Chapter 8: Facilitating entrepreneurs’ transitions to philanthropy: the case of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
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Many entrepreneurs look to community foundations for guidance and support as they seek to find their place in philanthropy. Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is the largest US community foundation working with entrepreneurs who seek to become engaged in philanthropy. Headquartered in Northern California, SVCF works with more than 2600 individual and family donors, a significant share of them entrepreneurs who become involved in philanthropy with its assistance. Many of these entrepreneurs helped create and shape Silicon Valley’s innovative culture, politics and interconnectedness in the global economy, and this history informs their perspective on philanthropy and how they wish to engage in it. This chapter describes the Foundation’s experience working with entrepreneurs across the age continuum to support them as they define, pursue and evaluate the impact of their goals for giving. It draws on the authors’ combined 40-plus years of experience working with entrepreneur donors and partnering with them to achieve their philanthropic goals. The hope is that these insights offer a useful basis for comparison with the experience of others and will inform more in-depth research. SVCF is today the largest community foundation in the United States, with more than 2600 individual and family donors and $4.7 billion in assets.

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