A Year in Review
New Definition To Philanthropy
Small Stone. 
Big Ripple.
(photo credit: Christopher Michel)
A new year and continuing our efforts to do creative philanthropy.

We have a three pronged approach to our work:
  1. Critical intervention money - finding places where limited funds can have impact                                                       
  2. Quick response giving - funding when there is need, no delays or extensive application process              
  3. Trust - funding outstanding people and giving them flexibility to serve their communities

We are well known for our nimbleness, an d the speed  with which we work. We evaluate our giving constantly  in order to support new needs, such as early dental  care for low-income children, an employment resource  worker for an entire community affected by layoffs, or accessible  funds for individuals combating homelessness.

The border crisis is a challenge we are continuing to address  locally by supporting asylum seeker's and their families  to find housing, food, and health services within our  community.

At the same time, we give out upwards of 4,000 grants a  year to teachers, social workers, and juvenile court judges  to support children in need. Over the years, this has  amounted to over $12 million, all done through one-page  applications, 48-hr turnarounds and considerable collective

It will be a busy year ahead, and we are blessed to be able  to do our work.

At PVF, we've long acted on the belief that the smallest  stone can make a big ripple.

Bill mentions our work around the crisis on our border.  It's a great illustration of how seemingly small starts can  grow into larger movements. The immigration crisis is  overwhelming. What can any of us possibly do?

When PVF heard about a small group of women who  wanted to go down to the border crossing in McAllen,  TX to witness what is happening there and to be  of service to the families and children seeking asylum,  we didn't hesitate to make a small grant in support.

That trip documented the horrible conditions  on the border for families and children that have endured  such danger and hardship to reach the US.  That small trip gave birth to the Bay Area Border Relief  initiative and brought more people and more dollars into  the effort. 

The ripple grew outward to organizations like  UCSF and SalesForce, who joined hands with their support.  And as the universe would have it, 6 families were  relocated to the Coastside, right in our backyard. These  families have been connected to the network of great  non-profits here who can help and support them further.

So it ends up that there was a path for us to do something  about this seemingly intractable national problem.  It started small. It started local. But the small  ripple turned into a big ripple. And it all came back  full circle to our continuing work in the Bay Area.

This is why we will continue as we enter this new decade  to embrace a bias for action, trusting in people, and believing  in radical collaboration. Because we've seen with our  own eyes that even the smallest start is worth a chance.
Bill Somerville, Founder
James Higa, Executive Director

We are proud to present our 2019 Report, now available online!
Introducing Cocokind Impact Foundation's 
2019-2020 Grantees
Photo courtesy of Kimbritive, LLC, a Cocokind Impact Foundation Grantee
Priscilla Tsai founded  Cocokind to provide a clean, certified organic, socially conscious, and accessible skincare line, based around superfoods.

Through PVF,  Cocokind Impact Foundation provides grants of $2,500 to $10,000 to female-identifying entrepreneurs in the health, wellness, and sustainability industries to create social impact through business.

Each grant recipient also receives a Cocokind Impact Mentor from Cocokind's network of successful founders and leaders in the wellness space for the year after receiving the grant.
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.
For more news and updates: