Two Kirsch Foundation Grant Programs That Silicon Valley Groups Should Know

With deep roots in Silicon Valley, the Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation has assets of approximately $7 million and is a supporting organization of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a funder we cover regularly here at IP. The Kirsch couple has been actively involved in philanthropy since the early 1990s, and a big part of their giving strategy involves the Silicon Valley area.

Here are two locally focused grantmaking programs to know about.

Environmental Program

Kirsch’s environmental program is one of three active grantmaking programs at the foundation. Air quality is the single most important issue for the Kirsch couple, and they engage in both grantmaking and lobbying in this area.

At least for now, air pollution grants are limited to efforts to reduce pollution in the San Joaquin Valley. Kirsch prefers to support local grassroots organizations over big name environmental institutions. Read through the Environmental Grant FAQ and the Previous Environmental Grants Awarded page to learn more; however, these records only go back to 2007.

Silicon Valley Community Program

Local support has always been important to the Kirsch couple, and Silicon Valley Community Grants have been awarded to organizations that promote the health and safety of residents, as well as enrich the community through education and the arts. Due to dwindling foundation assets, it only funds SVCF for its program grants and separately commits funds to charitable organizations that are directly linked to the board members. Discover more about this funding program on the FAQ page and by browsing the previous grants.

The Kirsch Foundation has also shown interest in affordable housing, safety net services, and the restoration of art and culture institutions in Silicon Valley. Other past and present areas of interest include political reform, medical science, the nuclear threat, near-Earth objects, and lobbying activities. Unfortunately for grantseekers, applications are accepted by invitation only and the foundation's website isn't regularly updated.

To learn more about this funder, check out IP’s full profile, Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation: Bay Area/Silicon Valley Grants. To get in touch with the foundation with questions, put in a call to 650-450-5590 or email