Foundation Relations


campus sceneThe Foundation Relations staff works with faculty and administrators to secure funds from private foundations to support programs that advance San Francisco State University's mission to provide an exceptional, accessible and affordable education.


SF State's emphasis on community engagement and experiential learning, among undergraduates as well as graduate students, attracts private foundations seeking to impact diverse communities through educational programs and research, as well as community based initiatives.


Foundations are also helpful in the early phase of innovative initiatives that may shape best practices or public policy improvements in health, education and other areas - and leverage government support to further advance these objectives beyond the Bay Area. 


The office works to secure foundation funding for both College priorities and University-wide priorities, promote private foundation funding opportunities among faculty and units, build campus capacity in private foundation fundraising, and advance partnerships with private foundation funders through communication, stewardship and other activities.


Activities and Services

  • Conducts private foundation research and identification for College and University-wide priorities

  • Provides private foundation contacts where appropriate

  • Conducts private foundation calls on behalf of College and University-wide priorities

  • Hosts campus visits of foundation representatives

  • Monitors and coordinates centrally coordinated private foundations

  • Assists with proposal preparation and submission for College and University priorities

  • Monitors major foundation activities for changes in giving priorities, staffing, board and leadership


Grant Highlights
In 2011, Tipping Point Community awarded SF State a grant of $130,000 over two years to support  the Guardian Scholars Program (GSP).  This funding will help SF State provide comprehensive services to former foster youth on campus to help meet these students' academic, social, emotional and financial needs.  Now in its sixth year, the Guardian Scholars program serves more than 60 students annually by providing guaranteed housing, academic advising, and career counseling.  With support from Tipping Point Community, a local foundation committed to eliminating poverty, the Guardian Scholars Program is making a significant difference in helping former foster youth graduate from SF State, pursue careers of their choosing, and live productive and fulfilled lives. Tipping Point Community's most recent commitment to the Guardian Scholars Program builds on their previous grant awards totaling more than $550,000 since 2007.
Educational Opportunity Program

The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation provided SF State with $70,000 in 2011 to develop a Foundational Science program, which will improve the science preparation of California's K-8 teachers .  SF State's Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CSME) is leading the effort, in collaboration with California State University East Bay (CSU East Bay), to improve K-8 science instruction by strengthening teachers' content and pedagogical preparation, using rigorous, hands-on, inquiry-based approaches to learning.  This funding will result in a new science course for K-8 teachers and a plan for a full Foundational Science program at SF State, in addition to a framework for disseminating best practices in Foundational Science teacher training to other California State University campuses. 
SF Center for Science and Mathematics Education

CSME's Projects

The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation provided SF State with an endowment gift of $3.75 million in 2008 to create the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Israel Studies, a new faculty position focusing on the scholarly study of Israel. A portion of the endowment  funds was also used to help elevate the Jewish Studies Program to a full academic department, the first of its kind in the California State University (CSU) system and the first free-standing Department of Jewish Studies in any Bay Area university offering undergraduate study.
Department of Jewish Studies


Please contact Lisa Lim, Director of Foundation Relations, at 415/338-6599 or at to learn more about the SF State foundation relations process.