Staff Spotlight: Anne Im

Staff Spotlight: Anne Im
Director of community investment Anne Im poses in front of mural installation in SVCF’S Mountain View headquarters

Welcome to SVCF’s Staff Spotlight, an occasional series in which we present Q&A-style profiles of some of our staff members. In this edition, we feature Anne Im, director of community investment.

How long have you been at SVCF? What led you to this work?

Prior to joining SVCF in 2018, I worked in Congress, local government and the nonprofit sector. While I was working on a project at Asian Americans for Community Involvement to change the narrative around immigrants in our region, the organization received a grant from Silicon Valley Community Foundation – which is when I gained a deeper understanding of SVCF’s work.

A SVCF vice president reached out to me in 2018 about an open position at the foundation. It was impeccable timing; I had already been exploring the idea of a job in philanthropy as a way to utilize my background in nonprofits and government, coupled with my public policy degree. I knew that this would be a great opportunity to serve my community and continue to focus on advancing social justice. I started as an immigration program officer and also managed our Census 2020 initiative. In November 2020, I transitioned to a new role: director of community investment.

Anne's Family
Anne Im enjoys spending time with her husband and twin daughters.

With the implementation of the new strategic plan in 2020, how has your role evolved?

I began as a program officer for the foundation’s immigration grantmaking strategy. My current position, director of community investment, was born out of the new strategic plan. Our division created this unit focused on community investment to increase local giving in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. My role connects nonprofits to donors and vice versa, working to deepen donor engagement and understanding about our communities’ most pressing issues. It’s a unique role in that I have my hands in both the programmatic side of the foundation as well as the donor-facing work. I am privileged to work with a lot of incredible nonprofit organizations and also support my colleagues and our donors in making investments in our community. In addition, I am involved in supporting some of our key initiatives, like Equity Forward and the California Black Freedom Fund.

What excites you most about SVCF’s new direction?

I’m really excited about our focus on racial equity and social justice. We are being very intentional and clear about the stark disparities in our region that stem from racism. The depth and breadth of SVCF’s work also continue to excite me — whether it’s through grantmaking, public policy, research, evaluation, capacity building, or convening, we are utilizing all the tools in our philanthropic toolbox.

What do you like most about working with the community partnerships and learning team at the foundation?

We have an incredible team that is truly committed to serving the community. It’s a new team and we have a lot of ideas and energy. That, coupled with the space to be creative and try new things, has been exciting and fulfilling. I wouldn’t go so far to say that we are like a “mini-startup,” but in a lot of ways, sometimes it has that feel.

What are your biggest hopes and dreams for the future of Silicon Valley?

I hope that all people, regardless of their background or income, have an opportunity to thrive in Silicon Valley. We have so many resources right here in this region - the human capital is incredible. My dream would be that this valley could be a model for both the country and the world of what celebrating diversity really looks like – that we could realize racial and economic justice and combine this with the ideas and innovation that our valley is known for.

What do you most like to do outside of work?

I’m usually spending time with my husband and twin daughters, who just turned 10 in 2021. At this age, this involves a lot of birthday parties, as most parents with kids of this age know. I also love baking and working out — the two go hand in hand. Or at least if you do a lot of the first, you have to do more of the second! Both are very therapeutic, and both make me happy.

Anne Im prepares census outreach materials for nonprofits at SVCF in 2019
Anne Im prepares census outreach materials for nonprofits at SVCF in 2019.

Who are your heroes?

I’m always inspired by the people in our community who become the unlikely heroes, like Helen Zia, an activist and journalist for Asian American and LGBTQ rights. In October 2021, SVCF hosted a donor webinar on how we build stronger communities through supporting local journalism. Helen was one of our speakers, and I’m as inspired by her today as I was when I first learned about her years ago. Back then, she was an activist supporting justice for Vincent Chin, a Chinese American who was murdered in a racially motivated attack in the 1980s. It takes a lot of courage to demand justice and change in our institutions and communities, but there are many people doing this work every day because it will make us better, as people and as a society.

If you were to donate to one charity or cause, what would it be, and why?

This is a hard question for me, because there are so many organizations doing phenomenal work to support the community. One organization that is especially close to my heart is Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), a longtime SVCF grantee and my previous employer for eight years. They provide a multitude of services to support the health and well-being of the community. One thing I have always appreciated about AACI is that it is an organization that not only provides direct services but is also engaged in advocacy and coalition-building. I have always been drawn to nonprofit organizations that do both.

What is something people are surprised to learn about you?

I was probably born in the wrong generation. I love calligraphy and sometimes think I should be sitting behind a desk with a quill and an inkwell writing letters. When I had more time — before children — I used to do calligraphy more seriously, and I have nibs, inkwells, and wax. I haven’t been doing as much of that these days, but it’s something I enjoy.

Would you like to join the SVCF team? Check out our current job opportunities.

Curious about other staff members? Check out some of our recent Q&A’s, with Director of Planned Giving Sindy L. Craig and Vice President of Community Partnerships and Learning Avo Makdessian.