NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Cofounder, Innovative Interfaces
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Libraries, Policy & Human Rights, Environment, Arts & Culture
OVERVIEW: Stephen Silberstein does his grantmaking through the Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation. Silberstein has given millions to his alma mater UC Berkeley and is a trustee of UC Berkeley Foundation and UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. Silberstein also has a major interest in left-of-center policy work, supporting a number of organizations around the country. He has also supported human rights, environmental issues, and more.
BACKGROUND: Stephen Silberstein received his B.A. and MLS from UC Berkeley, and a master's degree in econometrics from the University of Stockholm in Sweden. Employed as a computer programmer in the 1970s in UC Berkeley's library, Silberstein was responsible for the library’s total automation program with the goal of replacing the card catalog with a computerized system. He also taught in the computer science department at UC Berkeley. In 1978, Silberstein co-founded Innovative Interfaces, which develops automated systems for libraries. Silberstein also served as first president of Innovative Interfaces.
EDUCATION & LIBRARIES: Silberstein is a trustee of UC Berkeley Foundation and UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. He steadily supports his alma mater. The City of Berkeley, by the way, is a significant site of philanthropy, and grantees have included Berkeley Public Education Foundation. He has also supported Oakland School of the Arts. Silberstein prioritizes libraries as well, and has helped fund places like Belvedere-Tiburon Library Foundation, Berkeley Public Library, and Alameda Free Library Association.
POLICY & HUMAN RIGHTS: In the Bay Area, Silberstein funded organizations such as 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 funds "grants to nonprofits working toward social change in the US and abroad."
He has also supported many organizations around the country, particularly in Washington D.C. and New York including Amnesty International, Media Matters, and Democracy Now. A component of this philanthropy also involves leveraging media, and he has made grants to Brave New Foundation, which supports Brave New Films, a socially conscious documentary film company, and Kitchen Sisters Productions, which "works to build community through storytelling."
Silberstein endorsed expanding gun-sale background checks and supporting Maine ballot initiative campaign through the Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation.
ENVIRONMENT: Grantees have included Audubon Canyon Ranch, Cool the Earth, National Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, San Francisco Baykeeper, Seacology, a "charitable organization headquartered in Berkeley, California that prioritizes preserving island ecosystems and cultures around the world," and the Sierra Club Foundation. He has also supported NatureBridge, which provides "hands-on environmental science programs for children and teens."
ARTS & CULTURE: Silberstein has also funded arts and culture organizations in the Bay Area including San Francisco Film Society and Berkeley Repertory Theater.
LOOKING FORWARD: It is unclear how much money Silberstein has in reserve, but a past 990 indicated nearly $110 million in assets in his foundation. Expect money to continue streaming to Silberstein's select interest areas, particularly policy organizations.
The Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is an address
29 Eucalyptus Rd.
Belvedere, CA 94920
Telephone: (415) 435-1692