Crankstart is a private foundation based in the Bay Area dedicated to working collaboratively on immediate problems and underlying causes. Crankstart partners with leaders and organizations that demonstrate know-how in areas of critical need, including education, arts and sciences, economic and racial justice, immigration, civic engagement and environmental action.

Crankstart was created by Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman. As early signatories to the Giving Pledge, they have committed to giving away the majority of their wealth in their lifetimes. Michael has been a partner of Sequoia Capital since 1986, was born in Wales and moved to the United States in 1976. Both his parents were refugees from Nazi Germany. Originally from Chicago, Harriet is a sculptor and former journalist who wrote for the New York Times before moving to the Bay Area in 1985.

In 2020 Crankstart distributed $120M in grants, including $92M to nonprofit organizations in California, and $53.5M to groups based in San Francisco. For 2021, Crankstart is targeting grants totaling more than $200M, with giving expected to continue to grow in the coming years. Grantmaking has a primary focus on the Bay Area with secondary focuses on Chicago and the UK.

Crankstart is currently a small, lean team of five with plans to grow over the next few years. Crankstart is a strategic, collaborative, responsive, equity-focused funder. Crankstart has an actively engaged family board and its organizational culture is one that emphasizes healthy relationships, empowerment, and a strong team culture based on trust, authenticity, healthy disagreements, and collaborative conversations.

For more information about Crankstart, please visit