2000 Grants Awarded

Environmental Grants | Kirsch Investigators (Medical)
Medical and Scientific Project Grants | Political Reform and Global Theme Grants
Silicon Valley Community Grants | Discretionary Grants

In 2000, we awarded 117 grants totaling $8,600,085 to organizations in the following categories (number of grants and total grant money by category provided):

18 grants
4 grants
Medical and Scientific Projects
3 grants
Political Reform and Global Theme
7 grants
Silicon Valley Community
61 grants
24 grants

Environmental Grants

American Lung Association of California: $50,000
The American Lung Association of California (ALAC) works to prevent lung disease and to promote lung health. The organization is a leading advocate for air quality in California by fighting for advanced clean transportation technologies instead of relying on polluting petroleum-based fuels. This environmental grant supports ALAC's efforts to preserve California's Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program, specifically media outreach and constituency building.
Why we supported: A resolution on California's ZEV program is not expected until later in the year and the Foundation remains committed to this significant environmental battle and a positive outcome for the future of ZEVs.

California State Parks Foundation: $1,000
The California State Parks Foundation is an independent, membership organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing California's 265 State Parks. Founded in 1969, the Foundation has contributed over $93 million in land, funds and artifacts for California State Parks. All contributions come from its members, corporations and foundations. Projects the organization sponsors include adding land to existing parks, helping to construct visitor centers and interpretive displays, building trails, restoring wildlife habitat, and supporting family camping programs for underserved youth. The Foundation serves California's youth in a model way. Second only to the state's public school system, State Parks are California's second largest provider of public education programs.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary environmental grant.

Californians for Safe Neighborhood Parks
and Clean Water:
Californians for Safe Neighborhood Parks and Clean Water is dedicated to ensuring the passage of Proposition 12 and Proposition 13, both of which are bond measures and appear on California’s statewide ballot in March 2000. Proposition 12 recognizes the tremendous need California has for parks, open space and recreation for its growing population. It also includes funding for protection of wildlife habitat. Proposition 13, the Safe Drinking Water Bond Act, will help "drought-proof" California while improving the quality of drinking water supplies for almost everyone in the state. This contribution will work towards the successful passage of both propositions.
Why we supported: An integral part of the Kirsch Foundation is preserving California’s natural environment for future generations. Furthermore, The Nature Conservancy received a challenge grant that required $1,000,000 in matching funds to support the passage of the propositions and this contribution helped meet that challenge. Propositions 12 and 13 were approved by Californians in the March 7, 2000, vote.

Chemical Strategies Partnership/The Tides Center: $22,000
Chemical Strategies Partnership (CSP) seeks to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in U.S. manufacturing. CSP encourages chemical suppliers to concentrate on managing chemicals more efficiently, thus reducing the volume of chemicals, potential pollutants, being used. CSP is working collaboratively with the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, Santa Clara County Pollution Prevention Program and a variety of funders to encourage manufacturers to purchase chemical services instead of purchasing chemicals. This grant is for implementing a CSP pilot program in Silicon Valley.
Why we supported:
CSP's focus on chemical services addresses the root cause of chemical waste and pollution by aligning the incentives of the service provider and manufacturer to improve chemical efficiency, reduce costs, and improve environmental performance. This model represents an innovative market-based approach to preventing pollution. The Kirsch Foundation applauds CSP's ultimate goal of reducing chemical use at Silicon Valley companies.

Coalition for Clean Air: $25,000
Formed in 1970, the Los Angeles based Coalition for Clean Air is dedicated to restoring clean, healthful air to California by advocating responsible public health policy, providing technical and educational expertise and promoting broad-based community involvement. This environmental grant funds the Coalition’s Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program.
Why we supported: The Kirsch Foundation is committed to ensuring that California’s ZEV production requirements remain intact and are not scaled back.

De Anza College $2,000,000
Silicon Valley Community Grants for information about the support given to De Anza College for the new Environment Studies building. It will be named the Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies in recognition of the lead gift provided by Steve and Michele Kirsch through the Foundation.

EarthAction Network: $15,000
With offices in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, EarthAction Network is a globally-recognized environmental organization focused on educating organizations, citizens, journalists and government about key environment, social justice and peace issues on the international agenda. This support funds EarthAction Network’s Planet Postcard on Climate Change and Clean Energy Campaign. It will result in the distribution of 30,000 postcards urging individuals to contact their governments in support of environmental causes.
Why we supported: The Foundation is committed to implementing environmentally sound policies and encouraging grass-roots advocacy on a global scale. EarthAction Network has established itself as an effective vehicle in both arenas. View a sample of the Planet Postcard.

Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund: $15,000
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund) provides free legal services to local and national organizations with two main objectives: to see that the rule of law is followed in key environmental disputes and to create positive change in environmentally destructive behavior. This support funds the "Healthy Cities, Healthy Wildlands: from San Francisco to the Sierra" program that addresses air quality and transportation issues in the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley.
Why we supported: Cleaning up the air in California is of utmost importance and this grant will help Earthjustice move forward with their litigation and coalition building to improve air quality in the state.

Friends of the Earth: $25,000
Friends of the Earth (FOE) is dedicated to protecting the planet from environmental degradation; preserving biological, cultural and ethnic diversity; and empowering citizens to have an influential voice in decisions affecting the quality of their environment and their lives. This grant supports production and release of a California Green Scissors Report in order to eliminate or reform state government spending and policies that have detrimental impacts on California's environment and public health. FOE plans to inject environmental priorities into the state budget process, create a coalition of activists and organizations to promote reform, and attract media attention to the report and the coalition.
Why we supported:
Friends of the Earth's Green Scissors campaigns have been successful in other states, including Washington, Vermont, North Carolina and Michigan, collectively excising $24 billion in environmentally-harmful subsidies from those state budgets. The Kirsch Foundation expects FOE's California effort to achieve similar success due to FOE's collaborative style and grassroots organizing achievements.

Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources: $20,000
Through regional expedition-style learning programs, the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources (IJNR) is dedicated to promoting higher standards of news coverage of the environment as the first step to increasing public awareness and understanding of environmental issues. This funding sponsors IJNR’s first Golden Gate Institute for environmental journalists to be held in San Francisco in September 2000.
Why we supported: Given the Foundation’s commitment to improving the environment, encouraging more accurate and more extensive news coverage about environmental issues makes sense. Media coverage has a very broad reach throughout society and can significantly affect both decision-making processes and outcomes.

Izaak Walton League of America: $25,000
The Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) was founded in 1922 to conserve, maintain, protect and restore the soil, woods, water, and other natural resources of the United States. This funding supports IWLA's activities in the Southeast Regional Clean Air Campaign that focuses on cleaning up coal-fired power plants and bringing them into compliance with modern pollution standards.
Why we supported:
IWLA is a leading clean energy advocate and follows a collaborative approach in cleaning up the nation's air. With non-compliant, coal-burning power plants currently generating four to ten times more pollution than modern plants, the Foundation views this grant as both timely and responsible.

