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Listening for Equity: The Impact of High-Quality Feedback Loops

Thursday, September 23, 2021 -
2:00pm to 3:30pm PDT
Zoom Webinar
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Many nonprofits and foundations are overlooking a critical source of insight into the relevance and impact of their work —the people and communities most impacted by the systems and policies funders are working to change and yet often least consulted by philanthropy. How are people and communities experiencing programs and services? Are they being treated with respect? Is the work philanthropy is supporting meeting their needs and making a positive difference in their lives?

This session will offer an inside look at Listen4Good (L4G), a national partnership of almost 150 funders and more than 575 nonprofits that is pioneering a new approach to creating simple, systematic, and rigorous feedback loops in the social sector. Attendees will hear from funders, a nonprofit leader, and nonprofit clients as they discuss how giving, collecting, using, and sharing feedback data is informing, changing, and improving the way they work — and having an impact on people’s lives. The panel will also explore how high-quality feedback loops can challenge inherent power dynamics, center equity, and bring the voices of those least heard to the decision-making table.


More speakers/bios to come.

Maggie Hobstetter, Program Director, Economic Mobility, The Sobrato Organization
As Program Director of Economic Mobility, Maggie Hobstetter helps lead the program and grantmaking work for our three local strategies: Pathways for Success, Essential Human Services, and Bachelor's Completion, which all support the economic mobility of Silicon Valley residents. Her prior experience as Senior Program Officer of Impact and Learning informs and helps define what success means for our programs and sets ambitious plans for getting there. Previously Maggie served as Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Bixby Center at UC Berkeley, where she led the Population and Reproductive Health Program’s measurement and learning efforts. Her earlier work included managing community-based reproductive health programs on the Thai-Burma border with Ibis Reproductive Health. Maggie holds a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Fordham University School of Law, a Master of Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a B.A. from American University. Maggie is licensed to practice law in the State of California.
Ali Knight, President & CEO, Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY)
Ali has a Master of Public Administration from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Ali has an integrated approach to youth leadership, systems change, and community transformation, grounded in nearly 20 years of public service. Throughout his career, Ali has held increasingly impactful roles in policy, program administration, research evaluation, and organizational development. His commitment to supporting young people who are disconnected from school and work or are involved in the systems to become community leaders is spurred by his own childhood experience as a former foster care youth. For six years, Ali was the Chief Operating Officer at FLY and he served as the Acting CEO during Christa Gannon’s sabbatical in the spring of 2019. During his tenure as COO, FLY successfully expanded into Alameda County, the agency’s budget grew by nearly 80%, and Ali was instrumental in the launch of a new strategic plan, Imagine 2030, which provides a clear road map for FLY’s future.
Prior to joining FLY, Ali served as the Chief of Programs at Youth UpRising, an East Oakland nonprofit that provides services and programs to increase physical and mental wellbeing, community connection, educational attainment, and career achievement among youth members. Prior to that position, Ali served as the Chief ProgramOfficer at Groundwork Inc., a nonprofit that applies a family and community empowerment approach to help get youth through school and into college. Earlier experiences include serving as the Interim Executive Director of the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and working for the New York City Department of Small Business Services to design and develop criminal justice programs aimed at increasing employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records. He has also held program leadership roles at the Vera Institute of Justice. Ali lives in Alameda with his wife and two children.
Melinda Tuan, Managing Director, Fund for Shared Insight
Melinda guides and facilitates Fund for Shared Insight’s operations, communications, grantmaking, evaluation, and more. As an independent consultant to senior leadership at philanthropic organizations around the country, Melinda promotes, crafts, and implements strategies for effective philanthropy. Prior to starting her consulting practice in 2003, Melinda co-founded and ran REDF, a social venture capital fund; served as a manager at a national healthcare nonprofit; and worked as a management consultant. She enthusiastically brings her unique combination of business, leadership, evaluation, and management skills to helping mission-oriented organizations meet their goals, care for people, and better the world in which we live.
Shirin Vakharia, Director for Health & Aging, Marin Community Foundation
Shirin Vakharia currently serves as a program director for Health and Aging at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato, California. In this role, she oversees a $2.7 million portfolio and is responsible for grantmaking strategy for four initiatives. Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Vakharia worked for Napa County Health and Human Services Agency as the Prevention Coordinator. In this role, she planned and oversaw county and provider-operated substance abuse prevention, tobacco control, HIV, and mental health programs. She has a Master of Arts in Community Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati.

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This program is open to everyone.


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