Peery Power: Take a Look at This Billionaire's Family Philanthropy

If you live outside the Bay Area, you've probably never heard of Dick Peery. He's a Silicon Valley real estate developer (the partner of John Arrillaga) who is worth $2.2 billion. Peery isn't a high-profile philanthropist and hasn't made any huge gifts that get reported in the media. The Peery family gave $5.2 million in 2012, with $4.6 million of that going to portfolio grantmaking programs via strategic selection process. In 2013, the family gave $8 million, and $6.8 million of that went to portfolio grant programs.

According to Executive Director Jessamyn Lau, the foundation assets are held across 3 DAFs and a private foundation. This enables the Peery Foundation to gradually ramp up its budget every year.

Still, the philanthropy of the Peery family is super-interesting. Over the past six years, Dick Peery's son, Dave Peery, has built the Peery Foundation into an energetic operation with a sophisticated methodology and a portfolio of local, regional, and global grants that address issues of poverty.

The foundation takes a grantee-centered approach that we're always thrilled to see, listening to what nonprofits need and empowering them to do good work; for example, with multi-year general support grants. 

The Peery family has barely scratched the surface of its $2.2 billion fortune, and Dick Peery is in his mid-70s. So we're betting that much bigger giving lies ahead for the Peery Foundation, and that things will ramp up sooner rather than later, now that Dave Peery has created such as a strong platform for large-scale giving. 

That's why we took a deep dive this week into the Peery Foundation, looking at what its doing both regionally and nationally. 

The Peery Foundation invests heavily in social entrepreneurs and increasingly favors market-based interventions. But that summary doesn't fully capture the range of this funder's activities and its approach. So take a look at the two guides we've written to different parts of the Peery Foundation's work. 

Peery Foundation: Global Development Grants

Peery Foundation: Bay Area Grants

Jessamyn Lau, Executive Director