Emmett Carson's remarks from SVCF's 2016 Regional Meeting

The following remarks were delivered at Silicon Valley Community Foundation's 2016 Regional Meeting on Oct. 10. 

Like many community foundations, Silicon Valley Community Foundation holds an annual community meeting every year in which we invite our donors, nonprofit partners and elected officials to hear about what we’ve done over the past year and what we hope to do in the upcoming year.

This year, we have combined our annual Regional Meeting with this Innovation Conference and we are thrilled to be joined by members of our local community from Santa Clara County, San Mateo County and, on regional issues, San Francisco County. On behalf of the board and staff of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, I want to thank all of our local community partners who have made the extra effort to be here with us, given the traffic challenges of the Bay Area, and for participating in our desire to try something different.

In this room are philanthropists and grantmakers from across the region, our nation and around the world, who have been engaged in discussions about how technology can be used to advance education, health, jobs and open data in local communities.

As our local community members know, 10 years ago in 2006, the boards of Peninsula Community Foundation and Community Foundation Silicon Valley merged and we finally opened our doors in January 2007. At that time, we established new grantmaking guidelines. We are currently in the process of a comprehensive community review of our grantmaking guidelines in which we will announce our new strategies at our Regional Meeting next year at the Santa Clara Convention Center. We also will celebrate our 10 year anniversary at that time.

A crucial part of developing our new grant guidelines will be to understand how we can better encourage and work with our local nonprofit partners to use technology to advance the areas that they and we care deeply about. This conference is an important component of our learning journey. As I said at the opening of the conference, I believe that Silicon Valley Community Foundation, located in the epicenter of technological innovation, must become more active in helping our local nonprofit organizations to adopt and effectively implement new technologies. We have a unique opportunity and responsibility to help people who are facing increasing income inequality and escalating housing costs. Unless we address these issues, the place we live and call home will become intolerable and unlivable for far too many people.

In recognition of the community foundation’s 10 year anniversary, I am thrilled to announce that we will award 10 special grants of $100,000 totaling $1 million in addition to our ongoing grantmaking, starting in January and concluding in October at next year’s Regional Meeting.

  • Two grants of $100,000 will be awarded in the area of building strong communities to involve residents in the design of their communities.
  • Two grants of $100,000 will be awarded in the area of economic security to grow opportunities to save, invest and protect family wealth.
  • Two grants of $100,000 will be awarded in the area of education to ensure middle school students to succeed in college and careers.
  • Two grants of $100,000 will be awarded in the area of Immigration showcasing how immigrants are assets in our region.
  • And, two grants of $100,000 will be awarded in the area of technology to advance civic engagement.

We will issue separate requests for proposals and more details can be found on our website.

Thank you,