This year Facebook surpassed by $150,000 the amount it has agreed to give to local nonprofit organizations in exchange for permission from the city of Menlo Park to expand the company's operations.
In 2012, one condition of the agreement Facebook reached with the city was that the company would set up a "Local Community Fund" that would give at least $600,000 to nonprofits that serve Belle Haven, East Palo Alto or both.
In 2016, Facebook gave $250,000 to local nonprofits, up from $100,000 last year. The total since 2012 is now $750,000.
"By upping the funding this year, we were able to award 57 grants and an adequate amount to have impact for each of those organizations," said Lauren Swezey, community outreach manager at Facebook.
Though Facebook did not disclose how much it gave to each organization, the maximum amount each could receive was $15,000.
Funds were given to 14 nonprofit organizations serving Belle Haven only and 35 serving both East Palo Alto and Belle Haven, a Facebook spokesperson said.
Among organizations receiving Facebook grants are Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, the California Family Foundation (which funds Beechwood School in Belle Haven), Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, the Fit Kids Foundation, LifeMoves and the Peninsula College Fund.
Charles Schmuck of the Peninsula College Fund said the money will go to the organization's mentor program and for scholarships to local students of color who may be financially strained or the first in their families to attend college.
"The bottom line is that there are a lot of organizations that talk a good game as far as community service," he said. "Facebook really from day one has stood by its commitment to the local community."
The board that decides how funds are given is made up of five people: three Facebook employees, and one city council representative each from Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. The grants are administered by the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, a grantmaking agency based in Oakland.
Facebook does fund other community projects. In particular, Ms. Swezey said, Facebook gives to sustainability and STEM education projects.
Facebook has funded solar-panel systems that have been installed on 10 Belle Haven homes, and recently committed to funding 15 more.