August 2016
Progress Newsletter
25 Years, 25 Accomplishments
2016 marks PVF's 25th year of creative grassroots grantmaking. In honor of our quarter of a century in operation, we look back at each year's accomplishments. Below are a few highlights.

1991  Launched PVF with seven generous donors and a small staff, to implement "venture philanthropy" for donors who want to maximize the impact of their charitable contributions.

Students on a field trip courtesy of PVF's Excursion Grants Program.

Began making Discretionary Grants to outstanding school principals and program directors - like Larry Purcell of the Catholic Worker House - given without request, to allow them funding to respond to critical needs.

PVF's Bill Somerville with two Parent Involvement Workers; image credit: Craig Sherod

2000  Created a unique immediate response grant program model for teacher resource grants, which allows public school teachers to submit one-page grant requests that are processed within 48 hours; over $7 million has been given to date to support excursions and after-school programs as well as classroom resources for science, arts, math, music, special education.

The SIRUM team with PVF's Executive Director, James Higa; Image credit: Craig Sherod

2009  Found and funded many outstanding young leaders like SIRUM founder Kiah Williams, which distributes unused medicine to populations in need.

PVF's Executive Director, James Higa, at the Invention Hub in San Francisco that he helped establish.

2012  Foundation's leadership evolved to team with James Higa as Executive Director, who brings 28 years of executive-level experience from Apple. Press highlights in New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, USA Today, and other local and national newspapers.

Students practice their music skills with the help of an After School Grant; Image credit: Anne Hamersky

2016  Celebrated 25 years of creative and successful grantmaking, during which we have given out more than $119 million in total. PVF Founder Bill Somerville gave a Tedx Talk at TEDxBYU about simple but significant giving. PVF continues to launch innovative programs, like a Rescue Housing Fund serving East Palo Alto residents facing eviction, and exploring breakthrough concepts like supporting  purposeful for-profits.

About the Editors

James Higa
James Higa, Executive Director, 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, Founder, 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. 
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.