In the first three quarters of 2021, the nation’s leading community foundation awarded $1.4 billion in grants; Bay Area nonprofits received the largest portion of those funds
Silicon Valley Community Foundation has distributed $1.4 billion in grants to community organizations in the first three quarters of 2021, with $464 million going to Bay Area organizations. Recipients of the funds span a range of organizations and programs in the Bay Area supporting education, youth and community development, health, public safety and other important community issues. The Bay Area grantmaking figure represents a 13% increase compared to the same time period in 2020.
“Last year, our donors and corporate partners gave more than they’d ever given before, and it is wonderful to see similar generosity in 2021 as we continue battling the pandemic, wildfires, inequity and more,” said Silicon Valley Community Foundation President and CEO Nicole Taylor. “Our donors gave more to the Bay Area than to any other region, demonstrating their commitment to the communities where they live and work.”
In the first three quarters of the year, SVCF distributed:
- $1.4 billion in total grants
- $541 million to organizations in California
- $464 million in grants to Bay Area organizations (the most distributed in any region)
- 4,736 organizations in 10 Bay Area counties received grants
The vast majority of grants distributed by SVCF come from “advised funds,” including donor advised and corporate advised funds established at the community foundation by individuals, families and companies. Advised funds allow donors to support charitable efforts locally, nationally and internationally. SVCF also makes discretionary grants from its own community endowment funds; these are staff-directed and board-approved, and are intended to support nonprofit organizations serving the residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. SVCF is committed to serving its neighbors through initiatives focused on supporting local leaders and organizations that prioritize racial equity and social justice.
SVCF actively works to connect its fundholders and their resources to trusted nonprofit organizations that are addressing pressing issues in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Samaritan House, a local nonprofit leading the fight against poverty in San Mateo County, is among the organizations that have received support from donor-recommended grants and from SVCF’s discretionary grants.
“We have been so grateful to all the philanthropists in our community who stepped up mightily these past 20 months. We’ve witnessed an unprecedented rise in need in our community, and thankfully a remarkable response from donors working with Silicon Valley Community Foundation to help by giving generously through their donor advised funds," said Bart Charlow, CEO of Samaritan House. "As so many people struggle to recover from cut hours, lost jobs and healthcare -- and unfortunately lost family members who were income earners -- it’s heartening to see folks who have the resources step forward to help."
Over the past year, SVCF has undergone a shift in its discretionary grantmaking strategies to provide more general operating support and capacity-building grants to organizations that help build an equitable community where all can lead financially secure and fulfilling lives. These include smaller and emerging organizations led by people of color and allied organizations that amplify the voices and agency of historically underrepresented communities, including Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other communities of color and undocumented residents.
“As we continue through the pandemic and work to build more resilient communities, SVCF is devoting our energy and resources to organizations that are helping their communities build the power, agency and voice to create movements that inspire real change,” Taylor said. “We look forward to continued collaboration with our donors and corporate partners as we work toward achieving a more equitable Silicon Valley together.”
About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a regional catalyst, connector and collaborator. We bring together the resources and skills of donors, business, government and community to solve some of our region’s toughest challenges. We promote philanthropy in our region and support philanthropists to invest with impact. Through advocacy, research, policy and grantmaking, we seek systemic solutions to drive enduring community change.
More than 1,800 individuals and families and over 60 companies partner with Silicon Valley Community Foundation using our donor advised fund (DAF) and corporate advised fund services. The minimum amount required to open a DAF at SVCF is only $5,000. More than a third of donor advised funds held at SVCF have balances of $25,000 or less. We encourage and advise donors to be active philanthropists and to give on a continual basis. Under our rigorous policy to discourage inactive funds, if after two years a donor has not recommended any grants from their DAF, SVCF will pool and distribute the funds through our Community Endowment Fund.
Learn more at siliconvalleycf.org.