The Sobrato tradition of civic involvement began with Ann Sobrato (1915-2000), who exemplified the ideals of hard work and public service and cultivated these same values in her son, John A. Sobrato. For nearly 60 years, John A. and his wife Susan have shared their business success with Silicon Valley, raising their children and grandchildren to engage deeply in community concerns. This multi-generational legacy of philanthropy was formalized in 1996 by Lisa Sobrato Sonsini with the establishment of the Sobrato Family Foundation, a private foundation committed to sustaining and amplifying the philanthropic legacy of the Sobrato family. For a history of the Sobrato family and review of business and philanthropic milestones since the early 1900s, please visit the Sobrato Historical Timeline.
In 2011, the family adopted a more holistic approach to its philanthropy by organizing Sobrato Philanthropies, which encompasses the Sobrato Family Foundation, the Sobrato Foundation (a support organization of Silicon Valley Community Foundation), the family’s individual giving, and corporate and matching gifts made by The Sobrato Organization. In April 2012, John A. and Sue Sobrato, along with their son John M. Sobrato, became the first multi-generational signatories of the Giving Pledge initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. They are agreement. “Each of us has provided that 100% of our wealth will be donated during our lifetimes, or left to the Sobrato Family Foundation. We hope that this legacy of giving will encourage others to commit their financial resources to worthy nonprofit institutions.”
Silicon Valley boasts one of the strongest economies in the world, yet many of our residents struggle economically and experience barriers to opportunity. To remain economically competitive and ensure a vibrant region for all of our residents, we need a talented workforce that can meet the demands of our innovation-focused economy and participate fully in our community. We must work together to capture the full potential of individuals and families to ensure all in Silicon Valley have access to high-quality educational opportunities and pathways to economic prosperity. We want to do our part to close this opportunity gap in Silicon Valley — strengthening the ability of the educational system to produce higher-level academic outcomes for underserved students and developing pathways to economic mobility for underserved communities.
The mission of the Sobrato Family Foundation is to support low-income residents in Silicon Valley who seek stability and opportunities for upward mobility. Inequality of opportunity in Silicon Valley continues to grow, leaving Silicon Valley residents more vulnerable to poverty and declining economic status. The Sobrato family believes that it is uniquely positioned to address these challenges by providing families with the critical services they need to survive through its Essential Human Services program, ensuring families are on a path to self-sufficiency through its Pathways for Success program, and investing in future generations so they achieve upward mobility through its Education program. The family also understands the role it must play as a leader on critical issues facing Silicon Valley by acting as a voice for increased investment in this region. The team at the Foundation has deep experience in serving low-income populations and the region’s nonprofits. Through its Thriving Nonprofit Sector efforts, it seeks to strengthen the ability of nonprofits to meet the challenges facing Silicon Valley.