Press Release - January 28, 2016

SVCF Announces $2.4 Million In Grants To Local Organizations

Awards will help combat predatory payday lending, assist immigrants with English learning, and help advance math skills of disadvantaged middle school students

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s board of directors has approved a total of more than $2.4 million to support organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties that are combating predatory lending practices, assisting immigrants to learn English, and improving disadvantaged middle school students’ skills in math.

“These grants represent the strategic commitment of Silicon Valley Community Foundation to improve the financial security and employment prospects for low-income families in our area,” said Manuel Santamaría, SVCF’s vice president of strategic initiatives and grantmaking. “Working to eliminate abusive payday lending practices helps low-income families keep more of their incomes instead of falling into debilitating cycles of debt. Helping immigrants learn English speeds them toward becoming more productive workers who are integrated into Silicon Valley. And helping middle schoolers master mathematics increases their chances of success for a lifetime.”

Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $250,000. They are spread among three of SVCF’s core grantmaking focus areas: economic security, immigration and education. The grants were approved at a December meeting of SVCF’s board of directors.

Of the total amount granted, $760,000 was awarded to seven nonprofit legal or social services organizations that help prevent expansion of payday lending operations, which frequently trap low-income borrowers in cycles of debt. These grantees’ work is aligned with SVCF’s grantmaking strategy on economic security, which seeks to help families achieve greater economic security through education and alternatives to predatory lending.

Among the economic security grantees:

A total of $850,708 was awarded to 14 organizations that develop and maintain high-quality programs and processes for immigrants to learn English. These organizations’ work aligns with SVCF’s grantmaking strategy on immigration, which focuses on benefiting immigrants and their receiving communities. 

Among the grantees for adult English language acquisition:

  • Alliance for Language Learners Integration, Education and Success will receive $83,000 to facilitate a collaborative strategic planning process with grantees to create a long-term vision for workforce and educational pathways in the region.
  • Upwardly Global will receive $50,000 to train 100 low-income immigrants or refugees in business communications and other skills, to increase their professional marketability.

Seventeen organizations that support out-of-school programs for rising 8th and 9th graders who struggle in math will receive grants totaling $832,720. Such work aligns with SVCF’s grantmaking strategy for education. SVCF’s evaluations show that students who participated in community-foundation-funded programs, held before and after school or during summer breaks, are almost twice as likely to be on track for college as similar students who did not participate in such programs.

Among the out-of-school education grantees:

To view complete lists of grantees by category, visit

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. As the largest community foundation in the world, we engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here. Learn more at