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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2015 Glorious Fourth in Photos

Thanks to all who made the 2015 Glorious Fourth a smashing success.

 

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2015 MVLA Scholars

 

This year 29 seniors from Los Altos and Mountain View High Schools received multi-year renewable scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000/year, and a personal collegementor, from MVLA Scholars.

“We wanted high achieving, low income, first-generation-to-college applicants, and we received a huge response! Of the 70 qualified applicants, 29 received scholarships – morescholarships awarded than ever before, thanks to the generosity of last years’ donors,”saif Dee Gibson, Co- chair of MVLA Scholars.

“This group of students was incredibly impressive and accomplished”, adds JanetTornow, also Co-Chair of MVLA Scholars, “They all have powerful life stories and a proven resiliency. I am in awe of their ability to overcome even profound obstacles. Many have worked 20, 30 + hours a week to help their families, maintained high (over 3.5) GPAs, and still participated in sports, theater, church, and community service.”

Meet the new stars of the program: Jose Amaya, Genesis Arreola, Jocelyne Marin-Melo, (UC Merced), Lawrence Antiporda (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo),

Alejandro Chavez, Jorge Farias, (CSU Chico), Sharon Wachuka (Cal Poly Pomona), Anamaria Gomez, Victor Macias, Edgar Sanchez Lopez (San Jose State University), Katherine Hamilton, Alexa Lopez (University of California Santa Barbara), Liliana Maldonado, Jose Morales, Vanessa Villavicencio (Sonoma State University), Blanca Casillas, Alexandra Zaragoza-Chavez (San Francisco State University, Elaine Jennings (CSU Long Beach), Perla Luna, Maria G. Munoz Yepez (Santa Clara University), Asaysha Session (CSU East Bay), Edgar Tapia, Jhosseline Guardado (UC Davis), Rita Alejandra Villanueva (UC Berkeley), Michael Viray (UC Santa Cruz),Akemi Yoshida (CSU Sacramento State), Mirella Acevedo Perez, Lesleiy Sandoval, Jamaila Padaong (Foothill, De Anza Colleges). Students hope to enter careers in engineering, nursing, law, teaching and journalism.

MVLA Scholars is a program of Los Altos Community Foundation, a 501(c)3. Visit our website www.mvlascholars.org to learn more about our programs.

Community Roundtable 33 local high school seniors head to college

33 high school seniors from 5 local high schools have been awarded college scholarships through the Mountain View Los Altos Community Roundtable and MVLA Community Scholars program.

LACF convened these organizations to work together to streamline the scholarship application and evaluation process.

The Community Roundtable program enables students to fill out a single online scholarship application which is then considered by the seven local organizations offering scholarships. By eliminating the need for students to apply separately to each individual organization, the application and evaluation process is more efficient and results in a more balanced distribution of scholarships.

“We are proud that these organizations collaborate on their scholarship programs”, said Joe Eyre, Executive Director of the Los Altos Community Foundation. “A single online application makes it easier for the students as well as school administrators submitting letters of recommendation and transcripts. Also, this process leads to better distribution of scholarships among the applicants.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Community Roundtable, formed in 2003, comprises several service organizations including the Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Quota Club, and Lions Club of Los Altos and Mountain View. Included as well are the MVLA Scholars and other Los Altos Community Foundation-hosted scholarship funds.

If local residents would like to establish a scholarship fund or bring an existing fund into the Community Roundtable, contact the Los Altos Community Foundation for more information.

Ways and Means Passes Charitable Tax Provisions

The House Ways and Means Committee met today to markup several important bills focused on the charitable sector. The actions included making permanent charitable “tax extenders,” such as the IRA charitable rollover and simplifying the private foundation excise tax on investment income to a single rate of 1%. All four bills were passed out of the Committee, and will move to a full House of Representatives vote. Council staff were present for a first-hand look at the action.

Here is a full list of the charitable bills passed by the Committee on Wednesday:

H.R. 637, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the rule allowing certain tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes.”
H.R. 640, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the tax rate for excise tax on investment income of private foundations.”
H.R. 644, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend and expand the charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory.”
H.R. 641, “Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2015.”
The Vote

The votes broke down along party lines, with Republicans passing them out of Committee. Many of the Democratic members who commented during the three-hour long markup spoke in strong support of the substance and purpose of these provisions, citing examples of how these charitable incentives have supported and improved conditions in their districts.

