Los Altos city council wants your input on next city manager

The Los Altos City Council has enlisted the executive recruitment services of Bob Murray & Associates to lead the search for a permanent City Manager. As part of the recruitment process, City Council is seeking input from the public.

The City Council has created an online survey in order to gather feedback from residents, businesses, and other community stakeholders about the background and leadership qualities they value most in their next City Manager. The public is encouraged to visit the online survey to share their thoughts via a series of open-ended questions that range from what community issues are most important to respondents to how they would like to see their City Manager interact with the community.

“This survey was designed to help both the City Council and recruiter understand the characteristics community members value most in their civic leader,” says Los Altos Mayor, Jeannie Bruins. “The Council is confident Bob Murray & Associates will bring forward candidates who are committed to keeping the momentum in Los Altos moving forward.”

Those interested in providing feedback to Council regarding the recruitment are encouraged to complete the survey by Friday, July 1, 2016.

Following the resignation of former City Manager Marcia Somers in April, the City Council appointed Chris Jordan of West Linn Oregon as Interim City Manager. Jordan’s first day was April 27; his contract with the City of Los Altos runs through September 30, 2016 or until a permanent City Manager is selected.

For more information, contact Jon Maginot, City Clerk/Assistant to the City Manager at (650) 947-2720 or jmaginot@losaltosca.gov.

70 percent of affluent families lose control of their assets after inheritence


luminaraia nightMany families struggle with inter-generational miscommunication about family wealth leading to hard feelings and loss of trust. Our Donor Advised Fund owners can bring their children into their funds as philanthropic advisers. This can help avoid many of the pitfalls associated with inheritance by opening the lines of communication as mentioned in this article from Wealthmanagement.com as paraphrased below.

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In the United States alone, it’s estimated that more than $40 trillion will transfer from baby boomers to the rising generations. In addition, the ownership of thousands of family businesses will transfer to younger family members.

Most families aspire to preserve wealth, values and legacy over the generations. Research demonstrates that a number of factors influence a family’s ability to reach that goal.

Almost always near the top of the list is a family’s shared commitment to community, service and philanthropy.

Preparing Heirs

The authors of a major study focused on 2,500 affluent families discovered that, over 20 years, 70 percent of those families lost control of their assets (and family harmony) in the first, second or third generations following wealth transfer. Sixty percent of the time, those failures were due to a lack of trust and poor communication.

“Where heirs were encouraged and intelligently guided to participate in family philanthropy,” said the authors, “it had a profound impact in three major areas of their development and preparation for later life. The three major areas were values, mission and accountability.”

Best Practices

Dennis Jaffe, a professor of organizational systems and psychology at Saybrook University and a family business consultant, one of the authors of a related study, observed in a later paper, that:

  • Jaffe said the loss of assets arises from the behavior of the older generations’ lack of engagement with the next generation, not necessarily from the motivation of the next generation.
  • Often the next generation perceives that it is hard to contribute since they cannot use traditional methods.
  • Parents should find ways to invite their children to become meaningful partners as they transition from controlling owners to mentors.
  • Parents should listen to their children who may have different approaches to maintaining family wealth.



Philanthropy is an effective way to engage all family members in a conversation where they can share, teach, learn, value, change and consistently grow family wealth and giving.

Contact us if you’d like to set up a donor advised fund and open the lines of financial communication in your family.

CAFE founder to be featured guest speaker at local conference on seniors

The East Bay Foundation on Aging (EBFA) cordially invites you to join us in celebrating our seventh year and over $2.5 million in grants to improving the lives of vulnerable seniors in Oakland.

On June 3, 2016, we will feature guest speaker, Anabel Pelham, Ph.D., who will be speaking on age-friendly communities.

anabelDr. Pelham is president of the National Association of Professional Gerontologists and professor and founding director of the Gerontology Program at San Francisco State University. Dr. Pelham is Founding Director of the Center for Age-Friendly Excellence, a project of the Los Altos Community Foundation and a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Her expertise is in global issues in aging and gerontology.



