Silicon Valley technology has been unkind to traditional middlemen. Streaming music punished the record industry. Netflix killed video stores. Life has become harder for intermediaries such as travel agents and stockbrokers.

So it is perplexing that when it comes to philanthropy, Silicon Valley has given birth to an intermediary that has rapidly grown into one of the world’s biggest foundations. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), which was formed 10 years ago by the merger of...


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