Who We Are

We are one of the largest sources of philanthropic support in the East Bay. More than 500 generous donors have entrusted us with $400 million in charitable funds to invest wisely. Our donors rely on us for strategic advice and counsel and for administrative help with their grantmaking. We are also one of the oldest charitable institutions in northern California, powered by innovation for more than 85 years and counting.


We are a foundation that looks boldly into the future to help our donors, co-investors and partners understand challenges. We provide effective and efficient ways to harness their philanthropy to achieve maximum impact. We have our stake in the ground, seeking and supporting measurable solutions that work to grow opportunity for those on the economic margins, specifically:

  • Helping adults acquire jobs skills and get jobs; and
  • Ensuring young children are successful in the education system so they have economic opportunity when they become adults
EBCF Connects

How We Do It

Provide services—from strategic to administrative—to amplify the impact of charitable giving through professionally managed donor-advised funds and philanthropic expertise.

Lead through our data and knowledge about pressing social needs and the programs that successfully address them.

Create charitable legacies that last beyond our donors’ lifetimes.

Stand up for equity and inclusion for the underserved and underrepresented.
Maximize impact by pooling financial and other support from many sources for greatest benefit to all of the East Bay’s communities—small and large, rural and urban, stable and expanding.

Increase the power of the East Bay’s nonprofit sector by strengthening the management, finances, and programs of organizations with a successful track record of extending opportunity to those in need.

Bring leaders with common interests to the same table to broker partnerships, alliances, and coalitions to address regional problems.

Make It Happen

A community foundation connects people in ways that do not happen otherwise and helps them work together to solve community problems. Working across the region, from Crockett to Livermore, from Brentwood to Fremont, EBCF spotlights social innovators and helps them find private, public, and community resources to expand their work. Unexpected partnerships emerge. Donors of all kinds find satisfaction in results. EBCF is a catalyst for building healthy communities and strengthening opportunities for all.

Community Issues

icon_happen1EBCF began inviting businesses and community leaders to meet in 2013 to develop coordinated goals to address the growth in suburban poverty, particularly in Contra Costa County and the Tri-Valley region.

Corporate Funds

icon_happen2Since 2002, The Clorox Company Foundation has partnered with EBCF for our in-depth community knowledge and our grantmaking expertise. We also design and host workshops focused on sustainability and growth for nonprofits and faith-based organizations on behalf of Clorox.


icon_happen3EBCF has facilitated growth and development of the Oakland Literacy Coalition (OLC), an initiative created in partnership with the Rogers Family Foundation, raising more than $600,000 in 2011–14 for early-childhood reading support. In 2013, EBCF participated actively in the creation of Oakland Reads 2020, a city-wide alliance with the ambitious goal of doubling by 2020 the percentage of Oakland third-graders who are proficient readers.

Nonprofit Results

icon_happen4EBCF donors have long supported the high-value programs offered by Girls Inc. of Alameda County. Recently EBCF facilitated several major gifts to the $11 million campaign for their beautiful new headquarters.

Legacy Donors

icon_happen5Harriett Despeaux was an active professional and community volunteer who created a donor-advised fund at EBCF to support her passion for healthcare, service to the homeless, and other causes. Since her passing in 2012, her legacy fund makes grants to these issues in the communities she cared most about: Fremont, Union City, and Newark.

Targeted Funds

icon_happen6Through the East Bay Fund for Artists, EBCF has attracted more than $2 million since 2004 for the arts in the East Bay by partnering with community donors and other foundations, commissioning new works by more than 200 local artists.

East Bay Leader

Many of EBCF’s donors make grants that support national and regional groups. But in the three years ending in June 2014, nearly 60%—$97.2 million—of the grants made by EBCF and our donors supported programs and organizations in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, making EBCF one of the largest sources of charitable funding in the East Bay.


When it comes to strengthening a community, few things create more passion than supporting public libraries. We have created special funds to raise money for libraries in Lafayette and Danville. Our donors have also targeted more than 100 donations over this three-year period to external groups for libraries in Walnut Creek, San Leandro, Berkeley, Richmond, Oakland, Pleasant Hill, and Alameda County.

