Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Mission

The mission of the foundation is to strengthen the common good, improve quality of life and address the most challenging problems of the community. The foundation's endowment grantmaking strategies are focused on five key areas: Economic Security, Education, Immigrant Integration, Regional Planning, and Community Opportunity Fund.

Background

Established in 2007 in CA - The foundation was created in 2006 through the landmark merger of Peninsula Community Foundation and Community Foundation Silicon Valley, and launched in January 2007

The grantmaker is a signatory to Philanthropy’s Promise, an initiative of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). By signing on, the grantmaker has committed to allocating the majority of its grantmaking dollars to marginalized communities and at least 25 percent to social justice strategies, such as advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement

Grantmaking Programs

Community Opportunity Fund

The Community Opportunity Fund addresses time-sensitive community issues and seeds innovative ideas that have the potential to spark widespread change. It focuses on issues and efforts important to the community and aligned with the community foundation's mission and values. Grant support includes: 1) General operating support to high-performing organizations with a primary mission of providing food or shelter services to the community; 2) Program specific or capacity support to multi-service organizations that have a food and/or shelter program, as well as to organizations with a primary mission of providing food or shelter services; and 3) targeted support to programs that serve hard to reach populations.

Economic Security

Helping low-income families achieve economic security. Sub-strategies include: 1) Combining Financial Education with Asset Building - targets increasing the availability of sound financial education and savings programs to help low and moderate income people build financial assets for long-term economic well-being; and 2) Anti-Payday Lending Policy Advocacy - targets the promotion of policy advocacy and educational activities to curb predatory payday lending.

Education

The focus of this strategy is to close the middle school achievement gap in mathematics that separates low-income students and students of color from others in preparing for college and future success. The education strategy has a two-pronged approach. Supporting in-school strategies which seek to increase the effectiveness of instruction during school hours and out-of-school strategies, which seek to increase the number and effectiveness of extended learning opportunities
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Immigration Integration

Promoting mutual benefits for immigrants and their receiving communities’ that allow newcomers enhanced civic participation and improved economic mobility. Sub-strategies include: 1) Strengthening the Legal Services Infrastructure - targets the need for affordable and reliable immigration legal services provided by nonprofit community organizations; and 3) Adult English Language Acquisition - targets the growing demand for high-quality English as a Second Language and Vocational English as a Second Language, or ESL and VESL instruction
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Regional Planning

The Regional Planning strategy targets the promotion of equitable smart-growth principles in land use and transportation planning processes and their implementation. Grants will support: 1) technical assistance - including research, consulting, mediation, facilitation, legal counseling and other professional assistance; 2) community outreach and convening - capacity and tools needed to engage residents of color, recent immigrants and low-income residents in planning decisions; 3) education - of community-based organization staff and/or of community members, on how the local planning process works, with an emphasis on effective intervention points and methods; 4) advocacy - education of public officials and other decision makers of the benefits of equitable smart-growth and transit-oriented development; and 5) communications training - including how to work with the media.

Scholarship Programs

The foundation administers a variety of scholarship programs to high school, community college and university students. The majority are designated for current or former residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. All scholarships have been established by generous local individuals, corporations or organizations to assist students with their educational pursuits. Each scholarship has its own unique set of eligibility requirements, such as financial need and minimum cumulative GPA as well as awards for specific areas of study. Scholarship amounts vary between $500 and $15,000. See web site for additional information

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Grants to Individuals Program

Scholarships to high school, community college and university students who are current or former residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, CA.