Ways to Give

PVF offers various ways to assist donors in their charitable giving.

PVF Giving by Region

Alameda County

San Francisco County

San Mateo County

Santa Clara County

Outside of Bay Area


“We admire Bill Somerville’s pragmatic, empathetic and contagious approach to grantmaking. So when we decided to create a Donor Advised Fund, PVF naturally came to mind. We are still sold on its commitment to quality education and to fighting poverty in our midst, all with minimal overhead and without lengthy grant applications.”


– Marc and Ragni Pasturel, who have a Donor Advised Fund at PVF

Donor Advised Funds

Based on your recommendation, PVF makes approved grants to specific charitable organizations from your Donor Advised Fund. PVF can identify high impact programs, evaluate potential grant recipients, and advise on giving goals and strategies. The Donor Advised Fund is a good alternative to creating a private foundation in that it provides all of the advantages of having one’s own foundation, without the additional administrative and staffing costs, pay-out requirement, and tax return filing and excise tax requirements. It can also provide better tax advantages.

PVF donor, Ragni Pasturel, tutoring 1st grader Diego at the Saint Francis Center in Redwood City.

Unrestricted Gifts

PVF staff spends a lot of time out in the community visiting nonprofits and meeting human service workers.  This grassroots knowledge coupled with our expertise in grantmaking, program and evaluation, provides us with a keen ability to respond to community needs.  Gifts to PVF’s Unrestricted Gifts Fund enable us to make grants on a discretionary and timely basis.

Donors’ unrestricted gifts in amounts large and small help PVF continue to be responsive and inventive in our grantmaking to benefit the local community. PVF’s staff have a long track record of identifying critical intervention points in the community where funding — even relatively small grants — can have the greatest impact. In responding to issues and unmet needs, PVF places high trust in outstanding individuals and programs, demonstrates flexibility and creativity in grantmaking, and takes the initiative in providing funding when it is needed.

To provide support to PVF to continue to carry out its community initiatives and creative approaches, give to PVF’s Unrestricted Gift Fund.

Josh Griffith, Principal at Fair Oaks Community School in Redwood City and recipient of a PVF discretionary grant.

Two forms of creative grantmaking that your unrestricted gift will support:

Discretionary Grants – in what PVF has named “paperless giving,” PVF identifies nonprofit directors and school principals doing excellent work, then gives them grants they can use at their discretion to meet critical needs.

Immediate Response Grantmaking – On a 48 hour turnaround basis, PVF provides small grants to teachers, judges, and social workers to provide resources for creative projects and to meet the needs of those they serve.

“This money has been able to help so many overcome odds that are debilitating, but are of paramount importance to the survival of my families.”


– Josh Griffith, principal of Fair Oaks Community School in Redwood City

Interested in

giving to or


your own

Program Fund?

Program Funds

PVF designs and administers giving programs to match a donor’s area of interest. No matter what your focus, PVF can create a program that targets this interest. For example, PVF designed the Teacher Resource Grants Program for a private foundation committed to improving public education in the San Francisco Bay Area.  In addition, PVF has created several programs on its own initiative in response to pressing issues and needs.


PVF has created and administered programs – like the Teacher Resource Grants Program – for the following donors:

The California Endowment
David & Lucile Packard Foundation
David L. Klein, Jr. Foundation
Eucalyptus Foundation
Flora Family Foundation
Heising-Simons Foundation

Herbst Foundation
Joseph & Vera Long Foundation
Lampert Family Foundation
Louise & Claude Rosenberg Jr. Foundation
McKesson Foundation
Robert Half International Inc.

Sand Hill Foundation
San Francisco Foundation
Thomas J. Long Foundation
van Loben Sels/RembeRock Foundation
The Westly Foundation
Y&H Soda Foundation

Designated Funds

In the spirit of expanding philanthropy and promoting outstanding charitable work, PVF serves as the depository for projects that do not yet have their tax-exempt status but are otherwise ready to commence their charitable work.

Through PVF’s Designated Funds service, donors can contribute to a charitable project, and receive a tax deduction for their contributions. PVF manages each Designated Fund and prepares financial reports for the project leader. Designated Funds may focus on local, national, or international giving.  A Designated Fund provides donors with flexibility, enabling them to target support for innovative ideas.


An example is the Generosity in Action (GIA) Designated Fund, dedicated to supporting travelers’ enthusiasm to give back to needy villages and people in third world countries in areas where they travel. Through a close working relationship with local tour operators and guides, projects are monitored to ensure completion.

 Travelers’ donations pay for materials and engineering oversight; the village often provides the labor. Travelers donating via The GIA Designated Fund have helped to stock school science laboratories, support a women’s sewing collective, and build schools, libraries, wells, and playgrounds in small, remote villages from Burma to Peru and South Africa to Zambia.

“PVF is efficient, it’s lean, and it’s the way philanthropy should be.”



– Dien Yuen, Managing Director at Kordant Philanthropy Advisors, praises PVF’s donor-advised services