Since making our first grants in late 2008, SVCF has awarded more than $90 million to over 500 local nonprofit organizations through our discretionary grantmaking program.
For our 10-year anniversary, we are proud to present a special $1 million, competitive grantmaking initiative that awards 10 grants of up to $100,000 each to deserving organizations doing the most innovative and effective work to make our region a better place.
Two grants were awarded to projects within each of our existing strategy areas:
- Building Strong Communities – Involving residents in the design of their communities
- Economic Security – Growing opportunities to save, invest and protect family wealth
- Education – Preparing middle school students to succeed in college and career
- Immigration – Recognizing immigrants as assets in our region
Two additional grants were awarded to projects increasing civic engagement and participation through creative and innovative uses of technology. The grant recipients were announced at our Regional Meeting event on Oct. 12.
SVCF anniversary grant recipients
MyPath Credit, a partnership between MyPath and Self-Help Credit Union. The program will help low- and middle-income young people build credit or repair their damaged credit. Students ages 18-24, including those in the Year Up San Jose program, will learn about the importance of careful credit maintenance and repayment through experience with a combination of credit-building loans and secured and unsecured credit cards. The MyPath Credit model, introduced in 2014, is the only youth-focused credit-building model in the country.
E-FAST, a project of AnewAmerica Community Corporation and Centro Community Partners. On a digital platform, E-FAST will provide three components that are crucial to entrepreneurial success but not easily accessible to entrepreneurs from low-income, immigrant communities of color: skill-building, access to non-predatory capital and networking/mentorship. The program will provide ongoing one-on-one technical assistance and access to vetted financial tools, including microloans, peer lending circles, matched savings accounts and secured credit cards.
Applications were accepted Dec. 19, 2016 to Jan. 20, 2017. View the Request for Proposals.
Redwood City Library Foundation’s Bridging the Digital Divide Initiative: The Redwood City Library Foundation will develop a customized program to loan laptops, wi-fi hotspot devices and charging kiosks to low-income middle school students at seven schools close to the Fair Oaks branch of the Redwood City Library. More than 30 percent of students in the surrounding neighborhoods lack reliable Internet access at home. For middle school students, this can make accessing their electronic math textbooks and completing their other assignments very difficult in the evening and on weekends, and there is a risk that they will fall behind in their work. Students in other grades will be able to borrow the equipment, but priority will be given to closing the digital divide among middle school students who must have access to the Internet for their mathematics instruction and homework.
ACE Charter Schools’ ACE FamilyLink platform: ACE Charter Schools, which operates four schools serving low-income San Jose neighborhoods and students who have struggled in traditional schools, will build an online platform and mobile app called FamilyLink. Designed to build a college-ready mindset in students, the tools will allow students and teachers to set personalized, near-term goals and track progress. Parents will receive English- and Spanish-language updates about students’ goals, progress and how they can support their children’s progress. The app will also coach students in implementing learning strategies, and will help them recognize and celebrate the milestones they individually achieve.
Applications were accepted Feb. 13 to March 10, 2017. View the Request for Proposals.
Pangea Legal Services: As a founding member of the Immigrant Liberation Movement (ILM), Pangea Legal Services will collaborate with ILM members to continue developing and improving MigraWatch, a 24-hour hotline and technology platform to help immigrants faced with detention and deportation. ILM aims to mobilize community volunteers in real time to conduct legal observations of immigration raids to protect individuals’ constitutional rights and prevent deportation. The MigraWatch hotline will assist community-led deportation defense teams that are being created in four counties: San Mateo; Santa Clara; San Francisco and Alameda.
Upwardly Global: The organization, which works to eliminate employment barriers for immigrants and refugees so they can successfully join the U.S. workforce, will launch a project called “Immigrants – they get the job done for Silicon Valley.” Through development of a messaging toolkit and employer engagement campaign, Upwardly Global’s project will counter anti-immigrant bias and encourage Silicon Valley companies to hire immigrants. In addition, the project will provide information and leadership for 50 to 100 local community colleges, adult schools, nonprofits, local cities, offices of immigrant affairs, foundations and workforce development boards on the issue of hiring immigrants.
Applications were accepted April 3-28, 2017. View the Request for Proposals.
Building Strong Communities
People Acting In Community Together Inc: To support the Student Movement for Housing Justice project that will engage, train and mobilize diverse community members through workshops, research projects, multi-media projects and actions that will increase civic engagement of students through the pressing issue of affordable housing.
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine (Fiscal sponsor: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University): To support the Our Voice Community Engagement Approach to harness local Santa Clara County resident perspectives and participation to help revitalize underutilized public spaces for potential affordable housing and transit-oriented development.
Applications were accepted June 5-30, 2017. View the Request for Proposals.
Civic Engagment and Technology
Every Voice Center: The Washington, D.C.-based organization works to educate the general public and policymakers about the problem and influence of campaign financing on the democratic process. To augment their work supporting election campaign finance reform, the new grant will support Every Voice Center in designing, building and testing a “Government by the People” action site. The site will be an open-source platform for Every Voice Center materials and expertise, and will provide community leaders in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and surrounding areas with the tools they need to develop coalitions, plan strategies and lead local change in election campaign financing. Every Voice Center will work with Bay Rising, a Bay Area regional alliance of community-led organizations addressing inequality in civic and public policy engagement, and with Common Cause, a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to creating open, accountable government serving the public interest.
MapLight, in partnership with the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund: Based in Berkeley, MapLight works to inform and empower voters and advance reforms for a more responsive democracy. The grant will help MapLight improve its Voter’s Edge online voting guide. Voter’s Edge facilitated informed voting and civic engagement for 1.8 million users during California’s 2016 election cycle. It served as a comprehensive source of nonpartisan election information for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, and across California. The grant will help MapLight enhance local media outlets’ ability to provide in-depth information on local elections, and will enable them to launch co-branded Voter’s Edge pages, with widgets than can be embedded in their websites. A social media component will allow users to share their preferences with friends, family and peers to encourage civic dialogue. The project is supported by the Chief Elections Officer of San Mateo County and the Office of the County of Santa Clara Registrar of Voters.
Applications were accepted July 31-Aug. 25, 2017. View the Request for Proposals.