It all begins with the St. Francis Sailing Foundation Mission Statement.
The St. Francis Sailing Foundation, a 501c(3) charitable organization, has been created to encourage, promote, and enhance the sport of sailing. We provide support to young sailors just beginning their sailing careers, competitive sailors as they advance, and elite sailors seeking world class competition. Additionally, we assist various programs that introduce sailing to students, underserved youth, and individuals who face physical challenges.
How does the Foundation accomplish this worthy mission?
Under the leadership of founder and benefactor Tom Allen and continuing to the present, the Foundation appoints a Grants Committee that reviews every grant application and makes funding recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Grants Committee is comprised of StFSF Directors and Advisors who are active in the sailing community. Their credentials include former members of the US Olympic Team, Collegiate All-Americans, senior leaders of the StFYC, and leaders in the Bay Area sailing community. Not all are active racers. In order to keep appropriate separation between the StFYC and StFSF, non-StFYC members participate in Foundation grant reviews.
Each year the Grants Committee reviews the granting priorities of the prior year, the grants made, and how those grants fit into its priorities. Then the whole Foundation re-weights the priorities for the coming year. Consistent with our mission statement, the Foundation concentrates its grants on Bay Area applicants and young sailors. It judges all new grant requests on their merit, their priority category, and how the grant might contribute to the sailors’ or organization’s future success.
- Active Olympic campaigners at both the highest and development levels
- Serious adult competitors in national and international events, including Match and Team Racing
- Junior sailors, supporting competition at national/international events appropriate for their level
- StFYC Junior programs, including scholarships to its youth programs, high school sailing, outreach, and new programs that require seed money to prove their worth
- Special youth training events such as the high-performance clinics at StFYC in partnership with US Sailing
- Organizations which support underprivileged youth sailors
- Disabled sailors and organizations such as Bay Area Disabled Sailors
The Grants Committee seeks ways to support introducing new kids to sailing and then helping them develop. It also supports the most competitive of them to reach their highest goal, including that of an Olympic Medal. The Foundation is Bay Area focused, but not to the exclusion of worthy outside individuals and organizations.
In our discussions about grant applications, we regularly ask what our donors would like us to support. Plus, we think about what our mentor and benefactor Tom Allen would say. He was an altruistic supporter of Bay Area sailing, the man who gave us our start, who helped develop our mission, and added to our endowment.
The Foundation BOD thinks it is on the right track, but appreciates input from all its benefactors.