She is the founder and president of the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation (LAAF), a private operating foundation that serves as a philanthropic "innovation lab", and is the author of Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World. Arrillaga-Andreessen also founded the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), a venture philanthropy fund. She is the founder and chairman of Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS). Arrillaga-Andreessen also serves as president of the Marc and Laura Andreessen Foundation and teaches four philanthropy courses at Stanford University.
Arrillaga-Andreessen advises Silicon Valley technology leaders, such as Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, on their philanthropic efforts. She advised Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan in their $100 million gift to education in Newark, New Jersey, in 2010. Arrillaga-Andreessen helped Zuckerberg and Chan "create a framework of how to evaluate different opportunities and how to choose the ones that were actually meaningful to us", Chan said. Arrillaga-Andreessen persuaded Andreessen Horowitz's six partners to donate 50 percent of their income to charity, which could cumulatively be in the billions of dollars.
Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and people in their 40s and younger are becoming more involved in philanthropy.
Arrillaga-Andreessen is the one persuading this new generation of tech tycoons to give their riches away. Look behind several of the most meaningful philanthropic gestures of recent years and you'll find her pulling the strings. (Vogue)
Arrillaga-Andreessen was born in Palo Alto, California, the daughter of the late philanthropist Frances C. Arrillaga and real estate developer/philanthropist John Arrillaga, Sr. She received a BA (1992) and MA (1999) in Art History from Stanford University, an MA (1998) in Education from Stanford School of Education, and an MBA (1997) from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Arrillaga-Andreessen has said her mother's volunteer work was a strong influence on her when she was growing up in Palo Alto. "It was the first time I really understood how blessed my family was with resources and how it was our responsibility to share them", she told Barron's. Arrillaga-Andreessen became active in philanthropy after her mother's early death from cancer.
While attending the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Arrillaga-Andreessen developed a business plan for an organization to teach philanthropy and make grants based on venture capital firm investment strategies. The organization became the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), which Arrillaga-Andreessen founded in 1998 and served as its chairman until 2008; she is currently its chairman emeritus. SV2 makes grants to nonprofits in Silicon Valley. As of 2013, SV2 had a portfolio of 38 grantees and nearly 400 investors including Jeff Skoll, Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki, and Gary and Laura Lauder. The organization won the Silicon Valley Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropic Organization of the Year in 2008.
In 2006, Arrillaga-Andreessen founded and serves as board chairman of Stanford PACS (Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society). Stanford PACS is a global research center with the goal of exchanging ideas between the academic and philanthropic communities to create social change. The organization publishes the quarterly Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), which won a 2013 MAGGIE award.
Arrillaga-Andreessen joined the Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty in 2000, when she began teaching a course entitled Strategic Philanthropy, the first field-based philanthropy course taught in higher education. In 2003, she joined Stanford University's faculty in the Public Policy department and School of Education. She currently teaches four philanthropy courses at Stanford.
In 2014, she began plans for a MOOC, or massive online open course, to teach people new ways to think about philanthropy.
Arrillaga-Andreessen is founder and president of the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation (LAAF). The private foundation's stated mission is “to inspire, educate and empower people to give in a way that matters more." LAAF uses technology to increase philanthropy educational programs across the world.
Arrillaga-Andreessen launched ProjectU, an open-source initiative providing educational resources with the goal of inspiring colleges to offer philanthropy as a required course. ProjectU makes 100 percent of Arrillaga-Andreessen's Stanford teaching materials, case studies and research available free online to educators and philanthropists. In a June 2013 blog post, Paul Brest, a notable American scholar of constitutional law, former Stanford Law School dean, and former President of the Hewlett Foundation, wrote:
Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen's...Project U … represents a tremendous gift to the increasing number of teachers and students of philanthropy … Laura also has written a series of... 'activity guides' to help instructors teach ... in a way that advances students' critical thinking and creative application of core theories and frameworks … In this way, Laura practices what she teaches: philanthropy for the greatest benefit of society. One couldn't ask for more.
In 2011, Arrillaga-Andreessen's book Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World became a New York Times bestseller. She writes about philanthropy for The Huffington Post and other publications, was named to Vanity Fair's 2012 Next Establishment of innovators in their fields, and was profiled as one of Barron's five most fascinating philanthropists in 2011. In September 2012, Arrillaga-Andreessen was featured on the cover of Forbes with other philanthropy leaders including her husband Andreessen, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates.
Moving from Giving 1.0 to Giving 2.0 is a transition from being reactive to being proactive, from emotionally based giving to strategically based, from isolated to collaborative. So it's not so much about what you give but about mitigating the risks of time, of money, of whatever portfolio of assets you're choosing to invest. -- Arrillaga-Andreessen, as quoted in Vogue.
Arrillaga-Andreessen is president of the Marc and Laura Andreessen Foundation, a director of the Arrillaga Foundation, a board member of Sand Hill Foundation, SIEPR (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research), and an Advisory Council Member of the Global Philanthropy Forum. She is a former Public Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a former trustee of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Hoover Institution, Castilleja School, Menlo School, Eastside Preparatory School, San Francisco Art Institute and Children's Health Council.
In 2001, Arrillaga-Andreessen received the Jacqueline Kennedy Award for Women in Leadership and in April 2005 became a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. She was awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award from the Points of Light Foundation in June 2005 and Children and Family Services' Outstanding Silicon Valley Philanthropist Award in 2009. In 2010, she was the first individual awarded SV2's "Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Social Impact Award" and also received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Castilleja School. In 2011, she and Andreessen received the Global Citizen Award from the World Affairs Council and its Global Philanthropy Forum. In 2014, she received The Commonwealth Club's Distinguished Citizen Award.
Arrillaga-Andreessen married Marc Andreessen in 2006 at Stanford University.