Community Engagement specialist Daniel Harris, Knight Foundation Program Director, to speak at Gardner Awards

DannyH_0031 copyLos Altos Community Foundation is excited to announce that Daniel Harris, Knight Foundation program director, will be our featured speaker at the 2016 Gardner Awards dinner.

Prior to joining Knight, Daniel was a principal of StorySocial, a creative design studio in Washington, D.C. In that role, he helped businesses, cities, foundations and brands more effectively collect and share their stories online and in person to build stronger communities.

He is also co-founder of Feastly, a venture capital-backed online marketplace that allows cooks to turn their homes into restaurants and promotes community connections at the dinner table. Previously, he was the chief storytelling officer for People’s District, an online oral history project launched in Washington, D.C., that collected and shared a profile of one city resident a day.

Harris earned a Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College and a Master’s in Public Administration from Princeton University. His work has been featured in, among others, Fast Company, The New York Times, NPR, TIME, The Wall Street Journal and Wired. The Washington Post called him a “modern-day Studs Terkel.”

Harris has delivered presentations around the world and is a regular speaker on topics such as storytelling, community building and creative placemaking. He was chosen as a National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow and is an award-winning DJ and photographer.


Click Here to Buy Gardner Tickets


Heart to Heart Teens do great things with their LACF Community Grant.

This really brings home how powerful the Community Grants program can be.

Dear Joe,

We thank you so much for the opportunity to provide “Parent Projects” classes and programs in our local community through the  Heart2Heart Teens a Community Grant of $1,500 LACF provided.
We had an amazing turn-out and wonderful completion.  Parents and families were positively impacted through three classes offered in our community this last semester.
Here is a picture of just some of the families in Mountain View.
In addition, just recently, the 49ers recognized us with their Unity Award for “Keeping Families United” through this program.
Again, thank you for helping us make this program successful.
Heart2Heart is interested in submitting a proposal for this grant if offered again.
Can you please point us in the right direction for this?
Thank you again ans we are grateful.
Best Regards,
Aimee M. Lopez

LACF gave 114 grants and 123 scholarships in the second half of 2015

One of LACF’s important activities is to address the needs of our communities through grantmaking. Grants enable nonprofits to start new projects, build capacity, and meet daily operational needs.

LACF’s grants and scholarships come from three primary sources: our Donor Advised and Donor Designated Funds, our Community Grants Program, and our Scholarship Funds.  Our grants helped strengthen local nonprofits and our college scholarships enabled local students to enrich their lives and community through education.

If you would like to open a Donor Advised Fund and begin grantmaking, please see donoradvisedfunds or contact us.

LACF’s Donor Advised and Donor Designated Funds gave grants to these local organizations:

  • Bullis Charter School
  • Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC)
  • Challenge Team
  • City of Mountain View
  • Community Services Agency (CSA)
  • Day Worker Center of Mountain View
  • Foothill-DeAnza Foundation
  • Hidden Villa
  • LACF’s Sustaining Fund
  • Los Altos Educational Foundation
  • Los Altos High School
  • Los Altos History Museum
  • Los Altos School District
  • Los Altos Stage Company
  • Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Mountain View High School
  • Pinewood School
  • Positive Coaching Alliance
  • Saint Francis High School
  • Sempervirens Fund

LACF’s Donor Advised funds also gave many grants to other nonprofits in the Bay Area and in other parts of the country.

LACF’s Community Grants Program gave grants to the following nonprofits that serve our community:

  • Acterra
  • ALearn
  • Animal Assisted Happiness
  • Avenidas
  • Center for Age-Friendly Excellence (CAFÉ)
  • Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC)
  • Community Services Agency (CSA)
  • Day Worker Center of Mountain View
  • E3 Youth in Philanthropy
  • Friends of Deer Hollow Farm
  • Hidden Villa
  • JustREAD
  • Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade
  • Los Altos Forward
  • Los Altos History Museum
  • Los Altos Village Association Fund
  • Mentor-Tutor Connection
  • Mountain View Police Activities League
  • Mountain View-Whisman School District
  • MVLA High School District
  • Navigators Chapter 41
  • Peninsula Bridge
  • Peninsula Symphony
  • Peninsula Youth Theater (PYT)
  • Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra (TACO)
  • Westwind 4-H Riding for the Handicapped
  • Ye Olde Towne Band

A Great Emergency Kit Template from Los Altos BATs

BAT leader and nurse, Sally Chaves, created emergency kits for herself and gave kits to her grown children, now living on their own. This is her template:


Basic Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Store the following in a clear Sterilite Ultra Latch 33”L x 201/8”W x 131/2” H bin.

Work gloves (1 med or large pair, 1 small pair)

1 small battery charged lantern

In a zip lock bag:

Extra batteries for flashlights and lantern

Small jackknife (with small scissors)

In a zip lock bag:

Toothbrushes and small travel toothpaste

Small travel soap or boxed bar of soap

Small face or other lotion if desired

Small sunscreen


Pack of Wet Ones

Paper towel roll

2-4 toilet paper rolls

Plastic silverware if desired

Box of large trash bags

Small quart zip lock bags

Small sponges

Small dishwashing soap

Juice packs or bottles

Peanut butter

Granola bars, boxes of crackers, etc

Raisins or other dried fruit

Freeze dried food if desired

Cans of tuna, beans

Can opener

Pair of comfortable walking shoes for each person

In a large plastic zip lock bag: (per person)

Change of underwear and socks

Extra pair of pants and shirt

Extra jacket and sweatshirt

Sun/winter hat

A second set of eyeglasses

Any prescriptions medications

In zip lock bags:

2 towels, dishtowels, wash cloths

Basic kit (i.e. Johnson & Johnson All Purpose First Aid Kit)

Plastic jar of hydrogen peroxide

In separate zip lock bag: (added if desired)

1” paper tape


Small kitchen or disposable gloves

Box of 3” x3” gauze pads

Box of Band-Aid variety

Store the following along side the bin

Old sleeping bags/blankets stored in large plastic bags

Small umbrella if desired

Water (not stored in bin) large plastic gallons or large packs of smaller bottles.

