures and communities.
Apply here.

Immigrants and Refugees

Our Goal

Low-income immigrant families will be able to bring their experience, vibrance, and determination to bear to build a higher quality of life through: 1) greater acceptance and appreciation from established residents, 2) more integrated and tailored support from community nonprofits, and 3) policies that address their needs and contributions.

  • Many large, mainstream institutions are unresponsive to the needs of newcomers.
  • Many nonprofit organizations need to improve their internal capacities to provide services and to carry out their work.
  • Low-income newcomers are vulnerable to fraud, exploitation, and discrimination.
  • Low-income newcomers are often unfamiliar with English, local customs and norms, institutions, laws, nonprofits, and local agencies.
  • The Bay Area’s diverse immigrant population enriches our communities with new ideas, cultures, talents, and energy.
  • Immigrant integration is a “two-way street.” Newcomers need to learn about and adapt to life in the U.S., and established residents, institutions, and nonprofits also need to learn about newcomers and make basic accommodations that will facilitate their successful transition into local communities.
  • Treating immigrants as full members of our communities strengthens the social fabric and improves the quality of life.

The Immigrants and Refugees program will take a multi-pronged approach to facilitate the successful integration of ​immigrants and encourage their informed and widespread participation in community life.

  • Safety and Security: Foster the sense of safety and well-being of immigrants by increasing access to quality legal services and ensuring the trauma and violence experienced by immigrant communities is addressed. Work supported under this approach includes immigrant legal services and efforts to respond to challenges faced by immigrants and refugees related to trauma, mental health and physical safety.
  • Economic Sustainability: Increase the economic stability of low-income immigrants through the creation of occupational pathways that offer a living wage, provide opportunities to skill up, and explore innovative and entrepreneurial options to employments. ​To address barriers to employment and advancement in career opportunities, ZFF supports efforts that create pathways to occupations that offer a living wage and opportunities to skill up and explore innovative and entrepreneurial options to employment.
  • Civic Engagement and Leadership Development: Increase power in affected communities through information sharing, civic education, skills building, and inspiring leadership within different decision-making spaces. ​This strategy includes community organizing and engagement around civic processes and arming immigrants with tools to maximize their growth as leaders in their communities.
  • Organizational/Field Support: Strengthen and build the capacity of organizations and the field to be more effective, efficient, and sustainable. Work in this strategy includes research and data analysis, capacity building and technical support to staff and immigrant serving organizations, networking and collaboration, and policy advocacy and implementation.

Improving Human Service Systems

Our Goal

All Bay Area children and youth thrive with supportive families in healthy communities.

  • Children, youth, and families involved with human service systems often face complex challenges, placing them at risk for negative educational, economic, health, and criminal justice outcomes.
  • Racial disparities persist in the human service systems, with a significantly disproportionate representation of African American, Latinx, and Native American populations.
  • Public agencies lack nimbleness due to bureaucratic structures, legal mandates, and complex funding schemes, which often result in siloed approaches to service delivery.
  • People who work in human service systems need tools, training, and other resources to implement new or improved service delivery approaches, and to effectively collaborate and coordinate across systems.
  • Systems reform, designed to improve the coordination, efficiency, and effectiveness of public systems, requires effort but has the potential for widespread and sustainable impact on the lives of vulnerable children, youth, and families.
  • More effective policies and practices emerge when they are informed by people affected by them, supported by data and research, and responsive to changing needs and new information.

Through grantmaking, networking, and partnerships, the IHSS program works with public agencies, providers, advocates, universities, and other funders to promote effective coordination among the child welfare, behavioral health, education, and justice systems. The program employs various strategies to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families involved or at risk of involvement in these systems. Although ZFF focuses its resources in the Bay Area, the IHSS program supports statewide efforts that impact local work or are necessary to inform or pave the way for local change. Our strategies include:

  • Voice: Support efforts that build capacity and provide opportunities for individuals to have a voice in affecting change in the systems in which they are involved.
  • Innovation: Support the development of new and timely programs or tools that have the potential to improve practice or system effectiveness.
  • Organizational Capacity Building: Support leadership transitions, strategic planning, technical assistance, training, and the development of performance management systems to enhance the capacity of organizations with whom we have a relationship.
  • Research and Evaluation: Support research to identify and document service needs, and evaluation to measure and document the impact of practices, programs, or policies.
  • Collaboration and Coalition Building: Encourage interagency and multidisciplinary collaboration, and support coalitions to develop coordinated responses to complex problems and maximize limited resources.
  • Policy Development and Advocacy: Support the development, revision, and/or implementation of effective policy at the organizational, local, and state levels.

Community Arts

Our Goal

The Bay Area arts community is diverse, balanced, and vibrant.

  • Individual artists and arts organizations are impacted by the economic climate in the Bay Area, experiencing rent increases, rising living expenses, and displacement or threat of displacement from their homes, offices, and rehearsal and performance spaces.
  • Large arts organizations in the Bay Area receive a majority of philanthropic, public, and other funding.
  • Changes in the Bay Area’s funding landscape have resulted in significant and increasing funding shortfalls for local artists and arts organizations.
  • The challenges facing individual artists and small and mid-size arts organizations are beyond what project support alone can address. General operating support and opportunities for training, mentorship, and professional development are needed.
  • The arts enrich our society with challenging work and inspiring ideas representing the diverse cultures and communities of the Bay Area.
  • The arts community is a vital part of the culture of innovation and opportunity that attracts so many people to the Bay Area.
  • The ensured longevity of the arts landscape relies on a thriving community of small and mid-size organizations inclusive of the diverse communities and cultures of the Bay Area.
  • Cooperation and collaboration amongst arts organizations and funders will strengthen and support the entire cultural ecology of the Bay Area.

Through grantmaking and collaborating with funding partners to support individual artists and arts organizations, ZFF’s Community Arts program will employ strategies to ensure vibrant work is created, new voices are celebrated, and artists and audiences inclusive of the Bay Area’s diverse communities and cultures have opportunities, furthering the vitality of the arts in the Bay Area. Our strategies include:

  • Project: Support the ability of artists and arts organizations to take risks, to challenge their capacity as artists and challenge the expectations of their audiences.
  • Stability: Support efforts to create financially secure organizations and their ability to think strategically for long-term vitality.
  • Collaboration: Support creative artistic and administrative collaboration between and among artists and arts organizations to address common problems, share resources, and provide stability at an institutional level.
  • Training: Support continuing education, training, and learning opportunities for artists and administrators to build organizational capacity and promote acquisition of skills to grow as practitioners.
  • Innovation: Support projects and/or organizations moving the field of arts and culture forward – grants made by invitation only.

Project Grants: The Community Arts Project grants provide project-based support to individual artists and small to mid-sized arts organizations in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties, working in the fields of dance, music, theater, visual arts, literary arts, and festivals.

Stability, Collaboration, and Training Grants: Applicants interested in Community Arts grants outside of Project funding may apply for Stability, Collaboration, and Training grants. Stability grants are made to support organizational stability (not to provide support for a specific project). Collaboration grants are made to support artistic or administrative collaboration projects between two or more organizations/artists. Training grants are made to support training opportunities for artists and organizations in the arts and culture field in the Bay Area. These different types of grants provide support to individual artists and small to mid-sized arts organizations in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties, working in the fields of dance, music, theater, visual arts, literary arts, and festivals.