2002 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 2002, we distributed 119 grants totaling $3,846,036 to organizations and individual Kirsch Investigator award recipients in the following categories (number of grants and total grant money by category provided):

14 grants
Kirsch Investigators
11 grants
Medical and Scientific Projects
4 grants
Political Reform and Global Theme
8 grants
Silicon Valley Community
57 grants
25 grants

Environmental Grants

Bluewater Network: $10,000
Bluewater Network is a San Francisco-based environmental organization aggressively confronting the root causes of climate change and fighting environmental damage from the shipping, oil, and motorized recreation industries. This grant supports Bluewater Network's work on securing the passage of California Assembly Bill 1058 (Pavley), a bill that would require the California Air Resources Board to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from passenger vehicles. California would be the first state to regulate emissions in this way if the bill passes. Bluewater Network is actively organizing a coalition of environmental groups, businesses and individuals to participate in these efforts.
Why we supported: We are a vocal supporter of AB 1058, which would be a key step forward in the efforts to reduce potential global warming factors, a major goal for the Foundation.

California Institute of Technology: $25,000
This grant will fund Dr. Sossina Haile, with the California Institute of Technology, in support of a study of "New Electrolytes for Hydrogen/Air and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells." This study will research the use of radically new, proton-conducting membranes in fuel cells. If this work is successful, it will offer a significant advance in fuel cell technology. For more information on the work of Dr. Haile, please see http://addis.caltech.edu/Haile.
Why we supported: The Foundation supports the use of fuel cell technology, and funding research into the technical aspects will hasten fuel cell development.

California League of Conservation Voters: $50,000
The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) is a nonpartisan organization that works collaboratively with a wide spectrum of environmental and community groups. Founded in 1972, the League mobilizes California voters to support environmentally responsible candidates and issues, and serves as a watchdog to hold elected officials accountable for their environmental votes. This grant supports the advocacy and lobbying efforts of CLCV, in collaboration with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, to ensure passage of AB 1058. This bill, currently pending in the California legislature, would be a major step in the effort to combat global warming. The auto industry is fighting hard against it, launching a major media and lobbying campaign to keep the bill from becoming law. The bill has passed the State Senate and is just one Assembly floor vote away from the Governor's desk.
Why we supported: The Kirsch Foundation is an active participant in the coalition working to pass AB 1058, given our focus on air quality and reducing emissions from mobile sources. We realize that this legislation is of great importance to California and has the potential, if passed, to encourage additional states to follow suit.

CERES, Inc.: $15,000
The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) was formed in 1989 out of partnership among some of America's largest socially responsible investors and leading environmental groups. Today, CERES is a network of over 80 environmental groups (including the Kirsch Foundation), investors, advisors, analysts, public interest and community groups, and over 70 companies committed to healthy environmental practices. This grant will help fund a series of dialogues with General Motors and Ford Motor Company with the goal to gain commitments from each company to achieve improved fleet-wide fuel economy and reduce global warming impacts of its products over the next decade.
Why we supported: The Kirsch Foundation is a supporter of decreasing fuel consumption as a means to reducing global warming.

Clean Power Campaign: $15,000
Clean Power Campaign, based in Sacramento, California, promotes increased electric system reliance on sustainable energy resources as a means to a more sustainable energy future. This grant supports Clean Power Campaign's lobbying efforts for the passage of California Assembly Bill 1058 (Pavley). This legislation instructs the California Air Resources Board to develop and adopt regulations, by January 1, 2005, that achieve the maximum feasible reduction of carbon dioxide emitted by passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks in California. California would be the first state to regulate emissions in this way if the bill passes.
Why we supported: We are a vocal supporter of AB 1058, which would be a key step forward in the efforts to reduce potential global warming factors, a major goal for the Foundation. California would be the first state to regulate emissions in this way if the bill passes.

Coalition for Clean Air: $30,000
The Coalition for Clean Air (CCA) - founded in 1970 - 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 grant funds the first phase of CCA's new Petroleum Reduction Campaign in California. The Campaign will be a joint effort of all of its programs (Transportation, Energy & Climate Change, Education & Outreach, and Public Health & Toxics) and will include legislative and regulatory advocacy, a media campaign, community outreach and education, and intensive work with other environmental, public health and environmental justice advocacy organizations.
Why we supported: CCA is a well-respected organization with a history of successful advocacy and coalition building throughout the state. Through years of effort it has developed strong working relationships with environmental justice and community-based organizations as well as with legislative leaders. Its work on petroleum reduction fits with the Foundation's goals in clean air. CCA is a prior grant recipient of the Foundation.

