Mission and Values (Zellerbach Family Foundation)

The Mission of the Zellerbach Family Foundation is to be a catalyst for constructive social change by initiating and investing in efforts that strengthen families and communities.

Our Values:


We value the respected reputation earned by the Zellerbach Family Foundation through its work over the years.

Application: We honor the founders of the Foundation and the work of our predecessors by holding to the highest standards of integrity, professionalism and care in all that we do and are mindful that the Foundation exists to serve the community rather than to advance the interests of individuals associated with the Foundation.


We value the ability of private philanthropy to serve a unique and ongoing role in American society.

Application: The Foundation diligently attends to preserving and enhancing its financial corpus in order to meet the challenges of the future as well as the present.

Impact and Significance

We value grantmaking that maximizes our contribution toward constructive social change and honors our civic commitment to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Application: We focus our grantmaking both geographically and programmatically on areas and opportunities where our assets and expertise can add the most value.

Innovation and Openness to New Approaches

We value the ability to explore and advance new approaches in order to create more effective, sustainable solutions as the needs and challenges of society evolve and we are willing to take risks to that end.

Application: We seek to ensure that our grantmaking remains relevant and dynamic by recognizing and responding to emerging needs and challenges and we are willing to seed promising ideas.


We value the richness that diversity brings to communities and the opportunities it provides to strengthen mutual appreciation and understanding across cultures.

Application: We purposefully encourage experiences that build inclusive communities.


We value the mutual benefit derived from the active engagement of individuals in decisions that affect their lives and their communities.

Application: We purposefully seek to invest in efforts that afford active involvement in decision-making to all community members and that develop leadership from within communities.

Enhancing Opportunity

We value the ability to focus much of our work on those with the least opportunity.

Application: We purposefully seek to invest in efforts that enhance opportunity. Projects that seek to improve the future for the disadvantaged and the vulnerable are a major focus of the Foundation.

Continuous Learning and Active Involvement

We value learning from and with others as we take an active role in shaping the projects supported by the Foundation.

Application: We strive to constantly increase our knowledge base through active engagement with grantees, community members and leaders, advisors, and academics.


We value partnerships and collaborations that enrich our grantmaking.

Application: We purposefully seek out and create opportunities to work with others.

Mutual Respect and Shared Leadership

We value and believe that our work benefits from the Foundation’s culture, which promotes mutual respect and shared leadership among and between the members of the board and staff.

Application: The Foundation continually develops the expertise of its staff and the knowledge of its Board and fosters a collegial and collaborative environment in which to carry out the Foundation’s mission.


We value the contribution that effective leadership brings to constructive social change.

Application: In the course of our work, we support acknowledged leaders and create opportunities for potential leaders.