Spark a Change

Complex problems generally require multiple partners to create and carry out lasting solutions. EBCF often plays a central role in connecting partners. We spotlight the problem, bring together unexpected voices, provide seed funding, and put new ideas on the table that help us all take action together. Our connections across the East Bay make us familiar with donors of all types, decision-makers, and the nonprofits with proven track records for serving those most in need.

Expanding Home Ownership

Community Crisis

icon_home1The foreclosure crisis in 2008 disrupted many East Bay neighborhoods. Law enforcement officials asked EBCF to help address blight in the hardest-hit areas. EBCF convened bankers, housing advocates, government, developers, charitable donors, and others to understand the scope of the problem and envision creative solutions.

Innovative Approach

icon_home2The Good Deeds project was launched after EBCF led negotiations that created a new financial structure for promoting home ownership among low-to-moderate-income buyers. Under the plan, our nonprofit partners were able to purchase and upgrade foreclosed homes, and sell them to qualified buyers, while also providing financial training on successful home ownership. EBCF connected donors, banks, and housing groups and managed the initial testing of the approach.

A Place To Call Home

icon_home3Over four years, 22 families became homeowners in Richmond, Pittsburg, Antioch, and Oakland, building their assets and helping stabilize neighborhoods.

Seed Capital

Good Deeds was designed to become self-sustaining financially, but EBCF needed to raise funds to cover a variety of start-up costs. In particular, a loan-loss reserve allowed the program to acquire and remodel several homes at once. We contributed from our own internal resources and attracted donations from banks, other businesses, and individual donors, totaling $1,127,000.



icon_school1The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) has attracted large donations for many years to support its innovative strategies for urban education. EBCF’s role as a short-term fundraiser and long-term granting partner helped reassure donors as OUSD rebuilt its financial strength.


icon_school2As OUSD returned to financial health, EBCF commissioned a study to identify successful partnerships used by urban school districts to raise and manage private donations. This study showed how a community-based education fund could be structured successfully.


icon_school3OUSD has designated the Oakland Public Education Fund as its fundraising partner. EBCF has helped this entity build its skills, and we continue to convene more than 25 foundations and donors to stay abreast of and engaged with OUSD’s priorities and progress.

Checks and Balances

EBCF has received and disbursed more than $20 million for OUSD from over 20 funders since 2006, including $4.1 million from 2011-14. During this period, we provided essential accountability to these funders for their investments in a wide array of innovations at OUSD, such as the nationally recognized African-American Male Achievement initiative.

Board of Directors

Sherry Hirota
Board Chair
Chief Executive Officer,
Asian Health Services

Ingrid Lamirault
Board Vice Chair
Health Services Expert

Peter Garcia
Board Vice Chair
Diablo Valley College

Timothy H. Smallsreed
Board Secretary
Partner, Wendel Rosen
Black & Dean, LLP

Nathan Brostrom
Executive Vice President
and Chief Financial Officer,
University of California

Pamela Calloway
District Director,
Office of U.S. Rep.
Barbara Lee (D-Oakland)

Robert R. Davenport III
Managing Partner,
Brightpath Capital
Partners, LP

Quinn Delaney
Founder and President,
Akonadi Foundation

Mark Friedman
Chief Executive Officer,
Thomas J. Long Foundation

Gary Hall
Senior Managing
Director and National
Head of Banking,
Siebert Brandford Shank
& Company, LLC

Ken Kawaichi
Superior Court Judge,
Alameda County

Robert Kessler
Superintendent, Retired
San Ramon Valley
School District

Donald Reinke
OMP of Silicon Valley Office,
Reed Smith, LLP

Gwen Walden
Arabella Advisors

James W. Head
President and CEO,
East Bay Community Foundation

Connect With Us

Establish A Fund

Help the causes and communities you care about—with results and impact. Different types of charitable funds meet a variety of interests and financial planning goals. We handle all administrative and reporting requirements.

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Donate to EBCF

The challenges our community faces are too large to be solved by the resources of any one player or any one sector. Make an unrestricted gift to be part of the meaningful change that EBCF facilitates in the East Bay.

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