Taking our work with donors and community to the next level

What does it mean to put community at the center of our local community foundation’s work? How do we build a strong, vital, sustaining organization that can be what this region needs today, 10 years from now and 20 years from now? How do we serve our community’s donors and residents best? How do we have the deepest and broadest impact on our region?

These are all questions we seek to address as we embark this month on the strategic planning process. For our community foundation, strategic planning means a deep examination of our goals and strategies through a community and donor-informed process that builds our collective vision for SVCF 2.0. The strategic planning process means delving deeply into what our stakeholders – community leaders, corporate and individual donors, staff and government/policy folks – want for their local community foundation.

It means landing on strategies that have the impact worthy of our innovative valley. Some would say we are the “canary in the coal mine,” where world-famous rapid growth has carved out a gaping hole in which many families can’t survive. If California is the future, then we better figure out what’s happening in our backyard now. We need to get people off the street and with jobs that allow for a comfortable living. I have faith that this is something we can solve together. How can we act on our values as a community through the foundation?

To answer this challenge, we invite you to become part of the strategic planning process. Our project partners, The Bridgespan Group, will be conducting design labs, interviews and community listening starting in June with foundation and community stakeholders. The team is led by Willa Seldon, MBA, JD, former Glide Foundation CEO and Tides Foundation Executive Director. Seldon, a Bridgespan partner, now consults nonprofits, social enterprises and foundation leaders on refining their strategies and improving their operating and economic models.

At the same time, we continue our work building the community <-> donor connection and helping philanthropists be the best they can be.

Census 2020: Everyone counts, and SVCF is working to ensure Silicon Valley and Bay Area residents are fairly counted in the 2020 census. In our new video, staff share why they support a complete count.

Community Connection Forum on Housing: SVCF invited donors to hear from local housing leaders on the state of the Valley housing crisis – our challenges and opportunities. More to come, please stay tuned.

Community Connections

Ascend: Black Led Organizations: More than 50 Valley leaders came together as part of the Silicon Valley inaugural meeting of this Bay Area organization that supports and lifts up black leaders and black-led organizations. SVCF Board members Thurman White and George Brown were instrumental in bringing the group to Silicon Valley; Board member David Lopez joined the meeting. You can read more about this event on our blog, here.

SVCF co-hosts first Silicon Valley meeting of ASCEND: BLO, convening black-led organizations
From left: Erica Wood of SVCF; Thurman White, SVCF board member; Milan Balinton of African American Community Service Agency; Nicole Taylor of SVCF; Byron Johnson of East Bay Community Foundation; George Brown, SVCF board member; James Head of East Bay Community Foundation. Photo credit: Bryon Malik