Environmental Defense: $25,000
Environmental Defense (ED) is a not-for-profit environmental advocacy group with four main goals: (1) Stabilizing the Earth's climate, (2) Safeguarding the world's oceans, (3) Protecting human health, and (4) Defending and restoring biodiversity. This grant is for ED's California Diesel Back-Up Generator Study. This study will focus on a better understanding of where these generators are located, what their emission characteristics are, and what incremental exposures to toxic pollutants their operation would create. ED will publish a detailed report to distribute to policy-makers, advocacy groups and the media.
Why we supported: Reducing air pollution and supporting the use of more clean energy sources is a stated interest of the Kirsch Foundation. Given current energy needs, it is important that we support projects of this nature to ensure that California does not neglect environmental issues while trying to correct its long-term energy problems.

Friends of the Earth: $20,000
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 FOE's efforts to oversee and intervene with the California Power Authority as it makes critical decisions on the state's energy future. FOE will watchdog other key agencies (the State Board of Equalization and the California Energy Commission) that are involved in the licensing of energy facilities and the economics of energy decision-making. The decision-makers in these groups are under pressure to take short cuts with the budget and with environmental protection to meet their goals. The stakes are becoming even higher as the state government faces a budget crisis, draining away resources.
Why we supported: Support for this initiative reflects the Foundation's commitment to clean energy and a reduction in air pollution. FOE is a prior grant recipient.

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives: $20,000
Founded in 1990, the mission of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) is to build and serve a worldwide movement of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in global environmental and sustainable development conditions through cumulative local actions. This grant will fund ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, a program that helps local governments pass and implement greenhouse gas emissions reductions measures in their communities.
Why we supported: The Kirsch Foundation has a stated interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. These grassroots efforts complement our policy work dedicated to eradicating global warming impacts upon the planet.

The Nature Conservancy: $15,000
Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. This grant supports The Nature Conservancy's Climate Change Program, which seeks to combat global warming primarily through forest protection and restoration for carbon sequestering.
Why we supported: The Kirsch Foundation has a stated interest in reducing global warming, which The Nature Conservancy can help achieve through its ability to influence policy at both the state and federal level.

The Nature Conservancy Action Fund of California: $20,000
The Nature Conservancy of California is a private, non-profit organization and a branch of the world's leading conservation group. Their mission is to preserve the state's remarkable biological diversity by protecting the lands and waters that native species need to survive and thrive. The Nature Conservancy of California's government relations staff work closely with state legislators and the governor to draw up measures and place them on the ballot, then lead the campaign to victory. While the Conservancy itself does not engage in partisan political activity, federal law allows them to set up The Nature Conservancy Action Fund of California, a sister organization, to engage in limited, non-partisan advocacy.
Why we supported: This funding supports Proposition 40, a new CA ballot measure for a bond for clean water, air and land, parks and wildlife.

Our Children's Earth Foundation: $10,000
Our Children's Earth Foundation (OCEF) is a San Francisco-based organization that protects the public, especially children, from the health impacts of pollution and other environmental hazards. This grant supports OCEF's San Francisco MUNI Alternative Fuels Bus Pilot Project, which is designed to determine which alternative fuel technology is most appropriate for use in San Francisco's unique transit environment, while watch-dogging the implementation of the selected option(s).
Why we supported: We support the development of alternative fuel public transit as a means to reduce pollution, and OCEF is well placed in the San Francisco community to oversee this process.

Union of Concerned Scientists: $25,000
Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), founded in 1969, has over 30 years of experience in coalition building and targeted policy outreach, and has been at the forefront of the battle to defend California's Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program. This grant will help fund UCS's California Clean Vehicles program. Current efforts are focused on building strong support for policies and technologies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions and petroleum consumption, and accelerate the commercialization of advanced vehicles.
Why we supported: UCS is one of the preeminent organizations in California spearheading the push for clean vehicles in California, a major objective of the Kirsch Foundation, and has proven itself effective over the years. UCS is a prior grant recipient.

World Resources Institute: $15,000
World Resources Institute (WRI) is an environmental think-tank that provides information, ideas, and solutions to global environmental problems. Its mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect the Earth's environment for current and future generations. This grant supports ongoing maintenance, development and outreach efforts of its SafeClimate website (www.safeclimate.net) a web-based education and action resource that provides information and tools for individuals to measure and reduce their climate impact or "footprint."
Why we supported: We have a stated interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. In addition, we recognize that grassroots action on climate change is critical to leveraging public policy decisions.

