Donor Profile: Bibi Tiphane
Bibi Tiphane moved to Silicon Valley from Montreal in the early 1980s to become one of the early employees of a small Swiss/American tech firm. Bibi could scarcely have imagined that the firm, called Logitech, would become a wildly successful household name.
Bibi (who uses non-binary pronouns) certainly wasn’t prepared for a financial windfall. “I’ve always been frugal,” they said. “This is a family trait. I grew up one of seven children in very modest family that still cuts coupons. When I received my first stock options, I didn’t even know what they were.”
Bibi did know that they wanted to put that money to the best possible use. Bibi left tech and Silicon Valley and planted roots in the East Bay, where they created a partnership with the East Bay Community Foundation. Over the years, Bibi has supported a variety of arts and social justice organizations and has become active in supporting LGBTQ causes, including a significant gift to the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, among other organizations.
2020 represented an evolution in their philanthropy. “Last year was a challenging year,” they said. “Like many people, issues of race took on special importance. We’ve known about these inequities for so many years, but it’s clear we all need to do more.”
Bibi began to more deeply explore issues involving race and equity and made a significant commitment to the East Bay Community Foundation’s ASCEND:BLO initiative, which works to support and strengthen Black-led organizations in the Bay Area.
Bibi was also an energetic supporter of the Foundation’s work to respond to the global pandemic. That fund, known as COVID-19: A Just East Bay Response Fund, has provided nearly $8 million to local communities affected by the coronavirus, with an emphasis on organizations serving undocumented immigrants, unsheltered individuals, those employed via cash economy, uninsured and under-insured, youth, victims of domestic violence, low-income seniors, and the formerly incarcerated. Bibi acknowledged, “We know that government should be providing these services, but sometimes you just have to do something.”
Bibi is quick to point out that they chose to partner with a community foundation rather than open a giving fund with a large national firm. “It can be hard to know what the most effective services for people in need are. I really appreciate the guidance and support I get from the foundation. Their expertise is so important.”
What matters most to Bibi is ensuring that their support benefits people close to home. “I’m pleased that I can use my fund to help strengthen my local community foundation as well as my community. I want to help my area thrive instead of helping Wall Street.”
Thanks to donors and partners like Bibi Tiphane, the prospects for building a more just East Bay are that much brighter.