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SV Gives: fundraiser nets nearly $8 million

Silicon Valley Gives event raises 'unprecedented' sum to benefit 650 charities in Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Benito counties

The Mountain View-based Silicon Valley Community Foundation raised an unprecedented amount of money - $7.9 million - for charity on Tuesday.

The 24-hour fundraiser was the region's first-ever day of giving, and was part of a national effort to support philanthropic organizations called Give Local America.

For the Silicon Valley Give event, touch-screen computer giving stations were set up in retail locations including the Microsoft store in the Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara, and at Whole Foods markets in Palo Alto and San Jose.

According to the community foundation's Vice President of Marketing and Communications Sidney Griffin, the giving stations helped encourage more than 14,000 donors to contribute more than 20,000 donations.

Griffin said the minimum donation was $10 - a low bar to participation, which also helped enable a large number of donors to participate in the event.

The money will benefit 650 charities in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Benito counties, Griffin said.

And the total amount raised could actually be revised higher, because some employees will have their donations matched by their corporate employers, and the matches have not been included in the $7.9 million total, Griffin said.

"We, as an organization, are very proud to have been the host of this event," Griffin said. "It really did shine the light on a lot of great nonprofits and the work that they do."

The East Bay Community Foundation also successfully helped raise nearly $201,000 for 150 nonprofit organizations in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Nationwide, the effort brought in more than $51 million for worthy causes.

The national organizers chose May 6 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of community foundations.

— Bay City News Service

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