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May 6, 2015

Announcing SV2's Newest Grantees

It's an exciting time at SV2 as we welcome a number of new Grantees into our community. Partners have recently completed two traditional SV2 Grant Rounds, as well as one pilot Lightning Grant Round.

In the International Grant Round led by Jill Matzke and Michelle LaVally, Partners selected Village Enterprise as the Grant Round winner. Village Enterprise's mission is to equip people living in extreme poverty with the resources to create sustainable businesses. The organization pursues its mission through multi-pronged support of rural entrepreneurs that includes business, conservation and financial training; start-up grants; business savings groups; and ongoing mentorship. Village Enterprise currently works in Kenya and Uganda and has its U.S. office in San Carlos.

In the Education Grant Round, Partners selected Somos Mayfair. Since its inception, Somos Mayfair has focused its work in the Mayfair neighborhood of east San Jose, engaging community residents to address the multitude of needs affecting this community. With its En Nuestras Manos campaign that began in 2012, Somos has focused on early education and literacy, with the overarching goal of supporting third grade reading proficiency. Somos's programmatic strategy includes elements of early education, kinder readiness, summer learning, out-of-school support, and parent engagement and leadership development, all through Promotores - neighborhood residents who Somos trains to serve as early school success and family wellness mentors to other Mayfair residents.

Village Enterprise and Somos Mayfair each will receive a grant of $150,000 over three years plus SV2 Beyond-the-Dollars support. As well, this year SV2 piloted one-time, funding-only finalist grants of $25,000 to those organizations that advanced to the final stages of each Grant Round. The Finalist Grantees were Jacaranda Health and Project Muso in the International Grant Round and Grail Family Services in the Education Grant Round.

And last but not least, this spring SV2 Partners completed the first of two pilot Lightning Grant Rounds led by Shalyn Eason. The Lightning Grant Round was designed by Partners and staff as a lighter-touch grantmaking experience particularly aimed at Partners who often can't make time for a full Grant Round. Taking place in about a month, the Lightning Grant Round awards a one-time grant of $15,000 accompanied by specific Beyond-the-Dollars support. The pilot Lightning Grant Rounds are focused on economic opportunity, and we're excited to share that the winner of the first pilot was Mission Asset Fund. Read more about Mission Asset Fund here!

Grantee Spotlight: Pie Ranch
by Perla Ramos, SV2 Intern

About Pie Ranch: Inspired by a dream to create a sustainable food system for all, Pie Ranch began in 2002 as a 14-acre parcel of farmland along the San Mateo coast. Through its working organic farm, robust educational programs and farmer trainings, and a growing network of regional partnerships, Pie Ranch has consistently grown their program and scaled their impact.

Expansion at its best: In 2014, Pie Ranch began leasing 75 acres of land near Año Nuevo State Park. This significant expansion has allowed Pie Ranch to launch an innovative partnership program with large local partners like Google and Stanford University. Last year, Google contracted with Pie Ranch to buy 45% of food produced on the Año Nuevo land to serve in its company cafeteria (to learn more, check out this video). This innovative model of selling organic, locally-sourced produce to large organizations has strengthened Pie Ranch’s financial model, while its educational value has created ripples of impact in local corporations and on their employees. Pie Ranch hopes to expand this model throughout the community, notably by creating partnerships with local school districts.

Pie Ranch & SV2: “[SV2’s] grant and these relationships have come at the perfect time for Pie Ranch to meet our need for increased organizational capacity,” says Jered Lawson, Pie Ranch Executive Director. SV2’s grant dollars have supported Pie Ranch in developing a bold Strategic Plan that is anchoring their robust growth. Check out their Strategic Plan here.

Beyond-the-Dollars: SV2 Partners have worked alongside Pie Ranch on a number of Beyond-the-Dollars projects such as brainstorming sessions on revenue generation from their roadside farm stand, as well as one-on-one advising focused on analyzing additional food production streams. In Jered’s words, “SV2 puts you in a unique working relationship with philanthropists. We experienced deep learning working with accomplished and skilled professionals.”

Get Involved! Besides joining SV2’s field trip to Pie Ranch on Fri. May 8, there are a number of ways you can get involved. If you want to get your hands dirty, sign up for one of Pie Ranch’s monthly work days, followed by a potluck dinner and barn dance. When you’re headed to the coast, stop by Pie Ranch’s farm stand for organic produce and their signature homemade pie! And if you wish to support Pie Ranch’s work financially, donate online here.

In Memoriam: Kathryn Green

SV2 Partner, Kathryn Green, passed away at Stanford Hospital on Tuesday, April 21, following a tragic roadside accident. An SV2 Partner since 2011, Kathryn was an active member of the Environment group, serving most recently as Lead Partner for SV2 Grantee Pie Ranch, and as a long time advocate of former SV2 Grantee, Sustainable Conservation. More about her life and commitment to philanthropy is available in the Los Altos Town Crier here.

As part of the upcoming SV2 Field Trip to Pie Ranch on Friday, May 8, Pie Ranch Executive Director Jered Lawson and SV2 Partners will plant a fruit tree in Kathryn’s honor and remember her as a bright spirit and valued member of our community. A celebration of Kathryn’s life will be held Saturday, May 16 at 4:00 pm at the Stanford Faculty Club. Memorial donations can be made to Sustainable Conservation or TheatreWorks.


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