But, Democrats voted against the measures for two reasons. They objected that:

1.     None of these bills were “paid for” with spending offsets in other places, and

2.     They were being “cherry picked” and not considered within the broader context of comprehensive tax reform.

House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) took the position that the provisions did not require offsets because they were essentially permanent law. The Chairman noted in his opening statement that “all of these ideas have broad, bipartisan support. Most of them have been part of the tax code for years. It’s about time we got around to making them permanent—instead of all these back-to-the-future extensions. Let’s make them permanent. Give people certainty. Move America forward.”

Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL-18), who sponsored the bill to make permanent the IRA charitable rollover, commented during the markup: “charitable donations and the incentives we provide… [are] never about the person giving the contribution. We put these incentives in law for the people who benefit.”

Co-sponsor Danny Davis (D-IL-7), made clear that this bill would help to put more philanthropic dollars into communities, stating – “the rollover is another example of a smart federal investment.” He cited examples of his Chicago constituents who not only rollover their IRA distributions, but also contact his office about the future of the provision.

Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN-3), who sponsored the legislation to simplify the private foundation excise tax, said in his opening statement: “This will ensure that charitable giving decisions are actually based on the needs of our communities rather than the tax code.”

Representative Davis again voiced his support, saying, “when philanthropy thrives – communities thrive.”

What’s Next

These bills will now need to be voted on by the full House. It is unclear when that will be, but we will keep you updated.

Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill released the following statement after Wednesday’s markup:

The Council on Foundations applauds the Members of the House Ways and Means Committee for their commitment to supporting a strong philanthropic sector. We would like to thank them for reintroducing these measures so quickly in the new Congress, in order to provide much needed certainty to both donors and foundations. The four charitable bills passed by the Committee today will encourage charitable giving and strengthen philanthropy’s ability to serve communities across the country.

Simplifying the private foundation excise tax to a flat rate of one percent will allow private foundations to spend more resources on communities in need, rather than on tax compliance. The measure will lift an administrative burden and direct more focus to the work of the foundation rather than navigating a complicated tax provision that creates a perverse incentive to give less, not more, in times of need. We would like to thank Congressman Erik Paulsen and Congressman Danny Davis in particular for sponsoring this bill.

We are also especially pleased that the Committee voted to make the IRA charitable rollover permanent. This provision has long been a priority of the Council, and we thank Congressman Aaron Schock for his leadership on this bill. A permanent IRA charitable rollover will give individual donors certainty when planning their charitable gifts, which means more money will flow to charitable causes.

We thank the Members of the House Ways and Means Committee for moving these bills forward, and we look forward to working with the full House of Representatives to move these provisions toward becoming law as quickly as possible.

What You Can Do

You can send a simple email to your member of Congress asking them to speak out in support of this bill!

LACF adds four new board members to its roster

Joel Shaps

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joel Shaps is President, Owner, and CEO of Bedrock Capital Management in Los Altos.  Prior to that, Joel was President of two divisions of Profit Recovery Group, owner of The Shaps Group, an accounts payable recovery consulting business, and a Vice-President at Neiman-Marcus.   Joel has been serving on LACF’s investment committee since 2012.  He and his wife, Sally, have been married since 1974, and together they have raised two daughters, Brandi and Lisa.  Joel enjoys golf, travel and wine.


 

Sanjay Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sanjay Dave, a seasoned high-tech executive and Sr. Manager at Synopsys, has lived in Mountain View for over 16 years with his wife and two children.   Sanjay has been actively involved in the local schools, Huff Elementary and Mountain View High School, as well as the Mountain View Rotary Club, where he currently serves as the membership chair


 

Harry Price

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Price is a civil attorney, practicing real estate and business law in Los Altos for over 30 years.  He has also served as an associate instructor at De Anza College, teaching real estate courses. Active in charitable and civic organizations, Harry has served on the Board of Directors of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, as President of the Los Altos Village Association and is a member of the Los Altos Rotary Club.


John Radford

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Radford has actively volunteered in the community for the past 15 years, beginning on the board of the Los Altos Educational Foundation.  He has served on a number of committees for the Town of Los Altos Hills, was elected to Town Council in 2011 and served as Mayor in 2014.  In January he began his second term on the Council.  John has served for many years on the boards of Next Door Solution to Domestic Violence and RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers).  For the past two years John has been a member of the LACF Community Grants Committee.  Professionally, John is an executive compensation expert and co-founder of The Radford Associates.