by Bill Somerville, Founder
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation was founded on the principle of trust. But what is trust?
Trust is being willing to take risks when you are never sure on something. Thus, trust and risk go together.
The basis for trust is intuition, as well as past experience. We trust people who we know, people who we have worked with, people with a past record of accomplishment. But there is always risk involved because it might not work out. 
Trust is the willingness to accept risk.
It is our premise that trust is not measured by paper or by an application. It is produced by getting out of the office and finding people, by being intuitive in interactions with people. 
Trust is also a willingness to suffer failure because there is no assurance of affirmation. Because we trust people, we can move quickly and make grants quickly; we fund people when they need it. 
Because we trust people, we don't require or desire long proposals from applicants. We do not think paper replaces trust, nor is it due diligence.
We believe your success is our job. We want people to succeed and trust is vital to this proposition.
A good example of trust is our Teacher Resource Grant Programs wherein the teacher only needs to send in a one-page request for support to buy science equipment, have a poet in the classroom, or go on a field trip. These requests are decided upon and funded in 48 hours. We have done this for 20 years and have granted $9 million in funding so far.
Another good example of trust is working with Pastor Paul Baines of Project WeHope. Pastor Baines operates a shelter in East Palo Alto for the homeless. He came up with the idea to have a mobile shower/toilet/laundry truck. This was an expansion in services offered way out of the normal, but Philanthropic Ventures Foundation was a first funder, requiring no application and basing a decision on his past leadership in serving the poor.
              PVF's Executive Director, James Higa, with Pastor Bains and Project WeHope team member.
Visiting Artists in the Virtual Classroom: Using Art As Expression
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation's Visiting Artist in the Classroom Grant program offers $500 grants for teachers to invite artists (e.g. painters, sculptors, wood carvers, weavers, musicians, dancers, poets, etc.) or art historians to visit their classrooms and lead fun, hands-on art projects. 
With distance learning, you may think this program isn't possible right now, but you just have to be creative!
Made possible with funding by the Geballe Family, we have kept this program going due to the passion and ingenuity of our communities' teachers. 
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, he founded Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. 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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