(photo credit: Christopher Michel)
Let's bring back honesty.
In 2017, we saw the rising flood of fake news and a world that feels like it's splitting apart more than coming together. We need transparent honesty more than ever, and our grantmaking reflected this.
The 'Silence Breakers' rose up this year en masse to start an honest conversation about sexual harassment in our workplaces and communities. We were honored to support the courageous work of Better Brave, Callisto, and Kater Gordon's Modern Alliance--new startups that want to put an end to this continued predation of women, minorities, and the least powerful amongst us.
An honest and fair chance on a level playing field of economic opportunity is a key part of the solution to the Inequality Gap. SheEO is transforming how women-led ventures can be given an honest and equal chance at getting financed. The Bay Area Inspire Awards and 1951 Coffee Co are giving young people and refugees an honest shot at creating dignified jobs.
In addressing social entrepreneurs from around the globe at SOCAP17, I was uplifted by their honest intentions and shared belief that companies have a responsibility to do good and give back to our world. We need more of that here in Silicon Valley.
So here's to all of us making honesty a habit of our hearts.
James Higa, Executive Director
(photo credit: Martin Klimek)
In 2017, it was great to see some large foundation and tech donors step forward to fund local grassroots programs.
It's also refreshing to know that PVF was there as well, often as first funder.
For example, it was our idea 16 years ago to start two fellowship programs at Stanford, placing students in philanthropic foundations for a summer or a year. We wanted to bring more young people into philanthropy; now a few hundred students have participated, and many are working full-time in the field.
Or the St. Francis Center, which offers over 85 units of low income housing, a neighborhood gym, food, clothing, and a K-8 school-PVF was the first funder, 30 years ago, when all their services operated out of a small cottage.
Being a first funder is not risky business, but it's very challenging to "find 'em and fund 'em."
Our ability to identify people and programs, no matter what size, and give support at the right time, is what grassroots philanthropy is all about.
The way we find people is to be out and around, to become aware of new programs or new ideas; good people lead to other good people.
So, there is a role in philanthropy for the little guy. And we will continue our efforts in the new year.
Bill Somerville, Founder