Beyond the Dollar
WHY STEPHEN SILVER BELIEVES IN GIVING BACK
By Carol Besler
A little over three years ago, Stephen Silver came away from an advertising meeting feeling frustrated. “The problem was that we weren’t getting any answers to my hard questions about the effects of our advertising efforts,” says Stephen. “We were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I was not seeing the results of that spending. I was growing increasingly disillusioned with that whole model of marketing. So I said, very flippantly, ‘I’d rather give the money away to charity. At least I’d know where the money is going and at least I’d know that it’s benefiting somebody.’
A strategic plan for charitable giving was born. “For over 30 years, we were in the wholesale business, and we’d give donations to different nonprofits here and there when they asked, but we weren’t really formalized,” says Stephen. “My family has always been philanthropic, making this a natural extension of the business.” Six years later, the company has emerged as one of the community’s most generous donors in Silicon Valley. Last year, Stephen Silver gifted more than $750,000 to local charities, and next year the company’s goal is to give away a total of one million dollars to nonprofit organizations.
Donating at this level requires forethought and planning, something beyond the act of simply writing a check. “The strategy we came up with was driven by three criteria,” says Stephen. “We specify that 90 cents of every dollar raised by the organization must benefit the beneficiary. It must benefit children in some way, and it must benefit children specifically in either health, education or the arts.”
Ultimately, the word that describes the goal Stephen wanted to achieve is impact. “When we were coming up with the plan, I said ‘I want these charities to be important to us, and I want us to be important to these charities.’ In order to do that, I knew there had to be a substantial sum of money on the table. Enough that we were very conscious of giving it, and the charities were very conscious of receiving it,” says Stephen. “I wanted to be a large enough donor that we would have an impact that truly benefits a cause.”
“Stephen’s passion for others is so inspiring and has just made such a difference in the lives of those he touches,” says Karen Lott, whose husband, former San Francisco 49er Ronnie Lott, founded All Stars Helping Kids, which funds programs that help impoverished youth in the Bay Area.
Another great nonprofit that fits the criteria is BizWorld.org, a classroom course that teaches hands-on entrepreneurial skills to children in grades three to eight. Stephen Silver sits on the board of BizWorld.org and “we are lucky to have him,” says Thais. “As an entrepreneur and a businessman, he obviously understands where we are coming from, and he is committed to helping children in the Bay area.”
We are proud to be an active and long time supporter of the following charities:
For 59 consecutive years, The Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance has built and maintained a proud tradition of honoring and celebrating excellence in automotive design and engineering. The dedication of the Concours leadership and volunteers, pride of its entrants, and devotion of its attendees has earned Hillsborough the proud record as the longest continually running Concours in the world.
The Hillsborough Concours offers a forum for passionate vintage car owners to showcase their prized vehicles and to compete for respect and recognition for their commitment to preserving automotive authenticity. The Concours also aims to cultivate future generations of car enthusiasts by providing privileged access to some of the world’s most celebrated automobiles and by serving as a channel for inspiring and informative automotive knowledge and lore.
The Menlo Charity Horse Show (Menlo), a 501 (c) (3) organization, is one of the finest professional/amateur equestrian events in the United States and is unique in that its origin and legacy is one of philanthropy. Started in 1970 as a one-day horse show, Menlo has a tradition of providing outstanding equine competition and in tandem serves those in need in one of the worlds most affluent communities. Over the past four decades Menlo has provided funding to numerous charities including Planned Parenthood, Amigos De Las Americas, and Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Our current charitable partner, Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Vista) was founded in 1936 and is the premier resource for individuals with vision loss in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. Vista Center helps clients reach their highest potential through programs that promote independence and improve quality of life. Over the past two decades Menlo has raised millions of dollars for Vista Center.
Kara's mission is to provide grief support for children, teens, families and adults. Our guiding value is empathy. Every day we provide compassion and support to children and adults because loss and grief impact everyone. Our vision is to see people of all ages compassionately supported on their journey through grief so they can move toward renewed hope and meaning. Our clients include those who are grieving a death as well as those coping with a terminal illness (their own or another's).
Change, loss and trauma are natural in the cycle of life and grief is our natural reaction. Kara offers a safe and caring environment where those coping with death and dying can express and normalize their feelings of grief. Support from those with experience in dealing with personal loss can help ease the pain and promote healing. Our services are offered to individuals, families and organizations in our Bay Area community. Click here for a summary description of Kara's bereavement services.
A Magical Place Where Love Happens!
The Child and Family Research and Training Institute creates and conducts family programs which nurture the growth of strong, loving, communicating families. The Child and Family Institute is a place for families to discover and celebrate their wholeness and uniqueness. Educational programs designed for children and families are presented in a playful, nondenominational, spiritual setting. We hope you will join us.
Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. (PVI), is a visionary service organization that raises funds to provide seniors with over $5 million annually in services designed to enhance and enrich their lives.
PVI prepares and delivers over 1,400 hot meals every week to the homebound through Meals on Wheels, and impacts over 4,500 households through programs at Little House, the Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, Rosener House Adult Day Services, and Crane Place and Partridge-Kennedy Apartments low cost housing.
As a pioneer and leader in senior services development, Peninsula Volunteers' accomplishments include:
- The first volunteer organization to develop and build low-income senior housing in the U.S. - Partridge Kennedy Apartments, with 30 units for limited income seniors in Menlo Park, California.
- Opened and funded Menlo Park's Little House, the Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, the first suburban senior center in the U.S.
- Built and funded the $3 million Rosener House, a leading provider of adult day services.
- Built and owns Crane Place, 93 units for limited income residents in Menlo Park, California.
- Provides almost 82% of the low income senior housing in Menlo Park, California.
Every great structure...begins with a solid foundation. Our award-winning schools are no different. The Hillsborough Schools Foundation helps to ensure your child has access to a world-class education in an inspiring and nurturing environment.
Who would have believed in 1980 that the newly formed Hillsborough Schools Foundation (HSF) would be such a success, becoming a crucial part of the Hillsborough City School District's (HCSD) funding? Since 1980, HSF raised over $48 million for the Hillsborough schools.
HSF was one of the first nonprofit public school foundations in the country, a leader in the movement to secure private funding for public schools. Since 1980, the parents and neighbors of Hillsborough have supported HSF, creating one of the most successful public school foundations in the nation, supporting all areas of our schools' curriculum.
Last year, we raised over $3.6 million providing critical funding for the educational excellence we expect in Hillsborough. Together, we have pioneered a new approach to public education by making our children and their futures a key priority in our community.
While our community is donating dollars for our schools through the Annual Giving Campaign, we are also participating in HSF Events, which raise substantial revenue through exciting community activities and events. Each fall, HSF Events sponsors the Hillsborough Classic (tennis tournament and luncheon), followed in the winter by the Dinner Dance and Auction. We close our school year with Family Fun Run in June, a great community-building affair. Our school year is packed with wonderful events and fundraising, and HSFappreciates the enormous commitment of our families to support excellence in our Hillsborough schools.
Your Pledges, Attendance at events, Volunteering, and Enrolling online make it possible to continue Hillsborough's tradition of excellence in education. Thank you for your generous support through the years!
E.ly’.si.um: a place or condition of ideal happiness.
The Art of Elysium is dedicated to enriching the lives of artists and critically ill children. We believe that there is a powerful and mutual exchange of hope and appreciation that occurs when artists share their time and talent with children battling serious medical conditions.
The Art of Elysium provides a wide range of fine and performing arts workshops and activities designed to:
• Help children cope with the difficult emotional challenges of illness and hospitalization,
• Promote opportunities for growth and development,
• Encourage socialization,
• Provide exposure to various artistic skills and disciplines.
The Art of Elysium’s programs for hospitalized youth include Fine Arts, Fashion Design, Music, Media/Theatre Arts and Arts-Based Self-Esteem Programs. For more information about volunteering in our hospital programs, please contact Leslie Culp, Program Director, Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian Ogle, Program Manager, New York email@example.com
Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society (ACS) saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has regional and local offices throughout the country that support 11 geographical Divisions and ensure we have a presence in every community.
The mission of the Peninsula Girls Chorus is to engage the hearts and minds of girls and young women from diverse backgrounds through a comprehensive experience in choral music. We strive to demonstrate our commitment to excellence through a rigorous music education and literacy program. These skills serve as the foundation for outstanding performances of the highest quality choral literature that reflects humankind. It is our vision that our choristers will live life more deeply through their involvement and participation in choral music.
Make a child’s life brighter this holiday season and stop by Balboa Cafe San Francisco and Mill Valley to donate to Holy Family Day Home. Holy Family Day Home (HFDH) is the oldest childcare center of its kind in San Francisco and provides affordable, high quality early education child care to the children of working families, 70% of whom are classified as low to very low income. For more than 100 years, Holy Family Day Home has been a pioneer in providing educational development for young children while nurturing positive interaction with their families. - See more at: http://blog.plumpjack.com/category/balboa-cafe/page/2/#sthash.WhZD8PUW.dpuf
San Mateo High School is the home of one of the Bay Area’s finest and most comprehensive high school drama programs. Offering courses in Drama, Musical Theatre and Cinema and Society, students are exposed to the dramatic arts in multiple forms and formats. Coursework provides students with hands-on academic opportunities in acting, directing, design and choreography (often in conjunction with San Mateo High’s highly acclaimed dance and music departments).
