Silicon Valley Community Foundation: Mega-Donor to Vergara and Controller of Numerous CA Nonprofits
On August 26, 2016, I examined the 2011-2014 tax forms for the Students First Foundation (SFF), the nonprofit behind the organization, StudentsMatter, which, in turn, is the organization behind California’s recently-nixed Vergara lawsuit.
One SFF funder in particular caught my attention because of the chunk of money it sent SFF’s way in 2014:
Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF): $3,191,800
SVCF (EIN 20-5205488) is located at 2440 West El Camino Real, Suite 300, Mountain View, CA 94040.
I have been reading SVCF’s tax forms, which can be accessed here for the years 2005-2014, and I had second thoughts about downloading SVCF’s 2014 return when I saw that it is 2,970 pages long.
So much for second thoughts. Here it is: SVCF 2014 990
SVCF is a mammoth nonprofit. Here is how it describes itself:
Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging social problems locally and throughout the world. Through visionary leadership and strategic grantmaking, Silicon Valley Community Foundation partners with donors and the community to strengthen the common good.
Indeed, “strengthening the common good” includes over $3 million to push Vergara.
SVCF’s 2014 beginning-of-year net assets were $3.7 billion; by the end-of year, net assets rose to $5.5 billion. Its total 2014 beginning-of-year assets (net assets plus liabilities) were $3.9 billion, and its 2014 total end-of-year assets, $5.7 billion.
Turns out that $3.6 billion of SVCF’s 2014 beginning-of-year assets come from publicly-traded securities (up to $5 billion for 2014 end-of-year).
Interestingly, SVCF listed $8 million in 2014 revenue as coming from “related organizations”– which means that SVCF is part of a network of nonprofits.
In fact, SVCF notes on its 2014 tax return that it is the “direct controlling entity” of 16 other California-based nonprofits (“supporting organizations”):
- William H. Cilker Family Foundation
- Driscoll Family Foundation
- The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation
- The Bernard A. Newcomb Foundation
- Raising a Reader
- The Real Estate Trust
- Redderre Foundation
- Skoll Fund
- Sobrato Foundation
- Star Hill Fund
- Good Ventures
- Chong-Moon Lee Foundation
- Intervalien Foundation
- Innovate Public Schools
- Startup: Education
- Entrepreneurs’ Foundation
Here is what the SVCF website offers regarding its pitch in promoting its directly-controlled, supporting organizations:
A tax-wise alternative to a private foundation, supporting organizations allow you to hire staff and convene a board. They are far less restrictive thanSilicon Valley Community Foundation: Mega-Donor to Vergara and Controller of Numerous CA Nonprofits | deutsch29: