Philanthropic Ventures Foundation            Progress Newsletter  -  December 2014
Thank you to our Donors
for Spreading the Safety Net
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation is known for taking the initiative to fund grassroots efforts to address poverty and close the Inequality Gap. Often safety net grants are made without application and are based on a high level of trust in a program. This is a unique approach within the grantmaking sector.

Such critical community funding is made possible through undesignated gifts from donors, who have the confidence in us to provide this support year after year.  These donors allow PVF to seek out grassroots initiatives that have the potential to create a sustainable difference. One generous donor has been providing this support for more than 20 years, allowing PVF to provide immediate response grants to meet the critical needs of the poor and homeless on the Peninsula. 
This safety net funding allows us to support a range of initiatives, including school programs working with at-risk youth, organizations tackling poverty, and outstanding community members creating long-term impact programs. Below are some examples of safety net funding we provided in 2014: 

Project WeHOPE, run by Pastor Paul Baines, provides support to the homeless population in East Palo Alto. PVF provided the seed funding for Project WeHope to build a mobile trailer outfitted with showers and a washer/dryer. This trailer will allow homeless individuals who rotate from one housing program to another, and who often do not have access to a shower or laundry facility, the opportunity to take care of basic needs with dignity.

A.L.A.S. (Auydando Latinos A Soņar) was started in 2011 when clinical social worker Belinda Arriaga found many of the Latino children she was working with in Half Moon Bay struggled with the fear of losing a parent through deportation. A.L.A.S.'s aim is to bridge the educational gap for Latino children on the Coastside and to build a strong community among their families. To accomplish this, the program works with children through dance and mentorship, educates parents about immigration issues, and celebrates community and culture. PVF provided A.L.A.S.  grants to support their work. 

JobTrain adheres to the motto of teaching a man to fish as a strategy for change, and helps individuals become self-sufficient by providing job skills training. PVF suggested and funded JobTrain to create a Tool Scholarship Program, which enables apprentices to acquire the tools needed for their vocational field.

We invite you to join PVF donors in spreading the safety net to help vulnerable communities on the Peninsula. Click here to make a gift to PVF.

Gaining a New Perspective in Philanthropy
as a United Way Fellow
During her fellowship, Alaya participated in events like the UWBA's forum on poverty in the Bay Area.  
For more than a decade, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation has strived to bring more young people into philanthropy by establishing fellowships at foundations and nonprofits. One of our most recently-established fellowship programs is the United Way Bay Area Philanthropy Fellow on Fighting Poverty, in which a graduate student from UC Berkeley's School of Public Health interns with the organization for a summer. The inaugural fellow, Alaya Levi Salley, contributed the following post about her experience with United Way.


I cannot believe it's been over a year since I started a PVF-administered internship at United Way of the Bay Area (UWBA). I still can remember sitting in Bill Somerville's office on a late spring day in 2013 discussing philanthropy and how the sector has evolved. To be honest, philanthropy was never a particular interest of mine. But, I listened to Bill's words of wisdom and found myself wondering what role I would play in United Way's philanthropic work...

read more on our blog! 


About PVF
PVF is a demonstration foundation practicing unique forms of grantmaking and innovative philanthropy. Our primary interest is in the creative and significant use of the philanthropic dollar.
About the Editors
James Higa
Executive Director
Bill Somerville

James Higa brings 28 years of executive experience from Silicon Valley, working with Steve Jobs to change the face of technology. He was at the birth of the personal computer revolution as a member of the original Macintosh team and was deeply involved in the creation of many products and services at Apple over 3 decades. He has a long history of public service as a board member of Stanford's Haas Center and in grassroots relief efforts.
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 President. Bill has consulted at over 400 community foundations, on creative grantmaking and foundation operations. Bill is the author of Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker.

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