Boosting Financial Stability by Improving Access to Public Benefits
Although the Silicon Valley economy has recovered since the Great Recession, many residents are still feeling its effects. Nearly one in five Silicon Valley residents are estimated to be living in poverty when factoring in housing costs. Poverty rates in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are 17 and 18 percent, respectively, and continue to rise. Public benefits are available, but often don't reach the people who need them.
The cost of living in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties is high, and many families are struggling."We know that public benefits can really make a difference in stabilizing income, and yet such programs are underutilized," says SVCF's Commuity Impact Officer, Erica Wood. "What we've proposed is about connecting people to the federal and state benefits for which they are eligible and helping them claim all possible tax credits and educations."
Upcoming grant opportunities
SVCF will publish a Request for Proposals on this page in Nov 2017. Learn about grant opportunities and other SVCF news by subscribing to our monthly eNewsletter.
SVCF's focus on supporting Silicon Vavlley nonprofits through this grantmaking strategy was announced in October 2017. Though SVCF has issued grants to nonprofits working on financial initiatives in Silicon Valley previously, the specific focus has adapted over time, as the needs of the community have changed. The current focus on "Boosting financial stability by improving access to public benefits" resulted from an extensive, 18-month review of SVCF's discretionary grantmaking programs.
During the review process in 2016 and 2017, SVCF gathered feedback from diverse constituents and community members, had conversations with stakeholders and subject matter experts and discussed the issues with SVCF's board members. The information gathered through these interactions was analyzed thoroughly, and SVCF's board of directors approved the revised education strategy, along with four others, to guide SVCF's discretionary grantmaking for the next 5-7 years.