Our Story

SV2 was born in a coffee shop rather than a garage, but our origins have much in common with the startup companies of Silicon Valley legend. At Palo Alto’s University Coffee, Stanford business student Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen pitched the president of the local Community Foundation with a new model of giving and investing in social impact.

As a graduate student, Laura developed the business plan for SV2 after researching why young tech leaders were amassing great fortunes but giving comparatively little back. Her theory: There was simply no model of giving that addressed their unprecedented circumstances.

By launching SV2, Laura and the founding Partners went beyond pooling donations. They invested their time and professional expertise to help high-potential nonprofits build their organizational capacity and scale their impact.

The Community Foundation, meanwhile, reported in its landmark study Giving Back: The Silicon Valley Way that the most effective way to reach young professionals was through their peers. After being incubated by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for ten years, SV2 became an independent 501(c)3 in 2008.

Today, SV2 has grown into a community of international acclaim, helping inspire the venture philanthropy movement around the world. SV2 has funded over 125 nonprofits and social enterprises, providing more than $7 million in funding since its founding.

Some of our most important milestones
The beginning


Laura Arrillaga launched SV2 with many of Silicon Valley’s philanthropic pioneers, including Jeff Skoll, Jerry Yang, Laura and Gary Lauder, Ted and Kathleen Janus, Marcia and John Goldman, and Charlene and Derry Kabcenell.


SV2 made its first grant of $75,000 to Project Help.

February 2008

SV2 spun out of the Community Foundation Silicon Valley and became an independent 501(c)(3).

September 2008

SV2 joined the Social Venture Partners (SVP) network, the world’s largest network of engaged donors.

Spring 2009

SV2 kicked off the SV2 Teens program that has since inspired programs around the country and the world.


SV2 joined with the Sand Hill Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and the Sobrato Family Foundation to fund and help facilitate a field-leading local Out-of-School-Time (OST) initiative that continues today.


SV2 launched the SV2 Kids Family Service program to teach the younger children of SV2 Partners about giving, service, and empathy.

April 2014

SV2 awarded its first collective impact grant to The Big Lift, a collaborative of San Mateo county leaders and community organizations focused on closing the achievement gap for third-grade reading proficiency.

April 2015

SV2 started its first fast-paced Lightning Grant Round with a grant to Mission Asset Fund.

Fall 2015

SV2 added impact investing to its programming, making its first impact investments in three mission-driven companies — Nepris, Learning Genie, and PastureMap.

October 2015

SV2 moved to new subsidized office space in the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits in Redwood City.


SV2 welcomes members to its newly created Visionary Leadership Circle (VLC), recognizing their catalytic support for SV2’s long term sustainable impact through their contributions of $20,000+ per year.

Fall 2017

The publication of the Giving Code report inspires SV2’s multi-year “Pathways to Opportunity” local grantmaking strategy.


SV2 launches the ‘Get Proximate’ initiative to better understand, and address, systemic barriers and inequalities through deeper relationships with local communities and grantees.

March 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SV2 successfully transitioned to virtual operations and programming, being inspired by and embracing community leadership and adaptability. We also joined 780+ funders in signing the Council on Foundations Pledge, enacting funder best practices in a time of crisis.