Philanthropy and Voluntarism
Nonprofit Sector in Silicon Valley
The 2005 Santa Clara County Nonprofit Benchmark Study (48 pages, PDF), a follow-up to studies released in 1995 and 1999, takes the pulse of the nonprofit sector in the Silicon Valley and identifies ways that foundations, nonprofits, corporations, donors, management-support organizations, and consultants can strengthen it. The study reveals that only 8 percent of organizations claimed to have a solid base of diverse funders, and also found that while staffs had become more diverse, board diversity showed little change since 1999. Recommendations offered in the report include preparing for leadership turnover with a well-documented succession plan; adequately budgeting for general operating funds; recruiting a board that reflects the diversity of the community; maintaining and renewing a diverse pool of volunteers; meeting accountability and reporting requirements; maximizing the use of technology; and using advocacy as a tool to raise public awareness and reach clients and funders. The study was commissioned by the Community Foundation Silicon Valley and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services.