Marine Conservation Biology Institute: $15,000
Marine Conservation Biology Institute (MCBI) works to advance the new science of marine conservation biology and promotes cooperation in order to protect and restore the Earth's biological integrity. MCBI employs a two-pronged strategy - science and advocacy - for protecting, restoring and sustainably using marine biodiversity. The grant is for its continuing lobbying activities on high-impact issues such as its work to ensure the establishment of a national system of marine protected areas in the United States as well as passage of the Seabed Protection Act.
Why we supported: The Foundation encourages environmental advocacy through the power of lobbying, and with California's marine habitats at stake, MCBI is well positioned to effect important and lasting change.

Project Clean Air, Inc.: $25,000
Project Clean Air (PCA) works to enhance the community by improving air quality through education and collective action. This grant is for its Heavy Duty Vehicle Emissions Reduction Project, the goal of which is to reduce heavy-duty diesel emissions in the region. PCA hopes to achieve this goal by aggressively advocating for routine maintenance, engine replacement, and/or a switch to an alternate fuel, among a variety of diverse industries.
Why we supported: Project Clean Air's efforts are focused in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the worst areas in the state for unhealthy air quality. Funding PCA allows the Foundation to work toward the goal of cleaning up the air in California, while recognizing a grass-roots organization doing its part in the air pollution battle.

Solar Electric Light Fund: $10,000
Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) is a nonprofit, charitable organization founded in 1990 to promote, develop and facilitate solar rural electrification and energy self-sufficiency in developing countries. This environmental grant supports SELF’s solar power project in South African Schools.
Why we supported: As part of its environmental activities, the Foundation supports efforts around the globe for energy self-sufficiency.

Taxpayers Against Polluter Protection: $20,000

Taxpayers Against Polluter Protection worked to defeat Proposition 37, a proposed Constitutional Amendment on the November 7, 2000, ballot that would have prohibited California from levying fees to clean up or mitigate environmental pollution without a two-thirds vote of the State Legislature. This contribution was used for advertising in major media markets.
Why we contributed:
Under the guise of "stop hidden taxes," Proposition 37 attempted to protect large corporations from paying for the environmental and health hazards they create. Attacking the central environmental principle that the "polluter pays," Proposition 37 would have put the burden on the taxpayer, not on the polluter, of cleaning up pollution. The Kirsch Foundation joined many organizations in opposition to the measure including the American Cancer Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, and League of Women Voters. On November 7, Proposition 37 went down to defeat with 52.2 percent voting against the initiative and 47.8 voting for it.

Union of Concerned Scientists: $75,000
Union of Concerned Scientists is an independent, nonprofit alliance of 50,000 concerned citizens and scientists across the country. The group augments rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world. The Foundation has made the following contributions to UCS:

  • $50,000 for two zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) studies: "ZEV Vision Study" and "The Climate Change and Air Quality Connection."
  • $25,000 for the Clean Car Pledge Campaign.

Why We Supported: This funding is consistent with the Kirsch Foundation's ardent support to reinforce California's ZEV program and ensure that the state's production requirements are not weakened or eliminated.

University of California, Davis/Institute of Transportation Studies: $25,000
The Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) Department at the University of California, Davis, was established in 1991 as a "research unit" committed to research, education and outreach on emerging and important transportation issues. This grant will be used to initiate a research agenda and host a workshop on the social marketing of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) and other efficient transportation. ITS intends to provide a vision of how social marketing can be used to transform the market for energy efficient and ZEV technologies.
Why we supported: An effective and coordinated social marketing campaign effort for clean, efficient vehicles technologies could have a significant positive impact upon consumers as well as within the political arena. Given that ITS does respected and often groundbreaking ZEV-related research, this grant provides the Kirsch Foundation with a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of a ZEV social marketing campaign launch. Further, supporting the development and use of alternative fuel technologies is a top priority for the Foundation.

Youth for Environmental Sanity: $25,000
Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!) was founded to "educate, inspire and empower" young people to take positive action for healthy people and a healthy planet. YES! seeks to better the local and global environment by addressing the source of many of those problems, the activities and attitudes of people. This grant supports the 2000 YES! Action Camps, which will train student leaders with practical skills and knowledge for tackling environmental justice issues.
Why we supported: The Foundation is committed to mobilizing people to take action and YES!'s growing reputation as the preeminent environmental youth group in the country enables the organization to impact change. YES! is having a big influence on generations of youth at a time in their lives when critical future decisions are being made.

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Kirsch Investigator Awards Program (Medical)

The Foundation is pleased to announce its inaugural Investigator Award Recipients. Each Investigator's three-year Award provides $150,000 per year to the Investigator and $30,000 per year to the institution with which the Investigator is affiliated. Read detailed information about the Investigators and their research activities.

  • Ben A. Barres, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurobiology, Stanford School of Medicine
    Project: Dr. Barres and his lab will investigate whether glial cells actively control the formation and function of neural circuitry in the brain. If so, then glial cells may actively contribute to our ability to learn and remember and may also help to explain the impaired ability to remember in the many disease conditions where glial cells become abnormal, such as Alzheimer's Disease.

  • Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco
    Project: Dr. Blackburn's research focuses on telomeres, the ends of human chromosomes, which need the right DNA sequence in order to allow all cells, including cancer cells, to multiply, and telomerase, the enzyme which makes this telomeric DNA, and is highly activated in most tumors. By manipulating telomerase activity, potential therapeutic uses such as the renewal of aging human tissue and the treatment of cancer are uncovered.

  • Ronald A. DePinho, MD, American Cancer Society Research Professor, Professor of Medicine and Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Director of Transgenesis and Gene Targeting, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
    Project: Liver cirrhosis and cancer are associated with chronic liver cell destruction and ultimately the failure of the liver regeneration processes to maintain liver function. Through the construction of engineered mouse strains, this proposal will study the role of chromosomal structure and stability in the genesis of cirrhosis and cancer and attempt to develop novel therapeutics directed towards improving liver cell regeneration.

  • Alexander J. Varshavsky, PhD, Smits Professor of Cell Biology, California Institute of Technology
    Project: The major aim of Dr. Varshavsky's studies is a detailed understanding of the molecular machinery that mediates the destruction of specific proteins in living cells and thereby regulates gene expression and many other processes. This understanding is likely to result in the development of drugs that modulate the intracellular protein degradation and thereby alleviate a variety of human diseases.

