Click HERE to find more stories published in the May 15 – 28, 2019 issue of Gilroy Life

Karen LaCorte

Do you have a graduating son or daughter in search of a scholarship? Does your nonprofit need a grant to fulfill a special project? Do you want to get involved with charitable giving or maybe open a family fund, but don’t know how to go about it?

Since 1980, Gilroy Foundation has awarded more than $14 million in grants and scholarships.

This “feel good” organization gives us all the opportunity to give back locally where we live.

At the Elks Lodge on the Hill on May 16, Gilroy Foundation will host a Give Where You Live Faire. This first-ever event will reconnect those who have been with us — but don’t know all we do and educate those that are new to the area or to charitable giving. Hosted by the board of directors, attendees will learn how Gilroy Foundation started, where we are going, and how they can become involved. We are an “umbrella” organization that serves as a resource in the community, with assets in excess of $12 million.

Included in this event will be a PowerPoint presentation that focuses on our history and an informative panel discussion moderated by Whitney Pintello, a Gilroy Foundation ambassador. At the conclusion of the panel presentation, guests will have a chance to visit eight information tables, with literature and a chance to get your questions answered by our Board members and staff.

All of this will take place while folks enjoy complimentary wine, appetizers, and leave with a complimentary one-year Gilroy Foundation membership.

This foundation is the heart and soul of our community. So, what has the Gilroy Foundation accomplished to benefit people? From 1999 through 2018, it has awarded more than $5 million in scholarships to graduates in the Gilroy area. This year, we have 81 scholarships, and some have multiple awards. An amazing $513,000 has been awarded this year.

Quite frankly, I once thought I knew everything there was to know about Gilroy Foundation. I thought I had it down. Preparing for this Give Where You Live Faire has been a massive tutorial for me. But I find myself still learning about the foundation and the variety of services we offer every day.

As the board liaison for the grants committee, I have learned that there are more grant applications than there are enough funds to cover them. A total of $148,809.30 was requested for our General Competitive grants program this year, but we only had $55,289 to award.

That said, between the competitive grants, designated grants, and donor-advised Grants, we gave out more than $335,900.

For parents who have junior high and high school students interested in philanthropy, Gilroy Foundation’s Youth Board is a wonderful way to learn.

These students serve in their community, learn from community leaders and vote on, and award a $1,000 grant at the Annual Meeting.

Grants continue to meet the needs of our community in the areas of Health, Education, Recreation, Technology, Culture and Civic Services. By becoming a member of Gilroy Foundation, your donation goes into our grant making cycle.

In an era of “me, me, me,” Gilroy Foundation proves to be just the opposite. This organization is the answer to connecting resources to our community needs.

If you or your organization are interested in sharing our enthusiasm by attending our Give Where You Live Faire, email [email protected] or phone (408) 842-3727. And, please, visit our website at for ongoing information and events.

Join Gilroy Foundation. You’ll be glad you did.

Karen LaCorte is the Gilroy Foundation Board of Directors Secretary. She wrote this for Gilroy Life.

Guest Column