Press Release - March 23, 2022

New Silicon Valley Community Foundation Report Finds That a Small Fraction of Silicon Valley Donors Give to Early Care and Learning, But Increased Awareness Can Boost Donations

Despite the pandemic putting a spotlight on the importance of childcare and educational support systems, only 15% of Silicon Valley donors give to early childhood development. Silicon Valley Community Foundation aims to use this data to drive more funding into the space

March 23, 2022, Mountain View, Calif.Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) today released a report that discusses the transformative nature of high-quality early care and education programs, examines current Silicon Valley philanthropic investment in early childhood, and provides guidance for increased giving in the space. The report is titled “Big Gifts for Little Learners: Making the Case for Philanthropic Investment from Pregnancy through Preschool.”

According to the report, 40% of respondents said that when considering causes or

groups to give to, demonstrated impact would lead them to choose one cause or group over others. Yet despite robust research demonstrating the many benefits of early care and learning, only 15% of donors in Silicon Valley give to this field. Proven positive benefits for children and their families include permanent increases in children’s IQ, better health outcomes, and gains in maternal workforce participation.

The report also reveals that increased awareness of early care and learning may be the key to unlocking more philanthropic dollars for the sector.

“Early care and learning is a big sandbox – covering everything from prenatal care to teacher training – and we need to convince more donors to play in it. This report intends to do just that,” said Nicole Taylor, CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “All families and their children deserve equitable access to high-quality programs that will foster healthy development and vibrant futures. We hope that this report spurs a bigger discussion among donors and the broader public alike, and catalyzes more funding and support for early care and learning.”

Authored in collaboration with Whiteboard Advisors and with a foreword from Dr. Priscilla Chan, co-founder and co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the report highlights the tremendous impact of investments in early childhood learning, growth, and development beginning at birth—not just preschool. The report proposes that increased philanthropic investments in high-quality early care and education programs can lead participants to better economic and educational outcomes. Using this report, SVCF aims to drive more philanthropic capital to the early care and learning sector by building awareness and demystifying the space.

"Everyone in Silicon Valley is impacted by the lack of childcare -- from the working parents who clean office buildings after hours or who run a Fortune 500 company, to the early educators that families depend on for the developmental, learning and social needs of their children. Our community can’t prosper without quality, accessible and affordable childcare for all families," said Mary Ignatius, the Statewide Organizer of Parent Voices. The group is a grassroots organizing initiative bringing parent perspectives into the legislative process in California and advocating for accessible and affordable high-quality child care, with a featured case study in the report.

SVCF, which has a long history of commitment to early childhood development, works with leaders in every sector to expand public and private investment in early care and education and advance policies and conditions that support the optimal development of young children.

“Ensuring that the early care and learning sector has the resources to provide high-quality care to all Bay Area families is a social and economic imperative,” said Christine Thorsteinson, director of early childhood development at SVCF. “Through advocacy, grantmaking, research, connection and activation, SVCF seeks creative solutions to ensure a vibrant and healthy early care and learning system in Silicon Valley.”

The full report is available at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation website or as a direct link HERE.


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 2,000 individuals and families and 75 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 andto 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.

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