Mission and History

Our Mission

Dancers at Los Altos First Friday

LACF strengthens the community by stimulating local philanthropy and civic engagement.


Around 1975 the Art Deco Theater on Main Street closed it. In response, a committee formed and collected funds to preserve it.

The committee collected funds but abandoned its work for unknown reasons. They failed to let donors or the community know that they were terminating their work.

It was only when the property owners publicly disclosed their plans for converting the theater building to retail and office spaces did the community become aware of the situation.

By that time, it was too late to save the theater. To some community members, the fumbled affair suggested the need for an organization that would enable the community to react to preservation opportunities in the future.

Fast forward to the early 1990′s when local attorney James Reynolds noted that his estate planning clients were asking for ways to give back to the community. His clients sought a vehicle for giving, but one over which they had some control. He knew of community foundations in other cities and thought Los Altos would benefit from one.

He called together a group of active citizens to propose forming a foundation.

The organizing committee for Los Altos Tomorrow began meeting in late 1990. And the first “board designate” meeting occurred in February 1991.

That board consisted of twenty-four community members from fourteen families. Thirteen of those families became Board members of the California Corporation when it was chartered in August 1991. In 1995 Los Altos Tomorrow was rechristened Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF) to more accurately describe the organization’s focus. The word “tomorrow” was not considered descriptive enough as it was used in many communities for many different types of endeavors.

The Los Altos Community Foundation is thriving today, celebrating more than 25 years of community engagement.

The Community House

Built in the early 1920′s, the Community House was originally on the property at the corner of W. Edith Avenue and San Antonio Road, near the DeMartini Fruit Orchard Stand. It was the original home when it was a working orchard.

Community HouseIn 1997, the home was a sales office for the Parc Regent development, just south of the fruit stand.  The developer offered the home to the City of Los Altos. And the Los Altos Community Foundation asked the City to accept the gift on their behalf and raised funds to move and renovate the 20′s style cottage.

LACF moved the house to 183 Hillview Avenue.  Community volunteers planted the landscaping.

The home, named the Community House, now provides offices for the Los Altos Community Foundation and meeting, storage and workspace for other local nonprofits.