SVCF launches review of grantmaking strategies to ensure alignment with community needs

Erica Wood
Erica Wood

To me it seems like a fairly short time ago that Silicon Valley Community Foundation began making its first grants to community organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

I clearly recall the many community meetings we held to help us determine how our new institution could have meaningful and positive impact in our communities. But it’s been more than seven years since we awarded the first grants as part of our discretionary grantmaking program! It’s time to take on the process of discovery again.

SVCF recently announced that we will begin a two-year strategic review process in 2016 to ensure that our organization continues to address Silicon Valley’s most pressing community needs. Please know:

  • We will engage the community in the review of our strategies. Right now we are busy scheduling and planning several community meetings, and we will be communicating soon with our nonprofit and community partners to make sure we hear their perspectives on the challenges facing this unique region.
  • Any changes to the grantmaking strategies will require the approval of SVCF’s board of directors.
  • There will be no changes to our grantmaking program during the 2016 calendar year.

Through our grantmaking strategies, SVCF supports the most effective and innovative organizations working to solve the most challenging problems in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Since late 2008, SVCF has awarded more than $75 million in grants to over 500 local nonprofit organizations through its discretionary grantmaking program.

SVCF’s five grantmaking strategies were announced in 2008 after an extensive community input process. At that time, SVCF told the community that we would be making larger grants, over longer periods of time, and that we would do a “refresh” of our strategies after five years and conduct a more comprehensive review after seven.

The refresh process was completed in 2013; please review SVCF’s impact briefs from that process for more information.

Our goal, as always, is to be transparent and accountable in the upcoming review process, and to ensure that our grantmaking strategies continue to be impactful, timely and relevant to Silicon Valley residents. 

If you have questions or comments about the upcoming review, please feel free to contact me at