The president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation won’t give up on improving the area.
How would you describe the work that the organization does?
We are a catalyst for community change. We bring donors, business, government and nonprofi ts together to cultivate vital and sustainable communities here in Silicon Valley. We also shape critical public policy issues and partner with nonprofit groups and institutions to direct resources swiftly and strategically toward unforeseen needs.
That must be especially difficult during the pandemic. How is it going?
Since mid-February, SVCF has been raising money to help those hardest hit by the pandemic, particularly low-income families, communities of color and our undocumented neighbors. Our fundraising has enabled organizations to provide food assistance to about 456,000 residents in 10 Bay Area counties and housing assistance to more than 16,000 households. As of the end of August, thanks to the generosity of our donors, SVCF has granted $198 million to support COVID-19-related causes.
What’s your advice for people looking to help?
If you are able to, give and give generously! There are literally thousands of nonprofits in the Bay Area working to help make our communities better and help people weather the pandemic. Learn about the nonprofits in your neighborhoods that are on the frontlines of serving communities and support them either financially or through volunteering. And speak up for equity and inclusion. This crisis is disproportionately hitting Black and Latinx families and low-income communities that were already struggling before. The more people who realize this and examine how they might be able to help change it, the better.
Photography by: Courtesy of The Silicon Valley Community Foundation