Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Location: 2440 W El Camino Real Ste 300, Mountain View, 94040 CA

EIN: 20-5205488

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6 hours

Median

28%

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33%

67%

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Important Information

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Top descriptors for this funder

6Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field4Difficult to work with3Risk averse2Bureaucratic2Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues2Culturally sensitive2Friendly2Positive leader in the field2Risk taker1"Gets" nonprofits and issues1Builds relationships1Gives more than money

Advice from a Friend

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

May 25, 2018

Reviewer 2095 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

They like to claim they're the biggest foundation in the US, and they're committed to addressing issues like the affordable housing crisis, but the grants they give are short-term, small, and they only fund a handful of applicants. At present they are facing a major MeToo scandal, and grantee relations have suffered.

Cons

Difficult to work with, Risk averse

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Oct 30, 2017 1

Reviewer 6766 - Professional in the field

So much of the dollars out of the Foundation are in Donor-Advised Funds. Hard to qualify for the tightly worded RFP for the open rounds of grants they do give. Also had a negative experience with their current crowdsourced dinners in November to talk about the housing crisis. Asked for them to sponsor the cost of the dinner for DACA affected kids and their parents who are also homeless to discuss the issues they are facing in Spanish. Even though it is their event, and they are going to use the data, they wanted us to pay for the dinner. Seriously? This is the wealthiest community foundation in the country!

Cons

Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Difficult to work with

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Sep 18, 2017 3

Reviewer 624 - Professional in the field

"Of that $1.3 billion that flowed out the door last year, all but a sliver—$19.2 million, or less than 2 percent—came from funds that are held by the SVCF but controlled by others." -- from very illuminating article re SVCF in Stanford Social Innovation Review. Another quote from same article: "A region with so much money and even more brainpower, as well as persistent and worrisome problems, has somehow produced a community foundation that is, except for its size, unexceptional."
https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_charity_that_big_tech_built?_ga=2.153640315.2118691987.1505766026-590828666.1505766026

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Sep 14, 2017 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Given their tremendous resources, it is disappointing that their grants are small and narrowly focused

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Sep 14, 2017 1

Reviewer 803 - Did not apply

To not be surprised if the foundation has pre-determined priorities based upon staff prejudice and/or ignorance and an unwillingness to be receptive to new ideas.

Cons

Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues, Bureaucratic, Risk averse

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Sep 08, 2017 7

Did not apply

Sadly, SVCF is a bank and nothing more. Having lived around the country and worked in the field for decades, I have never seen a "community" foundation more universally disliked by community organizations and other funders. They put up high fortress walls to keep CBOs from talking to their staff or donors, and prioritize relationships with their paying corporate clients over everything else. It is a tragic waste of treasure and opportunity, particularly at a time when the vulnerable populations in the two counties SVCF is supposed to serve are suffering such deep needs. Shame on them and their board.

Cons

Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues, Difficult to work with, Bureaucratic, Risk averse

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Aug 18, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Excellent staffing and programs. Authentically invested in equity.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Friendly

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Jul 18, 2017

Reviewer 675 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

I was part of a major initiative of theirs, so the many many hours it took to do this involved identification and coordination with quite a few entities. It was a ton of work but worth it for a multi year grant that is key for this organization. And there are ongoing meetings and requirements for reporting that are beyond what other foundations require or expect...but worth it for a large multi year grant opportunity.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Jun 22, 2017 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2015

Black box: can't tell what's going on in there. Who gets funded and who doesn't a mystery.

Cons

Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Difficult to work with

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Feb 07, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2013

Hard to get funding unless you fit into their narrow focus areas. They have a lot of funding but most is held in Donor Advised Funds. Very metric-oriented although feel metrics do not always reflect impact. Don't really feel they are a true 'community' foundation

Pros

Required attachments are fairly standard, Insightful

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Silicon Valley Community Foundation