Date and Time:
Friday, June 3, 2016
10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The San Francisco Foundation
One Embarcadero Center, Suite 1400
San Francisco, California 94111

Event Program:
10:15 a.m. – Registration
10:30 a.m. – Networking and light refreshments
11:00 a.m. Program starts – Welcome by Board Chair, Micheal Pope
11:15 a.m. – Grantee presentation by Lavender Seniors
11:30 a.m. – Guest Speaker, Dr. Anabel Pelham, on age-friendly communities
12:00 p.m. – Q&A with Dr. Anabel Pelham
12:30 p.m. – Lunch and networking

Please RSVP by May 27, 2016

For questions, contact Barbara Jwanouskos, Program Assistant.

CAFE is a launched project of the Los Altos Community Foundation

First Community Grants of 2016 Awarded

LACF’s Community Grants program recently granted over $85,000 to 21 local nonprofits serving our communities.   The Community Grants program helps fund new and emerging philanthropic activities as well as providing operational grants to established local organizations.

Since 1991, the Foundation’s Community Grants program has provided over $1.3 million to local nonprofits.  LACF manages re-granting programs for the David and Lucile Packard and Heising-Simons Foundations.

DAF Owners boost LACF’s granting power

We received far more funding requests than we could possibly meet. But thanks to two of LACF’s Donor Advised Fund (DAF) owners, some of that funding gap was filled.

When DAF owners step forward, they can really boost LACF’s grant-making power to the benefit of the local community.  And DAF owners can feel comfortable knowing their support is going to organizations vetted by LACF.

LACF manages re-granting programs for the David and Lucile Packard and Heising-Simons Foundations.

Here are a few of our recent grants, supporting a variety of organizations serving various needs – from youth & education, to the environment, to arts & culture:


Assistance League of Los Altosnewborn 1

To provide basic necessities to needy families who are expecting or have newborns in Northern Santa Clara County





To fund Mountain View Whisman School District’s first unified environmental education and community service initiative, delivering urban greening through school campus tree plantings.




KLD water day - croppedKick, Lead & Dream (KLD) Soccer Camp

To fund t-shirts, transportation, equipment and facilities rentals for this teen-run soccer camp serving low-income children in Mountain View, Los Altos and Sunnyvale.



Living Classroom Compost Lesson--3rd gradeLiving Classroom

To update Living Classroom garden-based lessons to meet new science and common core standards.  This is required to continue teaching Living Classroom lessons in the Mountain View and Los Altos public schools.




Theater Works 1TheaterWorks

To support TheaterWorks for Schools programs in the Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View area.







2016 Annual Legacy Circle Luncheon, May 10th

LACF is hosting its annual lunch for Legacy Circle members on May 10th.  If you have already included LACF in your estate plans, or intend to do so, please let us know by May 1st.  You may return the Legacy Circle Membership Confirmation form or just give us a call at 650-949-5908.

Would you consider giving a gift that benefits the community forever, but costs you nothing?   This is a Legacy Gift to LACF.  Your Legacy Gift will seed LACF’s Community Endowment fund.

Why a Community Endowment fund?
Silicon Valley has been doing well, but our economy may not be steady forever.  Don’t you want to know that LACF and its programs will continue to flourish during tough times?  A Community Endowment fund will help LACF strengthen our valued local educational, cultural, and community-service organizations through any economic cycle.

Why now?
The time to build a Community Endowment fund is when times are good.  Leaving a Legacy Gift today ensures that our Community Endowment fund will there for support in the years ahead.

How to easily leave a Legacy Gift?
Leaving a Legacy Gift can be as simple as naming LACF as a beneficiary of your retirement funds, such as an IRA, 401k or 403b, or life insurance policy.  This can also ease the potential tax burden on your loved ones.


Reminder!  If you’d like to join the Circle, you may return the Legacy Circle Membership Confirmation form or just give us a call at 650-949-5908.

A special thank you to our sponsors:

Loebner Law LogoStarLight

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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