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October 8, 2015

Count me in: Engaged Funders Dos and Don'ts  

The relationship between engaged funders and nonprofit leaders is among the most difficult to navigate in philanthropy, which is part of what makes providing Beyond-the-Dollars Support to our Grantee partners one of the most challenging and important things that SV2 does. SV2’s upcoming Springboard Session: Engaged Funder Do’s & Don’ts on Fri., 10/16 at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in Palo Alto will delve into the nuanced relationship between engaged funders and the leaders of the organizations with whom they seek to engage and support.

This candid exchange will explore ways to build productive, trusting, and mutually respectful engaged funder relationships, tapping into the wisdom of our panelists who will share what has worked well and what “could have been better” in their own engaged funder experiences. 

If you are a current or aspiring nonprofit leader, a nonprofit board member, an SV2 Partner who is interested in working Beyond-the-Dollars, or anyone who desires to be “hands-on” in their giving, join this open exchange on how we can optimize the experience of engaged giving for all involved. Click here to learn more and/or RSVP today.

Just launched: SV2's Education Grant & Impact Investment Rounds

By SV2 Board Member Jody Chang

The Education Grant Round kicked off on Wednesday, September 16 with a high-energy meeting attended by over 30 current and prospective SV2 Partners. Guest speaker Linda Darling-Hammond, professor emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, shared a comprehensive and thought-provoking overview of the challenges and opportunities in California’s education system from the 1970s to today. In case you missed it, you can listen to the presentation and Q&A here.

Partners then discussed possible subtopics to shape this year’s Education Grant Round, ultimately selecting Out of School Time Learning as the focus. RSVP here for the next Education Grant Round meeting on Tuesday, October 20 from 11:15am-1:30pm at SV2’s new location: 350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City 94065. Current Partners and prospective Partners are welcome to join the Grant Round at any time – we’d love to have your voice in the conversation! All are welcome to attend the Grant Round, even those unable to attend the first meeting.

In addition, SV2’s pilot Impact Investment Round kicked off on Thursday, October 1. Partners learned about the process for the inaugural Round, the industry areas in which SV2 seeks investments, and SV2’s impact investment thesis. Partners organized into industry teams that will be the focus of small group work outside of Impact Investment Round meetings over the months ahead - education and the environment were industries of particular interest. If you would like to become involved in the Impact Investment Round, it’s not too late - email Elizabeth Dodson ( this week to sign up for an industry team and learn more.

SV2 Kids & The Compassion Games

By SV2 Partners Rachel Klausner & Seema Batavia

On Sun., 9/20, SV2 Kids families participated together in the Compassion Games in Menlo Park organized by the Child and Family Institute. The purpose of the event was to expose children to the values of kindness and compassion through experiential activities, setting intentions, and engaging with their community.

The event began with an SV2 Kids family circle with a discussion led by SV2 Partner Frannie Hall Kieschnick about the meaning of compassion. Kids and families then went to a variety of different “inspiration stations” at which they did everything from make “kindness” boxes with positive messages as gifts to collect items to make their very own lemonade stand to raise money for a worthy cause. The event finale included performances of "Planting Seeds" and "Grateful" by musical artist and global compassion advocate Nimo Patel. Each attendee also took a personal oath to be kind and compassionate to ourselves and others.

The SV2 Kids Program aims to provide opportunities for families to engage with one another through action-oriented, hands-on ways for our children to experience and emulate the values we all treasure so much - kindness, compassion, giving back. Have a question about or suggestions for the SV2 Kids Program? Contact Rachel Klausner ( or Seema Batavia (

SV2's Fall Gathering: Human Potential Unlocked

On Tues., 9/29, SV2 Grantees, Partners, prospective Partners and strategic allies convened for SV2’s Fall Gathering at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. To check out the video of the program, click here. We connected with one another overlooking a stunning sunset and heard moving speakers. Speakers included SV2’s two newest Grantees, Somos Mayfair and Village Enterprise, who shared powerful stories about how their organizations unlock human potential on a daily basis. Closing out the evening, author and Kiva co-founder, Jessica Jackley, shared what she’s learned about the key to unlocking human potential in her own career journey. Thank you to all who attended for making it such a special and delightful SV2 community-wide evening focused on how all our guests - on stage and off - unlock human potential every day.


SV2 Grantee, The Big Lift, was chosen as one of ten finalists out of 800 applicants, winning a $250k grant in the 2015 Google Bay Area Impact Challenge. The Challenge's four winners, selected by public vote, will each receive an additional $250k in funding. The Big Lift's critically important mission is to raise 3rd Grade reading-level proficiency in San Mateo County.

You can help The Big Lift become one of the four 2015 Google Impact Challenge winners and receive an additional $250k in funding. We encourage everyone in the SV2 community to invest one minute to vote for The Big Lift! Cast your vote today and encourage your friends, colleagues, and family members to do the same!

Last year’s SV2 Education Grant Round winner, The Big Lift, is a bold social venture sponsored by the County of San Mateo, the San Mateo County Office of Education and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The Big Lift aims to transform early learning, combining high-quality and connected learning experiences from preschool to third grade, with a focus on reducing chronic absence, summer learning loss, and engaging families and the broader community to support learning in school and at home.

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