Kirsch Investigator Awards Program (Medical)
The Foundation is pleased to announce its third year of Kirsch Investigator Award Recipients. Each Award provides an annual amount of $100,000 to the Investigator and $20,000 to the institution with which the Investigator is affiliated. Read detailed information about the 2000 and 2001 investigators who received continued support this year, as well as the 2002 Investigators and their research activities. The 2002 Kirsch Investigators are:

  • Alex L. Kolodkin, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Project: Mechanisms of Neuronal Guidance and Regeneration
    Dr. Kolodkin's laboratory is using a variety of model experimental systems in order to understand how the extremely complex wiring patterns of the mature nervous system are established. These studies have defined molecules used by extending neurons during embryonic development to find their targets, and current work extends these findings to the development of clinically relevant approaches directed toward promoting neuronal regeneration.
  • Wendell A. Lim, PhD, Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, and of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco
    Project: How Scaffold Proteins Control Cell Signaling
    The cells in the human body contain complex protein-based circuits that allow cells to communicate with one another and to respond to environmental changes. Dr. Lim's research is geared at understanding how these circuits are wired, which should help in efforts to treat diseases such as cancer.
  • R. Clay Reid, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
    Project: Electrical stimulation of the visual thalamus: towards a visual prosthesis
    Dr. Reid studies the electrical activity of single neurons in the visual pathway: from the retina, through the thalamus, and on to the cerebral cortex. By examining the firing patterns of neurons at two or three stages simultaneously, he has helped map out a "wiring diagram" for the extraordinarily precise connections between the eye and the brain.

Medical and Scientific Project Grants

American Society for Cell Biology: $15,000
American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) was founded in 1961 to bring the varied facets of cell biology together. The organization's objective is to provide for the exchange of scientific knowledge in the area of cell biology. It strives to ensure the future of basic scientific research by providing training and development opportunities for students and young investigators, and also by keeping Congress and the public informed on the importance of biomedical research. This grant will support ASCB's keynote symposium at the ASCB annual meeting entitled "Opportunities and Challenges in Cell Biology."
Why we supported: Support of this symposium complements our policy, advocacy and funding commitment to stem cell research and therapeutic cloning initiatives. The symposium is a visible, highly respected forum for educating scientists on the importance of effective policy activity and social impact of the latest research advances. Many Kirsch Foundation medical researchers are members of ASCB and will be in attendance. The reputation of ASCB and its leadership lend significant credibility at a national level to this discussion.

Catalyst for Hair Follicle Biology: $110,000
Established in December 2002, this two-year program totals $230,000 in funding and brings together two leading hair follicle biologists. The members are Angela Christian, Ph.D. (Columbia University, New York) and Colin Jahoda, Ph.D. (Durham University, England).
Why we supported: The original funding of Dr. Christiano's work was actively initiated by the Kirsch Foundation since it addresses a Foundation's funding priority: treatments and cures for baldness. Dr. Christiano has been successful in her research to date and this formal consortium project offers the potential to build upon the results that she and Dr. Colin Jahoda have achieved through their informal collaboration thus far. We hope that by encouraging and supporting an effective collaboration, we will add real value to the work being conducted in the laboratories and send a positive message that can be leveraged into securing more funding from other sources including the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research: $30,000
The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR) was formed in March 2001 as a 501(c)(4) organization to ensure that the full capability of the biomedical research workforce is directed toward bringing the remarkable potential of embryonic stem cells to fruition. CAMR's membership is that of nationally recognized patient organizations, universities, scientific societies, foundations, and individuals with life-threatening diseases and disorders. It advocates the advancement of breakthrough research and technologies in regenerative medicine, including stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transfer ("SCNT", commonly called "therapeutic cloning") in order to cure disease and alleviate suffering. This grant will support CAMR's core activities for 2002.
Why we supported: Funding of stem cell research and the continued legality of therapeutic cloning holds the promise of saving the lives of millions of Americans suffering from illnesses including Alzheimer's disease, ALS, heart disease, cancer, spinal cord injury and diabetesJoining other highly regarded groups in this coalition helps to ensure the most effective allocation of philanthropic dollars to address health/medical issues and encourages critical research. Susan Frank, Vice President, Public Policy, for the Foundation, is a Vice President of the CAMR Board.

