Socialize With Us

Building Collaboration from the Inside Out - Peninsula (A GEO Special Feature)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 -
1:00pm to 4:00pm PDT
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
1661 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA
Add to Calendar

This workshop is a part of a statewide partnership between the three California regional associations of grantmakers and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. 

Before collaboration became the latest philanthropic buzzword, many grantmakers were already collaborating in ways both large and small around shared concerns or core issues and beliefs. But because collaboration is hard and messy, both grantmakers and nonprofits often find forging consensus to be challenging and remain uncertain about the best way to move collaborative work forward. What steps are necessary to ensure that your organizations are “collaboration-ready”? This workshop explores the action steps grantmakers can take to build a culture that leads to successful collaboration.

Join Us To:

  • Understand how building an internal collaborative culture can help foster better partnership.
  • Build concrete tools and ideas to foster an internal culture that primes their organizations for external collaboration.
  • Learn from peers who have made changes so that they are “collaboration ready.”


Heather Peeler is vice president of member and partner engagement at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. She leads GEO’s efforts to engage and mobilize members in adopting grantmaking practices that make the biggest impact on nonprofit performance.  Heather serves GEO’s “networker in chief,” deepening the organization’s relationships with members, forming new partnerships, and helping members forge connections between peers. In this role, Heather regularly speaks for GEO at events  and in the press about what steps grantmakers are taking to improve their effectiveness.

Heather is committed to supporting nonprofit effectiveness. Over the past 12 years, she has helped foundations, nonprofits and government agencies develop and implement strategies that have led to greater impact, performance and sustainability.

Most recently, Heather served as the Chief Strategy Officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service where she led the development of the agency’s five-year strategic plan and oversaw grantee capacity building efforts and research and evaluation initiatives. Prior to that, she served as Managing Director of Community Wealth Ventures, helping non-profit and foundation clients develop sustainable strategies for social change. Additionally, Heather held leadership positions with nonprofits and for-profit companies. She served as the Executive Director of Small Press Distribution, a nonprofit located in Berkeley, California; Managing Editor for Foundation News & Commentary at the Council on Foundations; and co-founder of GenArt/SF, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to increasing young people's participation in the visual arts.

Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture and art history from Wellesley College and a master’s of business administration from UCLA Anderson School of Management. She serves on the board of Public Allies, DC, an organization that advances new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation, and Fair Chance, an organization that builds the capacity of nonprofit organizations that improve the lives of children and youth living in Washington, D.C.'s most underserved communities.

Prior to joining GEO, Kristen Scott Kennedy received her master of public administration from American University’s School of Public Affairs. During her time at SPA, Kristen focused on nonprofit management and conducted research related to nonprofit finance. Throughout graduate school, Kristen worked for the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, a membership organization that promotes the use of cooperatives as a development paradigm.

Before she received her MPA, Kristen was managing director at The Bhutan Canada Foundation, a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to improving education in the Kingdom of Bhutan. In this role, Kristen gained direct experience taking a nonprofit from “start up” mode to the early stages of growth. As managing director she was oversaw program development, strategic planning, board management, communications and fundraising.

Kristen began her career in communications and operations at The Unusual Suspects Theater Company in Los Angeles before working in fundraising at The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health in Palo Alto, CA and Macmillan Cancer Support in London, UK.

Kristen is an alumna of the University of Southern California and a recipient of the Nonprofit Executive Scholarship at the Richard Ivey School of Business.

She currently serves as volunteer managing director for Lean & Hungry Theater, a Washington, DC based audio theater company.

Targeted Audience:

This workshop is for NCG members and GEO members exclusively. GEO members, if you are not an NCG member, please email to register for this program. 

Join Us on Twitter!

Feel free to start a conversation on Twitter @NorCalGrant before, during and after the program. #NCG2016

Speakers and Participating Organizations