Nicole Taylor '90 Named Inside Philanthropy’s Community Foundation Leader of the Year

Headshot of Nicole Taylor

Congratulations to HumBio Class of 1990 alum Nicole Taylor who was recently named Inside Philanthropy’s Community Foundation Leader of the Year!

As the CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Taylor was recognized for “righting the ship” and “shifting SVCF’s overall strategy to advance gender, racial and economic justice in the vastly unequal Silicon Valley.”

"Nicole Taylor, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), was named Inside Philanthropy’s 2022 ‘Community Foundation Leader of the Year’ for her work “righting the ship” at the nation’s largest community foundation and “shifting its overall strategy to advance gender, racial and economic justice in the vastly unequal Silicon Valley.”

Each year Inside Philanthropy, the philanthropy sector’s publication of record, rounds up the most impactful individuals and organizations within the sector. Taylor was honored along with other philanthropy leaders including Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, and Yvon Chouinard, who converted his company, Patagonia, into a vehicle for environmental giving.

“To be listed among so many other amazing individuals for doing the work I am passionate about is a humbling honor," Taylor said. “I am fortunate to be in the position to make a positive impact in our communities. I know these leadership positions also come with the power, and responsibility, to make meaningful change in the philanthropic space, and I am eager to do my part.”

SVCF’s board of directors appointed Taylor, the community foundation’s first Black woman CEO, in December 2018 to turn the foundation around after a few tumultuous years. Since taking the helm, Taylor has led the community foundation to shift its strategy to approach philanthropy through a lens of equity, supporting more organizations led by people of color that are working to amplify the voices and agency of historically underrepresented communities. She has also pushed for the community foundation’s fundholders to give more locally and with a focus on racial equity. In 2021, Taylor, and her all-women executive team, led SVCF to distribute $2.27 billion in grants to nearly 6,000 nonprofits and community organizations, representing a 21.5% increase compared to 2020.

Taylor also worked with other California-based foundation leaders to launch the California Black Freedom Fund (CBFF), a five-year, $100 million initiative to ensure that Black power-building and movement-based organizations have the sustained investments they need to eradicate systemic and institutional racism. Under her leadership, SVCF also launched the LatinXCEL Fund. The fund calls for vastly increased funding for Silicon Valley’s Latinx community leaders and Latinx-led nonprofits through targeted, long-term investments.

Before SVCF, Taylor spent 15 years at the East Bay Community Foundation, serving as its CEO for 6, and served as president and CEO of Thrive Foundation for Youth in Silicon Valley. She served as deputy vice president and dean of students at Arizona State University before serving as vice president of the ASU Foundation. Prior to her time at ASU, Taylor was the associate vice provost of student affairs and dean of community engagement and diversity at Stanford University.

Taylor was also named to the Forbes 50 Over 50-Impact list in 2022 — an honor given to women who are changing their communities through social entrepreneurship, law, advocacy and education.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a regional catalyst, connector and collaborator. We bring together the resources and skills of donors, business, government and community to solve some of our region’s toughest challenges. We promote philanthropy in our region and support philanthropists to invest with impact. Through advocacy, research, policy and grantmaking, we seek systemic solutions to drive enduring community change.

More than 1,800 individuals and families and over 60 companies partner with Silicon Valley Community Foundation using our donor advised fund (DAF) services. More than a third of donor advised funds held at SVCF have balances of $25,000 or less. We encourage and advise donors to be active philanthropists and to give on a continual basis. Under our rigorous policy to discourage inactive funds, if after two years a donor has not recommended any grants from their DAF, SVCF will pool and distribute the funds through our Community Endowment Fund.

Learn more at" - Announcement by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Photo credit: Silicon Valley Community Foundation