Halfway into 2021: Reflecting on your philanthropy and charitable giving

Halfway into 2021: Reflecting on your philanthropy and charitable giving

The events of the past 15 months have challenged us in ways that we never thought possible. From the pandemic, to wildfires and a contentious election season, this period also shined a light on the injustices that pervade our country. Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s donors have risen to the occasion, responding to our community’s challenges with incredible determination and generosity. Thanks to our donors, in 2020 SVCF awarded nearly $2 billion in grants to support nonprofit organizations around the world, a record-breaking amount in our foundation’s 13-year history.

Our communities still face daunting challenges – the pandemic and its economic fallout continue to ravage communities of color and the fight for racial and social justice is far from over. As we reach the midway point of 2021, this is a good opportunity for philanthropists to reflect upon their charitable giving throughout 2020-2021 and to consider their plans moving forward. We invite you to contemplate the questions below as you plan your giving for the remainder of the calendar year.

  • Giving Levels: Throughout the pandemic, SVCF has implored donors to accelerate and increase their giving to help meet the staggering needs in the community. Will you able to commit to this level of generosity moving forward, understanding that the recovery and rebuilding process will need longer-term investments?
     
  • Finding Meaning in Giving: Do you feel especially proud about any specific grants you made last year? Was it because of the impact you were able to facilitate, or because you invested in an inspirational organization or leader? How can SVCF help you curate more giving that brings you that same joy?
     
  • Putting Community at the Center: At SVCF, we are focused on putting community at the center of impact. This means listening to a set of diverse voices closest to the issues we are hoping to address. We value the input of community leaders, and our funding decisions are informed by their perspectives and their lived experiences. How are you incorporating into your giving strategies or plans the voices of those who are central to the problems you seek to address? This might be a worthwhile topic to discuss with the nonprofits you support.
     
  • Embracing Trust-Based Philanthropy: During the pandemic SVCF has encouraged our donors to embrace the principles of trust-based philanthropy through practices such as waiving reporting requirements, making grants for general operating support and committing to multi-year funding. We recommend that you continue these practices beyond the pandemic and recovery. Have you been making multi-year grants through your donor advised fund at SVCF? If not, is there any barrier to doing so?

As always, please feel free to reach out to your philanthropy advisor or philanthropyteam@siliconvalleycf.org with any questions or for additional support. We are grateful to be part of your philanthropic journey and look forward to continuing our partnership with you.