Grantee Highlight: SV2 Teens Philanthropy Program


SV2 Teens Philanthropy Program

SV2 Teens Philanthropy Program is a program that is part of the well-established, Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), which is a vibrant giving network of more than 200 Partners who come together to learn about effective giving and pool their money and talent to support promising social ventures throughout Silicon Valley and the world.

Program Overview

Launched in 2009, the SV2 Teens Philanthropy Program offers a comprehensive philanthropic experience through which 7-12th grade children of SV2 Partners develop deeper knowledge of the nonprofit sector and grant making, gain exposure to social issues and nonprofits addressing them, and are inspired to make a meaningful impact. Since its inception, SV2 Teens has attracted over 100 youth, many of whom have been inspired to continue creating social impact in college, their careers and through service and leadership projects beyond of SV2 Teens.

The group meets on Sunday afternoons for three-hour sessions over the course of several months. Sessions are held at a variety of settings - at the SV2 office, at nonprofit service sites, and at corporations that engage in philanthropy in some capacity. The goal of meeting at a variety of locations is to provide our youth with a diverse nonprofit/philanthropic experience, while also exposing them to the many different industries and careers within Silicon Valley.

Each year, the SV2 Teens program culminates in the SV2 Teens Grant award celebration. Our SV2 Teens thoughtfully discuss, deliberate and ultimately select which of the organizations they visited will receive an SV2 Teens Grant. The Teens invite the leaders of the selected grantee organization(s) to our final celebratory meeting and present a check to them in front of family, friends, SV2 Partners and Board Members. Teens have said this grant making experience is one of the most valuable and rewarding part of the SV2 Teens program, along with the service projects during which they work directly with populations in need.


  • Youth Science Institute (YSI): Voted best summer camp in Silicon Valley, the Youth Science Institute (YSI) is a nonprofit organization committed to inspiring enthusiasm for science, nature, and a love of learning. They offer hands-on, nature-based science camps to children, families and the general public.
  • Benetech: Benetech was founded to be a different kind of tech company - a nonprofit - with a pure focus on developing technology for the social good. Benetech's business model aims to create sustainable, not profitable, projects, which allows them to do more and to be more creative in how they apply technology to accelerate social progress.
  • Jose Valdes Math Institute: The José Valdés Math Institute is an organization whose mission is to provide a comprehensive math education to middle and high school students, particularly the underrepresented, to achieve academic success.


  • Downtown Streets Team: The nonprofit Downtown Streets Team provides homeless men and women and those at-risk of becoming homeless with housing, work experience, stipends for food and clothes and the opportunity to be part of the community through volunteer work.
  • Loaves & Fishes: Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen provides nutritious prepared meals that are delivered and served to disadvantaged individuals with a special concern for families, seniors and the homeless. The organization was founded more than 35 years ago.
  • HIP Housing: HIP Housing's mission is to invest in human potential by improving the housing and lives of people in our community. HIP Housing enables people with special needs, either from income or circumstance, to live independent, self-sufficient lives in decent, safe, low-cost homes. To achieve their mission, HIP Housing provides Home Sharing, Self-Sufficiency, and Property Development.


  • Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY): Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY) is a non-profit dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence, crime and incarceration of teens. Through FLY's combination of programs - legal education, leadership training, and one-on-one mentoring - youth get off probation, engaged in school, and back on track with their lives.
  • Bill Wilson Center: Bill Wilson Center's mission is to support and strengthen the community by serving youth and families through counseling, housing, education, and advocacy. Bill Wilson Center programs span a variety of services including individual, family and group counseling, foster care and adoption services, parenting classes, drop-in center services for homeless street youth and a number of shelters for runaway and homeless youth.
  • Eastside College Preparatory School: Eastside Prep is a private school in East Palo Alto serving 6th through 12th graders. It combines rigorous academics, teacher and volunteer support and sustained investment by private donors toward its objective: getting first-generation college students to succeed in four-year colleges and beyond.

Other organizations SV2 Teens has engaged with over the past 8 years:
2013 - Acterra, TransForm CA, Hidden Villa
2012 - Ravenswood Family Health Center
2011 - Ecumenical Hunger Program, Shelter Network, Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula
2010 - Family House, Inc., Earth Justice

For more information on how to get involved with SV2 or SV2 Teens, please visit their website HERE