Our Grant-Making Approach


Every grantee is assigned a Tipping Point Community program officer, available to them at any time. We partner with grantees to understand and support their vision and increase client impact through funding and management assistance.

Unrestricted Funding

Grantees receive an annually renewable, unrestricted general operating grant. First-time grants range in size depending on the organization’s stage, the strength of their metrics and potential for greater impact. Tipping Point recognizes that flexible, unrestricted support is unique in this field and critical for leaders to be responsive to their organizational priorities. Tipping Point is committed to a long-term relationship with grantees that show progress toward goals and demonstrate results.

Targeted Investments

We work closely with grantee staff to identify needs and aligned support that will enable the organization to have greater impact, and we constantly monitor trends across our portfolio to inform and prioritize our support. Currently, our primary focus areas include program design and strategy (theory of change and business planning), talent (executive coaching, board and staff member training) and performance management (database readiness and implementation, data management, program evaluation).

Beyond Dollars

In addition to financial support, our entire staff works directly with grantee organizations to address their most pressing needs through management assistance. We also partner with experts and best-in-class providers to deliver training, services and products in the following areas:

General Requirements

- Must be a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization or have fiscal sponsorship
- Must operate in a metropolitan area, within one or more of the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara
- Must address one or more of the following issue areas:

Education: Organizations that deliver targeted services that result in strong academic outcomes, such as literacy levels, high school graduation rates, college attendance and post-secondary education degrees.

Employment: Organizations that deliver services that demonstrate long-term client impact, such as placement in living-wage jobs, supporting retention and increasing wage-earning potential through the access of higher-paying jobs.

Housing: Organizations that deliver comprehensive and long-term housing, offering additional services such as employment, mental health, or case management. Must provide evidence of high-percentage housing retention post-placement.

Wellness: Organizations that deliver evidence-based services, perform at or exceed industry standards, and demonstrate strong links to clinical/social outcomes like immunization rates or prenatal care.

Organization Requirements

Strong leadership

- Clear and compelling vision and relevant experience in the field
- Willingness to build a trusting relationship with an engaged funder
- Commitment to continuous improvement throughout the organization
- Executive Director or Chief Executive Officer has held their position for at least one year

Program model

- Sound program model that links to desired outcomes
- Clear sense of target population and intended impact
- Commitment to using programmatic data towards continuous improvement on client impact

Sound financial management

- Clear budgets, executed with transparency
- Clean audits
- Positive annual net income
- Strong cash flow management

Early Stage Organizations

In addition to organizations with a strong track record, Tipping Point welcomes early stage organizations to apply for funding. Please note that at this time, early stage organizations comprise a relatively small subset of our overall portfolio.

Specific requirements beyond the general ones articulated above:

- A well-developed, executable business plan
- In existence less than 3 years
- 3-year projections for revenues and expenses made available

What we’re looking for in early stage groups:

- Compelling idea that addresses pressing social issue aligned to Tipping Point’s institutional priorities
- Self-aware, performance-driven and resilient leadership with the ability to build and manage a strong founding team
- Clearly defined program model with desired long-term outcome of poverty reduction
- Demonstrated commitment to understanding impact; must be client-centered and reflect a desire for continuous learning + improvement
- Commitment to getting it right in one specific geographic area before scaling

If your organization fits this profile, please complete the form below:

Sorry. Tipping Point does not currently fund the following

- Individual or volunteer-run initiatives
- Advocacy or policy-based initiatives
- Short-term, non-intensive services (e.g. organizations that primarily provide emergency housing and/or meals)
- Programs with sports, arts, or recreation as primary focus
- Organizations without direct services to individuals living in poverty (e.g. technical assistance providers, other grant-making organizations)