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Original post made
on Oct 23, 2012
This is a very good move on their part. Sets up good community relations. Some of those Silicon Valley companies do very little local philanthropy.
Let's hope the grants are based on merit as opposed to "who you know."
Providing grants of $3,000 to $5,000 is an insult to these communities and a mere token from Facebook. $3K gets you funding for a volunteer appreciation luncheon or software for 5 users. It does not provide any real funding to the community. I hope the Menlo Park City Council takes input from local non-profits of what their view of meaningful non-profit funding is. For many serious grant writers, it is not worth the time to write a grant for a hoped for $3,000. Facebook should be providing grants in amounts in excess of $10,000, with a major grant, way beyond 5 figures, going to the local school system. Shame on FB for being so cheap and shame on MP City Council for agree to allowing such a pittance.
It is always whom you know.
Facebook is giving much bigger chunks of money to local nonprofits when there are other connections. (See, for example, the school foundations.) However, they were besieged by organizations that came knocking as soon as Facebook came to town, and I guess decided that setting aside a pool of money was the best way to handle the riffraff among the 501(c)(3)s.
For those of you paying attention: Facebook is going before the council tonight to ask for another density giveaway. The cost to the rest of us: a lot more traffic and a requirement to add even more housing. If $500,000 buys them enough goodwill so that their plan gets council approval, well, then it was a bargain for them.
It is my understanding that they are not giving larger grants to the local school foundations. Ravenswood Education Foundation needs at least $100,000 or $250,000 to repair the District's infrastructure. Not speaking for anyone other than myself, but I believe Facebook can do more and hope that both City Council's will ask them to do so.
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