1 in 3 people in the Bay Area lives in poverty. Tipping Point screens non-profits rigorously to find, fund, and partner with the most effective groups working to educate, employ, house and support those in need. Poverty takes many forms, and we believe there is no one way to fight it. Tipping Point invests in a diverse portfolio of organizations working across four issue areas in six Bay Area counties.


We partner with organizations that connect individuals and families to stable housing in San Francisco and beyond, and provide services such as employment, wellness and case management.

Early Childhood

We invest in organizations that provide early literacy and positive parenting support to families with children ages 0-3, helping lay a strong early childhood foundation for positive outcomes later in life.


We support organizations that produce strong academic outcomes, such as literacy, high school graduation, college attendance and post-secondary degrees.


We fund organizations that place individuals in career-track jobs, help them retain those positions, and increase earnings over time.

Selection Process

Selection Process

Tipping Point has screened hundreds of non-profits in the Bay Area. See below for our general process and basic funding criteria.

General Requirements

General Requirements

  • Must be a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization or have fiscal sponsorship
  • Must operate within one or more of the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara
  • A significant portion of the organization’s programs must address one or more of Tipping Point’s core issue areas

Organization Requirements

Organization Requirements

Strong leadership

  • Clear and compelling vision and relevant experience in the field
  • Self-aware and willing to build a trusting relationship with an engaged funder
  • Results-driven and committed to continuous improvement throughout the organization
  • Executive Director or Chief Executive Officer demonstrates strong leadership and management qualities with at least three years of relevant leadership experience, and has held their position for at least one year
  • The board of directors has advisory experience, represents diverse and relevant skillsets and is committed to active engagement
  • Executive and board leadership demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion within the organization and its work

Program model

  • Sound program design or established model with a clear approach for measuring performance outcomes
  • Clearly defined target population and intended impact
  • Commitment to applying programmatic data for continuous improvement related to program performance and ultimately client impact
  • A unique, evidence-based approach/solution that is clearly aligned with Tipping Point’s investment rationale
  • Deep understanding of broader field context, challenges and opportunities

Sound financial management

  • Financial management experience as well as strong internal controls and processes defined
  • Detailed organization and program budgets
  • Clean audits
  • Positive annual net income
  • Strong cash flow management

Early Stage Organizations

Early Stage Organizations

In addition to organizations with a strong track record, Tipping Point also considers early stage organizations for funding.

Additional Requirements:

  • A well-developed, executable program model and business plan, including robust financial model (and three-year projections for revenues and expenses)
  • A program model in operation for less than three years

Engagement expectations:

  • Participation in a comprehensive executive leadership and board assessment process
  • Development of initial engagement and management assistance plan, in collaboration with Tipping Point, that will detail organizational and leadership growth and related capacity building activities
  • A commitment to full transparency and proactive issue spotting and problem-solving, in partnership with Tipping Point
  • Ongoing access to key staff at multiple levels of the organization, as well as board members, to foster Tipping Point’s understanding of operations and program

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