SVCF makes strategic grants from its discretionary funds. For the past five years we have prioritized solving five grantmaking strategies to meet the most pressing needs in our region - economic security, education, immigrant integration, regional planning and community opportunity. To learn more about our 2013 strategic grantmaking evaluation please click here.

Economic Security

Economic Security:  In the past decade, an increasingly complex financial landscape has led to consumer confusion. At the same time, reduced regulatory safeguards have allowed more predatory lending practices. The ensuing housing crisis has affected the economic security of everyone. We support activities that build financial capability and opportunities to save and invest to help struggling families build a buffer against economic adversity. We support curbs on payday lending and help homeowners and renters avoid foreclosure or displacement from their homes.Our results:

  • Average 18-point improvement in the credit scores of people who received support from our grantees to build or repair their credit
  • 3,815 households educated on how to avoid the payday lending trap.
  • 2,500-plus homeowners and renters were helped by $1.5 million in foreclosure prevention grants.

Education: Our region is a global hub of technological innovation, however, a majority of our students are not adequately prepared in mathematics to enter such a challenging workforce. The focus of our education strategy is to close the achievement gap in middle school mathematics for poor students and students of color by 1) increasing the effectiveness of teaching and learning during school hours and 2) offering extended learning opportunities after school hours and during the summer. Our results:

  • More than 15,000 students received after-school or summer math instruction.
  • More than 2,000 teachers received training to become better math instructors.
Immigrant Integration

Immigrant Integration: One-third of the residents in our region are immigrants and close to two-thirds of those are under the age of 18. Given these demographics, we see the need for a new social model of immigrant integration - one that promotes mutual benefits for both immigrants and their receiving communities. Our results:

  • More than 4,500 adults have learned English through nonprofit programs we support.
  • A 25% reduction in the wait for legal services related to immigration.
  • Legal services consultations for more than 6,000 immigration cases.
  • More than 1,000 separate events brought communities together to explore and discuss cultural differences.
Regional Planning

Regional Planning: Our region has more jobs than homes. This imbalance causes high housing costs, long commutes through congested traffic, a diluted sense of community and lowers overall quality of life.  As Silicon Valley grows, we see a need to encourage land use and transportation policies to build more affordable homes close to transit and engage more residents in how the region develops. Our results:

  • 19,000 new affordable units planned in San Jose.
  • Over 7,000 people have participated in regional planning processes.
  • Five multi-income residential developments are being built near transit
Community Opportunity

Community Opportunity Fund: The Community Opportunity Fund addresses time-sensitive community issues and seeds innovative ideas that have the potential to spark widespread change.

It focuses on issues and efforts important to the community and aligned with the community foundation's mission and values. From 2008 to 2013, the Community Opportunity Fund focused on safety-net grants to support essential needs such as access to food, shelter and homelessness prevention services.

Our results with those grants:

  • More than 85 million pounds of food distributed.
  • Support for shelter services including housing rental vouchers, shelter and motel beds for homelessness prevention, emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and case management for the chronically homeless.