Growing the Local Giving Movement
By Catherine Crystal Foster, CEO and Co-Founder
Of all the abundant resources we have in Silicon Valley, the most important is our people. Their creativity, talent, drive, and generosity are what make this place more than just a stretch of land between ocean and bay.
Magnify Community has always been about uplifting the gloriously diverse quilt of Silicon Valley’s people and inspiring those with the gift of wealth to deploy it for the good of those who live and work here. During the past two years of our time-limited initiative, 40 of Silicon Valley’s most generous givers stepped up to pledge to give more or continue to give at the highest levels to the local nonprofits that make Silicon Valley a better place for all its people. Through the darkest days of the pandemic, they came together, learned together, and gave together…and then gave some more. All told, in 2020 alone, the Magnify Community Pledgers increased their local giving by more than $35 million. And this work is just getting started.
That’s why we are so proud and joyful to announce that this group of generous individuals and family foundations — our Magnify Pledgers — will have a new home to connect, learn, and inspire others to join them when the Magnify Community initiative ends in late September.
The community of Magnify Pledgers will become members of The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW) — a global community of more than 450 philanthropists and social investors committed to solving the world’s most pressing issues — and will help shape the local giving movement through a new Silicon Valley Action Lab. This Action Lab peer group will regularly convene Pledgers and other local TPW members to share ideas and best practices, and learn together from local nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, so that they can catalyze more strategic giving in this place where we live and work.
As two organizations committed to impact and creating new norms around giving, Magnify and TPW have both built communities that are rooted in curiosity, purpose, and a willingness to learn and share challenges among peers. Like Magnify, TPW does not operate funds, and welcomes all those who want to give with impact, regardless of whether they give through a foundation, donor-advised fund (DAF), or any other vehicle.
In addition to finding a new home for the Magnify Pledger community to grow, this partnership with TPW also represents a key opportunity for us to continue to build the norm in Silicon Valley that “if you live here, you give here,” which can continue to evolve and influence others in Silicon Valley, the broader Bay Area, and beyond.
As we prepare for this transition, we invite donors and allies to learn more about this partnership, and to explore additional opportunities to accelerate the local giving movement with us, and with others.
Collaboration has been a core element of our work from the start, and we believe collaboration will continue to be a driving force for positive change as this movement grows post-Magnify. TPW is one of many partners who have linked arms with us in our work to catalyze more local philanthropy in a place where incredible abundance co-exists with deep — and often invisible — need. These include the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), our hyper-local community foundations (such as the Palo Alto Community Fund, Los Altos Community Foundation, and San Carlos Community Foundation), Northern California Grantmakers, the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS), Battery Powered, Full Circle Fund, Legacy Venture, and more. These organizations will be among the many whom we invite to carry other elements of our work forward after our sunset, including: our pilots of curated lists, issue briefs for donors (look for a new one on education this summer), and bigger bet opportunities. Our Pledger community is a crucial part of our work, but only one aspect of it.
Silicon Valley remains a place with long-standing inequities, exacerbated by the pandemic and thrust into the light by the racial justice reckoning. Through it all, our local nonprofits have been there for our community, leading us when we were seeking vision. If we show up for them, they will continue to show up for us. There’s much more work to do, which philanthropy can fuel. At Magnify, we’re not letting up as we head toward our sunset; we’re announcing this transition in advance so that we can give our donor community as much lift and support as possible before we step aside.
Look for more from Magnify in the months ahead as we share more resources, strengthen local connections, and activate more local giving. We’re thrilled that TPW will be our partner in this work, and eager to see the seeds we have planted take root and grow.