Our Challenge + Story

Our Challenge

The challenge we're facing in Silicon Valley is stark.

Our region offers a world-changing culture of innovation, a beautiful natural environment, and a sense of boundless possibility. It's home to more than 121,000 millionaires and billionaires.

Yet despite these riches, Silicon Valley is not a place of shared prosperity. A third of the people who live here cannot meet their basic needs without help. The number of homeless people in Silicon Valley outstrips San Francisco and continues to grow. Just miles away from some of the best schools in the country, the majority of third graders struggle to read. Due to soaring costs, many well-regarded nonprofits can't pay their rent or retain staff, even as demand increases for their services.

But here's the good news: we can make a difference.

In Silicon Valley, we know how to tackle hard problems. Just as our start-ups are changing the world, innovative and resilient community organizations are developing new ways to solve age-old challenges and leverage scare resources. They are feeding, housing, mentoring, and training vulnerable people; preserving our environment; caring for our seniors; changing policy to sustain and improve our quality of life, and more.

The commitment of the leaders and philanthropists who call Silicon Valley home can amplify the impact of this work. With better pathways to identifying effective nonprofits, and by making strategic donations, donors can provide critical capital for local nonprofits to tackle pressing needs as scale.

Enter Magnify Community

Magnify Community works collaboratively to change the way Silicon Valley donors think about investing in their community. We’re advocates, connectors, and catalysts who shine a spotlight on Silicon Valley’s hidden needs and inspire local philanthropists to invest in high-performing community nonprofits who are making a difference. We aspire to catalyze $100 million in additional giving to nonprofit organizations serving Silicon Valley by 2023. By making local giving the norm, we aim to foster enduring investment that will make Silicon Valley a vibrant community for generations to come.

Our Story

Rich with philanthropic resources but starved for local investment.

The groundbreaking Giving Code report on philanthropy in the region documented a startling gap: less than 10% of Silicon Valley philanthropy is directed to organizations serving the local community, despite increasing wealth, growing income disparities, expanding local needs, and a nonprofit sector struggling to meet rising costs.

The report also documented a massive untapped resource: the billions of dollars earmarked for philanthropy in donor-advised funds that could be deployed locally if donors understood more about how and why to give to Silicon Valley nonprofits.

In response to these findings, the David & Lucile Packard, Grove, Heising-Simons, Sand Hill, Sobrato, and Sunlight Giving foundations came together to challenge the status quo and catalyze local giving.

The result of their commitment is Magnify Community, which launched in September 2018, as a three-to-five-year initiative. Our approach is to identify promising ideas, test, learn, refine, and bring solutions that would increase local giving at a whole new scale.


Photo Credit

Second Harvest Food Bank