As 2022 begins, my heart is filled with overwhelming gratitude for the generosity of our donors and corporate partners and the tireless work of the many heroic nonprofit organizations that serve our region. In 2021 we broke our grantmaking records, distributing $2.27 billion in grants to support nearly 6,000 nonprofits. $777 million of that went to more than 2,000 organizations carrying out vital work in the 10-county Bay Area region. Here in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, we distributed $201 million in grants to local nonprofits.
We also began directing much of our energy and resources to supporting leaders who have deep experiences and relationships within communities of color and with serving undocumented residents. These leaders are critical in advocating for their communities to exercise their participation and voice in decisions that will shape their lives. This empowerment – what we in the philanthropy world call “power-building” – will be vital to rebuilding a region where every person has equal access to opportunities to lead fulfilling and successful lives. Major initiatives that we have launched and invested in – such as the California Black Freedom Fund, the LatinXCEL Fund and our Movement- and Power-Building Fund – all align with our overarching goal to invest in power-building.
I believe that the same challenges that have disrupted our lives these past two years also serve as catalysts for real change. I know that our patience languishes as we await the day when the virus no longer threatens our livelihoods, economy, health and wellbeing. But as relentless as the pandemic is, so too must we be in our commitment to working through this together and continue caring for our communities.
Most importantly, we need to fearlessly address the root causes of inequity in our region. Even before the pandemic, too many residents faced unacceptable gaps in wealth and economic opportunity – and these disparities have only worsened. We cannot settle for a Silicon Valley that on one hand boasts great wealth and innovation, yet is home to far too many families who are struggling to just survive. Our lives are interconnected, and we cannot truly become the great region that we claim to be until we ensure that every person has what is needed – both now and when we emerge from the pandemic – to succeed and thrive.
I know this is possible, because I have seen great progress in the last year alone as we, our community partners and donors recalibrate our strategies and challenge the status quo to begin rebuilding our region to be stronger, equitable and just for all residents. I hope you will join us as we continue working together to achieve this vision.
Wishing all of SVCF’s partners and all the residents of this vibrant region a safe and healthy start to 2022.