Palo Alto Community Fund Awards $1.175 Million to Local Nonprofits

PACF deepens its community impact by continuing COVID-19 Relief funding, increasing annual grant dollars by 22%, doubling impact grant awards and strengthening relationships with nonprofits and donors.

The global toll from COVID-19 remains immeasurable and the fallout from the ongoing tragedy will be felt for years to come. And, yet, in every community there have been many silver linings that reminded us all over and over again of the boundless generosity of the human spirit. Here in the greater Palo Alto area, members of the community have responded like never before, donating record levels to the Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF) for those in need. Together, we have spent the past 15 months supporting local nonprofit organizations that bravely take on the day-to-day challenges for those who have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. These organizations and their staff are our frontline heros

In order to deepen relationships with nonprofit organizations and donors, PACF conducted more than 150 interviews with nonprofit leaders and held multiple virtual events. This year, it has been more essential than ever to connect donors and other stakeholders with the nonprofit community to foster greater understanding of conditions on the ground.The work of PACF is not done, but, at this time, we would like to pause to acknowledge the impact that you—our donors—have had this past year.

August-December 2020―COVID-19 RELIEF GRANTS
During the past 12 months, PACF donated $200,000 in COVID-19 Relief grants. These grants followed the $1.1 million in COVID-19 Relief funds distributed between March and June of 2020. So far, PACF has distributed a total of $1.3 million in 10 rounds of grants to our neighbors struck by the fallout from the shutdown and COVID-19-related issues. These grants provided immediate assistance for food security, housing stability, child care, healthcare and mental health support.

March 2021―2021 ANNUAL GRANTS
PACF distributed $800,000 in general operating support grants to 69 nonprofits serving Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, a 22% increase over the prior year. These nonprofits work day in and day out to ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors receive the help and resources they need. The grants were made possible through the generosity of hundreds of PACF donors who pitched in to support our 2020/21 Annual Appeal. This year’s grant portfolio (see complete list below) reflects an emphasis on organizations that:

  • serve East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, particularly Belle Haven, as well as the most vulnerable in Palo Alto
  • address educational inequities exacerbated by COVID-19 focus on growing mental health needs — especially youth
  • meet basic needs, including food, shelter, healthcare and childcare
  • deliver services to vulnerable populations such as seniors, people with disabilities, foster youth, immigrants and those experiencing homelessness
  • enhance community life by providing fair access to a healthy environment, the arts and meaningful life skills

PACF awarded $150,000 in grants—double the prior year total—to strategically address vaccine equity, extremely affordable housing and youth mental health. These grants are made in memory of longtime community leader, Dave Mitchell. PACF granted:

  • $50,000 to the Ravenswood Family Health Network (RFHN) in East Palo Alto to help fund barrier-free access to COVID-19 vaccinations
  • $50,000 to United Hope Builders (UHB), an East Palo Alto-based nonprofit organization that provides extremely affordable housing in the Bay Area
  • $30,000 to the Children’s Health Council (CHC), which has provided comprehensive youth mental health services in our community for more than 65 years
  • $20,000 to EPACenter, a new youth arts center in East Palo Alto, which will enable it to expand its youth art therapy program and integrate youth mental health into the center’s other offerings

PACF granted $10,000 to four nonprofit organizations in recognition of their exceptional leaders. These grant awards honored three individuals whose work focuses on building local climate resilience: Diane Bailey, Menlo Spark, Violet Saena, Climate Resilient Communities, Elliott Wright, Environmental Volunteers and an additional grant to LifeMoves in recognition of Bruce Ives’ extraordinary leadership over the last six years. The grants are named in honor of Cammie Vail who led PACF as Executive Director for 17 years.

Spring 2021—OTHER GRANTS
PACF made additional grants to Magical Bridge Foundation in support of Music is Magical 2021 Concert Series and Youth United for Community Action (YUCA) in support of purchasing the building where they are located in East Palo Alto.
Annual Grants for Fiscal Year 2020- 2021
(ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 totalling $800,000)
49ers Academy

Annual Grants for Fiscal Year 2020- 2021

(ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 totalling $800,000)

49ers Academy

Able Works


Ada’s Cafe

Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS)

Aim High for High School

All Students Matter

Animal Assisted Happiness

Art in Action


Beyond Barriers Athletic Foundation

Bring Me A Book Foundation

California Family Foundation (Beechwood School)


CASA of San Mateo County

CASSY – Counseling and Support Services for Youth

Children’s Health Council, Inc.

Christmas Bureau of Palo Alto

Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto

CORA – Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse


East Palo Alto Academy Foundation

East Palo Alto Kids Foundation (EPAK)

East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring (EPATT)

Ecumenical Hunger Program

Family Giving Tree

Foundation for a College Education

Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Inc.

Health Connected

Home & Hope

JobTrain, Inc.


Karat School Project (KSP)

Kids & Art Foundation

Learning Home Volunteers

Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County

Live In Peace

Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen

Loved Twice

Nuestra Casa de East Palo Alto

Ombudsman Services of San Mateo County, Inc

One East Palo Alto Neighborhood Improvement Initiative

Palo Alto Art Center Foundation

Palo Alto Community Child Care

Palo Alto Housing Mgmt & Service Corp (an affiliate of Alta Housing)

Peninsula Bridge

Peninsula College Fund (PCF)

Peninsula Healthcare Connection

Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.

Pets in Need

Ravenswood Education Foundation

Ravenswood Family Health Network (South County Community Health Center)

ReadySetExcel Inc.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Rise Together Education

Rosalie Rendu Inc.

Science is Elementary

Silicon Valley Urban Debate League

St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room

St. Elizabeth Seton School



The People’s Music School

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

Upward Scholars

Vida Verde Nature Education

Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired


Youth Community Service


Mission Statement

About the Palo Alto Community Fund

The Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF) is a 40-year young 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on the unique needs of our community. We channel charitable giving of local donors to effective organizations that improve the quality of life for everyone in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. For more information, please contact our executive director, Lisa Van Dusen at [email protected] or by phone at 650.690.0370.