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Strengthening Civic Participation and Racial Justice in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties

The Heising-Simons Foundation believes in the importance of building local resident power and supports San Jose community organizations, emerging leaders, and a strong ecosystem of city government, nonprofits, and residents.

Believing that a healthy democracy is dependent upon all community members participating in the public policy process and exercising influence over the decisions that affect their lives, and recognizing that in Silicon Valley there is a significant power imbalance and communities of color do not have an equal role in deciding our region’s future, the Foundation partnered with Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) to create a Request for Proposal (RFP) to address the imbalance of power that communities of color face in deciding the fate of their region. The support for SVCF and this fund comes from the Foundation’s Community and Opportunity program.

View the new 2021 Civic Participation grantees here.

The Civic Participation: Movement-and Power-Building Community Grants will provide funding to 29 organizations that are responding to the needs of communities. All of the grants issued through that RFP went to organizations with a clear focus on racial justice, prioritizing smaller nonprofit organizations serving San Mateo and  / or Santa Clara counties.

Many of the grantees are led by individuals who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color, and many of the organizations are first-time grantees of SVCF. The focus of this grant round is to provide funding and capacity-building support to groups that are organizing people, building coalitions, and advocating for public policy changes in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

With this partnership, the Foundation and SVCF are proud to provide more flexible resources to a broader range of organizations. Through the continued support of organizing and power-building in Silicon Valley, both the Foundation and SVCF are committed to strengthening civic engagement and increasing representation and equitable distribution of power in the area.

Past Program