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Collective Resilience Initiative

Northern California nonprofits are the driving force and backbone of our collective efforts to address the social justice issues impacting the region. Philanthropy can support this backbone and strengthen the sector.


Northern California nonprofits are the driving force and backbone of our collective efforts to address the social justice issues impacting the region. NCG's Collective Resilience Initiative supports this backbone and strengthens the nonprofit sector. This begins with focusing on the key factors impacting nonprofit sustainability in the region to shift grantmaking practices and support evolving organizational needs.  

Many nonprofits, particularly those led by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, are chronically underfunded making it difficult to invest in the talent, systems, and other foundational capacities they need and leaving them without cash reserves to handle a crisis. Long standing funding practices such as not funding full costs, intensive application and reporting processes, not providing support beyond grant dollars, and delays and restrictions in government contracts and payments prevent nonprofits from achieving long-term sustainability.  

Focus Areas

NCG supports our member community to adopt giving practices that center racial equity, shift power, and build trusting, responsive relationships with nonprofit partners to create a strong ecosystem of organizations well-resourced to meet changing community needs and advance transformational systems change. Through this initiative, we will provide programming and education around our 4 focus areas: Workforce, Public Funding, Organizational Resiliency, and Space.


Public Funding

Organizational Resiliency


Regional Advisors

Debbi Lerman 

Debbi Lerman headshot

Debbi Lerman is the Director of the San Francisco Human Services Network (HSN), a public policy association of about 80 community-based nonprofit agencies dedicated to addressing issues critical to the health and human services sector and the people they serve. She has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1980 and joined the staff of HSN in 2001.

She previously organized and coordinated two job training and placement programs for low-income persons and women in the construction industry, including serving as the Executive Director of the Seismic Retrofit Employment Consortium. She also spent fifteen years with environmental organizations, including Executive Director of the Toxics Coordinating Project, and positions with Rainforest Action Network and the California League of Conservation Voters.

Debbi has been a member of the California Bar since 1984. She holds a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Earth Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Solomon Belette 

Solomon Belette headshot

Solomon Belette is a seasoned senior-level strategic leader with a diverse background spanning the nonprofit, civil, educational, and philanthropic sectors. Belette is fueled by a profound commitment to human dignity and social justice. Throughout a dynamic career, Belette has dedicated his efforts to serving the most vulnerable, demonstrating resourcefulness, collaboration, and a track record of success. He has earned his undergraduate and graduate level degrees from Saint John’s University and John F. Kennedy University respectively. Belette’s entrepreneurial drives have inspired him to establish two consulting firms, SISAR and USAFI, designed to assist both domestic and international organizations in capacity development and resource mobilization. He currently holds a Visiting Professor position at the University of Juba and has served as Adjunct Instructor at Santa Clara University. His other professional experiences include serving as Managing Director for the East Contra Costa Community Alliance (ECCCA), Founder of the US Africa Initiatives (USAFI), Director of the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, CEO of Catholic Charities of the East Bay, and Regional Director for Migration and Refugee Services. He currently serves on the board of the Village Community Resources Center, Man2Man Urban Youth Advocate, as Board President of the Antioch Community Foundation, and Regional Advisor for NCG’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative. 

Belette is a dynamic leader whose strategic vision and commitment to positive change have left an indelible mark across diverse sectors.


Viridiana (Viry) Romero

Viridiana (Viry) Romero, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Northern California Grantmakers

To learn more about how to engage with this work contact: