Grantmaking Through BFF

There are many vulnerable people in our county who face pressing and complex challenges in their lives, including low income individuals and families, people of color, disconnected youth, older adults, and immigrants.

With initiatives developed under the themes of education, economic opportunity, health, and the environment, BFF grantmaking aims to create greater access to opportunities which will help them improve their lives.

Organizations that BFF Supports

The Buck Family Fund supports programs offered by local nonprofits, religious organizations, and schools that are aligned with its goals and strategies. All discretionary grants benefit the residents of Marin County (unlike grants from the Foundation's donor-advised funds, which support efforts both locally and in communities around the world). To do this, we fund nonprofits based in Marin as well as ones based outside of the county - when we feel they can bring high-quality programs and services into Marin.

Application and Selection Process


The BFF application process utilizes both RFP invitations and open calls for proposals. Both methods require prior registration from a nonprofit representative at BFF’s online Grant Center. For detailed information and timelines on specific grants for which your organization is interested in submitting a proposal, please visit the key theme sections of Education, Health, Economic Opportunity or the Environment.

Selection Process

The Foundation uses several criteria in selecting BFF grant recipients within its competitive process. These include the fit between the strategic goals and the programs offered by applicants, the experience and success of applicants in the areas of work for which they are seeking funding, the overall financial health of the organization, and their track record of successfully implementing past projects funded by MCF.

Staff reviews grant proposals and recommends grants to MCF’s President. Proposals that are endorsed by the President are forwarded to the MCF Board of Directors, which makes the final decision about which applications will receive funding.

Once a grant is approved, MCF's program staff works with the funded organizations to refine and agree on such issues as deliverables, activities, measurement, and milestones.

Working with MCF

We consider our grantees our partners in changing lives and improving communities. We realize the potential tension between MCF as a funder and our grantees as recipients of funds and thus place great importance on sharing ideas, challenges, successes, lessons learned, strategies, and honest feedback in order to have the greatest impact possible in our community. When we sit together to wrestle with how best to do our work, we strive to benefit from everyone's expertise, passions, and commitment.

To that end, we are continually looking for ways that can encourage a great working relationship. This includes streamlining systems and processes, regular meetings with individual grantees and cohorts and inviting feedback from grantees on the working relationship. In addition to providing this feedback directly to staff, there is the ability to give anonymous, confidential input to us through a third party called EthicsPoint. To access EthicsPoint's website, you can log in to BFF's Grant Center using your regular username and password. You can find the link to EthicsPoint's website on the home page.

Our Commitments to Grantees

When you speak to a program director, you will receive clear communication about the strategies we are funding and where the work of your organization fits into those strategies. You can expect clear and complete guidelines-including information on the application process and timing-for the grant areas under which you apply. Within 60 days of an executed grant agreement, you will have an orientation to the grant (working together, goals, evaluation and reporting, etc.). You will receive a response within 60 days to any report you submit to MCF. You will receive a response to emails and phone calls to the Foundation within two business days.

For questions about Buck Family Fund grantmaking, please contact

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