What you must know if you’re thinking of selling your home in 2017

Selling your home can be one of the most important decisions of your life.

  • When should you sell?
  • How can you maximize the sales price and proceeds?
  • What are the tax strategies for addressing capital gains?
  • How could tax changes by the new administration affect the market?

Answers to these questions and more at this informal panel discussion with three local experts.

Dennis Young, CPA, Young, Craig & Co., LLP
Laurie Look, Family Wealth and Tax Planning Attorney, Hopkins & Carley
Nick French, Real Estate Broker, Sereno Properties

Sponsored by Los Altos Community Foundation

Thank you to E3 and LACF from Mariano Castro Elementary School

E3 awarded a grant to pilot MathUnboxed to students and their families at Mariano Castro Elementary School, Mountain View. Thank you to the E3 Leadership Board for critical seed funding to launch MathUnboxed!

This program distributed folders to First, Second and Third graders. Each folder contains a set of take-home math games for students to play with their families.

The E3 Youth Philanthropy Program brings together local high school students to help realize their vision and hopes for social change.

E3, also known as E-Cubed, seeks to educate, engage, and empower local youth to effect positive change in their local and global communities through service learning, leadership training, and grant-making activities.  E3 is one of three youth-oriented programs sponsored by the Los Altos Community Foundation.


Welcome Ellen Saliba our new Board Treasurer

Ellen has worked in finance and operations in the computer industry for over 25 years.  She has a degree in accounting and an MBA from Babson College, where she has served as a trustee.  Since 1991 Ellen has lived in Los Altos with her husband, where they have raised three daughters. 

Ellen has been active in Girl Scouts, LAHS Athletic Boosters and PTSA and National Charity League, where she served on the National Board of Directors as both treasurer and president. Currently Ellen serves on the Foothill-DeAnza College District Measure C Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, as a mentor at Los Altos High School, and continues to serve as an adviser to National Charity League.

Former LACF Board Co-Chair Claudia Coleman named 2016 Los Altan of the Year

Claudia Coleman PhotoThe Town Crier has named Claudia Coleman, a longtime resident who has held leadership positions at the Los Altos Community and El Camino Hospital foundations, 2016 Los Altan of the Year.

Modeled after Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, the Town Crier’s annual honor recognizes a resident whose volunteer work generates goodwill and forwards Los Altos’ reputation as an outstanding community.

From the Los Altos Town Crier

Claudia has been involved with LACF since 1996, participating in LACF’s first Leadership Education Advancement Class (LEAD).  Since then she has contributed actively as a member of the LACF board and has served as program manager for the LEAD since 2009.

She is currently a member and past-chair of the El Camino Hospital Foundation Board. She previously served on the boards of the American Red Cross and Pilgrim Haven, now known as The Terraces of Los Altos.  Claudia was recognized for her volunteerism by Los Altos-Los Altos Hills Joint Community Volunteer Service Awards and the John W. Gardner Award .

Thanks for your dedication to your community, Claudia. From your friends at LACF.

2017 Community Roundtable Scholarship Now Live

We’re pleased to announce that the common scholarship application is now live. 


This scholarship application is sponsored by the Mountain View / Los Altos Roundtable. You can use this single application to apply for scholarships from these organizations. Each organizations has different criteria for applicants, as you’ll see in the application.

Participating Organizations:
• Rotary Club of Los Altos
• Rotary Club of Mountain View
• Kiwanis Club of Mountain View
• MVLA Scholars (a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation)
• Quota International Club of Mountain View/Los Altos
• Mountain View Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation

To apply for any of these scholarships you must attend one of the following schools:
• MVLA High School District (including MVLA Adult Ed)
• Pinewood High School
• St. Francis High School
• Foothill Community College (if you plan to continue your education at an accredited post-secondary school or college)
• Mountain View Academy
• German International School

Financial need is considered but not a requirement for the scholarships.

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LEAD Applications for 2017 Open


Join, LEAD, the program that cultivates community leaders in your community.

2017 LEAD Schedule:

January 21              9 – 12 Half-day Saturday Workshop (Including lunch)

All classes are on Wednesday evenings from 7 – 9 p.m.

February 1
February 15
March 1
March 15
March 29
April 5
April 19
May 3
May 17
May 31

To sign up for LEAD please call 650-949-5908 or email info@losaltoscf.org

Stock donations can ease your tax burden

The stock market is near all-time highs. An effective way to maximize your contribution to LACF and save tax money is through stock donations.

Los Altos Community Foundation accepts stock donations for its Community Impact Fund as well as for any of its programs and funds.

But what if you have more appreciated stock to sell than you’d like to donate right now?

A simple solution is to set up an LACF Donor Advised Fund. Contribute stock (or other appreciated assets) to get an immediate tax deduction, and then grant from the fund to nonprofits anywhere in the U.S. for years.

