Bay Area Inspire Awards

Supporting innovative, community-oriented projects spearheaded by

young people aged 18-30

Program Details


Awards of up to $5,000 to be used for an innovative community-oriented project for a maximum of one year. This should be something you would be unable to do without the award. You should have a fresh idea that will help advance social equity in your community.

Project might relate to one of the areas below, but all fresh ideas are welcome:

  • Youth mentorship
  • Underserved populations
  • Housing displacement
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Economic development
  • Grassroots journalism
  • Immigrant rights
  • Family services
  • Civic engagement
  • STEM education

Young people between 18-30, living and working in either Alameda, San Francisco, or San Mateo Counties who are dedicated to helping improve peoples’ lives in their communities.


The submission period for the 2019-2020 round is closed.


To apply, please click on the “Interested in Applying?” button to the right.

The 2019-2020 application period is closed.

The application period is closed.



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2020 Winners

2017 Winners

2015 Winners

2014 Winners

Program Founders

Connie Rubiano and Peter Yedidia are retired healthcare professionals living in San Francisco. In recent years, they have become concerned about the Bay Area’s growing income inequality and the lack of capital for innovative, socially progressive young people to pursue fresh ideas for improving their communities. Inspired by the young people in their lives, they conceived of the Bay Area Inspire Awards and arranged for the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation to host the program in 2014.

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Help us grow our fund!

We are proud to have made two rounds of awards to young Bay Area residents with the initiative, fresh ideas, and know-how to help build local communities that work better for all. You can help us expand the program to make more awards available to more committed young social innovators throughout the Bay Area. Please help more talented young people make positive change in their communities by making a tax-deductible contribution.

How do we define success?

We know that complex problems are rarely solved quickly, at least not completely. We also know that breakthroughs often result from new or different ways of looking at a problem, leading to new ideas or approaches to solving it. Since your award will support a project for a maximum of one year, your goals should be realistic, measurable and achievable, while having noteworthy positive impact on the problem.

Help us keep this community initiative thriving.

I believe that if a student is disengaged in education, this is because someone somewhere somehow failed them, and it is our job as educators to change that mindset. 

– Christian Martinez, Bay Area Inspire Award grantee