Convene the Community

claudiaandsemitian1Los Altos Community Foundation has played a leadership role in bringing disparate groups together to strengthen our community and/or resolve issues. Two such initiatives are:

  • MLVA Community Roundtable
  • Community Process for Reconciliation

MLVA Community Roundtable

One of the primary goals of LACF is to strengthen local nonprofits, and by doing so, build a stronger community. LACF initiated the collaborative organization “Mountain View-Los Altos Community Roundtable.”

In 2004, LACF’s Executive Director Roy Lave convened the group for the purpose of sharing information, collaborating on ways to stretch the available “grantmaking and scholarship dollars”, and to provide workshops and learning opportunities for other area nonprofits. The group is made up of Rotary, MVLA Community Scholars, Kiwanis and Quota Club members from Los Altos and Mountain View, and board and staff members from LACF.

Among the Roundtable’s first projects was to create a common college scholarship application for area students. Working with local high school guidance counselors, the group streamlined the application process to increase the number of students applying for scholarships from local groups.

For the 2007 “scholarship season”, over 170 individual applications were received, representing students from Los Altos, Mountain View, Alta Vista, St. Francis, Pinewood, Mountain View Academy, and the MVLA Adult School. LACF’s role was to act as the clearinghouse for the project, using the Community House as the common return address for applicants, and providing the administrative support to coordinate the compilation of submissions for each service club or organization.

Community Process for Reconciliation

In late 2004 and early 2005, the Los Altos Community Foundation took brought together stakeholders regarding the closure of the Bullis School site, which had become a contentious issue for the School District and residents in both the Town of Los Altos Hills and the City of Los Altos.

The CPR group was formed to: convene stakeholders to listen together, share perspectives and create a shared understanding of this complex situation; model an alternative process for working through complex community issues; and to provide a set of candidate solutions in the spirit of a “staff report” for decision-maker consideration.