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Medical and Scientific Project Grants

Columbia University: $100,000
Angela Christiano, PhD
Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons includes a specialized Hair Research & Treatment Center that addresses the impact of alopecia (hair loss) on people's lives and works to find, through basic and clinical research, treatments and a cure. Dr. Angela Christiano, Associate Professor, Departments of Dermatology and Genetics & Development, is one of the world renowned scientists conducting research on this topic. Dr. Christiano discovered the first human gene associated with hair loss and this grant will support her research efforts to establish unequivocally that cultured adult hair human follicle dermal cells can induce new hair follicles in human skin.
Why we supported:
Dr. Christiano is a leader in the field and has a successful track record of basic research that may lead to finding a cure/prevention for alopecia. Alopecia is a focus area for the Foundation's medical research, particularly because many other funders are not interested in supporting it. This is a two-year grant.

Foundation Fighting Blindness: $100,000
The Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) is the pre-eminent institution focused on efforts to find cures for degenerative eye diseases. FFB has nine targeted areas in its research program: Cell Biology, Clinical Studies, Drug Delivery, Gene Therapy, Genetics, Pharmaceutical Therapy, Pre-clinical Studies, Transplantation, and Visual Prosthetics. This grant is divided equally to support three researchers' projects during fiscal year 2001.

  • Iqbal Ahmad, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Nebraska Medical Center
    Project: Transplantation of Putative Retinal Stem Cells in Animal Models of Photoreceptor Dystrophy

  • Mark S. Humayun, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Project: Multi-electrode Stimulation and Recording from Mammalian Retina

  • John G. Flannery, PhD, Associate Professor, Departments of Vision Science and Neuroscience, University of California, Berkeley
    Project: Adeno-associated Viral Vectors for Gene Therapy of Inherited Retinal Degenerations

Why we supported: Given that the FFB has extensive, specialized Scientific Advisory Groups for each of its nine areas of targeted research and identified investigators whose research efforts matched the particular interests of the Kirsch Foundation, we decided to leverage our grant resources to help the FFB fund these individuals. This will be the only project grant in 2000 focused on degenerative eye diseases.

University of Arizona/Spacewatch: $100,000
Spacewatch, located on the University of Arizona campus at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, explores the various populations of small objects in the solar system and studies the statistics of asteroids and comets. This grant continues support for Spacewatch's project of discovering Near Earth Objects (NEOs). The new 1.8 meter Spacewatch telescope was recently put into action and information, images, and video of its accomplishments are available on the Spacewatch website.
Why we supported: The Foundation is committed to identifying asteroids and Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that can potentially threaten the Earth as we know it.

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Political Reform and Global Theme Grants

Californians Against Phony Reform-NO on 34: $50,000
Proposition 34 is a measure appearing on California's ballot for the November general election. The Proposition, submitted by the State Legislature, would establish high contribution limits, create voluntary spending limits and ban lobbyists from donating to campaigns. It repeals, however, the tougher campaign contribution and voluntary spending limits for state and local elective offices enacted by Proposition 208. Proposition 34 includes no limits on soft money or political party spending. Proposition 34 would negate Proposition 208. This funding helped purchase 53 television spots to educate voters on the Proposition and urge them to vote "No" on it.
Why we supported: The defeat of Proposition 34 would ensure that the provisions of Proposition 208, a tough campaign finance reform measure approved by California voters in 1996, would be implemented if upheld by the courts. This is consistent with the Foundation's efforts to reform the current campaign financing system.

Center for Public Integrity: $50,000
Founded in 1989, the Center for Public Integrity is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C. The organization’s mission is to examine public service and ethics-related issues. This discretionary grant to the Center was for general operating support.
Why we supported: Known for its thought-provoking investigative journalism, the Center for Public Integrity received this support to continue its journalistic efforts in the area of campaign finance reform, a subject the Foundation advocates.

Citizens Research Foundation: $15,000
The Citizens' Research Foundation (CRF) is the nation's oldest non-partisan, nonprofit, academic research organization committed to broadening public understanding of political financing and campaign reform. In 1999, CRF moved to University of California, Berkeley where it is now affiliated with the Institute of Governmental Studies on the Berkeley campus. This discretionary grant to CRF was to support the organization's Summer 2000 Campaign Finance Conference.
Why we supported:
The Foundation has a strong interest in campaign finance reform, a mission of CRF.

Global Security Institute: $25,000
Under the leadership of former U.S. Senator Alan Cranston, the Global Security Institute (GSI) is committed to promoting a comprehensive vision of global security for our increasingly interdependent world and its evolving governing bodies. One of the organization's primary initiatives is the elimination of nuclear weapons. Through its work, GSI strives to persuade the U.S. government and other nuclear weapon states to honor their commitment under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. This support is for GSI's October 2000 media luncheon and briefing on "Gore and Bush at the Nuclear Crossroads". The event has three objectives: to educate the media on what the next president could do to move toward nuclear weapon abolition, to establish weapons elimination as a foreign policy reality, and make it palatable to business interests.
Why we supported: The most significant, global-threatening issue of our time is the potential for nuclear destruction. The Foundation strongly believes in nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation as a first step. We provided this grant to GSI because of its internationally recognized credibility on nonproliferation and disarmament.

Public Campaign: $250,000
Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of special interest money in America's elections and the influence of big contributors in American politics. It wants to accomplish this objective by offering a public financing option to candidates who do not accept private contributions. This grant supports Public Campaign’s Clean Money Campaign Reform program, which is focused on state-by-state reform initiatives as a means to gain national consensus for federal campaign reform. It is the first installment of a three-year, $750,000 grant.
Why we supported: Campaign finance reform has become a Foundation priority and Public Campaign’s approach has been successful in several states already. Public Campaign has a sound strategy, seasoned staff, and is fully focused on changing the role of money in politics.

Public Campaign Action Fund: $186,750
The lobbying and legislative arm of Public Campaign, Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF) is committed to funding Clean Money ballot initiatives in states across the country. These contributions are dedicated to gaining voter approval for campaign finance reform measures on ballots in Missouri and Oregon in November 2000. These measures are the only "clean money" and public financing reform initiatives on state ballots in the fall election. Similar initiatives have passed in recent years in Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont with the strong support of PCAF.
Why we supported: Educating the public and passing legislation on campaign finance reform, particularly the alternative availability of public financing, is of vital importance to the Foundation. The Foundation made two separate contributions, of $86,750 and $100,000, to PCAF to assist in this critical effort.

State of the World Forum: $25,000
The State of the World Forum is a global network of leaders from civil society, the private sector and government who come together for discussion and action at special events and worldwide conferences to promote an increased sense of personal and civic responsibility.
Why we supported: This discretionary grant will help to underwrite the State of the World Forum’s Forum 2000 conference, which will be held in September 2000.

