The Local Giving Movement Is Yours

Photo: Copyright Mary Beth Meehan, reprinted with permission from Seeing Silicon Valley: Life Inside a Fraying America by Mary Beth Meehan, published by the University of Chicago Press © 2021
A curious byproduct of this COVID era is the warping of time. Did that conversation happen just a few months ago, or was it two years ago? Has it really been forever since we gathered in front of the office whiteboard, or does it just seem that way? When we now look back on the three years since we started Magnify Community, it feels like it passed in an instant, yet those early days feel like eons ago.

The urgency of the mission and the motivating constraints of a time limit galvanized us to move fast and pack in all we could during the short time we’ve had as an innovation lab. The onset of converging crises last year led us to speed up the tempo even more. And now, as we prepare for Magnify’s planned sunset at the end of this month, we are pausing for a beat to proudly take stock of what we did together with our community—and look out to the horizon to focus on the work ahead for all of us.

Read my full piece on Medium.

In gratitude and community,

Catherine Crystal Foster
CEO & Co-founder

Community Updates

Scaling Up

TPW Silicon Valley Action Lab Launch
The new Silicon Valley Action Lab at The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW)—an essential lever in the scaling of Magnify’s work in the communitylaunches next month, with a kickoff session on October 14th. As the new home of the Magnify Pledger community, the Silicon Valley Action Lab (SVAL) will bring together Magnify Pledgers and TPW members in Silicon Valley and the wider Bay Area who want to increase local giving in an area where wealth inequality is so great.

The Lab will be led by SVAL Facilitator and longtime Silicon Valley philanthropy professional Lindsay Austin Louie, Program Officer for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and former Executive Director of Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2)With Magnify’s Alisa Tantraphol also joining the already stellar TPW team as Managing Director, Americas West, Magnify Pledgers and fellow TPW members in the Silicon Valley Action Lab will be well-supported in their ongoing efforts to grow the local giving movement. Non-Pledgers who are interested in learning more about the SVAL and accelerating their social impact through TPW can reach Alisa at We’re thrilled for this partnership and the impact to come!

Off the Sidelines

Leader Voices: Renee Kaplan of The Philanthropy Workshop
We sat down with Renee Kaplan, CEO of The Philanthropy Workshop, to talk about her vision for activating more strategic social investment in Silicon Valley and beyond.

“There is a growing addressable market here of people with capacity to give, and we need to do our best to get more people off the sidelines and into this work...I believe our framework can help bring people in sooner and experience how to deploy all kinds of forms of capital for social impact.”

Read the interview.

A Bigger Tent for Better Solutions

Leader Voices: David Onek of Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2)
David Onek, Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund's new CEO, spoke with us about his hopes for Silicon Valley, and the importance of centering equity and bringing diverse voices to the table.

“We’re really doubling down on creating this big tent and bringing together a community of continuous learners. We recognize we don’t have all the answers, and the best and most effective way to increase our impact is to make sure we are talking and engaging with experts in the community who know best the solutions they need.”

Read the interview.

Guide to Donor-Supporting Organizations in Silicon Valley

Find networks and resources to support local giving
As Magnify Community sunsets, we have designed a resource to continue to help individual Silicon Valley donors and their philanthropic and financial advisors navigate the robust ecosystem of donor-supporting organizations to advance their local philanthropy.

Explore the guide and contact Aude Anquetil with any questions.

Lessons in Partnership

Lessons for Local Philanthropy: What We’ve Learned, Part III
In the last installment of our learnings series, Aude Anquetil, Director of Strategic Partnerships, shares takeaways on Magnify’s partnership work, focusing on our collaborations with donor-supporting organizations and philanthropic intermediaries, including foundations, donor-advised fund (DAF) sponsors, wealth advisors, and philanthropic advisors. We are deeply grateful to the many partners who worked with us to make Silicon Valley a better place for all—thank you!

Read our final takeaways.

