Through our tech philanthropy section, we've taken a look at plenty of younger big tech winners who've also engaged in philanthropy—guys like Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Williams. Lately, though, I've been digging into some of the modern tech industry's pioneers, people who invested in the likes of Intel and Oracle, such as Arthur Davis, an early venture capitalist.
Another early tech investor is Donald Valentine, founder of Sequoia Capital, who's invested in technology giants such as Apple Computer, Atari, LSI Logic, Cisco Systems, Oracle and Electronic Arts. Valentine is based in the Bay Area, as are his three children, who are all involved with the Valentine Family Foundation, which was established in the early 1990s. Despite being around for a while, the foundation flies well under the radar, and doesn't have much of a web presence or a clear way to get in touch.
What we do know is that recent grantmaking by the foundation has heavily involved education. Sums of late have gone to schools like Stanford University, which received nearly $800,000 in the 2014 fiscal year, University High School, and Eastside Preparatory School, a recipient of some $573,000 recently. Outside the Bay Area, another important region for this funder is Montana, where Valentine has been a part-time resident. The Valentine School Technology Program, run through the Montana Community Foundation, has supported K-12 public schools in Ravalli County steadily over the years. Valentine has bankrolled equipment for computer labs and media production, textbooks and software for training and website design, and digital camera equipment. The current status of the program is uncertain, though recent grantmaking through the Valentine Family Foundation has involved Corvallis School District, Missoula Catholic School, Victor Schools, among other Montana schools.
Valentine's children are also interested in education. Valentine's daughter Hilary is an emeritus chair of Room to Read, a nonprofit founded by former Microsoft star John Wood, which focuses on literacy and gender equality in education across Asia and Africa. Valentine's son, Christian, has supported his alma mater UC Berkeley, with his wife, including establishing a chair at Haas School of Business in management of technology.
Hilary Valentine also plays a role in some of the foundation's health grantmaking, and sits on the board of the Canary Foundation, a Bay Area outfit "dedicated to the goal of identifying cancer early through a simple blood test and then isolating it with imaging." In the 2014 fiscal year, $120,000 went to the Canary Foundation. Other support has gone to Packard Children's Hospital, Breast Cancer Connections and the UCSF Cardiology Council. Steady support has also gone to the Ronald McDonald House.
Valentine is now in his 80s, and down the line we'll keep you apprised of what the next generation of Valentines does in charity. They're already rather active.
Related: Donald Valentine