The Giving Code: Silicon Valley Nonprofits and Philanthropy

In October, Open Impact published The Giving Code, a comprehensive report on the state of philanthropy in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is comprised of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, which together account for approximately 25% of California’s GDP. These two counties alone are home to over 76,000 millionaires and billionaires. Between 2008 and 2013 we saw a significant increase in Silicon Valley giving, from $1.9 billion to $4.8 billion. However, this influx of wealth has resulted in a dramatic rise in the cost of living: today nearly 30% of Silicon Valley residents rely on some form of government or nonprofit assistance.

Despite Silicon Valley’s financial boon, local nonprofits are experiencing increasing demands and constraints. Over 80% of Silicon Valley nonprofits have seen an increase in the demand for services over the past five years, with more than 30% of nonprofits having deficits greater than state and national averages. More than half of Silicon Valley nonprofits report that they cannot meet demand for services, and 74% do not have access to high-net-worth donors. Nonprofits in the Valley are also struggling with increased costs of work spaces and completion for talent. Because of these constraints, organizations are left with few available resources to attract donors.

While philanthropy in Silicon Valley has grown considerably in recent years, little of that money goes to local organizations. Community-based organizations (CBOs) comprise 84% of Silicon Valley nonprofits — yet their revenue accounts for only 26%. Silicon Valley donor-advised funds at Fidelity and Schwab experienced a $432 million payout in 2015, yet only $60 million of that went to locally-focused nonprofits. Moving forward, Open Impact hopes to close the gap that is evident between Silicon Valley donors and nonprofits.

You can read the full Giving Code report at Open Impact.