With a Donor Advised Fund, you can de-couple your philanthropy from the whims of the stock market.

For example, if your annual donation budget for all nonprofits is roughly $5,000 per year, you could open a Donor Advised Fund, contribute $25,000 of appreciated stock, and then grant $5,000 annually to the nonprofits of your choice.

Benefits of Donating Stock – Example
(Note: The above is only an example.  Please consult your tax advisor for your situation.)
A Donor Advised Fund has many of the advantages of a private foundation without the legal and reporting requirements. LACF takes care of all of that.

Donor Advised Funds now outnumber family foundations by nearly three to one, in part due to their convenience and simplicity.
Other advantages of a Donor Advised Fund:

  • LACF offers an online portal so you can see a complete record of your grants from your Fund anytime.  (Have you ever tried to figure out how much you donated to a nonprofit last year?)
  • Many nonprofits cannot accept gifts of stock.  You can make one stock donation to your LACF DAF and then grant to other nonprofits from it.
  • A DAF is a great way to teach your children about giving. For example, during the holiday season, one LACF DAF owner offers his children the opportunity to each select a nonprofit they’d like to support from his fund.
  • And finally, investment firms such as Vanguard, Schwab, and Fidelity cannot offer advice on local grant opportunities. LACF knows the needs of the Los Altos/Mountain View communities, helping your grants have the maximum local impact.

If you would like to open a Donor Advised Fund at LACF or learn more about them, I’d love to talk with you. 

Give me a call or send me an email.  You can also download the DAF form.

Joe Eyre, LACF Executive Director

LACF Gave Over $1.4 million in Grants to Nonprofits


Thanks to the generosity of our local community, Los Altos Community Foundation and its donor advised funds gave over $1.4 million in grants and scholarships during the past year. $910,000 of these grants were awarded to local students and organizations in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, a 34% increase over last year.  

Jim Boin, development director of Community Services Agency, said LACF focuses on the needs of local residents. “Money from the community stays in the community,” Boin said.

LACF Community Grants are awarded to nonprofits helping vulnerable populations, seniors, youth, education, the environment, and the arts.  Grants support new initiatives and existing programs.  

The Foundation’s Community Grants program is operated in partnership with the David and Lucille Packard and Heising-Simons Foundations.  Additional grants and scholarships come from LACF’s Donor Advised and Scholarship Funds, and LACF programs.

“We value our role connecting donors and resources with nonprofits to address community needs,” said Joe Eyre, LACF executive director.

Kicking off its first Community Grants cycle this fiscal year, LACF recently awarded another $73,000 to local nonprofits.  


Grants Recipients include:

  • Bay Area Furniture Bank: working to provide basic furniture and household items to local families in need and those transitioning out of homelessness.
  • Cantabile Youth Singers scholarship fund: providing tuition assistance so that needy students may participate in a choral music education and performance program.
  • Los Altos Dispute Resolution Services (LADRS): offering free mediation services to resolve local neighborhood, landlord-tenant, and business disputes.
  • Hope’s Corner: providing free breakfast and lunch to hungry children, families, and seniors every Saturday in Mountain View.
  • JustREAD: offering one-on-one tutoring services to struggling students.

Now in its 25th year, Los Altos Community Foundation enables residents, private foundations, and businesses to strengthen the community through local philanthropy and civic engagement.  

LACF and its donors address local needs through grant making to nonprofits, leadership and community-building programs, incubating startup nonprofits, providing donor-directed charitable funds, and bringing groups together to solve local issues.

MVLA Scholar Looking for Low-Cost Room to Rent

mvlahouseOne of our MVLA Scholars needs a low-cost room to rent from now until September 2017.


Michael Viray is an incredible young man in need of a place to live ASAP. Below is a short self description and recommendation from his mentor, a Los Altos High School assistant principal.


“Hi! My name is Michael Viray and I am currently looking for low-cost housing. I am from Mountain View and am attending Foothill College this year. I am majoring in sociology and hoping to explore more in the health field. I am a very neat and tidy person. I am very courteous and love all types of pets. Currently I am applying to transfer next fall and I am very willing to respect all rules of the house. Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully I can hear back from you”.  


Letter of reference from Galen Rosenberg, Assistant Principal, Los Altos High School:

I’ve known Michael Viray for more than two years as a student, employee and recently as a housemate. I can endorse him as a responsible, hard working, neat and friendly person. He has been an entirely pleasant, quiet, responsible tenant for the last several weeks and I am sure any person renting to him will be pleased to have him around. He also got along great with our dog. Galen Rosenberg, assistant principal, Los Altos High School, 650-960-8814


If you have a room to rent, please contact MVLA Scholars at:  mvla_scholars@losaltoscf.org


MVLA Scholars is a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation