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.

Community Grant Recipient Profile: Stretch To Kindergarten

Gabriel was in a shell of fear and shyness as he approached kindergarten according to his mother.

“After just six weeks my son Gabriel feels more confident and now is comfortable raising his hand to ask and answer questions in front of the class”, said Gabriel’s mother Cynthia.  “He is coming out of his shell of shyness.”

Gabriel is in a class this summer with a number of other children starting kindergarten in the Los Altos School District this fall.

Stretch To Kindergarten (STK) is a program of the Family Engagement Institute, a recent LACF Community Grant recipient.

STK offers a tuition-free, parent-participation, spring and summer kindergarten readiness program for socioeconomically disadvantaged children.

STK works to cultivate enduring partnerships among families, schools and the community to give children, most of whom have not attended preschool, the skills to help them successfully transition into kindergarten.

STK works with children in small groups to develop their English language, social, reading and math skills.   They also learn independence and to advocate for themselves, something kids without preschool experience may not yet have had the opportunity to learn.

And it’s not just the kids who learn.

Parents volunteer in the classroom and attend parent/child workshops which provide information on transitioning to kindergarten, family literacy, parenting, children’s academic and social development, nutrition and physical health, emotional well-being, volunteering in the schools and community resources.

STK Director Carmen Ponce said she is dedicated to creating a nurturing community to engage the whole family in making this important transition to school.

“It really lays a solid foundation for the students’ long-term success if the parents are involved with their children’s school and are connected to teachers, administrators, and other parents so they can reach out for support.”

Stretch to Kindergarten, founded in 2009 by Elizabeth Simons, a former teacher of Spanish bilingual elementary school classes and now president of the Heising-Simons Foundation, is now a cornerstone of the Family Engagement Institute at Foothill College.

STK serves families of children registered for kindergarten in nine local school districts, including Mountain View Whisman and Sunnyvale, in addition to the Los Altos School District.

Los Altos Community Foundation is proud to support the work of the Family Engagement Institute and Stretch to Kindergarten.

World Harmony Chorus concert supported by LACF Community Grant

From the Los Altos Town Crier:


The World Harmony Chorus is scheduled to perform 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Community School of Music and Arts’ Tateuchi Hall, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View.

The World Harmony Chorus is a community chorus open to teens and adults of all experience levels – from beginners to seasoned choral singers. Participation in the chorus requires no audition. Members learn a repertoire of songs from a variety of ethnicities, nationalities and folk traditions around the world, including selections from Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Daniel Steinberg, founder and director of the World Harmony Chorus, has been a member of the CSMA faculty since 1999. He believes that “anyone can participate in music, regardless of age, experience or natural ability.”

Making music accessible to everyone is Steinberg’s personal commitment. He said he sees music-making “as an essential element of community-building” and believes that “an awareness of the traditional music of other cultures helps to bring about a better understanding of the world and ultimately promotes world peace.”

“The World Harmony Chorus concert demonstrates how our diverse community can be connected through music and art,” said Vickie Scott Grove, executive director of CSMA.

Grove added that people of all ages, backgrounds and interests come together in the chorus to express a “mutual love” of song and performance.

“We invite you to join us to share this joy and expand your cultural horizons with the World Harmony Chorus,” she said.

The World Harmony Chorus is accepting new members – CSMA begins its spring semester Feb. 9. Singers interested in joining the chorus can learn more and register online at

Monday’s concert is part of CSMA’s 2014-2015 Community Concert Series, supported by grants from the Applied Materials Foundation and the Los Altos Community Foundation.

Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

For a full Community Concert Series schedule and more information, call 917-6800, email or visit

Now accepting Community Grant Applications

Community Grant applications are due 2/24/15.DSC_0083

LACF primes local community organizations with thousands of dollars in grants.

For example, in 2011-2012 the Foundation awarded $176,000 in grants to 35 local non-profits. Grant applications are evaluated and awarded by how the grant will address a community need and/or incrementally benefit the community.


Community Grants

Los Altos Community Foundation Grants Over $136,000 to Local Non-Profits

DSC_0083Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF) just completed its second grantmaking cycle this fiscal year, giving a total of $136,400 to 45 non-profits that serve Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Mountain View. These project and operational grants benefit our communities in areas such as health, assisting vulnerable populations, youth, seniors, arts and culture, and community building.

LACF’s Community grant program helps sustain programs at established local organizations such Los Altos Stage Company, Community Services Agency, Community Health Awareness Council, the Day Workers Center, El Camino Hospital Rotacare clinic, Hidden Villa, Los Altos History Museum, Just Read, Krause Center, and the YMCA.

LACF also directs a number of grants toward new and emerging community philanthropy. Recipients include CarbDM, Center for Age Friendly Excellence, Los Altos Forward, Los Altos Prepare, WomenSV, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Project Los Altos exhibit.

“LACF is proud of how its grants have positively benefitted the social, environmental, and economic aspects of our community,” said Joe Eyre, LACF Executive Director. The Foundation has granted over $1.1 million to our local communities since its founding in 1991. Beginning in 2007, LACF began a re-granting program for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. This year the Packard Foundation provided 200,000 to LACF for local re-granting.

Grant requests are evaluated three times a year by a citizens committee. The next grant submission deadline is the fourth Tuesday in February. Interested community members may also contribute to the grant fund or any of LACF programs.

Los Altos Community Foundation improves the quality of life in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Mountain View by inspiring, facilitating, and celebrating philanthropy. The Foundation does this through grantmaking, programs, non-profit fiscal sponsorship, philanthropic funds, and community leadership. For more information see or call (650) 949-5908.