Tides Foundation


The foundation gives primarily in the areas of the environment and natural resources, international affairs, economic public policy and enterprise development, social justice, and community affairs.


Established in 1976 in CA - The foundation is a signatory to Philanthropy’s Promise, and consequently, will be committing a significant percentage of their grantmaking dollars to meeting the needs of underserved communities, including the financial support of advocacy and civic engagement

Grantmaking Programs

Fund for Drug Policy Reform

This fund supports effort to change and shape drug policies through advocacy, community mobilization, and education. The fund seeks to broaden public and political support for drug policy reform and will fund strategic and innovative approaches to increase such support. All grantmaking will be directed to organizations working within the U.S., with particular emphasis on state-based activity.

Moloka`i Environmental Protection Fund

Grants, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, are awarded to organizations that protect Moloka'i's environment (particularly its ocean, land, and water resources) through restoration, pollution prevention, and reduction projects; and enhance the Moloka'i community's ability to achieve such protection through environmental advocacy, education, and access to legal services.

Mario Savio Young Activist Award

This award is presented to a young person (or persons) with a deep commitment to human rights and social justice, and a proven ability to transform this commitment into effective action. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 26, be engaged in activism for social change in the U.S., promoting the values of peace, human rights, economic or social justice, or freedom of expression, act within the context of an organization, social movement, or larger community effort, be considered an inspirational leader or motivating force by others in that context, and be able to attend award ceremony. Preference will be given to candidates who have not yet been widely recognized, and who do not have personal privilege or a strong institutional base of support. The award carries a cash prize of $6,000, divided equally between the prize winner and his/her organization.

State Equality Fund

Awarded in conjunction with the Gil Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, an the Arcus Foundation, this fund supports programs that work to further equal opportunity for people at the state and local levels (regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression), and that focus on plans to achieve elements of equality in the form of policy change. Specifically, the fund supports one- to five-year statewide policy-change outcomes in the areas of nondiscrimination, relationship recognition, parenting rights, and safe schools; to a lesser extent, the fund will also consider one- to three-year local or incremental policy-change outcomes that help pave the way for later, broader statewide gains. Priority will be given to: state-based or local organizations with ongoing LGBT equality efforts; proposals that demonstrate meaningful collaboration with relevant organizations, including non-LGBT allies, and all other LGBT advocacy efforts in the state or locale; state efforts that have the greatest impact on the most number of people, especially those efforts that have regional or national significance or occur in states with few LGBT protections; efforts that effectively engage and include people of color and address racial disparities; efforts and projects that will leave the grantees with greater capacity to achieve further LGBT equality gains in the future; and efforts that show strong community buy-in, financial support, and long-term sustainability. Funding will generally range between $50,000 and $100,000.

HIV Young Leaders Fund

This fund supports youth-led (defined as being 30 years of age or younger) organizations and projects that work to address the needs of young people most-affected by HIV in their communities, including young people living with HIV. Funding will be given to organizations that support local, national, regional, or international HIV advocacy; local peer-based HIV services; and community mobilization.

California Wildlands Grassroots Fund

The fund supports grassroots activists and organizations that are protecting and restoring California's wild places. It targets small community-based organizations (annual budgets of less than $100,000) with grants to support an array of wildland and open space protection efforts, from scientific and legal research to grassroots organizing and advocacy, from participating in county general plan review to travel and printing expenses. Typical grant amounts range between $1,000 and $3,500, with a maximum of $5,000.

Disability Rights Fund

This program of the foundation, a collaboration between donors and the disability community, works to advance the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). To further this aim, grants will be made available to help strengthen the participation of disabled persons' organizations (DPOs) at country level in the global South and Eastern Europe/the former Soviet Union. Two types of grants will be awarded. Single organizations or partnership can apply for grants, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, to build voice and visibility through more inclusive organizations or partnerships that increase DPO skill in addressing the CRPD; increase DPO participation in decision-making processes regarding the CRPD at state or local levels; and/or directly address implementation of CRPD articles. National DPO coalitions can apply for grants, ranging from $30,000 to $50,000, to work on ratification of the CRPD, passage of specific legislation to accord with the CRPD, or the production of a shadow report. Grants will provide one-year, project-specific support; cross-disability and other partnerships in-country are strongly encouraged, as are projects which address particularly marginalized sectors of the disability community. Visit http://www.disabilityrightsfund.org for more information and particular geographic foci.

