May 3 is a huge day for Bay Area and Silicon Valley philanthropy, when more than $2 million in matching grants and prizes will be available to local nonprofits. Silicon Valley Gives (SV Gives) is the region’s national giving day, which is hosted by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and sponsored this year by Microsoft.
This is a 24-hour fundraising event, and at the time this post was written, over 600 local charities had registered to participate. On May 3, SVCF will host events at local Safeway supermarkets and Microsoft retail stores, and new donors can chip in just $10 to get involved.
Nonprofits in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito and San Francisco counties are taking the opportunity to grab the attention of new potential donors. As a community foundation, SVCF already works with many local donors, but this annual fundraising event is what the region needs to attract new support from less likely places.
Microsoft has been a big financial and operational facilitator for this year’s regional giving day. The tech company has provided resources to host 19 information and training sessions designed to prepare nonprofits for the fundraising day and also build their capacity to keep new donors engaged for the long term. Other top event sponsors include the 1440 Foundation, the Evan and Cynthia Goldberg Donor Advised Fund, Mary Lemmon Fund, John B. Morey Jr. Family, and the Bernard A. Newcomb Foundation.
“Nonprofits are a crucial part of Silicon Valley’s civic fabric,” said Dan’l Lewin, an engagement executive at Microsoft. “Silicon Valley Gives offers an opportunity for the entire community – foundations, corporations, individuals, nonprofits, and the public sector – to unite around local causes, local giving, and local innovation.”
According to SVCF’s CEO Emmet Carson, SV Gives raised nearly $16 million for charity in the last two years. Watch the SV Gives video from 2015 to learn about last year’s success stories. But keep in mind that this is the very first year that San Francisco nonprofits will be welcomed into SV Gives.
One of the best things about this regional fundraising day is that nonprofits are also eligible to amplify their results with matching grants. Solicitation for prizes is done by SVCF, however, nonprofits can do their own solicitation for matching grants. The matching grants up for grabs range from around $500 to $50,000. Some of these matching grants are coming from anonymous donors, but many others hail from private family foundations.
Local nonprofits have until April 15 to register for SV Gives, and you can see who else is going to be involved on the event’s website. There’s actually a SV Gives Open Forum webinar scheduled for April 14 that you can register for on the event’s training page to learn more. Follow the Twitter hashtag, #SVGives, to keep up with what will be happening over this exciting 24-hour period.