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Silicon Valley Community Grants

Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center: $4,000
A major center for the Jewish community in the Bay Area Peninsula region, the Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center (ALSJCC) enhances and enriches lives by offering positive and rewarding social, recreational, cultural and educational experiences. Open to the entire community, the full-service facility provides services and programs for all ages and backgrounds.
Why we supported: Steve and Michele Kirsch are supporting ALSJCC’s annual Children’s Benefit/Gala. This is a discretionary grant.

American Chemical Society: $5,000
Santa Clara Valley
The Santa Clara Valley (SCV) section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which has been in existence for approximately 45 years, is part of a 160,000-member organization of mostly industrial and academic chemists. ACS’s mission is to promote the importance of the chemical sciences in society through projects, publications and education. This grant supported ACS-SCV’s CARVER Kidvention program. Named for the renowned agricultural (peanut) chemist, Dr. George Washington Carver, CARVER Kidvention is an invention-based workshop for school age children.
Why we supported: Approximately 300 Santa Clara County and San Mateo County third and fourth graders participated in the workshop, which encourages creativity and could spark a long-term interest in the sciences for some of the children. ACS-SCV had a last-minute funding shortfall for the program and the Foundation’s support made CARVER Kidvention possible just prior to the national ACS meeting in San Francisco.

American Musical Theatre of San Jose: $300,000
American Musical Theatre of San Jose (AMTSJ), one of the area's most popular musical theatres, has performed in downtown San Jose for over 65 years. In addition to the full-scale productions and Musicals in Concert it has offered the Bay Area, AMTSJ presents a wide variety of education, training, accessibility and recognition programs. This support is composed of two grants:

  • $200,000 for the development and American premiere of The 3hree Musketeers
    The Three Musketeers is a literary classic read by all generations. British composer George Stiles, considered by many critics to be the next Andrew Lloyd Weber, will be scoring this production. He recently won England's prestigious Olivier Award (the equivalent of Broadway's Tony Award) for Best New Musical for his play Honk!.
  • $100,000 for 2000-2001 as a Major Season Sponsor

Why we supported: AMTSJ is one of the most highly regarded performing arts centers in Silicon Valley. This continued support helps AMTSJ to cover its general operating costs while it works to expand its major donor base and adding new revenue streams such as The 3hree Musketeers.

Bay Area Action: $520
Bay Area Action is an environmental education nonprofit based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its mission is to help people discover and strengthen their connection to and concern for the natural environment through education and hands-on, action-oriented activities. The Foundation sponsored batteries for an electric vehicle (EV) owned by Bay Area Action.
Why we supported: This grant exemplifies the Foundation’s commitment to promoting EVs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Francisco and the Peninsula: $5,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of San Francisco and the Peninsula seeks to make a positive difference in the lives of children by promoting their self-esteem, expanding their awareness of life's opportunities, and providing them with guidance and support through long-term, one-to-one mentorships with caring adult volunteers. This grant is for operating support.
Why we supported: BBBS works effectively with at-risk youth and with the Foundation’s support can continue to successfully attract and retain volunteer adults who give extensively of their time and talents.

Bullis School PTA: $10,000
Bullis is an elementary school in the Los Altos, California school district. This grant supports the school's fundraising event.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Camp Fire Boys and Girls $20,000
Camp Fire Boys and Girls is a national co-ed youth development agency serving boys and girls from kindergarten through high school. The organization's variety of programs help young people boost their self-esteem and learn decision-making skills. Camp Fire members acquire the tools necessary to grow into leaders in their communities and to respect diversity. This support is for Camp Fire's WorldWise Program – a curriculum that introduces and reinforces ecology and environmental lessons to its members, from preschool through high school.
Why we supported:
The WorldWise program addresses two areas important to the Foundation: the environment and the community. This funding will allow children to become more environmentally conscious and take that knowledge to their schools and homes.

Center for Excellence in Nonprofits: $15,000
The Center for Excellence in Nonprofits is a learning community of nonprofits offering programs in leadership development, systemic change, continuous improvement and best practices for nonprofit groups. This funding helps establish the Nonprofit Executive Award. This recognition, given to an outstanding executive director of a Silicon Valley nonprofit agency, will be awarded this fall.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant. Steve and Michele Kirsch strongly support the recognition of outstanding leaders in the local nonprofit world.

Children's Discovery Museum: $15,000
Located in San Jose, the Children's Discovery Museum is a learning and discovery center for children, families and schools, offering interactive exhibits and programs that span the arts, science, technology and the humanities. The Foundation has awarded two grants this year to the Children's Discovery Museum:

  • $10,000 for sponsorship of the museum's "Legacy for Children" event
  • $5,000 for membership support

Why we supported: These are discretionary grants.

Children's Health Council: $14,100
The Children's Health Council has served the developmental needs of children and families in the Bay Area community for nearly 50 years, providing mental health services, special education and developmental services for children and adolescents. This funding is composed of two grants to Children's Health Council:

  • $9,100 Supports the Children's Health Council's Summer Symphony 2000
  • $5,000 Directors Discretionary Grant authorized by Board member Perry Olson

Why we supported: These are discretionary grants, furthering the Kirsch's interests in the welfare of children and the advancement of the arts.

City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley: $25,000
As part of the AmeriCorps program, and with established groups in 11 U.S. cities, City Year is an innovative community service organization that seeks to address pressing community needs by engaging young people to contribute their time, talent, and energy through service. The organization brings together a diverse collection of young people from different ethnic, economic, and educational backgrounds for the purpose of providing community service. The San Jose/Silicon Valley organization devotes a substantial part of its corps members’ 175,000 hours of annual service to tutoring young students in reading.
Why we supported: City Year encourages young adults to give back to their communities, which is consistent with the Foundation’s commitment to encouraging philanthropy. The substantial reading-level improvements by children who are tutored by corps members also demonstrated the effectiveness and efficiency of City Year.

Community Foundation Silicon Valley: $176,700
Community Foundation Silicon Valley (CFSV), one of the largest nonprofit community foundations in the U.S., makes grants to the Silicon Valley community, educates the public about nonprofits and Silicon Valley's needs, and enables citizens to solve local problems. This funding includes four grants:

  • $20,000 to support CFSV's media activities.
  • $5,000 to support the Elizabeth Anabo Memorial Fund established at CFSV. Elizabeth was a highly-regarded Senior Program Officer at CFSV. The Foundation made this grant to honor her memory and her devotion to nonprofit organizations in Silicon Valley.
  • $51,700 to support CFSV's grantmaking activities in its four strategic areas (cultural participation, education and lifelong learning, neighborhoods and civic engagement, and self-reliant individuals and families) during the 1999 – 2000 fiscal year.
  • $100,000 for CFSV's Partners in Philanthropy (PIP) program, which supports CFSV's grantmaking activities in its four strategic areas during the 2000 – 2001 fiscal year.

