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The Collective Power of Communicators: Communications Institute 2022

Communications professionals, narrative strategists, and storytellers hold immense power and responsibility in shaping just futures.

Hosted by SoCal and Northern California Grantmakers, our 2022 Communications Institute will provide technical skills, transformational tools, and a values-aligned peer network to harness our collective power. In this five-session virtual training series program, we will offer best practices along with peer spaces to apply those practices to your real-life challenges.

We can’t do this alone. When we feel in our full agency, connected to a values-aligned network, and equipped with practical tools, we can shift the philanthropy ecosystem together.

Target Audience

We would love to invite philanthropic communicators whose values align around racial equity and justice. We specifically want to invite marginalized folks in the field who are reimagining what is possible within philanthropy. To align with our racial equity values we will be specifically curating a cohort with a majority of people of color. Wherever you are in your professional journey, we welcome you.

Director of Communications and Narrative Strategy | San Francisco Foundation

Rachel Benditt

Director of Communications | NEO Philanthropy

Robert Bray

Deputy Director | Power California

Jung Hee Choi

Vice President of Communications | PolicyLink

Vanice Dunn

Chief Marketing Officer | San Francisco Foundation

Valerie Goode

Poet, Cultural Organizer, Social Justice Activist

Sonia Guiñansaca

About the Curriculum

The Communications Institute sessions are made up of Modules led by Institute Faculty and guest speakers. Stay tuned for more details about the sessions for 2022. 

Institute Pillars:
  • Racial Equity
  • Values-Driven Communications Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills

Curriculum and Schedule

The Institute is made up of 5 sessions, one session a week for 5 weeks. Each session will take place virtually, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm.

Session 1: Developing Self-Awareness and Agency
Thursday, October 20, 2022 | 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Session 2: Strategic Social Sector Communications
Thursday, October 27, 2022 | 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Session 3: Expanding Presence and Influence in the Workplace
Thursday, November 3, 2022 | 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Session 4: Equity, Power, and Communications
Thursday, November 10, 2022 | 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Session 5: Changing Narrative about Narrative Change
Thursday, November 17, 2022 | 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Director of Communications | San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development

Max Barnes

Communications Officer || California Health Care Foundation

Xenia Shih Bion

Communications Manager | San Francisco General Hospital Foundation

Jenna Casey

Philanthropy Research and Communications Consultant

Kelly Costa

Chief Strategist, Communications | Women's Foundation California

Kamika Dunlap

Program Associate | Grand Victoria Foundation

Tasasha Henderson

Communications Manager | California Humanities

Cherie Hill

Internal Communications Manager | Blue Shield of California

Andrew Kolbenschlag

Community Communications Manager | Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Taylor Leatherman

Development and Communications Director | Justice Funders

Rosita Lucas

Associate Director, Digital Strategy & Partnerships | Hispanics in Philanthropy

Jen Meehan

Communications Manager | Clif Family Foundation

Terry Mock

Communications Associate | West Contra Costa Public Education Fund

Lucía Moreno Nava

Director of Digital Communications | Women's Foundation California

Nicola Schulze

Internal Communications Manager | The David & Lucile Packard Foundation

Lane Gallett Smith

Research & Communications Associate

Luis Rey Ramirez

Director of Policy and Communications | The Health Trust

Victoria Ramirez

Sr. Communications Officer | East Bay Community Foundation

Erin Talbert-Brust

Communications Coordinator | Rise Up

Camille Rose Ward

Director of Advancement | California Budget & Policy Center

Janis Yee

Cost to Participate

Members: $2,500

Nonmembers: $3,000

The five-week virtual institute costs $2,500 for members of NCG, SoCal Grantmakers and Catalyst. Nonmembers can participate in the Institute for $3,000. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. We’ll work with you to provide scholarships or with your organization on a payment plan. Questions about a scholarship or payment plan? Contact the Registrar.

What to Know Before you Register

Submitting your registration and payment does not confirm your participation. We will confirm your participation based on our cohort curation goals of having at least 50% of cohort members from marginalized communities. We will individually follow up with you to confirm your participation or provide a full refund. Thank you for your interest!


  • The registration deadline is EOD Monday, October 10th. 
  • All participants will be notified of their confirmed participation by Wednesday, October 12th. 
  • Live virtual sessions begin Thursday, October 17th.

When you register, please save all session dates on your calendar.