Press Release - May 6, 2020

Hewlett Foundation Awards $10 Million to Silicon Valley Community Foundation for Bay Area COVID-19 Relief

May 6, 2020, Mountain View, CA – The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today that it has awarded a $10 million grant to Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) for COVID-19 relief efforts in the Bay Area. The funding will aid hard-hit communities and nonprofit organizations that serve them.

The contribution from the Hewlett Foundation is the largest ever received by SVCF to support a community impact initiative.

“We are thankful for the work SVCF is doing to coordinate regional philanthropic relief during this crisis,” said Fay Twersky, vice president of the Hewlett Foundation. “By supporting this coordinated response effort, we can leverage SVCF’s established networks with local partners, increase effectiveness, and ensure that charitable dollars get to community members in need in our region, and to nonprofits that serve them. This is exactly the time for charitable funders to rally behind a community foundation.” 

The Hewlett grant will support SVCF’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund and Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund, which were created in February and early March, respectively, to address community needs in the face of a worsening pandemic.

SVCF’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund provides grants to trusted lead partner organizations with deep roots in communities throughout the 10-county Bay Area region. Those organizations, in turn, provide direct support to people and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. SVCF’s Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund is administered by local community foundations in the 10-county Bay Area region and provides flexible operating support grants to sustain nonprofits that deliver essential services to affected communities such as food, shelter, health and mental health services.

To date, SVCF has distributed $23.4 million in grants from its COVID-19 response funds, but the community’s needs far exceed the current capital available. For example, 162 of the 352 local organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties that have applied for the Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund have been able to receive funding. Lead partner organizations of the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund providing financial assistance to low-income residents have reported rapidly depleting funds, even though thousands of struggling families continue to seek help.

“Hewlett Foundation’s gift—the largest we have received for COVID-19 response and for support of a community initiative in our history—will heighten the trajectory of our grantmaking and allow us to help more people and nonprofit organizations in need during this critical time,” said Nicole Taylor, president and CEO of SVCF. “We thank Hewlett Foundation for its incredible generosity, vision, and commitment to taking a regional, community-centered approach to solving problems.”  

SVCF advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems and is leading a regional response to COVID-19 and its effects on communities in the Bay Area.  SVCF launched its COVID-19 response funds beginning in early February 2020 when the novel coronavirus first hit the Bay Area. As the prevalence of the virus grew and led to serious economic consequences due to shelter-in-place orders, SVCF realized that response efforts needed to be more widespread and regional. With its local community foundation colleagues, SVCF evolved the funds into a regional effort and took the lead on fundraising.

Hewlett Foundation will distribute the funding to SVCF over the course of approximately one year in anticipation of meeting the long-term, ongoing needs of the community as a result of the crisis.

To view a list of nonprofits that have received funding from SVCF’s Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund, visit https://siliconvalleycf.org/nonprofit-grantees

To learn more about SVCF’s COVID-19 response efforts, visit
www.siliconvalleycf.org/coronavirus-response

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About William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For more than 50 years, we have supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities and make the philanthropy sector more effective. Our newest program aims to strengthen U.S. democracy. Learn more at hewlett.org

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. 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 siliconvalleycf.org.