Upcoming and Recent Events

Youth Response to the Pandemic: A Conversation with EPA Youth

September 28, 2021 | 4:00-5:00pm PT | Virtual
Join this funder briefing to hear from a group of East Palo Alto youth about the power of art and creativity in their lives (especially in these challenging times), and the impact of EPACENTER, a nonprofit creative youth development organization in East Palo Alto. Hosted by Amy Lyons of the John & Marcia Goldman Foundation, Jessica Mele of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Frances Phillips of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, and featuring EPACENTER Executive Director Nadine Rambeau. Email to RSVP. 

Decolonizing Wealth in Silicon Valley: A Conversation with Edgar Villanueva

September 29, 2021 | 12:00-1:00pm PT | Virtual
How can we rethink and reform philanthropy in ways that build equity, trust, and healing? Join the Castellano Family Foundation for a conversation with Edgar Villanueva, award-winning author, activist, and expert on issues of race, wealth, and philanthropy, moderated by Armando Castellano, Trustee of the Castellano Family Foundation, Board Chair of Donors of Color, and Magnify Pledger. Learn more and register.

Building Strong Communities Through Local Journalism

October 28, 2021 | 1:30-2:30pm PT | Virtual
Media can address and mitigate the historic inequities that communities of color face in news coverage, access, and representation. And during a time when our country feels more divided than ever, local journalism can continue to play a critical role in building stronger communities and bolstering our democracy by lifting up the voices of diverse communities and inspiring civic participation. 

Join Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Renaissance Journalism Founder Jon Funabiki, and Bay Area journalism leaders for a donor webinar about the local news and media’s role as a force for change in our country. Hear from local leaders who are harnessing the power of equity-centered journalism for community-building, social justice, and civic participation. 

Learn more and register.

New Possibilities & Perspectives with Sandy Herz, Sobrato Philanthropies

Video: Watch the conversation
Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits, in partnership with Thrive, the Alliance of Nonprofits for San Mateo County and the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits, hosted a conversation with Sandy Herz, who took the helm as President of Sobrato Philanthropies in the midst of 2020's converging crises, to discuss her vision for the organization’s work and future in this era of challenge and opportunity. Watch the conversation.

Magnify Community Town Hall and Celebration

Video: Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Magnify Community Town Hall and Celebration! We are deeply grateful to have been able to reflect and celebrate with so many of you who walked this path with us over our three years as a philanthropic innovation lab.  

In case you missed it, watch the celebration here. And thank you again, as well, to everyone who recorded an inspiring message for our Nonprofit Leaders and Pledgers & Allies video tributes.

Resources and Opportunities

LatinXCEL Fund

Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s LatinXCEL Fund empowers Latinx leaders and increases investments in Latinx organizations that are creating educational, civic, and economic opportunities to enhance Latinx communities in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
This month, SVCF announced $1.4 million in grants to 36 inaugural grantees of the LatinXCEL Fund—a $10 million, three-year initiative created to strengthen Silicon Valley's ecosystem of Latinx community leaders and nonprofits. Read the announcement and contribute to the fund.

#HalfMyDAF 2021

The deadline for participating in this year’s #HalfMyDAF drive is coming up on October 9th. Commit to contributing half of your donor-advised fund to nonprofits of your choice by the deadline, and every qualified organization you support will be eligible to receive a matching grant from #HalfMyDAF’s pool of $3.1 million in matching funds. Learn more and get involved.

Issue Briefs: Housing Justice and Education Equity

We are pleased to share that our two Magnify Community issue briefs, Housing Justice in Silicon Valley: An Action Plan for Donors and Education Equity in Silicon Valley: Donor Pathways to Impact, are now available through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s publications archive, alongside other useful resources for local givers and community members. Many thanks to SVCF for their partnership and their commitment to community!

What We're Reading

We invite you to explore some of the reports, opinions, and podcasts that have informed and inspired us over the past month.
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