Give Where You Live

Empowering Gilroy since 1980: Making a Lasting Impact

Group of people stacking hands outside
Our Impact

See the impact we’ve made together

$17.5 M

Grants and scholarships awarded since 1980


Years in philanthropy in the Gilroy community


Emerging and established nonprofits supported

Experience the Impact. Your Support Transforms Our Beloved Community. Thank you for nurturing the place we call home through your generous contribution.

We’re strengthening the community with your help

At Gilroy Foundation, we deeply value and appreciate the unwavering dedication of our members and donors who champion the betterment of Gilroy. Your continued support fuels our mission and enables us to create a lasting and positive impact on our community.

Thanks to your commitment, we have built an enduring endowment, with assets surpassing $15 million. The Foundation ensures that Gilroy will flourish for generations, embracing a prosperous future.

We invite you to explore our work in depth through our annual impact reports. If you’re able, please consider making a gift! No amount is too small to make a real difference in local lives.

Recent impact reports
  • Annual Impact Report 2022
  • Annual Impact Report 2021
  • Annual Impact Report 2020
  • Annual Impact Report 2019
  • Annual Impact Report 2018
Gilroy logo

A grant from Gilroy Foundation provided Poppy Jasper International Film Festival the necessary funding to create an educational program that would encourage the most underserved youth in our community to create films. This grant gave organizations like ours the ability to succeed, so that everyone can find their voice through film.

— Mattie Scariot Director, Poppy Jasper International Film Festival
Gilroy logo

Our family Gives Where We Live because it is important to focus our support on our local community. Gilroy Foundation’s long list of giving options–from supporting college and trade scholarships, to contributing to grant making to local nonprofits, and to facilitating Legacy Giving planning–helped us to guide our giving decisions

— Nancy and Ted Becker Emeritus Board Member
Gilroy logo

A Gilroy Foundation Competitive Grant helped fund a new and innovative computer program for each student. This new program will help each student meet their specific needs and will guide classroom instruction to better identify the needs of each student.

— Grant Recipient Rucker School
Gilroy logo

I have been on Gilroy Foundation Youth Board since 6th grade and I have learned the importance of being an active member of the community. Being a leader, listener, and collaborator are all skills that I have developed.

— Sophia Youth Board

We’re always working on new initiatives! Hear more about our impact from the local news and other sources.

Past Work

Community projects we’ve supported

Christopher High School Sports Complex

The Don Christopher Family, in collaboration with Christopher Ranch, Pinnacle Bank, Black Bear Diner, Legacy Club donors, and the generous support of the community and school, joined hands with Gilroy Foundation to make their vision a reality—a cutting-edge sports facility catering to football, track, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and P.E. classes.

Through their donations to Gilroy Foundation, in partnership with Gilroy Unified School District, this state-of-the-art Complex was brought to life, creating a lasting legacy for athletic pursuits in our community.

Gilroy Center for the Arts

In 2004, the City of Gilroy acquired the property for the future Gilroy Center for the Arts. However, as construction plans were put on hold, the Gilroy Arts Alliance approached the City to rent the existing building as an office and arts space. The Alliance took the initiative to revitalize the building, opening it for small arts and community events in 2010.

During the Gilroy Foundation’s Annual Meeting and Charitable Giving Presentation in 2011, Don and Karen Christopher were inspired by the Alliance’s commitment to establishing an arts center. They approached the Foundation with a generous donation, enabling the hiring of a contractor to enhance the facility. The improvements included new flooring, lighting, a caterer’s kitchen, a handicapped restroom, and exterior enhancements such as a lighted marquee. Together, their collective efforts have transformed the space into a vibrant hub for artistic expression in Gilroy.

Salvation Army Showers & Laundry

In 2009, Craig and Jacqui Merriman recognized the need to support the homeless population in Gilroy by providing essential facilities that would empower individuals to regain their confidence and pursue employment opportunities.

Collaborating with the Salvation Army at Church and Fifth Street, the Gilroy Foundation took action. We engaged a contractor to construct two showers, one of which was designed to be handicap accessible, and laundry facilities that would be accessible to the public. These amenities aimed to offer a sense of dignity and convenience, enabling individuals to maintain personal hygiene and have clean clothing as they navigate their path towards a better future.

Dog Park Improvements

Craig and Jacqui Merriman, passionate dog lovers, recognized the need for enhancements at the newly opened Las Animas Dog Park in Gilroy. Despite limited city funds for amenities such as trees and benches, they stepped forward to make a meaningful contribution in memory of their son, Sean.

Thanks to the generous donation from the Merrimans, facilitated by the Gilroy Foundation, the dog park underwent significant improvements. Beautiful trees were planted to provide shade, a shade structure was constructed, additional benches were installed, and community bulletin boards were erected in both the large and small dog parks. These enhancements aimed to create a welcoming and enjoyable space for both dogs and their owners to connect and thrive in the community.

Gilroy and Christopher High School Van Donation

Recognizing the need for transportation to support the extracurricular activities of Christopher High School and Gilroy High School, Don Christopher took action. Understanding the budget constraints on school buses, he turned to the Gilroy Foundation for assistance.

Thanks to the generous support of Don Christopher and the Foundation, each school now has two vans at their disposal. These vans serve as a reliable means of transportation for staff and students, enabling them to attend club meetings, sporting events, and other off-campus activities with convenience and pride. The vans proudly showcase the school spirit of both the Cougars and the Mustangs, providing a practical solution to enhance the educational experience for all involved.

Gilroy High School Chromebooks Donation

Continuing their commitment to empowering Gilroy’s high school students, the Christopher family recognized the importance of technology access and support.

Through their generous contribution, the Gilroy Foundation procured top-of-the-line Chromebooks, software, and a convenient charging cart for Gilroy High School. This invaluable technology resource was made available to students starting in the Fall of 2014, ensuring enhanced learning opportunities and equipping them with the digital tools necessary for success in the modern world. The Christopher family’s dedication to education and innovation continues to make a lasting impact on the students of Gilroy High School.