The Sarlo Foundation was started in 1992 by venture capitalist George Sarlo. Our primary focus is in the area of mental health, specifically in Northern California.  Our mission is to make grants which leverage other monies, provide early funding, and fill a gap that others are not addressing. The Foundation does provide seed funding to new organizations or initiatives in specific areas. Under the mental health umbrella, our work falls into three primary areas: addiction, early childhood trauma and education.


Guiding Principles

To build strong relationships, forge powerful agreements, and co-create effective action, we operate by the following principles in all its activities and with all its partners:

  • We are committed to build authentic relationships as a cornerstone of all our collaborations, and the heartbeat of the communities we seek to build and serve in the world.
  • We believe in the power of community to do more than any of us could accomplish alone. Community supports our growth as individuals while also fostering our natural intention toward compassion – to care for others as we care for ourselves.
  • We apply our energy to promote operational effectiveness and sustainability, in a co-creative spirit of support and encouragement.
  • Our driving values are compassion, effectiveness and efficiency, integrity, relationships and opportunity.

We understand that our vision will take significant time to accomplish and that we must undertake our mission systematically and with long-term commitment.



Our work focuses on the prevention, education and treatment of mental health issues.  The following is a list of some of our recent grantees.

Early Childhood Intervention

Center for Youth Wellness

The Center for Youth Wellness is part of a national effort to revolutionize pediatric medicine and transform the way society responds to kids exposed to significant adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress. Led by founder and CEO Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, CYW is a health organization within a pediatric home that serves children and families in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco. They were created to respond to an urgent public health issue: early adversity harms the developing brains and bodies of children.

Tipping Point

Tipping Point’s mission is to fight poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area, attacking it from four areas: housing, employment, education, and health.It is a uniquely engaged grant-making and funding enterprise, aiming to make nonprofits fighting poverty more efficient and effective at what they do.

San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center

The mission of the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center is to prevent child abuse and reduce its devastating impact. Their programs empower children to speak up, enable parents to be better caregivers, and create a strong community to protect all kids.

A Home Within

A Home Within is a national network of volunteer mental health professionals who provide for the emotional needs of foster children. We operate 47 chapters in 22 states, with each chapter's therapists supported locally by a Clinical Director and Consultation Group Leader. They are the only national organization focused exclusively on meeting the emotional needs of foster youth. A Home Within matches current and former foster kids with licensed volunteer therapists who provide weekly pro-bono therapy.


Education and Research

Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education

CWAE is dedicated to promoting positive individual and societal transformation by helping children and adults unfold their full social, emotional, and cognitive capacity. Their flagship program is Quiet Time, a meditation-based stress reduction and wellness program that enhances the healthy development of students, teachers, and administrators in schools.

Center for Investigative Reporting

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) is the nation’s first independent, multi-platform investigative reporting organization. Devoted to holding powerful interests accountable to the public trust, CIR creatively employs cutting-edge technology and innovative storytelling to reveal injustice, spark change at all levels of society, and influence public dialogue on critical issues coast to coast. In 2016, CIR won two National Emmy Awards, five Edward R. Murrow Awards, and eight National Headliner Awards. These accolades are just a few among many, including the George Foster Peabody award, Robert F. Kennedy Justice & Human Rights award, The MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, and numerous other major US journalism prizes. CIR was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service.

Peer Health Exchange

Peer Health Exchange’s mission is to give teenagers the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions. They do this by training college students to teach a comprehensive health curriculum in public high schools that lack health education. They have trained more than 7,500 college student volunteers to deliver effective health education to nearly 100,000 public high school students in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC The Sarlo Foundation funded their work bringing the addition of mental health into the curriculum.

Peter C Alderman Foundation

The mission of the Peter C. Alderman Foundation (PCAF) is to heal the emotional wounds of survivors of terrorism and mass violence by training indigenous health workers and establishing trauma treatment systems in post-conflict countries around the globe. PCAF’s vision is to honor Peter C. Alderman’s memory by healing the emotional wounds of survivors of terrorism and mass violence, returning individuals and their communities to function and ensuring the health of future generations.

Draper Richards Kaplan

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is a private foundation that makes philanthropic investments in nonprofit ventures that it believes to have high impact. The Foundation finds nonprofits led by talented social entrepreneurs with high impact models, funds those early stage nonprofit organizations and supports their growth and impact by serving as a board member and creating a learning community for the nonprofit leaders. The portfolio addresses a range of issues domestically and internationally, including education, health, economic development, human rights and civic engagement.


