Feeling a little

tangled up?




What does the foundation do and why is it important?

The Red String Foundation works with other partners for social, cultural, and educational programs to improve the lives of children, families, and communities especially among the poor, disadvantaged, and disenfranchised.

Unfortunately, the playing field in which people are born into is not even. Inequalities exist not just in income and living standards, but in wealth, health, family environments, life chances and political influence. Yet, for all of these inequalities, the essence of what makes us who we are is the same. We believe that every life deserves the chance to be happy and meaningful; to even the playing field, if only just a little, by providing opportunities and resources.

The first step is having hope, and our purpose is to deliver it. We know we may not change the world, but if we can positively change the fortunes of just one life, then our efforts would have been all the more worthwhile.

What is the Red String foundation and how does it work?

Red String is a private foundation, a nonprofit organization. We partner with other non-profit charities and provide grants to support programs and services that best align with our long term objectives and core values with a focus on helping children and youth, communities, and seniors toward self-sufficiency and a higher quality of life. Please see our Focus Programs page and How We Operate page to learn more.

How are foundations regulated?

Private foundations are subject to many rules, regulations, and potential penalties to help assure proper operation. Private foundations are subject to a set of federal tax laws and rules that regulate areas such as self-dealing, minimum distributions, excess business holdings, jeopardizing investments, and taxable expenditures. In the United States, the federal government (IRS) requires that family foundations:

  • Pay out at least 5 percent of their previous year's total net assets annually.
  • Pay an excise tax of 1.39 percent on their earnings.
  • Ensure that grant dollars are used for a charitable purpose.
State governments also have oversight of foundations both in the State the foundation is incorporated (e.g. Red String is incorporated in California) as well as any State that the foundation solicits donations.

How does the Foundation decide its funding priorities?

Our grantmaking programs reflect our primary focus of helping to improve the lives of children, families and communities, and seniors especially among the poor, disadvantaged, and disenfranchised. Because we have limited funds to distribute annually, our Board and senior leadership work together to review grant applications, the grantees organization and leadership, the program's alignment to our mission and values and the potential positive affect to individuals and communities.

In what geographic areas does the Foundation make grants?

Our short-term plan is to make grants in mainly California and nationally. As our Foundation grows, our long-term goal is to provide grants worldwide.

How does the Foundation determine which nonprofits to support?

We invest in organizations that best align with our objectives and values, with strong leaders and organizations, and whose beneficiaries contribute back to the organization and their community. We strive to give our partner charities the freedom and support they need to take risks on approaches that have have the greatest potential to create lasting change, and collaborate with them to help provide effective solutions.

How do you know if your grantmaking is effective?

We are always mindful that our donors entrust their hard earned money to us and we are committed to being good financial stewards and ensure that we maximize the value of every dollar we grant. Although we do not have a single system of evaluation, we work with our charity partners to plan and implement programs, check progress, share best practices, and continually improve both the programs, our partners, and ourselves.