In addition to its high-level classroom work, San Mateo High School produces 3 exceptional quality shows each year in the newly renovated state-of-the-art on-campus performing arts center. Boasting multiple awards from both San Jose Stage Company’s Top Honors and American Musical Theatre of San Jose’s Honors, San Mateo High School has developed a reputation for excellence in drama education and performance. By providing a robust drama curriculum, San Mateo High School is developing students’ skills in numerous areas emphasized by California’s recently-implemented Common Core curriculum, including real-world problem-solving, collaborative learning and communication.
Most importantly, San Mateo High School’s drama program provides students the opportunity to develop a time-honored craft: telling stories, using a toolkit comprised of their voices, bodies and imaginations, while testing their maturing senses of reasoning and emotion. And, by making high-quality productions accessible to the greater San Mateo-Foster City-Burlingame community, San Mateo High’s drama students are educating the next generation of audience members.
Founded in 1963, Palo Alto Chinese School (PACS) is a Chinese language school based in the San Francisco Bay Area with a long and proud history of Chinese education. PACS is currently offering Mandarin and Cantonese classes from kindergarten to 12th grade.
In order to satisfy increasing demand for children that do not speak Chinese at home, PACS also started offering Chinese as a Second Language (CSL) classes in 2007.
Mandarin and CSL classes meet every Friday from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.
If you are interested in Chinese culture, the calligraphy class offered by PACS would be a good choice for you. Introduced in 2005, the Chinese calligraphy class is hosted by well known calligrapher Mr. Chen-Lei Huang. There are two classes, meeting at 6:00PM and 7:10PM respectively, every Friday.
Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Mission Statement: To support medical RESEARCH for finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma. To EDUCATE patients and physicians about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma. To act as an ADVOCATE for the melanoma community to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure.
The MRF History: The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) was founded in 1996 by Diana Ashby, a melanoma patient. Diana created the MRF after three years of battling the deadly cancer, during which time she grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of effective medical treatments for melanoma. Diana was known for having an especially strong sense of compassion for fellow melanoma patients.
Diana's frustration turned to determination after the tragic loss of several friends to melanoma and the third recurrence of her own tumors that summer. She began to investigate alternative therapies and trials for promising new drugs and discovered that the research and development of such new treatments were often stalled due to inadequate funding. The founding of the MRF was the result of Diana's struggle and will to make a difference.
Diana died only eight months after founding the MRF, but today the organization continues to grow. We are thankful for the energy of melanoma patients, families and volunteers who contribute their time and efforts to speed the cure for this deadly cancer, in the legacy of Diana’s initial vision.
The Service League of San Mateo County is a non-profit agency that develops, coordinates, and delivers in-custody programs, services, and other activities within all San Mateo County jails. The agency delivers after-release programs and services at five program sites in the community.
Service League programs provide:
-Personal Growth Services
For over 50 years, we have delivered compassion and created hope for thousands of county jail inmates and their families . . . and thanks to your generous support; we will continue to provide services to these ones so much in need of a helping hand and patient ear.
OUR VISION: Every inmate and former inmate in San Mateo County will have access to the programs, services and support networks they need to successfully re-enter the community as contributing citizens and responsible family members. Everyday our volunteers and staff live up to a promise we made over 50 years ago...
To challenge and engage elementary and middle school children across the cultural and economic spectrum with fun, hands-on entrepreneurship programs that promote financial responsibility, leadership, and teamwork.
Children around the world will be prepared for bright futures that support global economic growth and vibrancy. Engaging them in entrepreneurship education will inspire and set the stage for future leaders.
BizWorld.org provides engaging, hands-on programs promoting financial responsibility, leadership and teamwork skills for elementary and middle school students across the country and around the world. By teaching them leadership, entrepreneurship and business skills, students are better prepared to tackle the academic challenges of the 21st century. Children work together in a real-world environment to create a business. They discover their talents, develop critical skills for success, and increase their self-confidence.
BizWorld.org was originally founded in 1997 by venture capitalist Tim Draper who saw a need for inspiring entrepreneurship in children. Since then, BizWorld.org has distributed three innovative programs - BizWorld, BizMovie, and BizWiz - to teachers in more than 80 countries and has reached over 450,000 students and 8,000 educators. Our programs offer fun, engaging content suitable for children of all levels, abilities and backgrounds. In addition to the U.S, our programs are currently available through a licensing arrangement in the Netherlands, India, Italy, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.