6 Dedicated Groups Making A Difference In Silicon Valley

Since the dawn of the post-war era, Silicon Valley has established itself as America's technology capital. With the growth of these and other industries, there has been a desire to give back to the larger community in which these companies thrive. This list, presented in no particular order, highlights several organizations striving to make Silicon Valley a better place to work and reside.

To kick off our list at #1, we have Silicon Valley Community Foundation. This group aims to advance innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. To achieve this goal, it engages donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country, and around the globe to make the region and world better for all.

Nonprofits can partner with SVCF and create a special fund which the foundation will manage, offering unique investment expertise to these organizations. For individuals, SVCF can provide an assigned philanthropy advisor to serve as a consultant, helping to research specific causes and nonprofits in Silicon Valley.

Coming in at #2, we have the Sobrato Organization. This multi-generational, family-owned firm develops commercial real estate for high-growth companies, builds multifamily communities, and invests in entrepreneurial enterprises.

Sobrato Philanthropies comprises the family’s collective, collaborative, and individual giving through its business, foundation, and other philanthropic vehicles. Some of the nonprofits it has donated to include the Democracy Frontlines Fund and the Immigrant Relief Fund for San Mateo County.

The #3 entry is Joint Venture. Its goal is to provide analysis and action on issues affecting the Silicon Valley economy and quality of life. The organization brings together leaders from business, government, academia, labor, and the broader community to spotlight issues, launch projects, and work towards solutions.

Joint Venture has many areas of focus and initiatives. One, Climate-Safe California, is a partnership with The Climate Center. The project provides a comprehensive platform to bring California’s policies into alignment with current science about global warming. The vision is to achieve net negative emissions by 2030.

For #4, we have the Silicon Valley Organization, a business advocacy and networking group representing thousands of companies and employees in Northern California. The organization advocates for its business members through local San Jose as well as state and federal policy proposals.

The Silicon Valley Organization runs a unique initiative, Leadership San Jose, for emerging business professionals. It allows 35 members to network with one another, meet with local company executives, and give back to the community by donating time and services to a regional non-profit.

In the #5 spot, next up is the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a business organization made up of hundreds of the area's companies. Founded by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, the SVLG works to address issues that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley.

In addition to the local economy, SVLG focuses on community development, diversity and inclusion, climate change, and infrastructure. Its Celebration of Women Leaders initiative organizes events throughout the year that aim to engage individuals in conversations and partnerships to continue elevating women and girls into positions of leadership and influence.

Last but not least, at #6, we present the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Its mission is to deliver and advocate for STEM education that inspires underserved kids to succeed. Its College Readiness initiatives provide support and resources to individual students and families; it also manages scholarships with private partners to support university-bound learners.

The foundation's 49ers STEM Leadership Institute offers multi-year, year-round academic support, science and math enrichment, skills training, and leadership opportunities to middle and high school students. Learners have access to dedicated spaces equipped with the resources needed to carry out extensive science, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, computers, and more.