Silicon Valley Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is the biggest community foundation in America, and a major player on the Bay Area's funding scene. It fund a range of issues, including economic security, education, immigrant integration, regional planning, and community development. 

IP TAKE: This is accessible funder with a straightforward grant application process. The foundation accepts unsolicited proposals at any time of year if they are submitted through its website. It likes to partner with individuals, institutions, and other organizations.

PROFILE: Established in 2007, Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) has become the largest community foundation in the world. It seeks to “advance innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems.” The foundation also facilitates philanthropy “[t]hrough visionary leadership, strategic grantmaking and world-class experiences” in the form of donor partnerships in order to “strengthen the common good locally and throughout the world.” Since its inception, it has acquired $13.5 billion in assets. SVCF funds immigration issues, education, STEM education, K-12, financial stability, leadership, housing and transit, Silicon Valley, civic participation, and other interests.

While SVCF makes a variety of grants, it prioritizes work centered on immigration and education. It has supported work that has prioritized math and STEM education, as well as local school districts, teacher development, and undocumented immigrant families.

SVCF offers local grants based on its larger grantmaking strategies: 

  • Economic security - programs that provide people with financial education as well as opportunities to save, invest and protect family wealth.

  • Education - programs that improve mathematics instruction in middle school through professional development of teachers and that provide students who are falling behind with high quality, extended learning opportunities after school and during the summer.

  • Immigration - programs that help immigrants learn English through high-quality vocational and English as a Second Language (V/ESL) courses.

  • Building strong communities - programs that help shape land use and transportation plans and encourage residents to get involved in the design of their communities.

SVCF makes large grants which prioritize Silicon Valley and California; however, it sometimes funds beyond the state internationally. Past grantees include the African Advocacy Network among numerous others. Current financial data, including total assets and annual giving totals, can be found on the foundation's financial page. SVCF’s grant applications offer concise directions, but applicants must stay abreast of evolving deadlines since the foundation releases requests for proposals throughout the year. The application process is completed via online portal, so applicants must register their organization on the foundation's webpage. Grant applications are no longer accepted through email or postal mail.

General questions can be directed to the foundation staff at grants@siliconvalleycf.org. Keep up with what the leadership cares most about by following the CEO's blog and check out the foundation's calendar for upcoming events.

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