‘Here we are, we got it, let’s go’: Speaking with Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO Nicole Taylor

When Nicole Taylor assumed the role of Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO in 2018, it was following a scandal about the organisation’s toxic working environment and a tough rebuilding job was in front of her.

The Foundation back then had a growth mentality – in 2017, its endowment was worth $13.5 billion and its annual grantmaking that same year was $1.3 billion. Last year, its endowment was worth $360 million, and it disbursed $2 billion in grants, a more than 50 per cent increase from its grantmaking before Taylor’s leadership.

Taylor and the SVCF team spent 2019 putting together a plan for the foundation’s new direction. And almost as soon as it finished the plan, the pandemic hit. And then the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. And then another Covid wave. But among the crises of the last few years, SVCF – led by Taylor and the new strategy – has worked to get more funding out faster.

She spoke to Alliance about the last several years, racial equity in philanthropy, donor-advised funds, and the meaning of community.

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