Donor Services - Common Counsel Foundation

Welcome and thank you for your interest in our programs and services! As a social change philanthropist you have many options in your search for a mode of giving that reflects your philanthropic values and vision. Working with Common Counsel will enable you to maximize the effectiveness of your giving.

Advantages of Partnering with Common Counsel


Experience – Efficiency – Strategy – Principles – Community Roots – Collaboration


Common Counsel has over twenty years of experience in providing resources to advance social justice and environmental sustainability. With this history comes a deep knowledge of grassroots social change organizations throughout the country. The collective experience of our staff combines extensive on-the-ground work in community organizations with many years ofphilanthropic expertise.


Donor funds are maximized through shared overhead and an emphasis on streamlined grantmaking operations.


We promote strategic social change philanthropy and our granting criteria distinguish the differences between social service and social transformation.


Our Guiding Principles emphasize guidance from and accountability to those most affected by social, economic and environmental issues.

Community Roots

Common Counsel has a reputation of being uniquely connected with the communities that we seek to support, and our governance structure includes representation from experienced community leaders.


Common Counsel facilitates collaborative grantmaking and helps to leverage donor resources to achieve greater impact. With Common Counsel, you will be able to connect with other funders with related philanthropic interests.


Prospective donors may chose from the following philanthropic programs designed to facilitate both efficient and effective grant-making

Foundation Services

Common Counsel helps family foundations and independent small foundations to hone their philanthropic interests and craft strategic grant-making programs to fit their specific giving mission. The range of progressive funds that we serve benefit from efficient and customized grant-making programs, reduced overhead expenses, staffing with shared values, and opportunities for collaborative grant-making.


Field of Interest Funds

Field of Interest Funds and giving circles enable donors to focus their support on specific issues of concern to them, such as workers’ rights, immigrant rights policy, or environmental equity. When you contribute to a Field of Interest Fund, your donations go to support a strategic portfolio of organizations addressing specific program niches or community initiatives that are aligned with your philanthropic interests.


Donor Advised Funds

Thinking of starting your own foundation but don’t want to deal with all of the logistics? Our Donor Advised Funds are an efficient way for you to maximize your giving by leveraging our track record and strategic approach to support organizations that match your particular interests. CCF staff manages the granting process, and ensures that all beneficiaries are legitimate charities, offering you the giving power of an independent foundation without the management hassle and added administrative expenses.


Supporting Common Counsel

Many donors also choose to provide direct support to Common Counsel in order to advance our mission of leveraging long-term support for human rights, social and environmental justice, and a sustainable future.


New, No-Cost Way to Donate to Common Counsel Foundation

Your next move can support Common Counsel Foundation. My Broker Donates connects you with best-in-market realtors who will donate 15% of their fee to CCF. Buy or sell your home, help fund progressive philanthropy.


If you are ready to start a fund and would like more information please contact the Executive Director:


Phone: 510-834-2995


“The beauty of working with Common Counsel is that the staff manages to serve the interests of all three generations of our family. They have helped us to design a grant-making program that reflects both the common values and our unique concerns.Common Counsel connects us to each organization we fund through excellent research and first-hand reports from site visits. It also gratifies us to know that through collaboration with other members of the Foundation, we can often reach more worthy and innovative organizations then would be possible if we stood alone.”

– Susan Wells, Abelard Foundation Trustee