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. Over the last 18 years, we have developed a strong portfolio of Grantees. SV2 has supported more than 80 social ventures with more than $5 million in direct funding, supplemented by millions of dollars in follow-on contributions from Partners.

Through the work of our impressive Grantees, SV2 positively affected the lives of about 100,000 individuals and families in the most recent year alone.

Some of our most important milestones
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The beginning

1998

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.

2000

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 piloted an SV2 Teens program that has inspired programs around the country and the world.

2010

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.

2011

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

October 2015

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

June 2016

SV2 made its first impact investments in three mission-driven companies — Nepris, Learning Genie, and PastureMap.