With the season holiday-gift-giving upon us, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation just got a large charitable gift from philanthropist Lorry Lokey. Lokey, named one of the nation’s top givers by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, has always focused his philanthropy on education. But his recent donation demonstrates a shift in his charitable giving that has the potential to help organizations that tackle a broad range of social issues.
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has served local nonprofits for years by facilitating grant processing for the region’s multimillionaires. The foundation is committed to addressing a spectrum of social issues that reflect the many cultures of its California region. But recently the foundation has been struggling with this goal as it saw a decline in local millionaires’ gifts through donor-advised funds, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO Emmet Carson says the foundation’s donor-advised funds have taken a hit with assets declining to approximately $721 million last August (down from an estimated $1 billion in 2007). Local donors gave $46.2 million through the foundation from January through August of this year, down from $168 million for all of 2008 and $117.7 million in 2007.
Now, Lokey’s donation will help the foundation continue its charitable efforts in trying times. According to the San Francisco Business Times, this is the largest gift the foundation has received to date. "We are very pleased that Lorry has chosen the Community Foundation to work with as an effective partner," said Carson.
Lokey is happy to help the foundation’s many nonprofit partners, but the Stanford graduate says a large portion of his grants through funds will continue to focus on education. "Education is number one and right now. The state and federal governments have sold us out by cutting financial support for education instead of adding to it," he said.