Why we supported: The Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation is a supporting organization of the Community Foundation Silicon Valley.

Community School of Music and Arts $15,000
The largest arts education organization in Santa Clara County, the Community School of Music & Arts serves students of all ages through its diverse artistic programs including private lessons and classes, arts-in-the-schools programs, vacation and summer camps, concerts and other community outreach events. This support helps fund the Arts in Action program in the Los Altos School District.
Why we supported:
This is a discretionary grant.

CompassPoint Nonprofit Services Silicon Valley: $15,000
With offices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services is a nonprofit consulting and training organization. The organization provides nonprofits with the management tools and concepts necessary to best serve their communities. This grant supports the 2nd Annual Silicon Valley Conference on Nonprofits and Technology.
Why we supported: The Foundation believes CompassPoint is the most efficient educational/training option for Silicon Valley nonprofit organizations, especially small-to-mid-size entities that have minimal training budgets. Nonprofit organizations need to make it across the "digital divide" and this conference will help make that possible.

Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley: $25,000
In 1997, leaders from the local arts, business and government communities gathered to develop a comprehensive plan to promote cultural awareness in Silicon Valley. Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley (CISV) was created to implement their vision. Through projects in such areas as arts education, community and neighborhood arts, and strengthening the performance of cultural groups, CISV is helping to advance the role of arts and culture in the community. The organization's efforts have helped solidify the idea that arts inspire the imaginative spirit that has been the hallmark of the Valley's remarkable success. This grant supports CISV's Greenhouse Five-Year Program, an initiative to establish and promote successful arts education courses in Silicon Valley schools.
Why we supported:
This is a Directors Discretionary Grant authorized by Board Vice-Chairman Harry Saal.

De Anza College $2,000,000
De Anza College, one of two community colleges in the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, opened its doors in 1967 to serve Santa Clara Valley, now known as Silicon Valley. The college is one of the largest, single-campus community colleges in the country and offers courses year-round during the day, evening and on weekends. This commitment, to be paid out over three years, is a lead gift for the construction of the new Environmental Studies building, which will be named the Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies (Kirsch Center).

This landmark center will be the first of its kind on a college campus west of the Mississippi. The Kirsch Center will be a "green building" and serve as a national model of resource and energy conservation techniques. It will also serve as a teaching tool for students and the community to experience firsthand the principles of energy efficiency. Some of the environmentally-friendly design specifics the Kirsch Center will incorporate are passive solar orientation and photovoltaic (PV) panels for energy production, natural day-lighting and ventilation, recycled steel, certified sustainable wood products, electric vehicle recharging stations and a pollution prevention and waste management plan. The building will expand the public's definition of conservation from protecting rain forests, recycling, reducing energy waste to including the study and reduction of the energy we consume, the cars we drive and the way we heat and cool our homes, offices and public buildings. The Kirsch Center will stand as an educational center combining interdisciplinary studies, distance learning, energy management and community outreach.
Read more about the Kirsch Center.
Why we supported: The Foundation decided to make this capital campaign gift for three reasons:

    1. De Anza College will be constructing the first "green building" on a community college campus, thus demonstrating to other colleges and public institutions the viability of using many energy and resource conservation techniques.

    2. The Foundation is committed both to environmental issues and to the Silicon Valley community. This proposal addressed both of these commitments.

    3. The Kirsch Center will allow De Anza to educate other institutional decision-makers on the use of renewable and energy-efficient technologies in buildings, thus leveraging the Foundation's $2 million gift in terms of its potential impact on other institutions.

East Palo Alto Kids Foundation: $20,000
East Palo Alto Kids Foundation (EPAK) was founded to enrich the education of children from East Palo Alto (Ravenswood School District). A non-profit, low-overhead organization with no paid staff, its Board of Directors draws from East Palo Alto and neighboring communities. EPAK provides direct cash grants to teachers for a variety of projects, such as books, field trips and supplemental materials. This grant is for the Enrichment and Family Participation Grants programs. Enrichment grants purchase such items as books, student field trips and science lab equipment. Family Participation projects encourage family members to become involved in their students' education.
Why we supported: A volunteer-run organization, EPAK works on behalf of a community lacking educational resources for teachers. This grant will assist EPAK in providing equal learning opportunities to children in the East Palo Alto area.

El Camino Hospital Foundation: $5,000
El Camino Hospital, located in Mountain View and serving the San Francisco Bay Area Mid-peninsula, is a community-based, nonprofit hospital. The El Camino Hospital Foundation is the fund for the hospital, providing financial support from donor gifts.
Why we supported: Steve and Michele Kirsch recognize the importance of El Camino Hospital providing quality health care services to their local community.

Environmental Volunteers (EV): $25,000
Environmental Volunteers believes all children deserve to learn about the natural world through personal exploration so they can become responsible stewards of the earth. The philosophy of EV is that what children come to know and understand, they are more likely to protect. EV accomplishes its goals by providing hands-on science education, encouraging awareness of the interrelationships between people and nature and by giving children the skills to make informed decisions about the environment. This funding supports the continuing development of an innovative Environmental Education Certificate Program (EECP), which will be recognized by the State of California. This curriculum, offered to educators, equips teachers with the knowledge and tools to implement and integrate environmental curriculum in their classrooms.
Why we supported: Already underway, the EECP has received enthusiastic response from teachers who have taken the courses. The Foundation is committed to environmental causes and is confident that teachers who complete the program will have new tools to educate children about environmental issues.

Family Service Mid-Peninsula $10,000
The mission of Family Service Mid-Peninsula (FSMP) is to provide programs and promote partnerships that strengthen families. Founded in 1950, FSMP serves children, teens, adults, families and community groups in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties with such services as family counseling, violence prevention, employee assistance programs and teen hotlines. This funding supports the San Jose Childcare Consortium Project – a program that provides childcare services to low income families. Skills offered through the program include parenting lessons and child abuse prevention.
Why we supported:
FSMP is a well-respected family service agency in Silicon Valley. This grant will assist more than 140 childcare sites helping low-income families in the community.

Foothill-DeAnza Colleges Foundation: $10,000
The Foothill-De Anza Colleges Foundation encompasses Foothill College and DeAnza College. This grant helped to sponsor Dr. Stephen Hawking’s presentations at DeAnza College in January 2000.
Why we supported: This was a unique opportunity for high school students as well as community members in the San Francisco Bay Area to hear from world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking in person.

