Thank you to El Camino Hospital, Lead Solstice Sponsor

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When you choose El Camino Hospital for your care, you can count on:

We still have openings for our other sponsor levels for the 2017 Summer Solstice Party.


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Sponsor the Solstice

Guests enjoy LACF’s 2016 Summer Solstice

What is the Summer Solstice?

Los Altos Community Foundation’s Summer Solstice Celebration is an elegant garden party held at a large private residence, featuring wine from local vintners, passed appetizers and live music.  The event also is an opportunity for those in the community to learn more about the Foundation’s work and volunteer opportunities.

The event is from 5:30-8:30pm on June 23rd.  This year, the Solstice will be held at the Wayman residence in Los Altos Hills.  This estate was formerly known as the Adobe Creek Lodge.

The Solstice is attended by upwards of 250 guests, many of whom are among the most affluent and influential members of our community.

Why Sponsor?

By sponsoring this event you will promote your business to some of the most connected and affluent members of our community.  Your sponsorship will also show that you and your business support the philanthropic causes that are deeply valued by our strong and generous community.

The sooner you sponsor, the more exposure you and your business will receive. Sponsorship purchase deadline is June 1, 2017.

Sponsorship Opportunities:

Sponsors will be acknowledged in all promotional materials.  Web and social media coverage is included.

Levels of sponsorship include:

Community Champion – $2500

  • Logo/organization name on all event invitations, promotional flyers, social media, LACF website, LACF E-Newsletter
  • 6 tickets to event
  • Your logo and name displayed prominently on banner fronting the main wine bar
  • Tiered acknowledgement in event program & signage at speaker’s podium
  • Verbal recognition during the event as a ‘Community Champion’ sponsor
  • Tiered recognition in Los Altos Town Crier Thank-You ad following the event
  • Tax deductible portion is $2,350

Community Partner – $1000

  • Logo/organization name on all event invitations, promotional flyers, social media, LACF website, LACF E-Newsletter
  • 4 tickets to event
  • Your logo and name displayed on banner fronting the main wine bar
  • Tiered acknowledgement in event program & signage at speaker’s podium
  • Verbal recognition during the event as  ‘Community Partner’ sponsor
  • Tiered recognition in Los Altos Town Crier Thank-You ad following the event
  • Tax deductible portion is $900

Community Advocate – $500

  • Logo/organization name on all event invitations, promotional flyers, social media, LACF website, LACF E-Newsletter
  • 2 tickets to event
  • Your logo and name displayed on banner fronting the main wine bar
  • Tiered acknowledgement in event program & signage at speaker’s podium
  • Verbal recognition during the event as ‘Community Advocate’ sponsor.
  • Tiered recognition in Los Altos Town Crier Thank-You ad following the event
  • Tax deductible portion is $450


To purchase your sponsorship by check, please make the check payable to “LACF” and mail or drop off by June 1st  with the following information:

Sponsorship level in the memo line of the check
Your Name
Business Name
Business Address
Phone #
Email address
LACF’s address is 183 Hillview Avenue, Los Altos, CA   94022.  The tax ID number is 77-0273721.

Questions?  Contact Christina Rudolph, (650) 949-5908 or by email,

Because of your valued support, Los Altos Community Foundation has many exciting community accomplishments to report for the past six months

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, 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.

Joe Eyre

Executive Director, Los Altos Community Foundation

Santa Clara Count Supervisor addresses LACF’s LEAD

The Los Altos Town Crier published a nice article about Supervisor Joe Simitian speaking to our current LEAD class about community advocacy. Its a great talk.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian discussed the keys to successful advocacy at Los Altos Community Foundation’s Feb. 15 Leadership Education Advancement (LEAD) class.

“Having served as an elected official at various levels of state and local government, I’ve observed what works, and what doesn’t,” Simitian said. “Making change is difficult, but it can be done if you know how to be a successful advocate.”

Simitian illustrated his points with humorous examples based on his years of public service as a mayor, county supervisor, state assemblyman and state senator.

“Joe Simitian’s dynamic and fun presentation is a real skill-building experience in the LEAD curriculum,” said Claudia Coleman, LEAD program director.

Read the rest of this article in the Los Altos Town Crier.

LEAD runs from January to May each year. It is an ideal way to learn more about Los Altos and Los Altos Hills local government, education, local non-profits and business interests.  Participants have included those who are:

  • New to the area or lived here for years
  • Retired
  • Contemplating City Council, School Board or a Commission
  • Interested in giving back to our community

LEAD is a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation.

Meet TACO: The terribly fun, low-stress, no-pressure orchestra

At a recent meeting of the Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra (TACO), after musicians found their seating sections, chit-chatted and tuned up, the group launched into its first piece. The melody was recognizable — Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” — albeit at a slower pace than the brisk tempo with which listeners may be more familiar.

“Let’s do it a little faster?” conductor Cathy Humphers Smith asked the group, which reacted with hesitation and some nervous laughter. “Let’s do it again, for fun, at the same tempo?” she countered. After another, somewhat smoother time playing through, Humphers Smith beamed at her ensemble. “Give yourself a hand, that was beautiful.”

Read the full article at Palo Alto Weekly.

• Launched in January 2011 TACO has grown to a robust group of 50 to 60 regular players.

• Inspired by the Really Terrible Orchestra (RTO) of Scotland.

• Musicians of all skill levels from beginners to local music teachers share an afternoon of music making.

• Our library of music includes a range from the classics to show tunes.

