Partnership with Cisco
The Cisco Giving Counselor
The unique partnership between Cisco and Silicon Valley Community Foundation started in October 2000. Cisco began funding a “giving counselor” who served as a community foundation staff member on site at Cisco’s headquarters in San José. The giving counselor assists the Cisco Public Benefit Investments team and employees around the world in becoming more effective and strategic philanthropists.
For Cisco employees, the giving counselor provides personal attention, assistance and information about both Cisco’s internal programs and external resources like the community foundation.
There is added benefit for larger Cisco organizations as well. The Cisco Foundation, community relations, university research center and global civic councils utilize the giving counselor for strategic planning, special projects implementation, grants management and employee communications.
Working in Partnership
As a corporate partner of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Cisco has access to a large network of more than 750 community foundations in the United States and abroad. The giving counselor can easily connect employees in many of its sites around the world with qualified resources. If a Cisco employee in Richardson, Texas, for example, is interested in creating an advised fund or learning more about local issues, the giving counselor can easily help with this type of request.
Locally, a variety of Cisco managers have taken advantage of Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s extensive staff expertise, research and publications and giving vehicles. Whether using the field research from special initiatives, joining a donor event or participating in a policy convening, the benefit of the collective knowledge housed at the community foundation is unparalleled.
Cisco maintains several funds at the community foundation that support their work in other areas:
- The Cisco University Research Fund allows the company to make grants to universities both domestically and internationally to support technology and engineering research in the field. The community foundation provides invaluable assistance and oversight with rigorous federal guidelines for grantmaking.
- The Global Education Leaders Program supports part of Cisco’s Education Initiative and allows Cisco to work with both for-profit and nonprofit partners for the purpose of bringing education leaders from governments, regions and schools together for more effective educational delivery in a 21st Century model that uses technology to help better achieve educational goals. This innovative and potentially complicated partnership was made possible with an innovating philanthropic vehicle offered by the community foundation.
- The Cisco Children’s Scholarship Fund helps pay for college for the surviving children of employees who pass away while employed by Cisco. This fund is managed by Cisco’s human resources department and benefits team.
Does your company have a corporate philanthropy program? Learn how to streamline your company’s giving by partnering with the community foundation. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.