Our future was secured by our past.

Since its philanthropic beginnings over 35 years ago, the Palo Alto Community Fund’s grants have reflected the forward-thinking, innovative spirit of our community.  These gifts have provided seed money to launch new programs, early funding for fledgling organizations, and support for ongoing worthy projects.  Because our areas of funding are diverse, the impact of our grants has been significant.

Please enjoy a brief stroll through our proud organization’s history.

1977
The framework for community endowment established

Foresighted Palo Altans, including Betsy Bechtel, Andy Doty, Joan Johnston, Bill Seethaler, Roger Smith, and Charles Schulz, envision a fund serving the local community they love.

1979
Bernice Mitchell's vision becomes a reality

With the guidance and support of Bernice Mitchell, the sales proceeds from the Learning House in Palo Alto are donated to the Palo Alto Fund (now PACF).

1985
Fund recieves $100K boost

The proceeds from the dissolution of the Palo Alto Credit Union are given to the the fund.  In the same year, the Pooled Income Fund is established.

1991
First grant reception held

The fund awards $20,000 to 13 local nonprofits—the largest distribution of funds to date.  A $1M community endowment campaign is established to keep growing the organization and support future nonprofits.

1998
$2 million by 2000 campaign launched

Billie Achilles bequest of $700K becomes part of the fund.

Shirley and Leonard Ely create a charitable trust naming PACF as a beneficiary.

2000
Grant dollars continue to break records

PACF awards $100,000 in grants to 21 nonprofits.  The endowment exceeds $2M.

2009
Funding Our Future campaign launched

PACF begins a campaign to raise an additional $2M for its endowment.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation starts investing in PACF’s grantmaking efforts.  As of May 2014, PACF has received $300K in pass-through funds from the Packard Foundation.

2014
New giving choices!

Donors now have two options when making a gift to PACF:

*  the Endowment Fund to ensure that we will continue to provide funding for years to come

OR/AND

*  the Annual Fund to provide funds for our next community grants cycle