Strengthening our Nonprofit Community through Grantmaking:
- LACF and its funds have given 385 grants and scholarships totaling $1.29M since July 1st. More than half of this amount has gone to nonprofits and students in our three communities: Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Mountain View.
- LACF’s Community Grants committee just finished its third round of annual grantmaking, giving a total of $211,698 to 42 local nonprofits and initiatives. Grants were made to a number of nonprofits addressing new needs in our community in addition to grants helping organizations grow their impact. For example, Westwind 4-H Riding for the Handicapped in Los Altos Hills has been expanding its services and LACF’s grant helped cover its professional instructor.
- LACF’s E3 Youth Philanthropy program granted $10,000 to six local youth organizations. Although the grants are relatively small, the process had great impact on the E3 program. “I now see my community differently. It is often difficult to say that one cause matters more than another, but E3 has helped me to do so by distilling down our core values.” Amand Koong, E3 participant
- LACF works to address all needs in the community, giving grants in Arts & Culture, Community Building, Health & Safety, Seniors, Vulnerable populations, and Youth & Education.
Developing and Recognizing Community Leaders:
- LACF’s Leadership Education Advancement Program (LEAD), led by Claudia Coleman, is wrapping up its 21st year. LEAD added 22 graduates to its over 350 alumni members, many have taken leadership roles in the community. Claudia was recognized earlier this year by the Town Crier as Los Altan of the year, partially for her commitment to LEAD.
- LACF’s Block Action Team program now covers over 12% of Los Altos households, providing the tools for those who want to look out for their neighbors, prepare for disasters, and prevent crime.
- LACF’s programs enable over 300 local community members to lead and/or volunteer to make our community a better place.
Improving the Quality of Life in Our Community:
- LACF’s Center for Age Friendly Excellence (CAFE), led by Anabel Pelham, is charging forward on its Senior Inclusion and Participation Project (SIPP). SIPP identifies isolated seniors who are at risk and need services, such as in-home care and health services.
- LACF’s Los Altos Dispute Resolution Service, LADRS, is hosting a free skills-building program on April 22nd to help residents better understand and resolve conflict.
- Soil & Water, a program incubated by LACF, recently secured a garden spot from the City of Mountain View. They are now planting a community garden to teach people how to grow and eat healthy food.
- Los Altos Forward hosted a city council candidate forum last October as well as many free “Community Conversations” on best practices for creating vibrant and well-planned communities. And they continue to organize ‘First Fridays’ each month in downtown Los Altos.
Investing in the Next Generation:
- More families and individuals – now 36 – have included the Foundation in their estate plans, committing to give back to our community forever through their planned gift. We will recognize these far-sighted, generous individuals at our annual Legacy Circle Luncheon on May 9th.
- Over 30% of our grants are awarded to organizations focused on youth and education. Our Donor Advised Fund owners give generously for scholarships and youth causes. The E3 Youth Philanthropy program has fostered empathy and a commitment to community service in over 150 local high school students over the last 11 years.
- LACF has facilitated a common scholarship application process for local service clubs, MVLA Scholars, and new this year, the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. 2017 was their most successful cycle yet: 125 applicants, of which 66 students received scholarships totaling over $200,000. We are very pleased that this collaboration has made it easier for these local organizations to reach more deserving students.
Fostering Innovative Philanthropy:
- LACF is managing Inspire Mountain View, a new challenge grant program for awarding big ideas to make the community more equitable, compassionate, and a better place to work and play. Google, Linkedin, Symantec, and Synopsys collaboratively funded this program to improve their “hometown”. Public voting is now underway to decide which programs will receive grants of $25K, $50K, and $100K. If you live, work, volunteer, and/or are involved in Mountain View in some way, vote before April 21st. “CSA being chosen as one of the nominees for the Inspire MV grants is the talk of the office today. We are all so excited! Thanks to the selection committee.” Tom Myers, Community Services Agency
- Two years ago LACF granted to the MVLA Challenge Team to help expand its Summer Learning program for students falling behind. Last summer, this effort led to full program enrollment. This summer, the program has taken it up a notch, bringing organizations together to combine morning classes with afternoon activity camps.
- LACF is working with the Los Altos School District to identify local housing units for new teachers to rent so they may live in the community they serve.
- LACF offered community members insight into the innovative corporate philanthropy that is helping our communities from Justin Steele of Google.org, who spoke at the 25th annual LACF Brunch last October.
Thanks for your generous support. You have made these accomplishments possible!
And as always, we’re continually looking to increase our impact, so feel free to email or contact me with any ideas you may have.
Executive Director, Los Altos Community Foundation