Silicon Valley Community Foundation

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is a donor-advised community foundation serving the Silicon Valley region. It is the largest charitable foundation in Silicon Valley.[5]

FormationJanuary 3, 2007; 17 years ago (2007-01-03)
TypeDonor-advised fund, charitable organization
HeadquartersMountain View, California
Santa Clara County and San Francisco Peninsula
Key people
President & CEO
Nicole Taylor[1][2]
Chair of the Board
Greta S. Hansen[3]
Revenue (2017)
$1.4 billion[4]
Disbursements$1.3 billion (2017)[4]
Endowment (2017)$13.5 billion[4]
WebsiteOfficial website



Early history: 2006–2011


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



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, totaling $990 million. On December 31, 2013, the donation was recognized as the largest charitable gift on public record for 2013.[13][14][15]



In 2014, Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp donated close to $556 million[16] to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to set up a donor-advised fund.[17]

Silicon Valley Community Foundation created and hosted Silicon Valley Gives, the Bay Area's first 24-hour giving day, on May 6, 2014. The event was sponsored by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Microsoft, NBC Bay Area, and more than 100 other individuals, foundations, and companies. The event raised $8,000,833 with 14,889 unique donors and more than 21,869 donations.[18][19] SVCF also hosted more than 20 trainings for more than 650 local nonprofits to help them capacity build leading up to the event.[20][21]

On October 2, 2014, Nicholas and Jill Woodman, founders of GoPro, announced that they would donate $500 million to Silicon Valley Community Foundation.[22]

October 23, 2014, Paul Allen announced that he would open a fund for Tackle Ebola with Silicon Valley Community Foundation.[23]



In April 2018, the foundation hired a law firm to investigate the claims made by Mari Ellen Loijens describing sexual harassment over the course of many years.[24] A few days later, the CEO, Emmett Carson, was placed on paid leave.[25][26] 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".[27][28]

In November 2018, the board of directors of the foundation named Nicole Taylor as president and CEO.[29]



Netflix co-founder and executive chairman Reed Hastings gifted two million of his company shares worth $1.1 billion to the foundation in January 2024.[30]



SVCF is a 501(c)(3) organization that publishes annual reports of its financial transactions and grantmaking.[31]

As a donor-advised fund sponsor, the IRS allows donors to claim a tax benefit immediately upon donating the assets to the donor advised fund, but may defer when the assets are distributed as grants to charities.[32] The fund is not legally required to distribute any assets, like family foundations are, so there is little pressure to move money.[33]

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.[34]

See also



  1. ^ Devin, Collins (October 16, 2020). "Racial inequity a focus for new Silicon Valley Community Foundation panel". Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  2. ^ Gunther, Marc (March 31, 2020). "A Test of Leadership". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  3. ^ "Board of Directors". Silicon Valley Community Foundation. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  4. ^ a b c "2017: Silicon Valley Community Foundation by the Numbers" (PDF). Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  5. ^ Business Insider - Silicon Valley's Biggest Foundation Shows What Can Go Wrong When Charities Are Obsessed With Growth
  6. ^ "Peninsula Community Foundation, Community Foundation Silicon Valley Complete Merger". Foundation Center. 2006-12-14. 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. ^ Bailey, Brandon (December 19, 2013). "Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 billion donation". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  14. ^ "Mark Zuckerberg donates $1bn to charity". The Telegraph. December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  15. ^ Kurt Wagner (3 January 2014). "Zuckerberg's Other Billion-Dollar Idea: 2013's Biggest Charitable Gift". Mashable. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  16. ^ "SEC Form 4 Filing - Jan Koum to SVCF". Securities & Exchange Commission.
  17. ^ "No. 4: Jan Koum - Philanthropy". 8 February 2015.
  18. ^ "2014-SVGives-report-2".
  19. ^ "Pizarro: Silicon Valley Gives raises $7.9 million in 24 hours". 7 May 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  20. ^ "SiliconBeat – Tech industry, others gear up for Silicon Valley Gives, area's first 'giving day'". Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  21. ^ "Pizarro: Nonprofits band together for Silicon Valley Gives crowdfunding effort". 2 May 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  22. ^ "GoPro Founders Give $500-Million to Silicon Valley Community Foundation". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  23. ^ Strom, Stephanie (23 October 2014). "Paul Allen to Give $100 Million to Tackle Ebola Crisis". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  24. ^ 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
  25. ^ 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
  26. ^ Dolan, Kerry A. "Mark Zuckerberg-Connected Charity At Risk Of Implosion". Forbes.
  27. ^ "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
  28. ^ "Emmett Carson ousted as CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation". 2018-06-28. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  29. ^ "Silicon Valley Community Foundation names Nicole Taylor as president and CEO". Silicon Valley Community Foundation. 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  30. ^ Francis, Theo (January 29, 2024). "Netflix Co-Founder Gives $1.1 Billion in Shares to Silicon Valley Charity Favored by Billionaires". The Wall Street Journal.
  31. ^ "Financials". 29 July 2020.
  32. ^ "The Price of Privacy: What's Wrong with the New Shadow Giving System". HistPhil. 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  33. ^ "How Tech Billionaires Hack Their Taxes With a Philanthropic Loophole". Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  34. ^ "Warehousing tech elite's wealth? New path urged for Silicon Valley charity". The Mercury News. 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2018-09-21.