Stephen M. Silberstein graduated from UC Berkeley with his B.A. and MLS and went on to work as a computer programmer in UC Berkeley's library and also teach in the computer science department. In 1978, Silberstein cofounded Innovative Interfaces, which develops automated systems for libraries. Today the company has more than 2,400 library systems installed in 9,500 libraries, spanning the globe in 66 countries.
Silberstein is now retired and moves his philanthropy through the Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation, which in a recent year gave away around $6 million and held close to $112 million in assets. The foundation doesn't have much of a web presence or a clear way to get in touch with Silberstein, but the City of Berkeley and the Bay Area at large have been significant sites of philanthropy. Here's what you need to know:
1. Education Is A Major Interest in the Bay Area
Silberstein is a trustee of U.C. Berkeley Foundation and U.C. Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. A $1 million grant went to U.C. Berkeley Foundation in 2013, and $700,000 went to the foundation in 2012. Last decade, U.C. Berkeley received grants of $1 million each in 2003 and 2007. Recent support has also gone to the Berkeley Public Education Foundation, whose "mission is to inspire and empower an extraordinary public education for every child," and Edible Schoolyard Foundation, another Berkeley outfit which supports a 1-acre garden at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.
Silberstein has also supported libraries in the Bay Area, which is unsurprising given his background. He sits on the board of the Belvedere-Tiburon Library Foundation and the Belvedere-Tiburon Library has been supported. Past funds have also gone to Berkeley Public Library and Alameda Free Library Association.
2. Policy and Human Rights Is Another Interest in the Bay
While a lot of this philanthropy is national, with major outfits in D.C. and New York being funded, past money has also gone to Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Impact Fund, which "provides strategic leadership and support for litigation to achieve economic and social justice," and the Tides Foundation, which gives "grants to nonprofits working toward social change in the US and abroad." In 2012, as well, a $50,000 grant went to Movement Strategy Center in Oakland which supports "grassroots organizations, alliances, and networks, as well as funders, to build powerful and transformative social justice movements."
3. Assorted Sums Have Also Gone to Environmental and Arts & Culture Outfits
Past support has gone to San Francisco Baykeeper, Seacology, a "charitable organization headquartered in Berkeley, California that focuses on preserving island ecosystems and cultures around the world," and the Sierra Club Foundation, which received a $200,000 grant in 2013. In addition, a large $200,000 grant went to San Francisco Film Society in 2012. Past money has also gone to outfits such as Berkeley Repertory Theater.