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The Thiel Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-07-28

At A Glance

The Thiel Foundation

(formerly Shire Philanthropic Foundation)

1 Letterman Dr., Bldg. C, Ste. 400

San Francisco, CA United States 94129-1495


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $25,898,470

Total giving: $7,964,804






Established in 2005 in CA

Purpose and Activities

The foundation defends and promotes freedom in all its dimensions by supporting innovative scientific research and new technologies that empower people to improve their lives, by championing organizations and individuals who expose human rights abuses and authoritarianism, and by encouraging the exploration of new ideas and new spaces where freedom can flourish.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Grants to Individuals Program

Fellowships to budding entrepreneurs between the ages of 14 and 20 to work on developing innovative technology ideas.

Thiel's 20 Under 20 Fellowships

This two-year fellowship brings together some of the world's most creative and motivated young people, and helps them bring their most ambitious ideas and projects to life. The fellows are given a grant of $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education. Applicant must be 19 years old or under by Dec. 31 of the application year.

Fields of Interest

  • Diseases and conditions
  • Education
  • Human services
  • Science
  • Technology
International Interests
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • France
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Adults
  • Seniors

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $25,898,470 (market value)

Gifts received: $467,617

Expenditures: $12,386,967

Total giving: $7,964,804

Qualifying distributions: $11,174,632

Giving activities include:

$1,976,000 for 8 grants (high: $350,000; low: $10,000)

$5,988,804 for 68 grants to individuals (high: $95,000; low: $4,000)