Silicon Valley
Community Foundation


In 10 years, SVCF has become the largest community foundation in the world. We have given more than $4.3 billion in grants to improve communities locally, nationally and globally.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation has a unique and special role to play in helping to address the many difficult problems that continue to face our communities.

Total Giving
SVCF opens

Following the merger of Community Foundation Silicon Valley and Peninsula Community Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation launched with 61 staff and $1.7B in assets under management.

new headquarters

Thanks to the generosity of the Sobrato family, SVCF’s Real Estate Trust received the gift of this building, which became our headquarters in August 2007.

First research report

In its first research report, Corporate Philanthropy in Silicon Valley, SVCF explored the scope and impact of giving by local corporations.


Total grants made in SVCF’s first year.

"Our objective never was to be the biggest foundation. It’s not size for size’s sake, but for the credibility and advocacy strength it can give you."

John M. Sobrato, former board chair

grantmaking strategies

SVCF announces it will focus its discretionary grantmaking efforts on four major issues: economic security, education, immigration and regional planning. For our ability to support nonprofits working on these topics, we are grateful to the late Tom Ford, pictured. His generous Sand Hill Endowment is helping SVCF serve the Silicon Valley region in perpetuity.

Our first donor circle

We launched our first giving circle, the Donor Circle for the Arts, with a matching grant from the Irvine Foundation. The circle granted $55,000 to 16 local arts nonprofits in its first year. Donor Circles help philanthropists connect with one another around the issues they feel passionate about.

Learn More

Responding to the Great Recession, SVCF awarded $3 million in safety-net grants for food and shelter in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Support for these grants came from our donors and from corporations and foundations. The grants assisted 47 different nonprofit organizations.

New partnership

SVCF formed a unique partnership with the County of San Mateo to distribute $1 million in safety-net grants to 32 nonprofit organizations serving county residents during the recession.


SVCF released a first-of-its kind report on payday lending in California, an industry that perpetuates damaging cycles of debt among low-income borrowers.

Learn More
SVCF CEO Emmett Carson, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, San Jose Councilman Ash Kalra, representatives of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley and others at a Dec. 2014 event.
Work with U.S. Census

In partnership with Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, SVCF granted $250,000 to ensure census outreach accounted for all people in the Silicon Valley region, and we held outreach workshops with the U.S. Census Bureau. Our grants resulted in some of California’s highest rates of improvement in census participation.

"As the world becomes more interconnected, it will be essential that local communities become more networked, linking individual donors, nonprofit organizations, companies, religious institutions and government together. "

Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., CEO and president



given since 2007


assets under management

Al Gore speaks

Former Vice President Al Gore gave the keynote address at SVCF’s fifth anniversary Regional Meeting. SVCF announced the formation of the Donor Circle for the Environment with a matching grant from the Packard Foundation.

Disaster readiness

An SVCF report on disaster preparedness in San Mateo County’s Coastside region led to a major overhaul of disaster preparations.

Holiday Train

Reviving a cherished local tradition, Caltrain Holiday Train presented by Silicon Valley Community Foundation spread holiday cheer and collected donated toys from San Francisco to Santa Clara.

Common Core

SVCF’s Common Core Initiative engaged 33 local school districts in a collaborative effort to implement new educational practices. The districts serve more than 168,000 students.

Bay Area Muslim Study

The first-ever Bay Area Muslim Study, commissioned by SVCF and the One Nation Bay Area collaborative, was released. This benchmark report provided context to help address challenges faced by local Muslim communities.


SVCF helped pass Plan Bay Area, one of the state’s most progressive plans to increase housing. Because of our Envision Bay Area initiative and other grants we made, a plan was approved that calls for future housing production to be accommodated close to transit. More than 800 residents participated!

SUPPORTING local immigrants

SVCF released a first-of-its-kind report on immigrants in San Mateo County, recommending centralization of services. This led to the formation of the San Mateo County Office of Immigrant Support and Coordination.

global giving site

SVCF created a global charity database and donation site, allowing the public to donate to more than 1,200 pre-approved organizations worldwide.

Our largest gift

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan donated stock worth nearly $1 billion, the largest gift ever made to SVCF.


SVCF launched the Center for Early Learning, combining research and advocacy to provide the region’s youngest children with high-quality learning opportunities.

Silicon Valley Gives

SVCF held its first Silicon Valley Gives event. Over the course of three years, SVGives raised nearly $24 million for more than 1,000 local nonprofit organizations.

SVCF staff and volunteers raised awareness about the giving day at several public locations during the 2015 Silicon Valley Gives event.
SUPPORTING local immigrants

SVCF funded the development of, an online tool for matching skilled volunteers with legal services organizations serving immigrant communities.

landmark gifts

GoPro founder Nicholas Woodman and Jill Woodman donated stock worth $500 million to SVCF to create the Nicholas + Jill Woodman Foundation.

Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp, donated stock worth $566 million to SVCF.

Concert for Valor

SVCF partnered with the Schultz Family Foundation, Starbucks, HBO and Chase on The Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C., to honor veterans on Nov. 11, 2014.

White House co-host

SVCF and the White House convened the nation’s community foundations to recognize and celebrate the 100th anniversary of community foundations.

From left:
Michael Smith, former Special Assistant to President Obama
Thomas Friel, former SVCF Board Chair
Nelson Colón, Puerto Rico Community Foundation
Emmett Carson, SVCF
Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
Jonathan Greenblatt, former Special Assistant to President Obama
Glamour Magazine

SVCF began collaborating with Glamour magazine to launch The Girl Project, a campaign to break down barriers to girls’ education worldwide.

