News

Venture capitalists make lifetime philanthropy pledge

Six local nonprofits benefit from shares of 'immediate' $1 million gift by six partners

The six partners of the Menlo Park venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz will give a $1 million "group donation" to six local nonprofits, the firm announced.

The $1 million "immediate" gift is part of a longer-term pledge by the six to "donate at least half of all income from our venture capital careers to philanthropic causes during our lifetimes."

The six are Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and general partners Ben Horowitz, John O'Farrell, Jeff Jordan, Scott Weiss and Peter Levine.

In an April 25 statement outlining "our philanthropic commitment," the six, along with their spouses, said they hope their giving "can, over time, make the world a better place."

"We are fortunate to work with some of the best entrepreneurs and technologists in the world, and in the process help create great and valuable companies," they said.

"That activity, done well over decades, can generate a lot of money that can then be productively deployed philanthropically back into the society that makes it all possible."

The six local nonprofits immediately benefiting from the Andreessen Horowitz gift are Santa Clara-based Via Services, serving children with special needs; the Ecumenical Hunger Program of East Palo Alto; Second Harvest Food Bank serving Santa Clara and San Mateo counties; Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a Milpitas-based nonprofit that works with at-risk teens; Canopy, dedicated to planting and preserving trees in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and surrounding communities; and The Shelter Network, an agency serving the homeless on the San Francisco Peninsula.

Canopy Executive Director Catherine Martineau said the approximately $170,000 gift from the venture firm is the largest in the agency's history.

It was designated by Andreessen Horowitz partner Peter Levine and his wife, Martha Blackwell, a former Canopy board member.

"Our family's passion for the environment and my specific interest in trees, along with our familiarity with the important work Canopy does in the community, guided our choice for this first round," Blackwell said.

Martineau said the gift will allow Canopy "to pursue innovative education programs.

"Canopy is honored and grateful to receive this large gift and to be part of a group of leading organizations that do vital work in the community," she said.

Marc Andreessen is the husband of local philanthropist Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, author of the 2011 book "Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World," which suggests ways to increase the effectiveness of charitable giving "of all forms and sizes."

Chris Kenrick

Comments

There are no comments yet, please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Most Seniors do not Need Senior Housing But Could Benefit from other Choice to Remain in Palo Alto
By Steve Levy | 52 comments | 2,309 views

Custom pizza joint on its way to Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 2,087 views

"The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden"
By Anita Felicelli | 0 comments | 1,268 views

Dear Chandrama, Everywhere I turn . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 975 views

Crittenden Hosts Startup Weekend
By Ms. Jenson | 1 comment | 353 views