In the Spirit of the Season
November/December 2022
In the Spirit of the Season...

You will find our combined November/December newsletter full of important information. But the real meaning behind this communique is to take time to reflect upon the good things we have… like our wonderful relationship with you, our sponsors, donors, board members and friends.

We appreciate working with you and hope that the Holidays and the coming year will bring you happiness and joy!

The Board of Directors of Gilroy Foundation is seeking an Executive Director responsible for the overall operation of the Foundation. The Executive Director is a strong leader who has a knowledge of and is a visible presence in the nonprofit and Foundation community, thinks strategically, and implements Board policies. This leader understands diverse community relations and needs and possesses the fund development skills to grow the organization.
Gilroy Foundation will be accepting applications in February with interviews held in March. If interested, visit the Gilroy Foundation website at

Gilroy Foundation Executive Director announces retirement
Donna Pray has served as ED since 1995

 Gilroy Foundation Executive Director Donna Pray announced her plans for retirement, effective April 28, 2023. She has served in this position at Gilroy Foundation since 1995.

“Donna has been the face of Gilroy Foundation since 1995,” said Karen La Corte, Board President. “Her leadership and dedication in growing the Foundation into what it is today is unprecedented. The Gilroy community has a legacy of giving for generations we can be proud of. It is through Donna’s commitment to excellence that we have this treasure we call Gilroy Foundation. We wish her all the best in retirement.”

Pray’s legacy at Gilroy Foundation includes growing the endowment from its earliest beginnings of $280,000, made up of a General Fund and five small separate family funds to its current value of over $14 million with more than 132 Field of Interest, Donor Advised, Designated, Group and Scholarship Funds. As Fund Donor Paula Goldsmith stated, “Gilroy Foundation’s grant giving process is a fair and efficient means of distributing funds. It gives us confidence that our unrestricted family fund is being used wisely to address the many needs in our community.”
When Pray felt the Foundation needed higher visibility in its early days, she organized a fundraiser “Day in the Country” for guests to enjoy Wine Tasting, Silent Auction, Luncheon, and Live Auction. The event brought in $25,000 for the endowment; the 2022 “Imagine” Day in the Country netted over $110,000 for Gilroy Foundation programs.

The Scholarship Program is one of Pray’s fondest endeavors. She acknowledges that a Gilroy Foundation scholarship can make a difference in a student’s life, and she takes great pride in working with the students to ensure everything goes as planned. Most of the Thank You notes that Donna receives read something like this: “Thank you again for your generosity and support. I will continue to work hard and succeed in my future endeavors. I hope one day I can give back to my community and offer the support you have so fondly given me.”

Most notably in Pray’s long list of accomplishments was the Foundation’s response to the 2019 Garlic Festival shooting. It brought our lives to a halt in Gilroy; however, within hours of the event, Pray had received a phone call from Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) checking on the Foundation workers in the Wine Booth that they knew would be working at the Festival. That same night, SVCF made an initial donation of $10,000 to create the Gilroy Garlic Festival Victims Relief Fund; the next day, Pray fielded calls and ended the day with $250,000 in donations and pledges. All the days moving forward blended together with calls from potential donors, visitors bringing in donations, news agencies requesting information, but still the work of Gilroy Foundation continued in the area of grants and scholarships.

Alongside the Oversight Committee who reviewed victims’ applications for compensation, Gilroy Foundation became the vessel for the $1.9 million collected and distributed to the victims. Long days in the office and weekend workdays were the norm for Pray. As distressing and overwhelming as these nine months were, Pray wrote in her website document, “Stepping to the Plate,” chronicling this time, “Although this was a devastating time for our community, for our staff, and for me, we can reflect on it, knowing that we did our best to help heal and move forward. Stepping up to the plate to aid the victims of the Garlic Festival shooting will forever be a part of our history.”

The Board of Directors has established a Transition Committee that will be discussing the recruitment of a new Executive Director over the coming months. Pray looks forward to becoming involved in her community, spending time with the family, and continuing to support the work of Gilroy Foundation.

“Give Where You Live”

In mid-November, Thanksgiving cards were mailed to more than 700 listings on our database, inviting recipients to become a member, renew their membership or add to their fund.

