Non-profit

DesJardins/Blachman Fund

Type:

Donor-Advised Fund

Part of:

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

The desJardins/Blachman Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a donor-advised fund run by early Google employee, American investor, mathematician, software engineer, and philanthropist David desJardins and his wife, mathematician and computer scientist Nancy Blachman. The fund makes donations to left-wing organizations and other non-profit groups.

The fund is supported by the desJardins-Blachman Foundation, which desJardins and Blachman control. The Foundation had a little over $1.3 million in total assets at the end of 2016 and had provided the Fund $65,118 in that year. [1]

Principals

The desJardins/Blachman Fund is run by David desJardins, an investor and mathematician who has worked in Silicon Valley. DesJardins received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983 and completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. [2]

He was Google’s 20th employee working as a software from 1999 until he left the company in 2005. He was an early investor in companies such as Cloudera,[3] ScanScout,[4] and 23andme. [5]

Nancy Blachman is the president and founder of Variable Symbols, a company that specializes in consulting and training in technical software. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. and has a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from the University of California-Berkeley and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. [6] In 2007, she created the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival. [7] The couple have two children, Sarah and Louis. [8]

DesJardins and Blachman are both major Democratic and left-wing donors. DesJardins has given $2,174,138 to Democratic causes and candidates between 2000 and 2016. [9] Blachman has given $203,500 to Democratic causes and candidates between 2006 and 2018. [10]

In 2012, desJardins and Blachman combined gave $518,400, all to Democrats, as of October 2012. That donation amount made them the second-largest total donors in Silicon Valley. [11]

DesJardins overall gave $965,100 in the 2012 election cycle, all of it to Democrats. [12] During that cycle, he was also among the Sunlight Foundation’s “Political 1% of 1%,” putting him in the top 31,385 of political givers. [13]

Fund/Foundation Relationship

The desJardins/Blachman Fund is funded directly by the desJardins-Blachman Foundation, which is the couple’s personal foundation. [14] The money is then routed through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation which makes it nearly impossible to track how individual grants are spent. [15]

The fund is domiciled in Delaware, which is known for its ease of setting up shop for both business and charities alike. Delaware is also known for its lax oversight of charities established in the state. [16]

Recipients

The couple’s fund has supported left-wing organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest,[17] the Bus Federation Civic Fund,[18]and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. [19] In 2016, the fund donated somewhere between $100,000 to $249,999 to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. [20]

In addition to those organizations, the fund has supported the left-of-center Campaign Legal Center[21] and the left-wing Roosevelt Institute. [22]

The fund also supports the PBS documentary series “Point of View.” [23] The documentary series has been held up as an example of left-wing bias at the government-subsidized PBS. [24] Among those who fund “POV” are the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. [25]

Financials

From 2010 to 2016, the median grant awarded by the foundation was $65,118. The grants were funneled to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. [26]

References

  1. DesJardins/Blachman Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2016 ^
  2. DesJardins, David Lawrence. “Precise coding with noiseless feedback: A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics in the Graduate Division of the University of California at Berkeley.” Spring, 2002. Accessed February 24, 2019. http://www.desjardins.org/david/thesis/thesis.pdf ^
  3. Cloudera. “Cloudera, the Commercial Hadoop Company, Announces $5 Million Series A Financing Led by Accel Partners.” News release, March 16, 2009. Accessed February 24, 2019. https://www.cloudera.com/more/news-and-events/press-releases/2009-03-16-cloudera-the-commercial-hadoop-company-announces-5-million-series-a-financing-led-by-accel-partners.html. ^
  4. “Scanscout.” Bizstanding. Company Profile. Accessed February 24, 2019. https://bizstanding.com/p/scanscout-37005183. ^
  5. “23andMe Company Profile | PitchBook.” 23andMe Company Profile: Valuation & Investors. Accessed April 26, 2017.

