Foundation debuts online 'giving day' for nonprofits

Twenty-four-hour give-a-thon is first of its kind locally

On May 6, the Mountain View-based Silicon Valley Community Foundation will be hosting SVGives, the region's first "crowdfunding" event to benefit more than 600 local nonprofit organizations.

The goal of SVGives is to raise millions of dollars for charities in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Benito counties within the span of 24 hours.

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation is spearheading the event with the support of Microsoft, and the initiative will call on Valley companies and residents to log on to the crowdfunding platform,, and donate Tuesday.

The Community Foundation has raised $2.8 million in preparation for the event, to fund matching gifts and incentives for nonprofit organizations.

Although the 24-hour event takes place mainly online, in-person events will also be hosted at Stanford Shopping Center, several Whole Foods markets and Microsoft retail stores.

PayPal will match 1 percent of each donation made through its Web service up to a maximum of $50,000.

Donations will be made through Razoo Foundation, a crowdfunding nonprofit, which will forward 95.1 percent of each donation on to the designated nonprofit. Donations may also be made on May 6 directly to nonprofit organizations.

"Enthusiasm about SVGives is running high in the local nonprofit community, and for good reason," said Emmett Carson, CEO and president of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. "This event will raise awareness of — and money for — the many terrific organizations working to make our communities stronger."

Since last fall, the foundation has hosted nearly two dozen training sessions for the charities, designed to help them maximize potential donations and equip them for future fundraising and marketing.

"SVGives is an innovative and engaging way for organizations to tap into the vast resources of Silicon Valley in an effort to better the lives of its citizens," said Dan'l Lewin, corporate vice president of technology and civic engagement at Microsoft.

— Kayla Layaoen and Palo Alto Weekly staff


Like this comment
Posted by Rebecca
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Friends for Youth, a local nonprofit mentoring program serving San Mateo and Santa Clara county youth, is participating in @SVGives. Please join us and other organizations in this unprecedented day of giving. Visit or for our page! Help make this a great day for local nonprofits and our community!

Like this comment
Posted by Alison Barnsley
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm

The Mountain View Educational Foundation is excited to participate in SVGives, and has the opportunity to get a $5000 matching grant to continue supporting high-quality education in Mountain VIew into the future -- Research shows that giving makes you happier, improves social connection, evokes gratitude, and is contagious. Whether your passion is education, the environment, youth services, housing, STEM, health, or something else entirely, there is a nonprofit that needs your help -- please participate in SVGives on May 6!

Like this comment
Posted by Mike Cobb
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Please join me in supporting Mountain View's own Peninsula Youth Theatre as part of Silicon Valley Gives! PYT has been providing outstanding arts education opportunities and outreach in Mtn View for over 20 years. Seagate has offered a very generous $10,000 matching grant for donations in PYT's name. Web Link

Thanks to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for this really terrific event!

Like this comment
Posted by J
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Would like to donate to MVEF, but can someone from MVEF explain why we need to use the link to Razoo, and in the process give them 4.9% of our hard-earned money? What is the benefit of using Razoo? Does someone at MVEF have a husband/wife/whatever work there??? Why can't we give 100% directly to MVEF so all the money benefit the local schools???

Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer Pence
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 5, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Support local first-generation college students by donating to MVLA Scholars at

Web Link

We're an all-volunteer org, so 100% of proceeds go straight to scholarships!

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Martha Young
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

@J -- the Silicon Valley Community Foundation has organized this event and is partnering with Razoo , so all participating agencies are using Razoo. This is how they are taking advantage of the matching grants available for this one-day event. Many nonprofits use a system similar to Razoo to process donations -- Network for Good,, etc. Each charges a fee. They also provide other services like reporting and donation tracking that are beneficial to the organizations. Of course, you can always donate directly to any organization if you wish via check.

Like this comment
Posted by J
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 6, 2014 at 11:07 am

@ Martha: I understand now. Thank you for your thoughtful answer.

Like this comment
Posted by Alison Barnsley
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm

@J, thank you for asking the question and @Martha, thank you for answering. It's true that a check directly to your favorite nonprofit is going to have the least administrative cost. But events like SVGives build awareness and can bring in new donors, or encourage additional gifts from current donors.

The one-day blitz is also very efficient. Yesterday, 14,633 donors gave nearly $8 million to 674 nonprofits. It would be impossible for all those nonprofits to independently do the marketing and outreach that the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) and their corporate & foundation partners could.

Thank you to every donor who gave to any nonprofit during SVGives & thanks to SVCF for organizing the giving day!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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