Silicon Valley Community Foundation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Logo of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
FormationJanuary 3, 2007; 13 years ago (2007-01-03) [1]
Merger ofPeninsula Community Foundation and Community Foundation Silicon Valley [1]
TypeDonor-advised fund, Charitable organization
HeadquartersMountain View, California
Silicon Valley
United States
Key people
Nicole Taylor (current CEO) Greg Avis (Interim President/ former CEO)
Samuel Johnson, Jr. (Chair of the Board of Directors) [2]
Revenue (2017)
$1.4 billion [3]
Disbursements$1.3 billion (2017) [3]
Endowment (2017)$13.5 billion [3]

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a Mountain View-based donor-advised community foundation that serves the Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County) and surrounding community (San Mateo County).[4]


Early history: 2006–2011[edit]

Silicon Valley Community Foundation was formed on July 12, 2006, through the merger of two community foundations in the Bay Area: the Peninsula Community Foundation (headquartered in San Jose, California) and Community Foundation Silicon Valley (headquartered in San Mateo, California). Silicon Valley Community Foundation launched officially on January 3, 2007.[1][5][6]

In September 2008, Silicon Valley Community Foundation announced five key grantmaking strategies: Economic Security, Education, Immigrant Integration, Regional Planning and a Community Opportunity Fund to address time-sensitive community needs including safety-net services (2008-2013).[1][7]


On December 18, 2012, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced a donation of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which at the time of the donation were worth a total of about $500 million.[8][9][10][11]

Silicon Valley Community Foundation raised a total of $985 million in 2012. Assets under management grew to about $2.9 billion, and the foundation awarded a total of $292 million in grants in the year 2012.[12]

In December 2012 SVCF helped relaunch Caltrain's Holiday Train, a nine-year tradition was brought back after a two-year hiatus.[13] The event features a lit "show-train" that runs the first weekend in December and encourages viewers to bring toys to benefit Toys for Tots and Salvation Army.


On December 19, 2013, Zuckerberg announced a donation of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, to be executed by the end of the month—based on Facebook's valuation as of then, the shares totaled $990 million in value. On December 31, 2013, the donation was recognized as the largest charitable gift on public record for 2013.[14][15][16]


On October 2, 2014, Nicholas and Jill Woodman, founders of GoPro, a high tech wearable camera company, announced that they would donate $500 million to Silicon Valley Community Foundation.[17]

In 2014, Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp donated close to $556 million[18] to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to set up a donor-advised fund.[19]

Silicon Valley Community Foundation created and hosted Silicon Valley Gives,[20] the Bay Area's first 24-hour giving day, on May 6, 2014. The giving event was sponsored by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Microsoft, NBC Bay Area as well as over 100 other individuals, foundations and companies. The event was hosted on online donation platform Razoo. The event raised $8,000,833 with 14,889 unique donors and more than 21,869 donations.[21][22] SVCF also hosted more than 20 trainings for more than 650 local nonprofits to help them capacity build leading up to the event.[23][24]

Paul Allen has opened a fund for Tackle Ebola[25] with Silicon Valley Community Foundation.[26]


A senior staff member resigned. The Foundation hired a law firm to investigate the associated claims of sexual harassment from Mari Ellen Loijens over the course of many years.[27] A few days later, the CEO, Emmett Carson, was placed on paid leave.[28][29] Two months later, the CEO's employment "ended" and the resignation of the head of H.R. was accepted, as an investigation "found that many allegations from current and former employees were substantiated."[30][31]

In November, the board of directors of the foundation named Nicole Taylor as President and CEO.[32]


As a donor-advised fund, the Foundation allows donors to claim a tax benefit immediately but indefinitely defer when they transfer the assets.[33] The fund also isn't legally required to distribute any assets, like family foundations are, so there is little pressure to move money.[34]

The timing of prominent donations to the foundation has led to accusations of the Foundation being used as a tax loophole. Both Mark Zuckerberg and Nick Woodman donated near the same time as their companies' IPOs, and the founders of WhatsApp donated shortly after their company's acquisition.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "History". Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  2. ^ "Board of Directors". Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  3. ^ a b c "2017: Silicon Valley Community Foundation by the Numbers" (PDF). Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  4. ^ "About Us". Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  5. ^ "Peninsula Community Foundation, Community Foundation Silicon Valley Complete Merger". Foundation Center. 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  6. ^ "SVCF MOU" (PDF). Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  7. ^ "Silicon Valley Community Foundation to Award $1 Million for Food, Shelter, and Basic Needs". 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  8. ^ "Mark Zuckerberg's Donation To Silicon Valley Community Foundation Is His Biggest Yet". The Huffington Post. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  9. ^ "Zuckerberg Plans Large Gift to Charity". The New York Times. December 18, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  10. ^ "Facebook Founder Announces $500 Million to Silicon Valley Community Foundation". Foundation Center. December 20, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  11. ^ Fernandez, Lisa (2012-12-19). "Zuckerberg Donates $500M to Silicon Valley Foundation". NBC Bay Area News. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  12. ^ "Silicon Valley Community Foundation Raised $985 Million in 2012". Foundation Center. 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  13. ^ "Press Release - December 10, 2012". Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  14. ^ Bailey, Brandon (December 19, 2013). "Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 billion donation". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  15. ^ "Mark Zuckerberg donates $1bn to charity". The Telegraph. December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  16. ^ Kurt Wagner (3 January 2014). "Zuckerberg's Other Billion-Dollar Idea: 2013's Biggest Charitable Gift". Mashable. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  17. ^ "GoPro Founders Give $500-Million to Silicon Valley Community Foundation". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  18. ^ "SEC Form 4 Filing - Jan Koum to SVCF". Securities & Exchange Comission.
  19. ^ "No. 4: Jan Koum - Philanthropy". 8 February 2015.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Pizarro: Silicon Valley Gives raises $7.9 million in 24 hours". Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  23. ^ "SiliconBeat – Tech industry, others gear up for Silicon Valley Gives, area's first 'giving day'". Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  24. ^ "Pizarro: Nonprofits band together for Silicon Valley Gives crowdfunding effort". Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Strom, Stephanie (23 October 2014). "Paul Allen to Give $100 Million to Tackle Ebola Crisis". Retrieved 24 January 2018 – via
  27. ^ JOHN WOOLFOLK (19 April 2018). "She helped raise $8.3 billion, then resigned in disgrace". The Mercury News. Retrieved 12 July 2018. The senior official at the center of sexual harassment allegations that have rocked one of the world’s biggest philanthropic organizations resigned Thursday, marking a swift and dramatic downfall for a Silicon Valley fundraiser
  28. ^ Megan O’Neil (26 April 2018). "Silicon Valley Fund's CEO Placed on Leave". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 July 2018. it has placed its chief executive, Emmett Carson, on paid administrative leave. It comes amid an investigation, initiated by the board, into allegations of misconduct by Carson’s recently departed No. 2 executive, Mari Ellen Loijens, as well as broader workplace-culture problems at the wealthy California foundation
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Update from Silicon Valley Community Foundation Board of Directors". 27 June 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018. The investigation found that many allegations from current and former employees were substantiated
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Silicon Valley Community Foundation names Nicole Taylor as president and CEO". Silicon Valley Community Foundation. 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  33. ^ "The Price of Privacy: What's Wrong with the New Shadow Giving System". HistPhil. 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  34. ^ "How Tech Billionaires Hack Their Taxes With a Philanthropic Loophole". Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  35. ^ "Warehousing tech elite's wealth? New path urged for Silicon Valley charity". The Mercury News. 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2018-09-21.

External links[edit]