Higher education grantees include the University of California, Berkeley. Photo: David A Litman/shutterstock
Higher education grantees include the University of California, Berkeley. Photo: David A Litman/shutterstock

Based in the San Mateo County community of Burlingame, the Bay Area-focused Hoefer Family Foundation is led by businessman Alan Hoefer. This is a low-profile foundation that flies under the radar and can be challenging for local grantseekers to get to know.

Based on what we know so far about Hoefer’s local giving, here are a few basics on the Hoefer Family Foundation (HFF).

Grants focus on the Bay Area

HFF is based in Burlingame and regularly supports nonprofits throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Recent support has gone to groups in San Jose, San Francisco, Woodside and Berkeley.

Sacramento, California is also a significant geographic focus for this funder, and an occasional grant makes it down to Southern California as well. HFF grants rarely leave the state, but if they do, they go to institutions of higher education with connections to the family.

Funding priorities and interests

HFF frequently supports universities that the family is affiliated with, including the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Davis. Other education support has gone to Hillsborough Schools and Cathedral School for Boys. Recent health-related grantees include the California Pacific Medical Center Foundation and Mills Peninsula Hospital.

In addition to education and health, which are the foundation’s top causes, a few grants per year support well-established arts and cultural institutions. Recent examples include the California State Railroad Museum and the San Francisco Ballet Chris Hillman Center for Dance.

An emerging interest is the local environment and parks, with relatively new grants going to Friends of Lakes Folsom & Natoma, and to Save the American River. Alan and Gladys Hoefer are known for their interests in sailing and viticulture as it relates to new winery planning. Overall, most HFF grants go toward general operations rather than specific programs.

Unsolicited grant requests unwelcome

HFF does not have a website, which limits transparency about the funder’s operations and accessibility for local grantseekers. Recent tax records also indicate that HFF does not accept unsolicited funding requests and only provides grant money to pre-selected organizations.

HFF is a very family-run foundation with Hoefer family members serving as its only officers and directors. Find contact information for HFF and learn more about this funder in IP’s Bay Area profile of the Hoefer Family Foundation.