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.

The framework for community endowment established

Your donation goes to support PACF grant awards given to nonprofit agencies that serve the communities of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park in the focus areas of Arts & Culture, Community Development & Social Services, Education, Environment, Health & Mental Health & Disabilities, Housing  Nutrition, Senior Services, and Youth & Families.

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).

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.

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.

$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.

Grant dollars continue to break records

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

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.

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


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