Glaucoma Research Foundation: $185,000
The Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is the oldest national voluntary health agency dedicated to protecting the sight and independence of people with glaucoma. This is the second installment of a three-year grant that funds one-half of the partnership between GRF and the Kirsch Foundation: Catalyst for a Cure (CFC). The objective of CFC is to assemble and support a consortium of scientists - with expertise and the potential for new insights – to use recent breakthroughs in neuroscience, molecular biology and genetics to identify and answer key questions about the causes and mechanisms that lead to the development of glaucoma in the hope of preventing and/or curing it.
Why we supported: We have a proactive strategy for funding medical and scientific research. This grant represents that new initiative: focusing on collaborations within the foundation (grantmaking) and research communities simultaneously. The CFC partnership charges a group of researchers with the goal of bringing a fresh outlook to finding a cure for glaucoma, one of the degenerative eye diseases that is of particular interest to the Kirsch Foundation.

Political Reform and Global Theme Grants

Arms Control Association: $6,250
The Arms Control Association, founded in 1971, is a national, nonpartisan, membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.
Why we supported: The Kirsch Foundation strongly believes in nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: $6,250
The Council for a Livable World, the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation and PeacePAC are among the nation's preeminent arms control organizations and focus on halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction, opposing a national missile defense system, cutting Pentagon waste and reducing excessive arms exports.
Why we supported: The Kirsch Foundation provided this grant because the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation engages in critical work on disarmament.

Federation of American Scientists: $6,250
Founded in 1945 by atomic scientists of the Manhattan Project, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) is dedicated to the responsible use of science and technology. FAS brings a scientific perspective to the legislative arena through direct lobbying, expert testimony, media and grassroots work. FAS engages in analysis and public education on a broad range of science, technology, and public policy issues, including weapons nonproliferation and information technologies.
Why we supported: The Foundation is committed to achieving nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.

Friends Committee on National Legislation: $6,250
The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is a Quaker lobby in the public interest. FCNL seeks to bring the concerns, experiences and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends to bear on policy decisions in the nation's capital. FCNL works with a nationwide network of people to advocate social and economic justice, peace, and good government.
Why we supported: FCNL's advocacy work promotes nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, consistent with the Foundation's vision for the world.

Peace and Security Funders Group: $5,000
Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG) is an unincorporated association of private foundations, public foundations, operating foundations, charitable trusts, other grantmaking programs, and individual philanthropists who make significant contributions in the peace and security field. It is a project of the Ploughshares Fund (www.ploughshares.org). The central purpose of PSFG is to enhance the effectiveness of the network of grantmakers supporting work in the area of peace and security through a variety of activities.
Why We Supported: PSFG is the main organization through which funders in this field share information about the needs of nonprofit organizations that address peace and security issues and encourage others to join in providing funds to the field. The Kirsch Foundation is an active participant in PSFG and supports its efforts to ensure nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament in particular.

Physicians for Social Responsibility: $6,250
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) represents more than 20,000 physicians, nurses, health care professionals, and concerned citizens devoted to nuclear disarmament, violence prevention and environmental health. This is a general operating grant in recognition of its key work in the nuclear disarmament arena.
Why we supported: The Kirsch Foundation recognizes the valuable contributions that PSR’s membership makes in advocating disarmament and supports its efforts.

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 third installment of a three-year, $750,000 grant.
Why we supported: Campaign finance reform is identified in the Foundation's strategic plan as a priority. Public Campaign has a sound strategy, seasoned staff, and remains committed to changing the role of money in politics.

Union of Concerned Scientists: $6,250
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent, nonprofit alliance of 50,000 concerned citizens and scientists across the United States. The group augments rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world. This grant supports annual operations and was made in recognition of UCS' key work in the area of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.
Why we supported: The Kirsch Foundation recognizes the valuable contributions that the UCS membership makes in advocating disarmament.

Back to Top

Silicon Valley Community Grants

All Stars Helping Kids: $2,500
All Stars Helping Kids, founded by former NFL 49ers' star Ronnie Lott, has focused on aiding disadvantaged youth in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past ten years. The organization helps youth face adversity including health problems, disabilities, family struggles, crime and economic hardship.
Why we supported: This grant is in honor of Ronnie Lott's recent selection as one of two John Gardner Award recipients by the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley.

ALS Association – Bay Area Chapter: $2,000
The mission of the ALS Association Bay Area Chapter is to help find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and to improve the lives of persons living with ALS. This funding supports the annual All Star Award Gala.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve and Michele Kirsch.

