Tides was started out of a need to facilitate the giving of an anonymous couple in New Mexico. They wanted to support grassroots community groups and environmental organizations, and Drummond Pike created Tides Foundation to channel their grants. In 1979, there emerged another need that we responded to: helping new projects get started.
Through the 1980s, Tides grew slowly as we defined our role as a values based infrastructure for progressive nonprofit work. We define "progressive" as creating a positive impact on people's lives in ways that honor and promote human rights, justice, and a healthy, sustainable environment.
The 1990’s was a time of exponential growth for Tides as new Tides organizations were added. In 1996, the Projects Program that nurtured new activities became Tides Center, a nonprofit organization independent from Tides Foundation. In the same year, we opened the Thoreau Center for Sustainability - a twelve building complex in San Francisco's Presidio National Park dedicated to nonprofits concerned about social and environmental sustainability. In 1999, we founded Groundspring.org to facilitate online giving to progressive groups. We also collaborated in the launching of Tides Canada Foundation.
In the new millennium, our real estate endeavors - like the creation of Thoreau Center - evolved into a program called Tides Shared Spaces which creates, operates and promotes sustainable workspace for nonprofits. In 2005, Groundspring.org merged with Network for Good to form the largest nonprofit provider of Internet-based fundraising and donor management tools.
In the ten-year period between 1996 and 2006, Tides Center was fiscal sponsor to 677 projects with combined revenues of $522.4 million, and has worked with well over 800 projects since the first days as the Projects Program. Tides Foundation has had 30 years of visionary philanthropy for progressive social change. Since 2000, it has granted more than $400 million to progressive nonprofit organizations. Our growth is a testament to the joint commitment among our partners and staff to supporting positive social change domestically and globally. It is truly a privilege to do this work.more » « less