"The voice, the community interaction, the engagement in the community, the impact that we’ve had and what we’ll be able to do in the future – that inspires me a lot."

Caretha Coleman, former board member


SVCF convened a group of government, health and nonprofit leaders to discuss the international Ebola virus crisis. Panelists included representatives from the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control Foundation, pictured.




SVCF spearheaded an alliance of 57 community foundations urging the federal government to curb abusive payday lending practices. Local municipalities with ordinances to restrict payday lending, as of 2016:

  • Campbell
  • Cupertino
  • Daly City
  • East Palo Alto
  • Gilroy
  • Los Altos
  • Menlo Park
  • Morgan Hill
  • San Mateo
  • San Mateo County
  • San Jose
  • Santa Clara County
  • South San Francisco
  • Sunnyvale
The Big Lift

SVCF received $7.5M from the federal Social Innovation Fund to launch The Big Lift, a partnership with the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and San Mateo County Office of Education to improve early learning and literacy among low-income children in San Mateo County.

disaster response plans

SVCF received an award from Santa Clara County’s Collaborating Agencies Disaster Relief Effort for assisting local nonprofits in planning for disaster response.


California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law SB 359, an SVCF-sponsored bill to end “math misplacement” in schools, an unfair practice that held back primarily low-income, African American and Latino students from college preparation.

Senator Holly Mitchell was the author of SB 359, the first bill sponsored by SVCF
SVCF ranked
No. 6

among all U.S. charities, based on private donations of $1.97 billion in 2014.


In partnership with Santa Clara County and the City of San José, SVCF granted $2 million to nine nonprofit organizations that provide services to immigrants at risk of deportation. The programs funded by these partnerships reached out to over 22,000 individuals.

"Silicon Valley is a global community, and anybody who thinks like that, or has any connections to it, is potentially part of our family, wherever they live. "

Thomas Friel, former board chair

Bay-restoration measure

Voters across the nine-county Bay Area approved Measure AA, an SVCF-supported effort to raise $500 million for restoration of San Francisco Bay.

The Big Lift expands

SVCF, the San Mateo County Office of Education and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors expanded The Big Lift program to three additional school districts serving low-income students. The Big Lift works on several fronts to improve early learning among San Mateo County’s youngest children.

Grantmaking review begins

SVCF kicked off a two-year review of our grantmaking strategies.

library access restored

SVCF led a fundraising campaign to restore library accounts to 4,500 young people in San Jose and replace 9,000 lost library items.

1st Innovation Conference

SVCF’s Innovation Conference drew philanthropists, foundation leaders and speakers from across the U.S. and around the world to explore how technology is changing the ways we live, work and play.

Watch video
SVCF CEO Emmett Carson moderates a discussion with Van Jones, left, of The Dream Corps; and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of United Nations Women.


By the numbers


total grantmaking

Grants from all types of SVCF funds to local, national, & global charities


assets designated to support charitable causes


Contributions received to establish charitable funds


Number of grants awarded from individuals, families & corporations


Total number of donor advised and other funds

10 years

of grants


total grantmaking

Grants from all types of SVCF funds to local, national, & global charities


to charities in the nine Bay Area counties + $245 million to other California charities


to U.S. charities outside California


to global charities

What We Do

SVCF provides leadership, expertise and capital to help address social issues in our region. In addition to working with individual, family and corporate philanthropists, we also serve as a resource for nonprofit, civic, government and philanthropic organizations. Here are four primary ways in which we contribute:

Commission research

We commission research to identify emerging issues, monitor trends and provide analysis. To read about research we have recently commissioned, visit the publications page

Conduct public discussions

We bring people together to engage in discussion and problem solving. These events often stimulate new insights while encouraging diverse perspectives. Check our calendar for information on upcoming events and discussions.


We take principled positions on critical issues and advocate policy outcomes. To learn more about policy, visit the publications page.

Create Initiatives

We often launch initiatives and special projects, partnering with other foundations, corporations, nonprofits, donors and government agencies to work on specific topics or issues. Visit our initiatives page for more information.

Members of SVCF’s
Board of Directors, 2007–2017

  • Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen
  • Gregory M. Avis
  • Carol Bartz
  • Jayne Battey
  • Patricia Bresee
  • Gloria Brown
  • Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D.
  • Caretha Coleman
  • Debra Engel
  • Bernadine Chuck Fong, Ph. D.
  • Thomas J. Friel
  • Gregory Gallo
  • Rose Jacobs Gibson
  • Rebecca Guerra
  • Narenda Gupta
  • Nancy H. Handel
  • John F. Hopkins
  • Marie Oh Huber
  • Susan M. Hyatt
  • Samuel Johnson, Jr.
  • William S. Johnson
  • E. Richard Jones
  • Robert A. Keller
  • Julie Miraglia Kwon
  • Dan'l Lewin
  • Wade W. Loo
  • David P. López, Ed.D.
  • Anne F. Macdonald
  • Lynn A. McGovern, CPA
  • Laura Miele
  • Catherine A. Molnar
  • Ivonne Montes de Oca
  • C.S. Park
  • Daniel Perez
  • Jennifer Raiser
  • Eduardo Rallo
  • John M. Sobrato
  • Tom Stocky
  • Sanjay Vaswani
  • Thurman V. White, Jr.
  • Richard Wilkolaski
  • Erika Williams
  • Jane Williams
  • Anne Yamamoto
  • Gordon Yamate

Thank you!

SVCF thanks our individual and family donors, corporate and nonprofit fundholders, professional advisors and nonprofit partners serving the communities in which we live and work. Your partnership and passion make it possible for us to devote time and resources to efforts that are transforming the Bay Area and the world into better places.