The 36-year-old Peninsula Community Foundation in San Mateo, California, has announced that it recorded $229 million in gifts in 2000 -- an amount believed to be the largest ever raised by a community foundation in a single fiscal year. In addition, the foundation awarded $65 million in grants over the last 12 months.
"I think this indicates that charitable giving does not fluctuate strictly according to the stock market," said Peninsula Community Foundation president Sterling Speirn. "Silicon Valley donors are busy diversifying their holdings and building charitable nest eggs for the future."
The foundation received its single largest gift ever in 2000 -- $65 million from Frank and Wynnette Levinson of Palo Alto to establish a chartered family foundation. Levinson is the chairman and chief technical officer of Finisar Corporation, a fiber optic communication systems company he founded in 1988.
"We often refer to our work as philanthropy at the speed of life," added Speirn. "It's a happy coincidence that we administer Frank and Wynnette Levinson's Celerity Foundation, as celerity means speed or swiftness."