The Health Trust: $35,000
The Health Trust's vision is to be the leading venture capitalist for funding innovative nonprofit health prevention services and programs within the Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley). Its objective is to maximize the health of the people of the area by expanding access to health and wellness programs. The Health Trust's strategy for achieving this objective involves operating community health programs that fill gaps in current health prevention services as well as grantmaking to nonprofit organizations that provide direct preventive health and wellness services. This support is to partially fund construction of the new medical building at the Washington School Health Center. This school health clinic, co-located with a pilot program called "Smart Start", will serve children in an area of San Jose lacking in medical care.
Why we supported: This grant will help insure that children will receive a positive educational start so they don't end up living in poverty and having long-term, chronic health problems due to lack of adequate health care. We believe this is part of a critical "safety net" that we can provide within the community.

Homeless Care Force, Inc: $25,000
A grassroots organization founded in 1989, Homeless Care Force (HCF) works in cooperation with other organizations to eliminate the problem of homelessness in the San Jose area. Through its mostly volunteer-staffed mobile service program, HCF provides food, clothing and health care to the homeless population. In addition to these basic services, the volunteers, and limited paid staff, link homeless individuals to other local agencies for shelter, transportation, counseling and substance abuse assistance. This grant is for general operating support.
Why we supported: There are estimated to be over 20,000 homeless people in the San Jose area. Many of these are families with children who are simply unable to afford the astronomical cost of housing in Silicon Valley. HCF provides a warm, safe haven to these individuals, serving 50,000 hot meals and distributing 4,500 clothing packages each year.

Law Foundation of Silicon Valley: $34,700
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley's mission is to secure justice and protect human rights by providing legal defense, counseling and access to the legal system for those who would otherwise be underrepresented. Programs provided by the Law Foundation include AIDS legal services, fair housing and advocacy for youth. This funding is composed of two grants:

  • $30,000 provides salary support for the Law Foundation's Pregnant and Parenting Teen project, within its Legal Advocates for Children and Youth (LACY) program.
  • $4,700 for the 7th Annual LACY Honors event.

Why we supported: These are discretionary grants.

Los Altos Cultural Association: $5,000
The Los Altos Cultural Association (LACA) is committed to preserving the history and culture of the Los Altos community. This grant supports LACA's publication of the Los Altos "PAINT THE TOWN" book. This coffee-table book will feature the artwork of over 50 painters. Artists highlighted in the publication have painted scenes and buildings throughout Los Altos and Los Altos Hills to capture the look of the area in the 20th Century.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Los Altos Educational Foundation: $10,000
The Los Altos Educational Foundation provides funding for educational programs and materials that enhance the academic curriculum of the Los Altos School District. This funding is for general operating support.
Why we supported:
This is a discretionary grant.

Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund: $5,000

The Los Altos Town Crier is a weekly newspaper serving the Los Altos, California, community. This grant supports the publication's Holiday Fund, which raises funds to assist needy families in the region.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Menlo School: $5,000
Menlo School, located in Atherton, California, is dedicated to providing a challenging academic curriculum complemented by outstanding fine arts and athletic programs. The school helps students to develop positive values and nurtures character development in a supportive environment that upholds the highest moral and ethical standards. Menlo School's program encourages students to reach their fullest potential, developing the skills necessary to respond intelligently and humanely to the complexities of an increasingly diverse world. This funding is for general operating support.
Why we supported: This grant is a Directors Discretionary Grant authorized by Board member Perry Olson.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: $4,000
Silicon Valley Chapter
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is dedicated to ending the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis.
Why we supported: This contribution was for the Annual Fund Drive of the Society’s Silicon Valley Chapter. This is a discretionary grant.

Olympic Wannabes: $10,000
Sculpted by world-renowned artist Glenna Goodacre, Olympic Wannabes is a bronze sculpture depicting five spirited youths leaping and somersaulting. The artwork will be displayed in a community park in Los Altos.
Why we supported: Steve and Michele Kirsch support their hometown and its commitment to children with this discretionary grant.

Opportunities Industrialization Center West: $10,000
Opportunities Industrialization Center West's (OICW) accredited job training classes, counseling and placement services, teen programs, evening and weekend courses, and child development centers prepare low-income Bay Area people for success in careers and in life. Located on the Menlo Park – East Palo Alto border, OICW is committed to helping those who are most in need succeed. This funding to OICW is composed of two grants:

  • $5,000 General operating support to help 3,500 adults, teens and children achieve success with the aid of OICW's programs.
  • $5,000 Directors Discretionary Grant authorized by Board member Perry Olson

Why we supported: These are discretionary grants.

Palo Alto Art Center Foundation: $5,000
The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation (PAACF) is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1973 to advise the Palo Alto Art Center. Activities supported by the PAACF include family programs, sponsorship and promotion of area art festivals, art performances and the purchase of equipment to be used in Art Center workshops and classes. This grant provides support to Cultural Kaleidoscope – an artist residency program serving primary schools in East Palo Alto and Palo Alto.
Why we supported: Cultural Kaleidoscope has earned a positive reputation among local teachers. The program exposes children, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the arts, to the arts and brings students from different communities together to benefit one another.

Parent Observation: $5,000
Parent Observation is a Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District community resource for parents and preschool age children.
Why We Supported: This is a discretionary grant to assist with the replacement of the outdoor playground equipment.

Parents Helping Parents: $10,000
Parents Helping Parents (PHP) is a parent-directed family resource center that serves children with special needs, their families and the professionals who serve them. Children with special needs require unique services due to illness, accident, conditions of birth, learning differences or family stress. PHP provides peer support and resources specific to families with such children and direction on how to obtain assistance. This grant is for general operating support.
Why we supported:
PHP is a highly-regarded organization supporting, primarily, families with low incomes. It allows parents with special needs children to share knowledge and insight with other parents in similar situations and connects them with professionals who can also counsel them.

Peninsula Conservation Center Foundation: $5,000
Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the Peninsula Conservation Center Foundation (PCCF) is a clearinghouse for information on environmental issues, providing essential administrative support for small environmental groups, enabling local environmental organizations to share space and resources and being a catalyst for coordinating and funding local grassroots efforts. This funding enables PCCF to create an educational display on photovoltaic (solar electricity) technology and its benefits.
Why we supported: PCCF is a local community organization that focuses on environmental issues and clean energy, which is one of the Foundation’s major areas of interest.

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte: $55,000
Founded in 1916, Planned Parenthood is the world's largest and oldest voluntary family planning organization. Planned Parenthood is dedicated to the principles that every individual has a fundamental right to decide when or whether to have a child and that every child should be wanted and loved. This funding is composed of two contributions:

  • $50,000 for the "Teen Success" program in response to an anonymous $1 million matching challenge to create an endowment for this program.
  • $5,000 for general operating support.

Why we supported: These are discretionary community grants.

Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT): $100,000
Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT), a nonprofit service organization, collects a wide variety of manufacturing by-products, over-runs and other scrap material and redistributes them to schools and community groups through teachers who visit the RAFT Center. At RAFT, teachers learn how to use these materials creatively to demonstrate math, science and other subjects. RAFT, through its Technology Center, also offers teachers workshops in use of computers as teaching aids. RAFT offers companies an on-site assessment that identifies reusable items and arranges for their pickup. This capital campaign gift provided some support toward the purchase and renovation of the organization's new Center and warehouse, a $5-million project.
Why we supported: RAFT accomplishes a number of important goals with its educational programs and resources. It is a source of educational supplies, computers and training to more than 3,500 teachers and nonprofit organizations that engage in teaching science/technology/art to more than 500,000 children. RAFT is an environmentally-friendly organization in that it re-cycles and re-uses items that corporations and businesses would have otherwise sent to landfills.

Ronald McDonald House: $10,000
Ronald McDonald House provides a "home-away-from-home"® and support for the families of children with life-threatening illnesses. It is a haven families can call home, permitting them to give their ill child their complete attention and support. As medical treatments evolve, more children stay at the House as outpatients while receiving treatment at Stanford. This support to Ronald McDonald House is composed of two grants:

  • $5,000 Support for the annual fundraising event "Denim to Diamonds"
  • $5,000 Directors Discretionary Grant authorized by Board member Perry Olson

Why we supported: These are discretionary grants.

Sacred Heart Community Service: $25,000
Sacred Heart Community Service (SHCS), a non-denominational, nonprofit organization, provides comprehensive support services on one site, free of charge, to all in need. SHCS believes that by nourishing bodies and nurturing minds, its services can grant short-term relief to those in economic need and, one step at a time, allow people to break the cycle of poverty. This support helps Louise's Pantry, a program that serves meals to over 24,000 residents every year. Sixty percent of those it assists are children.
Why we supported: Despite the wealth to be found in Silicon Valley, there are many families whose need for food has increased since more and more of their income is devoted to housing costs. This grant is especially important as it largely serves children. Meeting the nutritional needs of children, particularly those from low-income families, allows them to have a reasonable start in life.

The San Jose Mercury News Wish Book: $10,000
The Holiday Wish Book, published by The San Jose Mercury News, is in its 17th year of providing the community the opportunity to grant special wishes to those in need. This is an unrestricted grant to the Holiday Wish Book.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

San Jose Symphony: $100
The San Jose Symphony, billed as the "Orchestra for Silicon Valley", offers entertainment for all ages including time-honored classics and popular hits. This grant is for the Symphony's 2000 Gala Celebration.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Santa Clara County Biotechnology Education Partnership: $32,325
Two Santa Clara County teachers who wanted to improve high school science by providing kit-based biotechnology education formed the Santa Clara County Biotechnology Education Partnership (SCCBEP) in 1992. SCCBEP is dedicated to increasing student understanding of key concepts in science through lab activities in molecular biology and to raising student awareness of related biotechnology applications. This contribution provides the salary for the part-time Program Coordinator for one year.
Why we supported: SCCBEP’s educational program, which is available to all secondary schools in Santa Clara County for a very modest fee, is valuable to high school science students and teachers because it provides on-site lab activities as a significant supplement to lectures and textbook learning. Given the Foundation’s commitment to medical science research, this grant supports the intellectual curiosity and development of the next generation of potential researchers.

Shelter Against Violent Environments: $10,000
Shelter Against Violent Environments (SAVE) is a nonprofit organization established in 1976 to address the needs of people experiencing violence in their families. Its mission is to provide alternatives to domestic violence through support services, advocacy and education, and to assist domestic violence victims and their families to end the cycle of abuse. This grant is for general operating support.
Why we supported: SAVE has the largest shelter for domestic violence victims in Alameda County and maintains a transitional housing complex. The organization's programs are well-regarded for helping abuse sufferers and their children escape the cycle of violence and rebuild their lives.

Sor Juana Ines Services for Abused Women: $5,000

Sor Juana Ines, named for the celebrated Mexican poet and feminist, offers emergency housing, counseling, court accompaniment and child care to abused women in the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula region. This funding is for general operating support.
Why we supported: This grant is a Directors Discretionary Grant authorized by Board member Perry Olson.

The Tech Museum of Innovation: $66,500
Located in San Jose, The Tech Museum of Innovation is an educational resource established to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives, and to inspire young people to become innovators in the technologies of the future. The Foundation has made the following contributions to The Tech in 2000:

  • $9,000 This grant supports The Tech's "Reaching for Stars 2000" annual awards dinner.
  • $15,000 and $17,500 These two contributions supported the Gizmo WYSIWYG 2000 event – a program featuring various educational activities for youth.
  • $25,000 This grant was in support of The Tech's Board Match program.

Why we supported: Steve and Michele Kirsch are chairs of The Tech's Leadership Circle of donors and have continuously supported its activities, including its special events. These are discretionary community grants.

United Way Silicon Valley: $50,000
United Way Silicon Valley (UWSV) supports the community's most vital health and human care needs by distributing raised funds to over 100 nonprofit agencies in Silicon Valley. This grant supports UWSV's Community Care Fund. This campaign funds programs in critical human care areas including family support services, childcare, community building and homeless assistance.
Why we supported: Steve Kirsch is a member of the key leadership team for UWSV's current fundraising campaign. This is a discretionary grant.

Unity Care Group, Inc.: $12,500
Unity Care Group, Inc. is a community-based, nonprofit, youth development agency. Founded in 1992 by minority engineering professionals, the organization develops educational and social programs designed to enrich the lives of disadvantaged, at-risk youths. This grant supports the organization's Pre-College Minority Engineering Program (PC-MEP). This hands-on, educational project designed for at-risk minority middle school and high school age youth increases students' interest in science, math and engineering.
Why we supported: Only 12 percent of minority students in Santa Clara County school districts participate in engineering and science education. PC-MEP is the first program of its kind in Silicon Valley and its recently completed pilot program successfully graduated 95% of those who participated. This program will expose these young people to an academic area that needs their talents and through which they may become successful professionals in the community.

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Discretionary Grants

America's Promise
America's Promise, under the leadership of retired General Colin L. Powell, is committed to increasing the resources dedicated to America's young people. The organization encourages Americans from every walk of life to build the character and competence of America's youth by fulfilling Five Promises:

  • Be caring adults - as parents, mentors, tutors, coaches
  • Establish safe places with structured activities during non-school hours
  • Strive for a healthy start and future
  • Help youth gain marketable skills through effective education
  • Provide young people with opportunities to give back through community service

To achieve these goals, America's Promise challenges individuals and communities to ensure today's youth grow into successful adults. Its efforts reinforce the work of existing youth organizations by encouraging the use of the Five Promises as a common framework. The Foundation's funding of America's Promise is for general operating support.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

ARCS Foundation
Northern California Chapter
Since 1958, Achievement Rewards for College Students (ARCS) Foundation has provided scholarships to outstanding students in need of financial assistance in the fields of natural sciences, engineering and medicine. As of last year, over $30 million has been awarded to more than 7,000 students around the country. ARCS’ Northern California Chapter has given $7.2 million to regional scholars. This support is for the organization’s Designer Preview event.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day
The Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day, an activity of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, began in 1993 as an initiative of Avon Products, Inc. The mission of the Crusade is to provide medically underserved women with direct access to breast cancer early detection and support services, and to fund medical research to find the causes of and a cure for breast cancer and other women's cancers. Since the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade began, revolutionary advances have been made in the study of biology and the development of technologies now being applied to the eradication of breast cancer. The Foundation is sponsoring a breast cancer survivor in the San Francisco walk.
Why we supported:
This is a discretionary grant.

