Tides has always been driven by a pioneering spirit.

In 1976, social entrepreneur Drummond Pike created Tides Foundation in response to a growing need for guiding philanthropic giving and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit in the nonprofit sector. In the decades that followed, Tides expanded its fields of expertise and solidified its role as a values based infrastructure service for progressive nonprofit work.

In the late 1970’s, Tides Foundation founded a Projects Program that nurtured new nonprofit activities. It was incorporated as Tides Center in 1996 and continues to provide fiscal sponsorship to hundreds of groups nationwide. In the 1990’s, Tides opened its first collaborative workspace in San Francisco, Thoreau Center for Sustainability, which guided its real estate-based endeavors in service of affordable nonprofit offices throughout the 2000’s. Tides now operates shared spaces in San Francisco and New York under the name Tides Converge.

Today, Tides is one of the top social sector organizations in the United States. Tides has managed project and grantmaking activities totaling more than $3 billion since 1976. We have sponsored and provided backbone services to more than 1000 nonprofit ventures, and we are proud to have helped launch important organizations like Conservation International, Social Venture Network, Lava Mae, Environmental Working Group, Women’s Community Clinic and The Story of Stuff. Our success is a testament to the shared commitment among our partners and staff to supporting positive social change.

Why “Tides”?

Our name pays homage to an independent Bay Area bookstore that once served as a meeting place for readers, writers, and activists. Beyond this tribute, we also recognize tides as sources of clean, sustainable energy; tides also constantly adjust to the landscape around them, even as they shape it. At Tides, we are attuned to the shifting world around us, remaining dynamic and responsive in the face of rapid change. At the same time, we remain committed to our vision of a world of shared prosperity and social justice.

“Tides” also signifies the remarkable power of people and ideas coming together at the right time, in the right place. We know that “a rising tide lifts all boats”; to that end, we seek collaborative solutions that offer progress and equality for all.