2015 Furthur Foundation Grantees

Furthur Foundation 2015 Grantees

Say hello to our 2015 grantees. We are amazed at all the great work going on in the world.

We particularly loved these folks.

Click through to learn more about them.

And, by all means, throw your support to the ones you like.

We’ll be sharing more news about them in the months ahead. Subscribe to our email list to stay in the loop.

Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente (AIDA or Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense)

California Wolf Center 

Camp Winnarainbow

Cheza Nami Foundation

Circle of Hearts Foundation

Coaching for Change

Conservation Imaging, Inc. Guatemala Land Conservation Project

Food Shift

Generative Somatics

Girl Ventures

Grateful Dead Archive

Hidden Genius Project

New Harvest


Pegasus Voyages

Project Equity

Social Transformation Project

Survival International

Refugee Transitions

“The Box” — A Play About Solitary Confinement. World Premiere (Z Space, 7/7/16)

The Universal Income Project



Our 2015 Investment Thesis

As we get ready for this year’s board meeting, here are some notes I shared with the board about the current group of potential grantees.

To: Ray, MG, Bob, Chris, GregFurthur Foundation Board Members
From: Andre
Re: 2015 Docket

I am very much looking forward to seeing you all this week. This list of great groups is a result of the usual combination of interests and strategies that have guided our work for years. As you all know, we:

  1. Look for leverage. With a small amount of money to give away, it’s important to find projects that have smaller budgets, and projects that propose to tackle a social problem in an innovative way, help generate other resources to bring to bear on the effort, or otherwise produce outsize results (in relation to the resources available). I think you’ll see many organizations that fit that profile.
  2. Respond to current events. You will note that there is a project related to refugees who are arriving in the Bay Area from the Middle East and need support of all kinds.
  3. Respond to larger societal trends. Economic disparity, joblessness, and the hollowing out of the middle and lower classes are large-scale economic trends that foundations like ours must respond to. You will see projects that relate to addressing these problems, including an exploration of a guaranteed minimum income and worker-owned cooperatives. In the same way, the transformation of society through technology means that we looking at two groups that help train people of color in software development and related business skills.
  4. Love charismatic megafauna. Saving and reintroducing wolves, bears, owls and other creatures at the top of the food chain has an enormous ripple effect on large environments, and is something that we have supported for years.
  5. Support training, leadership and self-care for the social change sector. Organizations that develop skills and provide other types of support for the good people who are doing social change work are by definition, if executed well, high leverage funding opportunities.
  6. Appreciate groups that stay in touch. As always, we are responsive to organizations that check in. If they remember us, report back to us, and make a good case for their work, we know they are likely well-run, viable enterprises who treat all their customers well.
  7. Love the arts and the outdoors, particularly efforts with a social mission. We are looking at supporting a play about solitary confinement that includes actors who are ex-prisoners, a group that teaches high school kids how to build businesses around their music, and a team that is rebuilding an old sailboat that takes inner-city kids sailing around the bay.

That is our “investment thesis” for this year.

Looking forward to seeing you all next week, and thanks for all you do…


June 2015 Furthur Foundation Newsletter

Here’s our June 2015 newsletter, as sent to subscribers. Not on the list yet? Sign up now, using the form on the right!

Hey there, Furthur Foundation friends!

Okay, so there’s a lot going on. We’ve got the shows in Chicago and Santa Clara; the largest and most elaborate release ever of Grateful Dead music (an 80-CD box set featuring a show from each of the band’s 30 years); Bob’s Netflix documentary; the Scorsese-produced film on the Dead (will they be filming in Chicago? opinions differ); and the ongoing musicmaking of Messrs. Weir, Lesh, Hart, and Kreutzmann. 50 years in, and the music never stops.

Wouldn’t you know that the Furthur Foundation board of directors is likewise on top of its game, working in technology, start-ups, the arts, music promotion, and the dream job of finding and making grants to the people and organizations that are changing the world.

Furthur Foundation TshirtThis is where you come in.

Bob and the team sat down this spring to design a t-shirt for the summer shows (and beyond), so you can wear our colors with pride, and look good while doing good. It’s a reissue of a shirt that Furthur Foundation board members and friends wore more than 25 years ago. The front side is a dignified and cool Furthur Foundation license-plate badge at about lapel level. And the back, of course, is the bus itself.

This reissue of our classic shirt is a limited-run production. The campaign ends on Sunday, June 14th, so if you want one (or more!) act fast.

Get the T-Shirt!

We’re working with Teespring to print the design on high-quality t-shirts from American Apparel and Bella, and we have sizes and styles for every shape, gender, and life form. All profits from the sale of this shirt directly support Furthur Foundation grantees. Like everything we do, no one here takes a cut. All donate their time to make sure the money moves directly to the good people that we’ve discovered doing fantastic work for the planet.

When you buy a t-shirt, you’re really giving a boost to a grove of trees, a coral reef, or a kid in need.

Remember, this is a limited production run — you MUST ORDER by Sunday, June 14th.

We’re so glad you’re on this list, and hope to see you pitching in when you can. It’s important to understand who’s doing the good work, why they’re doing it, and how we can all help.

Happy summer, good people, from your team at the foundation…

♥ Bobby, Mountain Girl, Andre, Chris, Greg, Ray & Mark ♥

Climb Aboard the Email Bus

Weir Looking At YouI’m looking at you…that’s right, YOU.

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Photo by Dave Stotts Photography.


Barbara Whitestone … Fare Thee Well

Barbara Whitestone15 years ago Barbara Whitestone approached me, after we met through friends in Grateful Dead circles, and asked if I wanted to help her run the Furthur Foundation. I said yes, of course, and we began a powerful collaboration that lasted a decade.

It is impossible to speak of her, or anyone like her, in the past tense. I know she agrees, and would argue the point with her trademark passion and conviction. Energy persists, she would say (particularly hers, I would say).

She is, among her many qualities, hard-nosed, sensitive, opinionated, loving, a whirlwind of energy, and a taproot into the inky blackness. She understands the infrastructure, in both (all three?) realms. She has one foot in the spirit world, and another so firmly on the ground that it is hard for me—a narrower vessel—to reconcile these poles. She contains multitudes, and no one who knows her begrudges her any of them. A rare treat, the totality of Barbara Whitestone, for us and the world.

I know she hears this. Send her some love.