Philanthropy in Our Democracy
Creating Better Music
Compassionate Giving
2016 was the year that everything was the same and  everything was utterly different.

The Inequality Gap is still with us and growing ever larger. The big issues of  affordable housing, health, hunger, and opportunity are stubbornly intractable. Yet with the rise of Trump's  populism, everything around us has changed.

I mmigration, DACA, climate change, women's rights, and education, to name a few, are all under a cloud of uncertainty.
The only predictable thing is that everything is unpredictable. 

But there is one thing that is certain. In the Trumpian era, we have to get it done ourselves.  It is surely a time when philanthropy at the local grassroots level in our streets and neighborhoods is more important than ever. It is a time that even more radical collaboration is needed.

My good friend Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, put it best when he said, "Cultural movements are created in times of chaos. We had better music under Nixon and Reagan than we did Obama."

So here's to creating better rock 'n' roll together.

James Higa, Executive Director
It has been a robust year for PVF, both in giving grants and getting new assets.

We specialize in giving quickly when the money is needed, and our focus is compassionate grassroots giving, where we get out into the community and get to know the people and the programs. We focus on individuals, their needs, desires, and problems.

Most foundations require paper and verbiage to apply for funding; it is almost as if they believe the more questions asked, the more diligence there is.

Maybe one of the  problems about present day professional philanthropy is that it is concern-focused versus compassion-focused. To focus on concern is to package issues together and then deal with them as a whole --  poverty, housing, the criminal justice system --  intellectually removed from the people we are trying to help. Maybe a course correction is needed for philanthropy to work more with individuals and families, and not simply concepts.

This is what we try to do at PVF.

Philanthropy is a pillar in our democracy, and we are proud to be part of it.

Bill Somerville, Founder
We are proud to present our 2016 Report, now available online!
Facebook Local Community Fund: Applications Due 5/31

$5,000 grants are available to nonprofits serving Belle Haven & East Palo Alto!

Submit your application online now!
Where's Bill?
Visiting Tiny Houses for the Homeless in San Bruno
PVF Founder Bill Somerville recently had the opportunity to see tiny houses, each of which is not much bigger than a single parking space. These tiny houses represent a sincere effort by the San Bruno Catholic Worker Program to find solutions for the homeless population in the North County.

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 50 years. He was the director of a community foundation for 17 years, and in 1991 founded Philanthropic Ventures Foundation where he serves as President. 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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