SVCF Is Going Wider in its Grantmaking. What Does That Mean for Local Nonprofits?

The geographic focus of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation has historically been on San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. However, this funder’s reach just got a little bit broader.

SVCF announced a new Silicon Valley Regional Fund that will engage San Francisco County nonprofits now as well.

“People strongly want to support community needs across what they see as a common region,” said Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., CEO and president of SVCF. “The local problems we aim to solve can be tackled more effectively when we adopt a more inclusive definition of our local region. This new approach presents us with an opportunity to influence public policy at the regional and state levels. In turn, that can lead to a higher quality of life for all Silicon Valley residents and commuters.”

But honestly, SVCF has been thinking about San Francisco for a while now. The needs of the region as a whole extend beyond San Mateo and Santa Clara, and the foundation has been slowly redefining its borders.

Related: What’s to Become of SVCF’s Fundraiser with San Francisco Nonprofits Now in the Mix?

The decision also has a lot to do with where the donors interests lie. SVCF is a community foundation after all. Donors have been asking the foundation to expand its reach for a while now, and SVCF listened. There’s a changing dynamic on the Bay Area philanthropy scene that’s becoming clearer with each grant cycle that passes.

But with San Francisco nonprofits now in the mix, does this mean less to go around for San Mateo and Santa Clara groups?

Probably not. SVCF has already addressed its recommitment to these counties in the areas of education, economic security, immigration, housing, transportation, and strengthening communities. Over 700 people gathered at the foundation’s recent regional meeting to learn more about the regional fund, which was established separately from the other established grantmaking activities. Besides, this is a foundation with at least $6.5 billion in assets, and those assets may grow even more now with donors able to contribute to San Francisco groups through the regional fund.

In the Bay Area, it’s not uncommon to move and commute from one city to another for work and affordable housing. This is a very interconnected region of the country, and expansions like this encourage further connections and collaborations thanks to a larger pool of community groups.

First, SVCF will be raising money to expand housing and transportation in all three counties through the new regional fund. These are huge regional concerns right now, obviously.

Look for an open request for proposals to be announced in early 2016. In the meantime, check out SVCF’s Building Strong Communities page to learn more about the foundation’s overall approach to this type of strategic grantmaking.