The foundation only accepts unsolicited requests for funding for its youth development grantmaking, which starts first with submission of a brief Letter of Inquiry.   For all grantmaking, full proposals will only be accepted upon invitation by the foundation.

Grants are only made to nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status or equivalent from the Internal Revenue Service. The foundation does

not generally fund ongoing operating support, event sponsorship, film making, or branding and marketing. Requests for individual use, deficit funding, or political lobbying are not considered.

The foundation’s Board of Directors gives final approval to all grants. If funding is approved, an award letter will be provided stating the terms of funding and specifying the grant start date and reporting guidelines.

Youth Development Grantmaking

The John & Marcia Goldman Foundation seeks to improve the life trajectories of young people. Grants are awarded to organizations that provide opportunities for underserved children, youth and their families to participate in a broad range of services and activities that inspire and enhance their lives and communities. The goal of this funding is to help engage a harder-to-reach segment of the youth population and address critical service gaps. In order to have a focused impact, the foundation has chosen to concentrate its resources geographically in the Mid-Peninsula region (southern San Mateo County to northern Santa Clara County).

Letters of Inquiry will be accepted only for programs and projects that serve youth and their families in Mid-Peninsula communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. Requests for proposals outside of this region or target population are made by invitation only.

If you are an organization serving youth, their families and communities in the Mid-Peninsula region and are interested in submitting a Letter of Inquiry, please see Youth Letter of Inquiry Guidelines.

Examples of Youth Development Grants
Name Project Title Grant Amount
BUILD Social Entrepreneurship and Civic Engagement Programs 100,000
CollegeSpring Access to test preparation for Mid-Peninsula students 100,000
Community Legal Services In East Palo Alto Inc Immigration Services and Housing Rights 50,000
Faith In Action Bay Area Housing Policy Advocacy and Displacement Prevention 50,000
Fresh Lifelines for Youth Reentry support services 100,000
Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo Science Education to East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park students 100,000
Golden State Opportunity Foundation Earned Income Tax Credit Outreach and Assistance 150,000
Hope Services Half Moon Bay/Peninsula Young Adult Day Services 75,000
JobTrain Removing Barriers to Youth Employment 75,000
Juma Ventures Jobs for Mid-Peninsula Youth 100,000
Legal Aid Society Of San Mateo Co Eviction Protections for Low-Income Residents 50,000
Legal Services For Children Inc Education Equity in San Mateo County Schools 75,000
National Center For Youth Law Education Equity in Ravenswood City School District 100,000
Pie Ranch Community Food Security and Fire Restoration 100,000
Pivotal COVID-19 Emergency Assistance to Foster Youth 150,000
Ravenswood Education Foundation Arts and Music Instruction in Ravenswood City School District 150,000
Ravenswood Family Health Center Family Dentistry Clinic Expansion 150,000
Wayfinder Family Services Support services to families and children with special needs 25,000


Youth Development Letter of Inquiry Guidelines

A Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and coversheet are required to apply for support for youth programming, per the above priorities. Full proposals are accepted only after submission of an LOI and subsequent invitation to proceed to the proposal stage. LOIs should include the following in narrative form (not to exceed two pages):
• Organization name, mission, overview, and current annual operating budget
• Title, amount and description of the proposed project, including total project budget
• Description of how the intended outcomes align with the Foundation’s youth grantmaking goals
There are no deadlines for submission of LOIs; the Foundation accepts them on a rolling basis.
Download the required coversheet and send together with the LOI via email.

For Grantseekers

Will the foundation fund individuals?

No, the foundation only funds 501(c)(3) organizations or equivalent and does not respond to requests for personal funding.

Do organizations have to be of a particular size to be considered for funding?

No, we fund established 501(c)(3) organizations or equivalent but do not place restrictions based on the size of an organization’s operating budget.  We will also fund organizations that have appropriate fiscal sponsorship.

How do youth-serving organizations apply for funding?

Organizations are required to first submit Letters of Inquiry in order to provide staff with information about your organization, program, and overall alignment with the foundation. Following review of your Letter of Inquiry, staff will let you know whether to submit a full proposal.

Does the foundation accept unsolicited proposals?

All grants are foundation-initiated other than in the area of youth development. Please do not submit a proposal unless you have been directed to do so by the foundation.

Does the foundation have an official policy regarding indirect charges for its science and health awards?

Yes, the policy of the foundation is to cap the amount of allowable overhead or indirect costs at 10%.

Are foundation staff available to answer questions?

Yes, foundation staff are available to answer questions and clarify funding issues.

Can the Board of Directors be contacted directly?

No, all foundation-related business and inquiries should be directed to foundation staff.

Does the foundation require applicants to mail hard copies?

Wherever possible, the foundation prefers electronic copies.  For documents that have been submitted electronically there is no need to submit a hard copy as well.

What is the foundation’s grantmaking process?

Board meetings are held three times a year (generally Spring, Summer and Winter).  Prior to each Board meeting the grantmaking process typically involves the following steps: 1) proposal review by foundation staff and iterative discussion with the applicant, which may include a site-visit, program and financial assessments, and reference checks, 2) staff recommendations to the Board and, 3) final Board decisions following a comprehensive review.

How long does the decision-making process take?

It is not possible to predict how long the decision-making process will take. Factors influencing the timing include when the proposal is vetted relative to the next Board meeting date, the amount of due diligence required, and whether the Board requests additional information prior to reaching a decision. The foundation strives to keep applicants apprised of the status of their proposals throughout this process.

If a proposal is approved, how long until grant funding can commence?

Grant award letters and first payments are typically sent within a month of approval.

Can a declined proposal be reconsidered?

Unless specifically indicated, a declined proposal generally will not be reconsidered.

If an organization has received previous funding from the foundation, how soon can it reapply?

The foundation does not generally entertain new proposals from the same organization for a period of three years after completion of a previous grant. This is in order to promote the widest possible base of support for our grantees.

For Grantees

What are the reporting requirements for single year grants?

All grantees are required to submit a final report. The final report is generally due 12 months after receipt of payment, unless otherwise specified in the award letter. While there is no required format, reports should include the following two sections:

  • Narrative report – This section reports on the outcomes and results achieved related to the goals and objectives stated in the proposal; any problems or unexpected outcomes encountered during the grant period; the impact of the grant; and any future plans for the project. The narrative should not exceed five pages in length, and should be restricted to issues relevant to the project funded.
  • Financial report – This section provides financial information on how the grant funds were expended. The financial report should be presented on a single page.

What are the reporting requirements for multi-year grants?

Annual progress reports for multi-year grants are typically required 12 months after receipt of the previous grant installment. The specific terms are provided in the original award letter. Progress reports should include a narrative and financial section (see single year grant reporting requirements above). Subsequent payments of a multi-year grant are dependent upon the receipt of a satisfactory progress report and approval of any previously agreed upon grant contingencies. A final report is due 30 days after the end of the grant period.

How should reports be submitted to the foundation?

Reports should be emailed to the foundation.

Will the foundation allow changes to the budget of an awarded grant?

Requests for grant re-budgeting should be brought to the attention of the foundation at the time of need and/or discussed in your interim or final report. Re-budgeting requests may be subject to Board approval.

What if the grant term is completed but there are unexpended funds due to, for example, project delays?

It is best to keep the foundation apprised of any unanticipated circumstances that may impact successful completion of your project. Requests for “no-cost extensions” will be considered at the time of submission of the grant final report, or earlier upon request, and may be subject to Board approval.