Brave Kids
Brave Kids' mission is to broaden the support and resources available for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses by utilizing the power of the Internet. The organization offers a multi-lingual resource center for families and medical professionals whose goal is to empower children with special needs to continue their brave struggle against illness. Some of the services Brave Kids provides ill children include computers for low-income families, participation in chat rooms, giving kids and their parents a support network, and a resource program providing financial, medical and legal assistance programs.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

For more than 50 years, CARE has been a vehicle of American generosity abroad. Founded in the aftermath of World War II, it has become one of the world's largest private international relief and development agencies. The organization has become a leader in sustainable development and emergency aid, reaching tens of millions of people each year in more than 60 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. This funding supports the CARE VI endeavor. Mountain climbers participating in Climb for CARE VI will trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for CARE projects.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

The Exploratorium, founded in 1969 by noted educator Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, is housed within the walls of San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts. The Exploratorium is a collage of 650 science, art and human perception exhibits and is a leader in the movement to promote the museum as an educational center.
Why we supported: Continuing their commitment to community and education, Steve and Michele Kirsch donated to the Exploratorium’s Annual Fund.

FIRST, an acronym for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology", is dedicated to generating an interest in science and engineering in today's youth. This grant provides general operating support to FIRST.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International (Habitat) is a nonprofit, nondenominational, housing organization. The organization welcomes all people to join it in building simple, decent, affordable, houses in partnership with those in need of adequate shelter. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 90,000 houses in more than 60 countries, including some 30,000 houses across the United States. This funding is for general operating support.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education
Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME) was founded in 1985 by a consortium of San Francisco Bay Area industries in partnership with the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California at Berkeley. IISME exists to address the critical need for a strong, highly-skilled workforce in mathematics, science and technological fields. This industry-education partnership focuses on teachers as the primary agents for effecting meaningful change in mathematics and science education. IISME offers a number of professional development opportunities for K-14 teachers in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. This grant came about as part of the Benefit Gala Celebration for the 30th anniversary of SEMI - Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, a global trade association for the semiconductor industry.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

International Law Society, Santa Clara University School of Law Chapter
The International Law Society (ILS) is a group of law students, professors, attorneys and other professionals dedicated to promoting global respect for human dignity and cultural diversity. The organization accomplishes this goal by fostering a global exchange between law students and young lawyers from around the world. Topics the group addresses range from human rights, immigration, the law of war, environmental law and the protection of intellectual property law. This funding, for the ILS chapter at the Santa Clara University School of Law, is to help underwrite the International Law conference.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid Peninsula
The Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Michele Kirsch is an active member of the Palo Alto chapter of the Junior League. This year, the Kirsch Foundation has made five grants to the Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid Peninsula. Two grants were made to support the Junior League's endowment fund. Two contributions were sponsorships for the Spring Gala events. And one grant was for the Holiday Boutique event.
Why we supported: These are discretionary grants.

Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley is the legal advocacy group for Santa Clara County's underprivileged. This grant supports the organization's Law Foundation fundraising event.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Mills College
Located in Oakland, California, Mills College is a private liberal arts school with a long-standing reputation for supporting the development and education of women. The undergraduate student body is composed of women of all ages and backgrounds while the graduate student body is co-ed. One grant was a capital gift for the third building in the new Educational Complex. The building houses the department's classrooms and faculty offices and has been named the Kirsch Building. One contribution supports the Michele van Blitter scholarship fund. The third grant was to the Alumnae Fund, which provides annual operating support to the College.
Why we supported: These discretionary grants support Michele van Blitter-Kirsch's alma mater.

MIT Entrepreneurship Center
The MIT Entrepreneurship Center is dedicated to training and developing leaders who will make high tech ventures successful. To achieve its goals, the Center offers educational programs to inspire, train and coach new generations of entrepreneurs from all parts of MIT. This grant supports the organization's Networking Dinner.
Why we supported: Steve Kirsch is a graduate of MIT.

National Public Radio
America's premier public radio service, National Public Radio (NPR), brings award-winning news, information and cultural programs to a growing audience of 14.6 million Americans each week via 625 member stations. This funding supports NPR's President's Council.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Passport 2000 HIV/AIDS Benefit
Passport 2000 is a multi-theatrical fashion event representing a partnership and shared vision to bring HIV/AIDS related issues to the forefront of social concern. Since 1988, this annual event has raised over $10.5 million to benefit HIV/AIDS research, prevention, treatment, care and education.
Why we supported: These are discretionary grants.

San Francisco AIDS Foundation
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation was founded in 1982 in San Francisco's Castro district as an emergency response to a quickly emerging health crisis - AIDS. Building upon its original mission to educate, the AIDS Foundation has firmly established itself as a respected global leader in the fight against AIDS. This grant is for general support.
Why we supported: AIDS is a devastating disease that has afflicted over 34 million people worldwide and orphaned 11 million children in Africa. This is a discretionary grant.

Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic
The Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic conducts cutting-edge research in narcolepsy, circadian rhythms and human sleep research to diagnose and treat sleep disorders. This grant helped to purchase equipment for a sleep disorder project.
Why we supported:
This is a discretionary grant.

World Institute on Disability
The World Institute on Disability (WID) is a non-profit public policy center dedicated to the promotion of independence and full inclusion in society of people with disabilities. Founded in 1983 by leaders of the Independent Living/Civil Rights Movement for people with disabilities, WID is committed to bringing policy into action. This grant provides unrestricted operating support funds.
Why We Supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Board Member and Vice-Chairman Harry Saal.

WYO Theater
Located in Sheridan, Wyoming's Historic Main Street District, the WYO Theater (WYO) is the oldest operating vaudeville theater in Wyoming. Now in its tenth season of offering quality programming that is generally unavailable anywhere else in the community, the WYO is a major cultural resource attracting visitors from northern and central Wyoming and southern Montana. The theater features programs for adults, youths and senior citizens and offers free matinees for school children. This grant provides funds for a season sponsorship.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant "In Memory of John Donald Van Blitter."

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