2016 MVLA Community Roundtable Scholarship application live!

The 2016 MVLA Community Roundtable Scholarship is live!

The Mountain View Los Altos Community Roundtable was formed in 2003 and it is composed of several community organizations including the Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Quota Club, and Lions Club of Los Altos and Mountain View as well as the Los Altos Community Foundation.

2015 Donor Appreciation Party

Thanks to all who attended and made this event such a success. More detailed thank you’s to follow.



AFP Awards Day

Thanks to Laura Bajuk for nominating us for the Outstanding Foundation Grantmaker. This was a fun event that helped connect us with the fundraising community.


Joe’s speech:

Acceptance speech after receiving AFP award:

On behalf of Los Altos Community Foundation I’m honored to accept this award and be standing in the company of all the incredible current and past award winners.  Thank you to AFP Silicon Valley for hosting this wonderful event and to Laura Bajuk of the Los Altos History Museum for nominating us for this award.

As the saying goes, “it takes a village” and that truly exemplifies the Los Altos Community Foundation.  I want to thank our board for their leadership and guidance, and the Foundation staff for their dedication toward providing high-quality, personal service.  And most importantly, I’d like to thank our many donors and volunteers who enable us to carry out our mission. Many of you are in the audience today.

Los Altos Community Foundation is now in its 25th year, and I would be remiss if I did not also recognize and thank our Founder, Roy Lave.  For 23 years Roy grew this Foundation – as a volunteer — from an idea into a respected institution that has inspired local philanthropy, developed generations of civic leaders, and built a stronger community.  Roy and the Foundation creatively and effectively integrated grantmaking with the Foundation’s direct service programs, its portfolio of startup nonprofits, and charitable funds.   I would not be standing here today without his vision and commitment.

Our focus, community philanthropy, often does not get the headlines like curing cancer, eliminating poverty, or solving terrible diseases in Africa.  However, what we do is the essence of the American spirit, neighbors pitching in together to improve the place they start and end each day, the place they call home.  Strong, caring communities are the bedrock of our great country and I’m proud that Los Altos Community Foundation has been recognized for this effort.

Little description of photo and the award:
Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF) received the 2015 Outstanding Foundation Grant Maker award at the 28th annual Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day celebration, hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter on November 20, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Nominated by the Los Altos History Museum, LACF received this award in recognition for its demonstrated commitment to philanthropy through financial support and community involvement.  The event drew over 700 community leaders, philanthropists, corporate sponsors, and fundraisers.

Celebrate Community Foundation Week

Los Altos Community Foundation is joining more than 750 community foundations nationwide as they celebrate Community Foundation Week November 12-18, 2015.  Created in 1989 by president George H.W. Bush, this week recognizes the work of community foundations across America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.

Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF) is proud and excited to be in our 25th year of strengthening our community by stimulating local philanthropy and civic engagement.  Look for our Report to the Community this week in the Los Altos Town Crier to for a colorful summary of our local impact through grantmaking, our managed and incubated programs, funds, and events.

This is all possible with the passionate involvement and support of our donors, fund owners, Board of Directors, volunteers, and Legacy Circle members.  As you think of your year-end giving, we encourage you to invest locally through LACF, to ensure that our community becomes better and is an even more vibrant place in which to live, work, and play.









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What is TACO

‘TACO’, the Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra, is a group of people of all skill levels who like to play music for the joy of making music together.

Founded and directed by Los Altos resident Cathy Humphers-Smith, a former director of Music for Minors in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, TACO began as a weekly gathering of musical friends in her living room. When the group grew to over 20 musicians, it became a non-profit under the umbrella of the Los Altos Community Foundation and moved to rented classroom space at Hillview Center.

As TACO continued to flourish it became an official class offered by the Los Altos Park and Recreation Department, which enabling them to meet at the larger Los Altos Youth Center.

Now one Sunday each month, 75 musicians ranging in age from teens to 80s converge to make music.

Creating this monthly sight-reading orchestra gave local musicians a place to keep their music alive, without the intense weekly commitment and stressful auditions sometimes required by other orchestras.

As one TACO participant said, “I love the music this month and I’ve been practicing, though some pieces are too fast for me. But I know I will have fun no matter what happens to my ability to hit the notes”.

Ms. Humphers-Smith, a pianist and choral conductor, said she “…always fantasized about an all-inclusive orchestra, one that welcomed people of all levels, where everyone helped each other to improve, without the insistence on perfection and without attitude.”

Los Altos Community Foundation is proud to support TACO through our non-profit fiscal sponsorship program and through our Community Grants program.





Los Altos Foward is hosting the next Club 55

Join Los Altos Forward, the Assistance League and CAFE for Club 55+