REGIONAL – A new community foundation has been launched with a vision to improve the quality of life in the Tri-Valley and the greater East Bay area.
The Trois Vallées Community Foundation (3VCF) aims to expand philanthropic support by benefiting local non-profit organizations, as well as donors by putting them in touch with the most immediate and pressing needs of the community, a explained John Sensiba, chairman of the board of directors of 3VCF.
“Three Valleys will do this through Donor Advised Funds (DAF), direct donations and endowment opportunities. We will also work to support local nonprofits through agency funds and grants, ”continued Sensiba.
The name of the organization is a nod to the valleys of Amador, Livermore and San Ramon, an area that encompasses the communities of Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Sunol.
A committee of volunteers from the local community and business leaders has been working for over a year to create the Trois Vallées Community Foundation. The organization has received expedited approval from the Internal Revenue Service as a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
“Over the past year, we have sought the advice of over 50 experts in local, state and national community foundations,” said Susan Houghton, Founder and Board Member of 3VCF. “We are committed to incorporating their best practices, as well as the accreditation requirements outlined by the Council of Foundations, a governing association of foundations and granting companies. “
In the spirit of collaboration, a number of other local granting and philanthropic organizations will partner with the Three Valleys Community Foundation during its operational launch phase, including the Community Foundation of San Joaquin, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Community Initiatives, Northern California Grantmakers and the East Bay Community Foundation. Fremont Bank will provide banking services. In addition, a number of founding champions, including Alameda County Supervisors David Haubert and Nate Miley, and several local companies, supported the launch of the Three Valleys Community Foundation.
“I am honored to support the Three Valleys Community Foundation,” said Haubert, who represents the Alameda 1 County Oversight District 1. “This foundation is crucial for the Tri-Valley because it strengthens cities through civic engagement and sustainable philanthropy. “
Miley, District 4, also expressed her pride in supporting the foundation.
“This foundation will help small local organizations find funding and opportunities to better serve some of our most vulnerable residents,” continued Miley.
Other founding champions include Bishop Ranch, Wente Family Estates, Sensiba San Filippo, The Livermore Independent, and Lynn and Joan Seppala. Hacienda Helping Hands will open an area of interest community fund with 3VCF, and the Pleasanton Weekly 2021 Holiday Fund will be the organization’s first public campaign. This annual community campaign, now in its 20th year, offers grants to local nonprofits – chosen by Pleasanton Weekly.
The Three Valleys Community Foundation also works closely with the TriValley Nonprofit Alliance and Las Positas College to provide free nonprofit training. These programs, offered once a month, will launch in December 2021. The Tri-Valley region is rich in innovation, scientific and technical achievement, agriculture, natural beauty and the arts, and fosters a strong commitment to inclusion and community. Yet, as the Innovation Tri-Valley Vision 2040 report mentions, the quality of life in the region can be further improved through private philanthropy.
“Our region’s annual (gross domestic product) is over $ 42 billion,” Sensiba said. “Yet less than half a percent returns to support the more than 350 local nonprofits serving our communities. The Trois Vallées Community Foundation wishes to increase this proportion of local donations to create a region where each person has the opportunity to live a full and rewarding life.
The founding board of directors of the Three Valleys Community Foundation includes John Sensiba of Sensiba San Filippo (chair); Susan Houghton, Founder of Sunflower Hill (Acting Secretary / Treasurer); and board members Kenneth Cooper from Las Positas College, Margaret Liang from APAPA, Tim Sbranti from Innovation Tri-Valley and Christine Wente from Wente Family Estates. Advisory board members include Catharine Baker, Hoge Fenton; Chris Carter, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center; James Paxson, Hacienda Business Park; Scott Roberts, mass mutual; Wendy Fukamaki, PG&E; Joe Cristiano, Bank of San Francisco; John Freeman, California Water Service; and Reena Gupta, Mom Relaunch. Steve McCoy-Thompson is the interim executive director.
3VCF’s operating values are integrity and transparency; equity and inclusion; and collaboration and innovation. Local residents, donors and businesses are invited to support the Trois Vallées Community Foundation as part of the organization’s Founding Champions program.
“There is a great force in our region,” noted Houghton. “We want to build on the efforts already underway in our three valleys – Amador, Livermore and San Ramon – and we invite all residents to join us in doing so. “