Indigenous People's Fund

Grants, ranging from $15,000 to $40,000, are available to indigenous organizations with a focus on preserving and enhancing the rights, health, safety, and education of women and girls in native communities. Applications will be accepted from nonprofit organizations around the world; U.S.-based organizations must be able to present their IRS determination, while non-U.S.-based organizations must provide government-issued documentation certifying that the organization is a non-governmental organization.

Jane Bagley Lehman Awards for Excellence in Public Advocacy

These awards recognize individuals who have exhibited a deep commitment to the public interest, and whose work demonstrates innovative approaches to social change. An ideal nominee would be someone who has sought to share their experiences and findings with as wide an audience as possible, and has worked to bridge the gap between those at the grassroots level and those who make policy. The nominees should be chosen for a body of work, rather than a specific accomplishment, and they should be respected not only by peers, but also by fellow workers and employees. Recipients will be honored with a $10,000 grant.

Money Well Spent

This initiative funds programs that help to ensure resources for family planning and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa are well-spent, and is targeted to provide support for work that will develop solutions that could have a considerable and measurable impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of family planning and reproductive health funding flows. Letters of interest may focus on work at the local, institutional, systemic, national, multi-country, international, or other levels.

Honor the Earth Native Communities Program

This program, a program of the foundation's Honor the Earth initiative, awards grants, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, to protect land, water, ecosystems, and ways of life through forward-thinking initiatives grounded in indigenous wisdom. Grants will be given solely to organizations that are led and managed by Native peoples, and that are based in the U.S. and Canada; priority will be given to grassroots, community-based organizations and groups with a lack of access to federal and/or tribal funding resources. A portion of funding will be reserved to organizations that work to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency/weatherization improvements to advance Native community dignity, and create food security utilizing Indigenous varieties and organic production. See http://www.honorearth.org/grantmaking for more information.

Hurricane Voices Fund

This fund, established by MoveOn.org, supports efforts to amplify the voices of recent hurricane survivors as they speak out about the important issues of social and economic justice related to Hurricane Katrina.

Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest

This annual $10,000 seeks to honor software developers who create, for free public distribution, open source applications and tools that nonprofit and advocacy groups can put to good use. These developers are making a two-faceted contribution to social change. first, they are having an important practical impact, their software helps nonprofits both become more effective on a daily basis, and build their capacity to better inform and mobilize their constituents. The prize welcomes application from and nominations for single individuals.

Relief and Reconstruction Fund

The fund works to quickly and efficiently channel emergency relief in the aftermath of natural and civil disasters. The fund pools donors' resources to increase the impact of their giving, and researches and distributes funds to effective grassroots and advocacy organizations working for long-term economic, social, and structural change.

Death Penalty Mobilization Fund

This funding collaborative supports strategic collaborations of local, regional, or national nonprofits working to abolish the death penalty at the state and/or federal levels. Two-year grants, ranging from $40,000 to $80,000, will be given to state-based activist organizations working on death penalty reform, abolition, or moratoria efforts in the U.S. Grants can be used for expansion or enhancement of organizational and/or staff capacity, campaign development or implementation, infrastructure development necessary to implement or expand campaigns, public education, and direct and grassroots lobbying. Priority will be given to states where grants will make a significant contribution towards securing a concrete victory or strategic outcome.

Tides Shelter Fund

The fund supports organizations working across the U.S. to address the problem of homelessness.

Grants to Individuals Program

A prize to honor a software developer whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the non-profit sector and to ongoing efforts for positive social change.