    DesJardins is a General Partner at DJ Ventures, LP. “DJ Ventures, LP.” Company Information. Bizapedia. Accessed February 24, 2019. ^

  6. “Nancy Blachman’s Biography”. 2002. Variable Symbols. http://www.variablesymbols.com/bio.html. ^
  7. “Nancy Blachman”. 2019. JRMF. Accessed February 25, 2019. https://www.jrmf.org/team/nancy-blachman/. ^
  8. “Nancy Blachman’s Biography”. 2002. Variable Symbols. http://www.variablesymbols.com/bio.html. ^
  9. “Data Manager”. 2019. Followthemoney.Org. Accessed February 25, 2019. https://www.followthemoney.org/show-me?y=2017,2016,2015,2014,2013,2012,2011,2010,2009,2008,2007,2006,2005,2004,2003,2002,2001,2000&d-eid=14406125,29219617,19578684,15349956,28471820,28471821,24467671,24467672,24480429,24628582,24638357,28580664,18397467,18844281,10008321,26637349,18401047,18471308,18487673,18556475,18607837,18865057,24473569,24605441,24607279,24613723,28697697,18481075,24635226,24612333,28658624,28701730,25744466,9930621,23618701#[%7B1%7Cgro=d-id,f-eid%7B1%7Cgro=is-f-eid,d-eid,d-id,f-eid. ^
  10. “Bar Graph”. 2019. Follow The Money. Accessed February 25, 2019. https://www.followthemoney.org/show-me?d-eid=14702848#[{1|gro=s,f-eid,d-id,c-t-pt. ^
  11. Hepler, Lauren. 2012. “Silicon Valley’s Wealthy Give Big”. Silicon Valley Business Journal. https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/print-edition/2012/10/05/silicon-valleys-wealthy-give-big.html. ^
  12. Stangel, Luke. “Silicon Valley’s 10 biggest Democratic super-donors.” Bizjournals.com. July 10, 2013. Accessed February 24, 2019. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/07/10/silicon-valleys-10-biggest-democratic.html ^
  13. Drutman, Lee. 2013. “The Political 1% Of The 1% In 2012”. Sunlight Foundation. https://sunlightfoundation.com/2013/06/24/1pct_of_the_1pct/. ^
  14. Suver, Stacey. “David DesJardins and Nancy Blachman.” Inside Philanthropy. November 30, 2018. Accessed March 15, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/guide-to-individual-donors/david-desjardins.html. ^
  15. “Grantmakers.Io Profile – DESJARDINSBLACHMAN FOUNDATION”. 2019. Grantmakers.Io. Accessed February 25, 2019. https://www.grantmakers.io/profiles/v0/261616015-desjardinsblachman-foundation/. ^
  16. Chalmers, Mike. 2013. “Charities Find Delaware Is Good Company”. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/10/charities-find-delaware-good-company/1973817/. ^
  17. “David Desjardins And Nancy Blachman”. 2019. Inside Philanthropy. Accessed February 25, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/guide-to-individual-donors/david-desjardins.html. ^
  18. “David Desjardins And Nancy Blachman”. 2019. Inside Philanthropy. Accessed February 25, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/guide-to-individual-donors/david-desjardins.html. ^
  19. “David Desjardins And Nancy Blachman”. 2019. Inside Philanthropy. Accessed February 25, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/guide-to-individual-donors/david-desjardins.html. ^
  20. Honor Roll Of Support 2016. 2016. Ebook. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/honorroll-final-2016-forwebsite.pdf. ^
  21. 2019. Campaign Legal Center. Accessed February 25, 2019. http://www.campaignlegalcenter.org/15th/. ^
  22. “Roosevelt Institute 2013 Finances And Supporters At A Glance – Docshare.Tips”. 2017. Docshare. http://docshare.tips/roosevelt-institute-2013-finances-and-supporters-at-a-glance_5a19bfcd08bbc514641fc8b4.html. ^
  23. PBS. 2018. “The Haunting Truth Of Corporate Spending In Politics Revealed In ‘Dark Money,’ Coming Fall 2018.” ^
  24. “Public Broadcasting: Your Taxes Fund Liberal Bias”. 2019. Media Research Center. Accessed February 25, 2019. https://www.mrc.org/profiles-bias/public-broadcasting-your-taxes-fund-liberal-bias. ^
  25. PBS. 2018. “The Haunting Truth Of Corporate Spending In Politics Revealed In ‘Dark Money,’ Coming Fall 2018.” ^
  26. “Grantmakers.Io Profile – DESJARDINSBLACHMAN FOUNDATION”. 2019. Grantmakers.Io. Accessed February 25, 2019. https://www.grantmakers.io/profiles/v0/261616015-desjardinsblachman-foundation/. ^
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