Awards and Sponsorships

University of San Francisco

  • Sarlo Award for Excellence in Teaching (http://www.usfca.edu/Provost/docs/Faculty_and_Staff_Awards/ )
  • Funder of the Privett Global Service Learning Program and the Privett Global Scholars participating in that program of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco

International Rescue Committee

Center for Youth Wellness


George Sarlo, President

A native of Hungary, George Sarlo and his college classmates in Budapest started an anti-government protest that grew into a full-scale rebellion, only to be crushed by the Soviet Army. After escaping to Austria he came to America as a refugee and co founded Walden Venture Capital. George has served on the boards of numerous charities and educational institutions, including the International Rescue Committee, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of California San Francisco Foundation and KQED.  George earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arizona. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the University of San Francisco.


Gabriella Sarlo, Vice President

Gabriella’s primary interest under the umbrella of mental health is in the area of proven mindfulness interventions. She is a member of the Founders Circle for The Representation Project and is on the Advisory Council for the Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education. Gabriella holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara in Communication Studies with a minor in Art History and is a graduate and member of The Philanthropy Workshop, a network of over 300 philanthropists worldwide. Gabriella is also a graduate of the Hoffman Process.


Susie Sarlo, Vice President

The study of trauma and mental health have been long-term passions for Susie, and have informed her work on these issue areas at the Sarlo Foundation.  Susie currently serves on the board of The Philanthropy Workshop, the world’s leading organization in the field of strategic philanthropy education, networking, and thought leadership, and serves as chair of their Program Committee. She is also on the board of the Center for Youth Wellness.  Susie holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles.


Board of Directors

Phyllis Cook

Phyllis Cook served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties for 25 years through June 30, 2008. Under her leadership, the Endowment Fund assets grew from $28 million to over $2.8 billion. She was responsible for major gift solicitations, development, grantmaking, and oversight of 800 donor advised funds, 70 supporting foundations and 100 restricted funds. She also served as Assistant Director of the Jewish Community Federation, co-staffing Board, Executive Committee, Investment Committee, Real Estate Committee, Israel and Overseas Committee and overall activities, among others. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Rosenberg Foundation, Bernard Osher Foundation, Jim Joseph Foundation, Gerson Bakar Foundation, Maisin Foundation, Sarlo Foundation, Sandler Foundation and the I-Center for Education in Israel, among others.


Daniel Lurie

Daniel Lurie is the founder and CEO of Tipping Point Community in San Francisco. Before founding Tipping Point in 2005, Daniel worked for the Bill Bradley presidential campaign, Accenture Consulting and the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. Daniel earned a B.A. in political science from Duke University and received his master’s in public policy from the Goldman School at U.C. Berkeley. Daniel also serves on the board of directors for Single Stop USA, the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, and the Levi Strauss Foundation and is the chair of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, which will be held in February 2016 at Levi's Stadium.


Steven Pearce

Stephen S. Pearce, DD, PhD, is the Koret Visiting Professor of Jewish Pastoral Care at the Graduate Theological Union’s Center for Jewish Studies, Berkeley. He was named the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Emanu-El upon retirement in 2013 after 20 years of service to the congregation. Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he earned his doctorate in counselor psychology at St. John’s University. In addition to the Sarlo Foundation, he currently is a board member of Palo Alto University, the United Religions Initiative, Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, and an advisory board member of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture. Previously, he served on the board of the Graduate Theological Union and is a past president of the Northern California Board of Rabbis. Dr. Pearce has been recognized three successive times by Newsweek as one of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in the United States.



Allocations from the Sarlo Foundation shall have a direct and significant impact on individuals. The Foundation’s chief area of interest in the area of mental health, specifically in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation is not, generally, interested in making capital grants. Project grant recipients must make prescribed periodic program and financial reports to the Sarlo Foundation upon request.  We do not accept unsolicited materials.


Recipients of Grants

Allocations are limited to organizations which have appropriate tax-deductible 501(c)(3) status and provide requested information.

Decisions regarding grants shall consider:

  • Organization's financial data.
  • Amount of other funding sources available to the requesting agency.
  • Priority of need and importance within the community or within the individual agency.
  • Scope of the project; number of people served and geographic area.
  • Quality of project design and method of evaluation.
  • Credibility and experience of the sponsoring agency and personnel staffing the project.
  • Possibility of future funding.


While the Foundation reviews proposals and awards selected grants throughout the year, the majority of its grants are reviewed and awarded at an annual meeting in January. Applications for this meeting should be submitted by November 15th. Applications submitted at other times will generally be reviewed within 60 days, although some decisions may be deferred until the annual meeting.

Requested grant proposals and background material should be submitted to:

Camille Menke
Program Associate
Sarlo Foundation
121 Steuart Street
San Francisco, CA 94105




The Sarlo Foundation is a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.