"Hypo" by Klari Reis

Unlocking knowledge, opportunity, and possibilities

The Heising-Simons Foundation is a family foundation based in Los Altos, California. The Foundation works with its many partners to advance sustainable solutions in climate and clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance the education of our youngest learners, and support human rights for all people.

Mark Heising and Liz Simons each grew up with a tradition of giving, learning about the importance of the communities that surrounded them, and of the value of philanthropy. They met at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1979.  Liz earned her masters in education from Stanford University, became a Spanish-bilingual teacher, and founded Stretch to Kindergarten, a spring-summer early childhood education program. Mark earned his master’s in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, became a chip design engineer, and went on to hold six U.S. patents. In 2007, they established the Foundation, and were later joined on the board by their daughter, Caitlin Heising, who graduated from Brown University and works with a nonprofit human rights and strategic philanthropy consultancy. In 2016, Liz and Mark joined the Giving Pledge, publicly committing the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. You can read the letter they wrote about why they joined here.

The Foundation’s board and staff feel incredibly fortunate to work with, and support, great leaders and organizations in vital endeavors.

In 2017, the Foundation awarded more than $75 million. Since its first grant in 2007, the Foundation has awarded more than $338 million.


The Heising-Simons Foundation is a proud member of Glasspockets, a service of the Foundation Center that champions philanthropic transparency in an online world. Click here to visit our profile.

Our Values

placeholder-value-iconWe believe education is the route to opportunity

placeholder-value-iconWe believe in research-driven solutions

placeholder-value-iconWe are committed to promoting sustainability

placeholder-value-iconWe are committed to engaging and uniting stakeholders

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