• We don’t rehearse for performances. This is a social orchestra, not a performance orchestra.

• New music provided every month which you can practice if you wish.

• To participate in TACO you must be able to laugh at mistakes.

• We meet on the last Sunday of each month, from September through June excluding holidays, from 2 to 5 pm.

• Gatherings include a brief social time for musicians to share ideas and resources.

• Friends and family are always welcome to attend.

• Musicians bring their instrument, a music stand, their music, an appetizer to share once during the year, and lots of good humor!

Learn how to become a member.

TACO is a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation.

Pat & JJ Kapp

First-time LACF donors Pat & JJ Kapp are pictured here in Paris, one stop on a riverboat cruise through the French wine country they took last spring.
First-time LACF donors Pat & JJ Kapp are pictured here in Paris during a stop on a riverboat cruise through the French wine country last spring.

Pat & JJ, high school sweethearts from Belmont, moved to Los Altos in 1999 for the schools. Their two children, Kelly a MVHS sophomore and Frank a sophomore at UC Berkeley, have attended Oak, Blach, and MVHS.

Pat ran her catering business and has been a dedicated community volunteer.  She’s served as PTA President, Junior Olympics co-chair, Los Altos Education Foundation Board Member, AVID mentor, and MVLA Scholars mentor.

She discovered Los Altos Community Foundation while working with MVLA Scholars.

“I had no idea how much LACF provides for our community,” Pat said.  “Without the Foundation, programs like MVLA Scholars could not exist.”

She said LACF’s annual Summer Solstice party really opened her eyes to LACF’s work in the community.

“At the Solstice event I saw so many people who I really value in our community and who are involved with LACF,” Pat said.  “That was a ringing endorsement of LACF, if I ever needed one.”

Her husband, JJ, a Santa Clara University School of Law graduate and a Public Defender in Santa Clara County for 30 years, will retire in May. He currently coaches Mock Trial at MVHS and has coached flag football at Oak and Blach schools for many years.

Pat & JJ’s charitable giving has been mostly to organizations supporting their passion for education, animal and civil rights:  Humane Society, ACLU, Salvation Army, LAEF, MVLA High School Foundation, and MVLA Scholars.

Though they initially moved here for the schools, Pat & JJ are becoming more deeply involved in the community through LACF, Los Altos Stage Company, and other groups.

In the year ahead, JJ will spent his retirement sailing, paddle-boarding, adopting a mule, and starting new projects at their ranch in Gilroy. Pat is looking forward to a year of even more community involvement in her new role as Co-President of the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce.

We are grateful for Pat and JJ Kapp’s support and all they do for the community.

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Joe Simitian’s 13 Tips for Successful Advocacy

1. Before speaking to a group of elected officials (such as City Council), develop a relationship with one or more of them. Even a 15-minute call ahead of time with one of them could make a big difference in the effectiveness of your request.

2. Understand what motivates the audience of elected officials (or staff) to which you are speaking. For example, do certain members care about traffic, housing, the environment, fiscal responsibility, or schools? They will be more receptive if you can frame your arguments in the ways they care about.

3. Understand what is possible and what is not. For example, a school board cannot take action on a City building. Similarly, asking for a very expensive new program might not make sense during a recession when budgets are being dramatically cut.

4. Find a “floor manager”. Before speaking before an elected body, find an elected official who believes in your proposal and can steer the discussion in a positive direction for you.

5. Tell them what you want. Mr. Simitian has sat through many presentations and meetings when at the end he is not clear what the speaker wants. He feels it is important to state right up front what you are requesting.

6. Bring solutions, not problems. Rather than just stating there is a problem (such as not enough housing), public officials like ideas for solutions, especially those with which the majority of their constituency might agree.

7. Describe the elements of a solution, rather than insisting on a specific solution. For example, if traffic on your street is bad, be open to different alternatives, rather than insisting on one particular solution (such as a speed bump).

8. Do not chastise, insult, or threaten an elected official or his/her staff. It is a sure way to slow down (or even kill) your request.

9. Understand that less can be more. For example, if many people in your neighborhood agree on an issue, it would be more effective to have two or three neighborhood representatives speak at a meeting and then ask all of those in the audience to stand up to show their support, rather than having everyone say the same thing over and over again for two hours.

10. Layer your campaign. Given that everyone gathers information in different ways, communicate your request through different channels (letters, emails, etc.) and with different presentation modes (written, verbal, graphic, etc.).

11. Persistence pays off. Reasonable, continued persistence can often work in the long run.

12. Make it easy to say yes. Requests are easier if most of the elected officials and/or constituents agree with it.

13. The value of a “thank you.” Elected officials and staff appreciate thank you notes as well as thank you letters in the newspaper. Even if your request is not approved, thank those voting against it for their consideration so they’re more likely to receive you favorably when you come back the next time.

Inspire Mountain View now accepting applications

Ready? Set? The  Inspire Mountain View Challenge is now accepting applications!

This is an opportunity to show off your smart ideas and win one of three grants — $25k, $50k, or $100k — for innovative projects that benefit the people who live or work in Mountain View.

Applications are available online now through March 15. Grant awards will be announced on May 3.

The contest is open to 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Other entities including individuals, government agencies, and for-profits fiscally sponsored by a  501(c)(3) nonprofit are also eligible to apply.

Feel free to share this email with your partners, board members, and other interested parties.

For more details, please visit, or contact Joe Eyre @ directly.

Here’s to inspiring ideas!