Our Mission Statement & Values

The Palo Alto Community Fund grows, sustains, and uses its endowment and other donated funds to support the work of new and existing nonprofit organizations serving the Palo Alto area.  We are  a nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to improving the quality of life in our local community.


We value the continuing role of philanthropy in meeting the needs and challenges of our community.

We strive to steward and grow the endowment to ensure that it benefits present and future generations.

Local Needs & Knowledge

We value the sense of community and caring demonstrated by our local residents.

We concentrate our efforts on nonprofit organizations that enhance the quality of life in the greater Palo Alto area.  Our board members are knowledgeable volunteers with experience in our community.

Responsibility and Accountability

We value wise stewardship of funds.

We strive to merit our donors’ trust by conducting our activities professionally, ethically, responsibly and transparently. Using the talents and expertise of our volunteer Board members, we carefully evaluate each request for support and our grantee’s subsequent use of our funds.

Belief in the efficacy of nonprofits

We value the work of nonprofits in addressing the needs of our community with creative and innovative solutions.

We help nonprofit organizations fulfill their charitable, civic, and educational missions by making grants for programs that will have maximum impact in our community and by offering educational and networking opportunities for our grantees.  We support effective existing programs and provide seed money for new approaches and organizations.


We value the diversity of our program areas and the populations served.

We endeavor to fund a variety of programs that serve diverse needs and diverse populations. We strive to achieve diversity on our board.

Impact Categories: Multiple missions, one community.
  • Arts & Culture
  • Community Development & Social Services
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health, Mental Health & Disabilities
  • Housing & Nutrition
  • Senior Services
  • Youth & Families
In other words

“PACF is the perfect One Stop Shop.  I can make one donation with trust it will be joined with others to make a difference in our community.”

—Megan Swezey Fogarty, Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University