About Those New "Anniversary Grants" the Silicon Valley Community Foundation is Giving Out

It's hard to believe that the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is only ten years old, giving its enormous growth and large footprint in the region. Among other things, the rapid gains of this funder is a great indicator of just how much the tech philanthropy scene has exploded in recent years. 

Ten years is a big milestone, and SVCF has been gearing up to celebrate it properly in 2017. One way it will do that is with a new grantmaking initiative that's focused on economic security.  

A new request for proposals opened up on December 19 for local grantseekers with promising solutions for low- and moderate-income individuals in Silicon Valley. The new opportunity is backed by $1 million, which will be spread out across 10 grants of up to $100,000 each.

Erica Wood, chief community impact officer at SVCF said: “In marking our anniversary by distributing an additional $1 million in grants, we hope to recognize some new and innovative ideas for approaching the issues we’ve been committed to for the past 10 years.”

Here are a few key facts that grantseekers should keep in mind.

Existing Strategic Grantmaking Support

For the immediate future, SVCF is sticking with its current strategy and not switching things up too dramatically. It will still be awarding a couple grants to four of the existing grantmaking focus areas as part of its $1 million anniversary commitment: economic securityeducationimmigration and building strong communities. Economic proposals should focus on family saving and investing, community proposals on getting residents involved; immigration proposals on recognizing immigrants as assets; and education on middle school students.

Projects Using Technology

However, SVCF is embracing the forces of technology that surrounds it and understanding that nonprofits here can really put technology to use for doing good. The funder plans to award a couple more grants for projects that increase civic engagement and participation through the use of technology. The other four funding areas noted above may have less of a technology focus.

The Timeline

As we mentioned in the beginning, the first new RFP opened up on December 19, and this RFP is all about financial education, asset building, and anti-payday-lending policy advocacy. The deadline is January 20. 

Keep an eye on the funder’s Anniversary Grants page for more dates. The education RFP is expected to open in February, immigration in April, strong communities in June, and civic engagement through technology in July.

The foundation is hoping that this type of RFP approach will bring out the best in nonprofits, public sector agencies, research institutions, and other organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. If you want to share your thoughts about SVCF’s grantmaking in any one of these focus areas, you can provide your input via online survey as part of the funder’s ongoing review process here.