Over $500K Awarded in
Teacher Resource Grants
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation strives to make a significant impact with every charitable dollar it invests. At PVF, we cause things to happen, initiating programs, forming collaboratives and acting quickly so that grants are made when needed at the critical point of intervention.

In accordance with this vision, PVF created and pioneered the concept of immediate response grant programs, getting funding to those in need in a 48-hour turnaround time. PVF created the  Teacher Resource Grants Program in 2000, in response to a private foundation's goal to improve public education. As a result of the success of this program, and thanks to our generous team of donors, PVF's immediate response Teacher Resource Grants have expanded to serve public schools in seven San Francisco Bay Area counties and have given around $8 million in 18 years.

During the 2017-2018 school year, over $500,000 in funding for teacher resource grants was available, and PVF awarded almost 800 grants. Here are just a few examples:
Joseph Senn, a science teacher at Oakland Technical High School, used his Environmental Science Resource Grant to take his students to Ocean Beach in San Francisco to measure the biomass of sand crabs, and they input their data to a citizen science database, as part of the statewide LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students) program. "Students enjoyed the trip, learned about ecosystems, applied scientific sampling procedure, and experienced the wonders of our community.  I am sure most will remember it the rest of their lives.  And this is all thanks your support," said Mr. Senn.
Marie-Josee Parayre, an occupational therapist in the Brentwood Union School District, received a Special Education Resource Grant for therapy tools. "As an occupational therapist with 20 years of experience working in schools, I have seen firsthand the decrease in funding affecting our ability to purchase much needed equipment. This grant brought a smile to my face, and now the equipment purchased with this grant is bringing excitement for many children and helping them develop new skills."
Through PVF's Visiting Artist in the Classroom Grant, Pescadero Elementary received funding for a local artist/muralist, Ellen Silva, to support a fourth grade classroom in creating and completing a "California Habitats" mural. Students researched the Pescadero marsh and created drawings of marsh animals and plants; Ms. Silva transferred them to a wall, and students painted the mural. Principal Hayes said, "This project helped to reinforce the students' learning about California habitats and ecosystems, part of their social studies standards. In addition, they now understand the process an artist goes through to create a mural. This mural will be a daily visual reminder of their learning and beautifies the school campus."
PVF is proud to administer these programs, providing small but critically needed grants for teachers help to address inequalities in public education and build future generations of strong leaders.
Enriching the Lives of Foster Youth
Through Youth Opportunity Scholarships
Guest Blog Post by Kristine Schneller, Business Development Specialist at iFoster
Levi, a 12 year old from Grass Valley California, dreams of being a professional wrestler. To Levi, wrestling is everything. Levi is excited about wrestling because he excels in the sport, and the other kids love to watch him wrestle and are inspired since he is a little person. However, money is really tight living with his grandmother and sisters. This is why iFoster's partnership with Philanthropic Ventures Foundation to enrich the lives of foster youth is so important. With a Youth Opportunity Scholarship from PVF, Levi was able to participate in his school team for the first time. "I have learned so many moves, and I have done so well in the tournaments I have gone to," Levi told us, "The wrestling club is getting ready to start a new style of wrestling called Free Style. I would really like to continue on." It has been incredibly rewarding to see Levi's confidence sky rocket and his skills advance. Levi is one of hundreds of scholarship requests we have read from youth wanting to experience life, grow and thrive.

iFoster is a national nonprofit that works with foster youth and families to help get them the resources that they need. Foster parents receive funding from the government to cover the necessities: food, clothing, shelter, etc. However they lack the funding for what we at iFoster call "thriving resources." So when PVF approached us in 2016 offering to fund enrichment activities for foster youth through the Youth Opportunity Scholarship (YOS) program, we jumped at the chance.
About the Editors
James Higa
James Higa, Executive Director, brings 28 years of executive experience from Silicon Valley, working with Steve Jobs to change the face of technology. He was at the birth of the personal computer revolution as a member of the original Macintosh team and was deeply involved in the creation of many products and services at Apple over 3 decades. He has a long history of public service as a board member of Stanford's Haas Center and in grassroots relief efforts.
Bill Somerville, Founder, has been in non-profit and philanthropic work for over 50 years. He was the director of a community foundation for 17 years, and in 1991, he founded Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. Bill has consulted at over 400 community foundations, on creative grantmaking and foundation operations. Bill is the author of  Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker
About PVF
PVF is a demonstration foundation practicing unique forms of grantmaking and innovative philanthropy. Our primary interest is in the creative and significant use of the philanthropic dollar.
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