American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley: $1,850
The American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley is a nonprofit organization "dedicated to joining and strengthening leaders to serve the public good," building on the strengths of diversity and promoting collaborative problem solving among community members. Through its programs for Fellows and Senior Fellows, ALF brings senior level leaders together from across sectors to build philanthropy, service and community in Silicon Valley. This grant supports the annual Exemplary Leader Dinner.
Why we supported: The Foundation supports the Silicon Valley community and efforts that build bridges to address difficult community-wide problems.

Asian Americans for Community Involvement: $500
Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) is the largest provider of advocacy, education, health and social services committed to the welfare of Asian Pacific Islanders in Santa Clara County. Annually, the organization serves over 45,000 clients with services ranging from mental health counseling to vocational training. This funding supports AACI's annual banquet.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve Kirsch.

Association of Fundraising Professionals: $2,500
The Association of Fundraising Professionals works to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs. AFP believes that to guarantee human freedom and social creativity, people must have the right to freely and voluntarily form organizations to meet perceived needs, advocate causes, and seek funds to support these activities. This grant is for the National Philanthropy Day annual luncheon.
Why we supported: This grant reflects the Foundation's commitment to philanthropic efforts in the community.

Bullis-Purissima PTA: $15,000
Bullis-Purissima is an elementary school in the Los Altos, California school district. This grant supports the PTA's fundraising event.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Children's Discovery Museum: $4,300
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 funding supports the annual Legacy for Children Awards event.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Children's Health Council: $4,000
The Children's Health Council (CHC) 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 grant enables the Kirsch Foundation to partially underwrite CHC's main annual fundraiser, the Summer Symphony.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Community Breast Health Project: $5,000
The mission of the Community Breast Health Project (CBHP) is to improve the lives of people touched by breast cancer. CBHP acts as a clearinghouse for support information for breast cancer patients, provides volunteer opportunities for breast cancer survivors and friends dedicated to helping others with the disease, and serves as an educational resource and a community center for all who are concerned about breast cancer and breast health. The Community Breast Health Project is client-centered and committed to providing services free of charge. These two grants provide general operating support.
Why we supported: These are discretionary grants recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Community Foundation Silicon Valley: $161,500
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 public benefit corporations and Silicon Valley's needs, and enables citizens to solve local problems. This funding includes the following grants:

  • $100,000 to assist CFSV's Partners in Philanthropy (PIP) program, which supports CFSV's grantmaking activities in its five strategic program grant areas.
  • $2,500 for the John Gardner Endowment Fund to support student community interns from Stanford University's Haas Center for Public Service at CFSV.
  • $3,000 for the 2002 annual meeting.
  • $50,000 for the first payment of a $100,000 grant to help CFSV's PIP program for the 2002-2003 fiscal year.
  • $1,000 for Take Home Books, the Early Childhood Literacy Program, in honor of CFSV's President, Peter Hero, who is also the Kirsch Foundation's Secretary.
  • $5,000 for Silicon Valley Social Ventures (SV2)

Why we supported: The Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation is a supporting organization of the Community Foundation Silicon Valley. We believe it is critical to provide direct financial support to CFSV's grant and organizational activities in addition to our grantmaking in the local community.

Community School of Music and Arts: $18,720
The largest arts education organization in Santa Clara County, the Community School of Music and 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 recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Community Services Agency: $5,000
Community Services Agency (CSA) has been providing vital social services to at-risk residents of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, California, for over 40 years. Its goal is to offer wraparound services for families and individuals of all ages.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve and Michele Kirsch.

The Computer History Museum: $11,000
Established in 1996, The Computer History Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computing history. It is home to one of the largest collections of computing artifacts in the world, a collection comprising over 3,000 artifacts, 2,000 films and videotapes, 5,000 photographs, 2,000 linear feet of cataloged documentation and gigabytes of software. This funding includes the following grants:

  • $10,000 to support the museum's operations for the 2001-2002 fiscal year
  • $1,000 to support the museum's general operations for the 2002-2003 fiscal year

Why We Supported: Steve Kirsch is a Board member of The Computer History Museum and contributes to further demonstrate his commitment to the organization.

El Camino Hospital Foundation: $10,000
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. This funding represents two $5,000 grants, one each for the 2001-2002 fiscal year and one for the 2002-2003 fiscal year.
Why we supported: Steve and Michele Kirsch recognize the importance of El Camino Hospital in providing quality health care services to their local community.

