Philanthropic Ventures Foundation

 March 2012 


a newsletter for our donors and colleagues  


400 and Counting    


400 is the number of community foundations at which Bill Somerville has done on site consulting. Most in the US but also Canada and the United Kingdom, England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

The last consulting was in March 2012 with the New Mexico Community Foundation which is 25 years old with about $23 million in assets and a staff of 10 people located in Santa Fe.


A visit consists of first reviewing as much as possible of the foundation forms, applications, reports, financial data, publicity. Next is being on site for 2 or more days, individually interviewing staff members, spending extended time with the executive director - trying to develop a full, rich picture of the foundation.


As this picture emerges then recommendations are made towards being more effective, efficient, and helpful to the community. New Mexico is the fifth largest state with a school system that ranks 49th in the nation. There is a need for a foundation that offers the entrepreneurial dollar to nonprofits and professionals doing human services work.


The foundation can give focused grants to issues such as poverty on the Jemez, Zuni, Laguna and Santa Clara Indian reservations, can convene people and nonprofits to be more creative in funding in the arts, can come up with ideas of how to help dedicated teachers working in a system that is faltering.


The future for this foundation is exciting.


Other consulting visits that Somerville will be conducting include the Spokane Community Foundation and the Arkansas Community Foundation which is statewide with 27 subsidiaries.

Join Us

Philanthropic Ventures Foundation has come to depict exciting philanthropy - grassroots giving that is born out of creative thinking. If readers would like to explore new possibilities in their giving, we are ready to meet at your convenience. We believe your giving should be fun, satisfying and significant.

We can be reached at (510) 645-1890.

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About the Editor

Bill Somerville has been in non-profit and philanthropic work for 50 years. He was the director of a community foundation for 17 years, and in 1991 founded Philanthropic Ventures Foundation where he serves as Executive Director. PVF is a demonstration foundation practicing unique forms of grantmaking and conducting innovative philanthropy. Bill has consulted at over 400 community foundations in the United States, Canada, and the U.K., on creative grantmaking and foundation operations.  His primary interest is in the creative and significant use of the philanthropic dollar.

Board of Directors

Duncan Beardsley, Chair


Generosity in Action  


John P. Carver

Retired Senior Vice-President

The Gap Inc.


William E. Green


William Green & Associates


James Higa

Senior Director

Apple Inc. 


Albert J. Horn


Carr, McClellan, Ingersoll,

Thompson & Horn PC


Bill Somerville, President

Executive Director

Philanthropic Ventures Foundation


Jackie Speier

U.S. Representative

12th District of California
Moira C. Walsh

Attorney and

Philanthropic Advisor


Colburn S. Wilbur

Trustee and Former President, 

David and Lucile Packard Foundation 

Board of Advisors

Janet Camarena

Director, San Francisco Office,

The Foundation Center


Leonard Edwards

Judge-in-Residence, California Administrative Office of the Courts


Kathy Kwan


The Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation 


Dien Yuen

Chief Philanthropy Officer,


PVF's Blog  

Math Resource Grants Thank You Letters

Grants of up to $500 are available to fund books, classroom resources, and professional development related to mathematics for Preschool-3rd grade public school teachers in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.  This program is made possible by the Heising-Simons Foundation. Read more thank you letters here.

Math Games and Slider Boards - Santa Teresa Elementary School, San Jose: Ms. Andrea Neff was awarded a grant for games and slider Santa Teresa Elementary Math Resource Grantsboards for her 2nd grade classroom.

"My students love using these, it gives such a great visual for them. They have been so much fun for the kids to engage and learn so of these difficult tasks. My students are able to rotate more fluidly through Math partner work with the computer while reinforcing and reviewing the skills. We very much appreciate your donation. You are helping teach my fabulous class of kids." 

Want to Know More?


Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, 1222 Preservation Park Way, Oakland CA 94612-1201

Telephone: (510) 645-1890  Fax: (510) 645-1892