A Year in Review
Be Good to
Your Neighbor
Right Place at
the Right Time
(photo credit: Christopher Michel) 
In so many ways, it feels like there is just too much centrifugal force at work in the world and the center is not holding.

Our own government is separating children from their parents at the border, withholding honestly earned paychecks from its employees, and taking away the dreams of our Dreamers.

Fake news and disinformation hacking is creating wider and more calcified partisan and tribal chasms.

The technologies of Silicon Valley continue to add fuel to the inequality gap. Companies are co-opting our own data from our grasp and eroding our privacy.

The increasing stresses around us are decreasing our sense of mental well-being and health.

Despite all of that, at PVF, when the world goes low, we go high. We are convinced that local grassroots activism is more crucial than ever. We have conviction that together with you, we can find and propel new ideas and approaches to our biggest problems. We know there are great leaders waiting to be discovered. We believe in risk-taking. We remain audaciously optimistic that we can shape the change we want to see around us. If we focus on our communities and the people around us, and if we focus on radically new ways of collaborating, we can make that dent.

When all is said and done, it's simple. Be good to your neighbor.

James Higa, Executive Director
(photo credit: Martin Klimek)
Housing is possibly one of the most vexing and important issues we face in the Bay Area. Is this a role for us, the "little guy" funder? We say, "Yes." Because of our specialty in critical intervention funding.

A few hundred people have a place to sleep because we were there when these housing and bedding programs started, with beginning funding. When programs start up to help the homeless gain some dignity and stabilize their lives, we are there as first funder for mobile showers and as the sponsor of podiatry programs.

PVF saw that the Community Legal Services program in East Palo Alto had clients who could be evicted but for a small portion of rent they couldn't afford. PVF created the Housing Rescue Fund wherein an attorney at Community Legal Services could disburse critical needs grants and keep the person from being evicted. This program is now supported by a PVF funder and has helped several hundred families remain in their homes.

We just helped buy a reentry house for persons out of prison. We also helped buy a house for day laborers which offers stability to people in precarious positions. We take donors on field trips to introduce housing programs.

Critical intervention funding is being at the right place at the right time. It is at these times when smaller funds can have an impact.  If there is trust in the relationship, marvelous things can transpire. No matter how big the program, there is always room for being there when it counts.

Bill Somerville, Founder
We are proud to present our 2018 Report, now available online!
Second PVF Location Opened in San Mateo County
Come visit us in our San Mateo County location centrally located on the 4th floor at the new WeWork building (400 Concar, San Mateo - free parking in the garage; located near the train station off Hwy 92 and Delaware).

We opened our new location on February 1, 2019. We are getting feedback and ideas on how this location can be a magnet for change and a catalyst for more resources and services. This WeWork building opened in December, and a membership allows one to work at any of the WeWork sites. A community manager is on-site to promote opportunities for members to meet, network and create a culture of connectedness.

We are very excited to connect entrepreneurs and businesses with nonprofits and create opportunities for involvement in the community. We plan to sponsor social events with guest speakers for the purpose of building connections and community, and getting people involved. You will be invited to join us so watch for our announcements!

To schedule a visit, contact Sheryl Young, San Mateo County Program Director at syoung@venturesfoundation.org.
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 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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