Family and Children Services: $2,500
Family and Children Services is a private, non-profit human service agency serving individuals, couples and families throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.
Its mission is to provide programs and services that support the emotional well-being of our community.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Foothill-DeAnza Colleges Foundation: $667,666
The Foothill-De Anza Colleges Foundation encompasses Foothill College and DeAnza College. This funding includes the following grants:

  • $666,666 This is the second of three capital grant pledge payments for the Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies.
  • $1,000 This funding supports the Chancellor's Circle.

Why we supported: Steve and Michele are committed to both environmental issues and educational issues in the Silicon Valley community.

Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County: $1,500
Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County (GSSCC) serves over 18,000 girls with the support of 5,000 volunteers. The mission of the Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County is to provide girls and young women, ages 5-17, with the life skills that will enable them to reach their full potential. Programs empower young women to make life-enhancing decisions, develop self-esteem, and be active contributing members of our community. This funding includes the following grants:

  • $500 to help send children to camp
  • $1,000 for annual support

Why we supported: These are discretionary grants recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Happy Hollow Park and Zoo: $500
Happy Hollow Park and Zoo participates in the conservation and propagation of rare and endangered species while providing a peaceful, creative and safe place for children of all ages.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Hidden Villa: $1,750
Hidden Villa, a farm and wilderness preserve in the Los Altos Hills, provides unique programs teaching environmental and multicultural awareness. From farm tours to mushroom hikes, this organization encourages visitors to discover their connection to the earth and to each other. This funding supports the Duveneck Humanitarian Awards Event.
Why we supported: This grant reflects the Foundation's commitment to environmental issues and its support of the local community.

Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley: $1,000
The Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley's mission is to promote respect for all animal life in our community through direct care and education. Its vision is to ensure that every animal has a safe and appropriate home.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Junior Achievement of Santa Clara County, Inc.: $1,500
Junior Achievement's sole purpose is to enhance school curriculum through volunteers helping in the classrooms, on a continuous basis, with a defined curriculum. Junior Achievement's Business Hall of Fame honors five Santa Clara Valley's business leaders each year. The laureates are selected by an independent selection committee. The Hall of Fame is also the organization's key fund-raising event of the year. This funding includes the following grants:

  • $1,000 to support the 2001-2002 Hall of Fame
  • $500 to support the 2002-2003 Hall of Fame

Why we supported: These are discretionary grants recommended by Steve Kirsch in recognition of the current group of laureates.

Junior League of Palo Alto Mid Peninsula: $17,500
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. This funding includes the following grants:

  • $5,000 for the annual Spring Gala
  • $2,500 for the 2002 Holiday Boutique
  • $5,000 for annual operating support
  • $5,000 for the Junior League endowment

Why we supported: Michele Kirsch is an active member of the Palo Alto chapter of the Junior League.

Keep Los Altos Schools Strong (KLASS): $10,000
KLASS is a group of concerned citizens focused on insuring strong public schools in the Los Altos School District. The organization's goal is to support the passage of a parcel tax measure that will help maintain a reduced class size, support small neighborhood schools, hire and retain high quality teachers, and preserve the district's academic program.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Los Altos Community Foundation: $30,000
Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF) supports the community by making grants for local programs, building an endowment for the future, and managing philanthropic funding for other organizations and individuals.
This funding includes the following grants:

  • $5,000 for SPLASH – Swimmers Promoting Los Altos Aquatics, Safety, and Health – to help raise $3.5 million to design, construct, and endow a community pool in Los Altos. Its mission is to provide a state-of-the-art aquatics facility that meets or exceeds the health, fitness, safety, educational, and recreational needs of Los Altans.
  • $25,000 for the Save Our Schools program that will help provide funding for teachers' salaries due to a $4.4 million financial shortfall in the Los Altos School District. This shortfall may result in larger class sizes for grades K-8.

Why we supported: These are discretionary grants recommended by Steve and Michele Kirsch.

Los Altos Educational Foundation: $5,000
The Los Altos Educational Foundation provides funding for educational programs and materials that enhance the academic curriculum of the Los Altos School District.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Michele Kirsch.

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 recommended by Steve and Michele Kirsch.

Los Altos Village Association: $1,000

The mission of the Los Altos Village Association (LAVA) is to provide a unified organization to promote and represent all downtown businesses while preserving the unique character of the Village.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve and Michele Kirsch.

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. The 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 recommended by Board Vice-Chairman Perry Olson.

New Bridges to Jewish Community: $5,000
New Bridges to Jewish Community is dedicated to creating and fostering meaningful connections for San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula Jews seeking a sense of belonging and involvement in the Jewish community in traditional and non-traditional ways. This funding provides support for To Life! A Jewish Cultural Street Festival.
Why we supported: This is a Director's Discretionary Grant recommended by Board member Harry Saal.