Donors to Gilroy Foundation have various ways to participate in philanthropy in our community:
·      As an annual member with a gift from $100 to $1,000, your gift to Gilroy Foundation goes into the general unrestricted endowment for grant giving or one of our Community Needs funds of your choice; five percent of year-end balances of these investment funds support the annual grantmaking cycle.
·      By establishing an individual, family, or corporate fund that may be designated to a particular charity; or donor-advised fund, where the donor makes the annual decision on where a grant goes.
·      By choosing a bequest to the Foundation in their estate planning and become members of the Legacy Society. No paperwork is necessary; just let us know you have included Gilroy Foundation in your estate planning.

The minimum amount to start a separate fund is $10,000. Consecutive annual donations via our membership program is another way to establish a fund. When these donations total $10,000, a separate fund may be established.

And remember, Gilroy Foundation accepts gifts of cash, stock, real estate, and cryptocurrency. We look forward to your continued support to respond to the growing needs of our local community, both now and in the future.

Check out the benefits of becoming a member or starting a fund and make your gift today!
At the recent Chamber Mixer held at Rosso's Furniture, LFF ED Jaci Muro and Officers received some VERY exciting news. Here is how their Facebook post read:
Latino Family Fund was notified by the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, that we were voted Nonprofit of the Year! We are so honored and couldn’t be more proud of Latino Family Fund.
A lot has happened in this past year, and we have some amazing things planned for 2023. So stay tuned… we’re just getting started.

In 2006, twelve families pooled their own money to establish a donor-advised fund with Gilroy Foundation, called the Latino Family Fund de Gilroy.

Since then, they have established their own mission and vision statements, along with a strategic plan for growth and development. Over the years, they reached out to increase their membership and planned fundraising events to increase their grantmaking Fund.

They have gifted more than $71,000 to local organizations serving the Latino community. They have increased their endowed donor-advised fund from $10,000 to over $230,000.

In 2013, they partnered with South Valley Middle School to support youth in cultivating their leadership, grantmaking, and fundraising skills through a Youth In Philanthropy (YIP) program. They now have YIP in all three of GUSD middle schools. The students have awarded more than $16,000 in grants.
To find out more and to become more involved, visit

  • “Give Where You Live”-- Besides our General Grantmaking Fund, there are many available opportunities to donate to Gilroy Foundation. Consult the List of Funds; then, simply make a donation by clicking on the “Make A Donation” button. Whether you pay with a credit or debit card, or your PayPal account, you can type in your choice of funds in the “Where should we direct your donation?” box.
  • Show the Love—Share the good news about Gilroy Foundation, our nonprofit investment partners and fiscal sponsorships. Like and Share our stories on Facebook and Instagram and help increase our visibility in the community—on social media or in person.
  • Give to a cause instead of a gift—If you struggle to find the perfect gift for a family member or friend, why not consider making a donation to Gilroy Foundation or one of our nonprofit investment partners in their name? It will be a lasting gift and one that will be long remembered.
The recent passing of Don Christopher has left a huge void in our community... and in our hearts. The many online tributes are a laundry list of the good he did for the. community he loved.
At Gilroy Foundation, our relationship was a unique one: when Don wanted something done, or a purchase made for the betterment of our schools, the arts, and whatever the need, he made one call to the office and we were able to fulfill his wishes, having given us the ability to write a check to fulfill his wishes.
Don's legacy will endure through future generations. He made our hometown a better place. Gilroy Foundation extends our sincere sympathy to Karen and the entire family. May you Rest in Peace, Don.

Did you know that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Gilroy Foundation when you shop? And every little purchase adds up.

Keep shopping using AmazonSmile. And THANK YOU!


Well, would you look at what WE did!

We filled an entire barrel --AND another half barerel--with toys, thanks to our Board of Directors, Emeritus Board, Ambassadors, Youth Board and Staff.

Toys were collected for Mt. Madonna YMCA!
In the Spirit of the Season....
Gilroy Foundation's Board of Directors and Staff wish each and every one of your Constant Contact friends a very Happy Holiday Season.
Greetings from Directors Karen La Corte, Vito Mercado, Lee Blaettler, Jennifer Speno, Jay Baksa, Ericka Davis, Don DeLorenzo, Joel Goldsmith, Yesenia Gonzalez, Carlos Pineda, Rigo Vargas; and Staff Members, Donna Pray, Vicki Campanella, Jaci Muro, and Renee Garcia.
"Give Where You Live"

Thank you to our Sustaining Sponsors

We are proud that five local businesses continue to support Gilroy's community foundation as a Sustaining Sponsor.

Thank you to Christopher Ranch, Recology South Valley, Blaettler Accountancy, Pinnacle Bank, and RAC Services LLC for your commitment to our community and the programs of Gilroy Foundation.
Gilroy Foundation |