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How To Change The World! Philanthropy & Movement Building

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 -
10:00am to 12:00pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360, San Francisco, CA
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Health Reform, Immigrant Rights, Marriage Equality, Climate Change.   What do these (and many other movements) have in common? The answer is the significant role of philanthropy in fostering, nurturing, and supporting their progress and successes.

But what specific role did philanthropy play in these efforts? What did funders support and how do foundations think about their participation in movement building?  Is there a similar set of approaches common to funding movement building? What were the mistakes along the way and how did funders course correct? Why are so few of us willing to step up and support organizing, advocacy, public education, leadership development, and other efforts that can lead to significant and sustained change? And is the notion of “patient funding” too difficult for most foundations to overcome?

Join us to hear from foundations who’ve successfully engaged in efforts to address some of our most challenging issues through developing community-based leadership, fostering common agendas, building trust and making visible what heretofore had been invisible.  

Come Join Us

  • Learn about the findings of this important evaluation with leaders and key supporters in the transformational work.
  • Learn about methodology, indicators, and process behind capturing the success of the SOL initiative. 
  • Understand the value and impact in investing in comprehensive leadership development
  • Celebrate the momentum growing behind transformative organizing and movement building


  • Cathy Cha, Program Director, Immigrant Rights and Integration, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
  • Jennifer Sokolove,  Program Director, Compton Foundation
  • Beatriz Solìs, Director, Healthy Communities, The California Endowment 

Moderator: Steve Phillips, Board Member, The Democracy Alliance; Founding Member, Progressive Era Project

Targeted Audience

Funders who are interested in any issue (health, education, environment, social justice) that may be advanced by movement building, public policy, advocacy and organizing as well as those interested in leadership development, civic engagement, and economic opportunity.

This program is open for NCG members and non-member funders.  If you are a NCG member, please log into your account and register for this program.  First time on this website? Reset your password.  If you are not a non-member funder, please email to register to for this program. 

Speaker Bios

Cathy Cha is the program director for Immigrant Rights and Integration at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Cathy manages the Fund’s efforts to promote equal opportunities for immigrants to become fully engaged citizens. Cathy applies her two decades of experience and collaborative approach across all of her work. In her home state of California, that means strengthening  the immigrant rights movement. Nationally, Cathy helped start the New Americans Campaign to increase citizenship. Within philanthropy, she convenes the California Civic Participation Funders which seeks to increase immigrant voter engagement. In addition, she is on the steering committee for the Four Freedoms Fund, the national immigration collaborative.

As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy is dedicated to improving the lives of immigrants and their families. She has experience in community development, with a focus on low-income and immigrant communities. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Cathy worked in nonprofit, private and government sectors. Cathy is the co-chair of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR). Cathy has a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Steve Phillips a national political leader, activist, investor, and philanthropist will moderate the panel.  A pioneer in political innovation, Steve created the country’s first Super PAC in 2007, and he is the founder and chairman of PAC+, a social justice political network that was the first national group to back Senator Cory Booker and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.  He serves on the Board of The Democracy Alliance, the country’s largest network of progressive major donors.

Steve continued his public service after graduating from college, devoting his early professional and political life to the issue of education.  For four years he worked as the coordinator of a San Francisco education reform project that linked low-performing schools with business and community groups that wanted to support the school change process.  After working directly at the school site level, Steve ran for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Education, and, at age 28, he became the youngest elected official in the history of San Francisco in 1992. Steve served on the School Board for eight years including one year as President of the Board.  He was a strong advocate of technological innovation, early-childhood education, class-size reduction, and multi-cultural curriculum.  His accomplishments on the School Board include saving the early childhood education program that serves 4,000 San Francisco children, reducing class sizes in grades K-2, and authoring the proposal to make San Francisco the first school district in the country to mandate that the literature curriculum include works by writers of color .

Jennifer Sokolove is Program Director at the Compton Foundation. During her tenure at the Foundation, she has led on strategy and grantmaking in the fields of fresh water, climate change, and rural conservation in the western United States, as well as art for social change and sustainable food systems. She has been working on sustainability issues for almost two decades, with a focus on natural resource-based economies and collaborative decision-making. Prior to joining Compton, Jen worked on a variety of community-led projects in California, Montana, and the Pacific Northwest. She conducted post-doctoral research on sustainable food and farming, and completed her PhD at UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. She chairs the board of Switzer Foundation, and serves on the board of the Consultative Group for Biological Diversity and the advisory boards for the Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund and Carpe Diem West.  She lives in Oakland with her husband and seven-year old daughter, and can generally be found reading, running, swimming, or exploring the region's parks and farmers markets when not at work.  

Beatriz Maria Solís, M.P.H., Ph.D., joined The Endowment in 2007 as the foundation’s Los Angeles Regional Senior Program Officer. In 2009, Solís was tapped to be director of Healthy Communities, South Region, for the foundation’s 10-year strategic program Building Healthy Communities. As director of Healthy Communities, Solís is responsible for advancing the vision and strategic direction of the initiative, as well as helping achieve established goals and outcomes through The Endowment’s philanthropic efforts in Southern California. As a senior program officer, Solís oversaw and provided direction for the administrative and grant-making activities of the foundation’s Los Angeles-based program officers who serve a four-county region which encompasses Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In addition, Solís served as a member of the foundation’s statewide Community Health and Elimination of Health Disparities Program Team, which sought to help improve the environmental factors that contribute to the poor health status of residents in low-income communities, and to reduce the higher rates of health conditions and diseases experienced by racial and ethnic communities.

Her vast professional experience includes service as adjunct faculty member of California State University, Northridge, and California State University, Long Beach; director of Cultural and Linguistic Services for L.A. Care Health Plan  and a research associate for the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (1996-2001) where she was responsible for several original research projects on women’s health. She received her master’s and doctorate in Public Health from UCLA’s School of Public Health.