Northern California Innocence Project: $10,000
Since 1989, more than 115 wrongfully convicted people have been freed from prisons around the United States by the work of the Innocence Network — a national partnership among law schools, journalists and private attorneys. This work has been made possible by ever-increasing advances in DNA technology, which have enabled lawyers and scientists to demonstrate innocence. The Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP) has been formed to:

  • Identify and provide legal resources to exonerate wrongly convicted inmates, convicted in California, who are able to demonstrate factual innocence.
  • Advocate legal reforms to prevent wrongful convictions in the future.

Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant to support efforts to insure that individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to take advantage of new technologies to reverse wrongful convictions.

Opportunities Industrialization Center West (OICW): $1,000
OICW is a non-profit community-based job-training center on the Menlo Park-East Palo Alto border. This grant assists OICW's efforts to provide accredited job training, counseling and placement services, teen programs, evening and weekend courses, and child development centers for nearly 3,500 people per year. This grant is for general operating support.
Why we supported: Steve Kirsch recommended this grant given his commitment to the Silicon Valley community and his recognition of the importance of OICW's programs, especially when economic times are difficult.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation: $2,500
The mission of Palo Alto Medical Foundation is to provide and integrate quality health care, health education and biomedical research to improve the health status of the San Francisco Mid-Peninsula region.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by the Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board Member Emeritus, Dr. Robert Glaser.

Quest Scholars Program: $10,000
Since 1994, the Quest Scholars Program has provided high-potential and underprivileged students of all backgrounds the mentorship and skills to construct and achieve their dreams. It is a non-political, non-denominational, non-affiliated, and privately funded organization staffed by graduates of, and interns from, Stanford, Harvard, and other universities. Quest provides a summer residence-based program, followed by five to eight years of additional hands-on support and mentorship, to selected high school sophomores and juniors across the country to help them realize the potential they often did not know that they had. Quest is not a handout, but a "ladder extended" -- one that Quest graduates climb up to reach the other hands that American society extends out to its best youth, but to date have been out of reach for most low-income youth. Quest is expanding its program to serve more students; this grant supports that effort.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve and Michele Kirsch.

Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT): $26,500
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 funding consists of the following grants:

  • $1,500 for RAFT's annual fundraising dinner which provides an opportunity for RAFT staff and volunteers to attend the dinner without charge.
  • $25,000 to complete the second payment of a $50,000 pledge for the capital campaign for the purchase and renovation of the new center that RAFT is already using in San Jose.

Why we supported: Steve and Michele are committed to supporting quality education in the community.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties: $10,000
Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is a private non-profit organization that collects and distributes more than 26 million pounds of food each year to low-income children, adults and seniors. The Food Bank currently serves an average of 143,300 individuals each month; nearly 40% are children.
Why we supported: Steve and Michele Kirsch are aware of the increased needs of local food banks and recognize the importance of these "safety net" organizations.

The Tech Museum of Innovation: $118,200
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 2002:

  • $9,000 to support the Gizmo WYSIWYG 2002 event – a fundraising event featuring various educational activities for youth.
  • $83,000 for the second payment of a three-year $250,000 pledge to The Tech's endowment campaign.
  • $1,200 for the Gizmo WYSIWYG 2001 auction
  • $25,000 for the Annual Fund for Education and Board Challenge

Why we supported: Steve Kirsch is a member of The Tech's Board of Directors and both Steve and Michele Kirsch have continuously supported the museum with multiple gifts each year.

TheatreWorks $1,000
TheatreWorks explores the human spirit through innovative plays and musicals that define the culturally diverse Northern California community. TheatreWorks celebrates individual heritages while advancing an emerging culture woven from many common experiences and beliefs.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve Kirsch.

Discretionary Grants

The American Prospect
The aim of The American Prospect is to contribute to a renewal of America's democratic traditions by presenting a practical and convincing vision of liberal philosophy, politics, and public life. It publishes articles for the general reader that attempt to break through conventional understanding and creatively reframe public questions.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

California State Parks Foundation
The California State Parks Foundation is an independent non-profit membership organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing California state parks. This grant provides support for educational and outreach programs.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve and Michele Kirsch.

Carter Center
The Carter Center, in partnership with Emory University, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering. It seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health. This grant provides support for the 2003 Financing Democracy Conference.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve Kirsch.

Committee to Bridge the Gap
For over 30 years, the Committee to Bridge the Gap has worked to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism. The Committee is focused on the security of nuclear power plants and advocates increased protection and preparedness from explosives and terrorist attacks.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve Kirsch.

The Commonwealth Club of California
The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum, bringing together its 15,000 members for over 400 annual events on topics ranging across politics, culture, society and the economy. This nonprofit, non-partisan, educational organization relies on the support of its membership, the Business Council and foundation grants to continue its role in fostering open public discussion in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the nation via radio, Internet and television. The first grant supports the 2002 Centennial and the second grant provides funding for the annual Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner.
Why we supported: These are discretionary grants.

Conservation International
Conservation International's mission is to conserve the Earth's living natural heritage, our global biodiversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve and Michele Kirsch.

Equal Rights Advocates
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) protects and secures equal rights and economic opportunities for women and girls through litigation and advocacy. ERA pursues impact litigation – cases that can affect large groups of women or have the potential to develop new law. ERA also pursues other strategies such as legislation and education insofar as they support its litigation goals.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Michele Kirsch.

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 museums as educational centers. These grants provide general operating support.
Why we supported: Continuing their commitment to education, Steve and Michele Kirsch donated to the 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 recommended by Steve Kirsch.

Fund for Peace
The mission of The Fund for Peace is to prevent war and alleviate the conditions that cause war. The Fund promotes education and research for practical solutions. It is a consistent advocate of promoting social justice and respect for the principles of constitutional democracy. This year The Fund for Peace is inaugurating the James R. Compton Peace Award to recognize efforts to build self-sustaining peace in communities and around the world
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

Global Fund for Children
The Global Fund for Children was founded on the premise that an educational non-profit group could use the entrepreneurial skills of a start-up company and the power of the market to create a new kind of wealth-social wealth. It helps young people develop the knowledge and skills they need to become productive, caring members of our global society. The Global Fund for Children strives not only to improve the lives of children, but also to integrate their voices into all that we do.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Global Peace Congress Fund
The Global Peace Congress Fund is composed of business leaders whose goal is to work toward international peacekeeping.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve Kirsch.

Global Security Institute
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 grant provides general operating support and also recognizes the visionary leadership of the late Senator Alan Cranston.
Why We Supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve Kirsch.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. The Society's mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, the Society has provided more than $280 million for research specifically targeting blood-related cancers.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve Kirsch.

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease within this decade through an aggressively funded research agenda. Enormous progress toward finding a cure has been made on many neurological fronts, and scientists' understanding of the brain and how disease affects it has increased dramatically. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research seeks to hasten progress further by awarding grants that help guarantee that new and innovative research avenues are thoroughly funded and explored.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant made in memory of Wilhelmina Newton-Smith.

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. These grants provide support for the Kirsch Building at the Education Complex on campus as well as the Alumnae Fund.
Why we supported: Michele Kirsch is a graduate of Mills College.

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.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Michele Kirsch.

Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation
The Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation is dedicated to keeping people of all ages physically active through orthopaedic research and education in the areas of arthritis, healing, rehabilitation and injury prevention. This grant supports this critical research.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant recommended by Steve Kirsch.

University of Wisconsin Foundation
For more than 55 years, the UW Foundation has engaged those who care about the university by providing opportunities to enhance its teaching, research and outreach programs, and has guaranteed ethical stewardship of the gifts it has received. This grant is directed to the Law School.
Why we supported: This is a Director's Discretionary Grant recommended by Board member Perry Olson.

Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation
The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation is dedicated to achieving global security through programs that not only reduce the worldwide threat posed by war and conflict but also promote justice and freedom. It is committed to leaving a legacy of fairness for future generations - at home and abroad. Established by a dedicated group of Vietnam veterans in 1980, VVAF has transformed the experience of war into a program of service to others. Its goal is to build and nurture a global spirit that is humanitarian and compassionate, just, and dedicated to freedom.
Why we supported: This is a discretionary grant.

World Affairs Council
Founded in 1947 out of interest generated by the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco, the World Affairs Council is the largest international affairs organization dedicated to engaging discussions with political and business leaders from all over the world. This grant helps to underwrite the Global Philanthropy Forum scheduled to take place in 2003. The Forum brings together foundation leaders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), individual donors and agents of change to learn about opportunities for international philanthropy.
Why we supported: This discretionary grant represents continued support for the Forum and reflects the Foundation's commitment to encouraging philanthropy and supporting the philanthropic efforts of others.

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 twelfth 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."

Back to Top

home | who we are | how to apply for grants | what we've done
what we care about | why give