Yesterday, in the company of more than 1,000 people, I attended the first regional meeting of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) at the Flint Center in Cupertino. The new foundation was formed in January 2007 through the merger of Community Foundation Silicon Valley and Peninsula Community Foundation. Several board and staff members spoke about the complexities of the merger, SVFC's current progress and remaining work, and the opportunities and challenges in building the foundation's reputation for leadership both in the community and among philanthropic institutions.
For me, and I suspect many others in attendance, CEO Emmett Carson's speech highlighted the event. (Download the transcript of his remarks.) After giving some background on SVCF's new grantmaking strategies, Carson used the opportunity to launch the Strengthen the Safety Net campaign. With this $1-million challenge grant for every $1 donated SVFC will send $2 to nonprofits in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties that provide food and shelter. Overall it was an inspiring program. SVCF titled this meeting "A new tradition" and I hope it does become a recurring event.