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New Grantmakers Institute: Grantmaking for the 21st Century

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 8:30am to Friday, October 28, 2016 - 5:00pm PDT
The James Irvine Foundation
One Bush Street, Suite 800, San Francisco
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Training Details

This is a three-day training taking place on Thursday and Friday, September 29 and 30, 2016 AND Friday, October 28, 2016.


The learning curve for new grantmakers can be considerable! Even grantmakers with a few years of experience may still be unclear on the legal aspects of grantmaking or how to spot the red flags in grantee financial statements, not to mention how to navigate the power dynamics involved in the field, or how to build a career in philanthropy.

If you're new to philanthropy, or interested in sharpening your skills, NCG's signature program, New Grantmakers Institute: Grantmaking for the 21st Century, helps build your framework for best practices for ethical and effective grantmaking, and helps you place yourself within this ecosystem you are a part of. 

In this three-day highly interactive workshop (first two days in the end of September, then a four-week break, followed by one day in the end of October to reconvene), participants have the opportunity to engage with their peers around opportunities and challenges of grantmaking: identifying key factors in making funding decisions, and understanding expectations and core tensions of their role as foundation staff. In addition to developing a network of peers, participants will have a rare opportunity to hear directly from philanthropic leaders and become familiar with resources available to support their continued professional development.

Join Us To:

Explore the core curriculum, based on the Minnesota Council on Foundations's Grantmaking for the 21st Century. The curriculum includes:

  • An overview of the history and context of philanthropy
  • Financial and legal analysis skill building
  • An exploration of power and privilege
  • An overview of evaluating impact
  • Tools for personal and professional growth

Sessions are designed to be interactive and discussion-oriented to provide attendees with expertise needed to thrive in philanthropy. Participants will receive a comprehensive set of curriculum materials and additional learning resources.

Learn More

Find out what new grantmakers had to say after last years training in Spotlight on New Grantmakers.


Dana Kawaoka-Chen, Network Director, Bay Area Justice Funders Network

Dana is a Yonsei (4th Generation Japanese American) who came into consciousness in the 8th grade, upon reading in her U.S. History textbook that "Japanese Americans were interned for their safety." Since that moment, Dana has sought to consciously address inequity. While working to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degrees in American Studies and Visual Art, Dana was a student organizer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She transitioned from campus organizing to community organizing via Justice Matters and was an electoral organizer for the NO on 38 - No on School Vouchers campaign. Dana served as the Executive Director of Public Allies Silicon Valley, the local chapter of a national leadership development organization for young people. She also served as the Executive Director for a community development credit union in West Oakland prior to her work as Capacity Building Manager at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), where she supported grassroots groups in two grantmaking programs.

Now, as the Network Director for the Bay Area Justice Funders Network, Dana works to: create more authentic partnerships between community leaders and funders; connect funders across issues; and organize funders to leverage more resources for Social Justice issues and movement. Dana is an elected member of LeaderSpring's Leadership Council.  She has a Masters of Science degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco and Non-Profit Management Certification from San Jose State University.

Jara Dean-Coffey, MPH, jdcPartnerships

For more than 20 years, Jara has strengthened the efforts of leaders in philanthropic, public, and social sector organizations by supporting the implementation of practices that integrate a rigorous outcomes framework in all aspects of strategy and operations. Her approach reflects a commitment to equity and an understanding of the systematic and structural barriers her clients seek to address. Jara’s understanding of the nuances of politics and human dynamics influence decision-making and enable her to create safe environments where clients can acknowledge and explore their reality while moving forward, better aligned within their organization and more aware of where they fit within the larger ecosystem. She has created many of the processes and tools used by jdcPartenerships and is a frequent speaker at conferences.

Jara holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a BA in Communications and Political Science from Temple University, and a certificate in Organizational Development and Evaluation from Fielding Graduate University. She serves on the Advisory Body of the Center for Evaluation Innovation in Washington, DC.

Kerstin Frailey, Director of Data Science, GuideStar

Kerstin is the Director of Data Science at GuideStar. GuideStar powers the social sector by providing better access to better information for a better world. Kerstin advances GuideStar’s mission by analyzing and surfacing insights from the world’s largest source of information about US nonprofits. Her analysis leverages progressive machine learning algorithms alongside traditional statistical methods on data that encompasses the nonprofit sector. She earned her Bachelors in psychology and anthropology at Yale University, received her Masters degrees in Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was a University of Chicago data science fellow and is completing her doctoral research in statistics at Cornell University. She is a Chicagoland native and has worked towards reducing recidivism through education in prisons. 

David Greco, Managing Partner, Social Sector Partners

A nationally recognized speaker, author and consultant on creating a more financially sustainable and effective social sector, David Greco brings more than 25 years of experience in in driving the growth and impact of social sector organizations.  

David regularly presents as national conferences such as BoardSource, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Independent Sector, Social Enterprise Alliance, Association of Corporate Contribution Professionals, and Exponent Philanthropy as well as numerous local and regional conferences. He has provided training for staff and grantees for dozens of foundations including the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Flora & William Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Ford Family Foundation, Greater New Orleans Foundation, and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

David is currently leading the Real Cost Project a statewide initiative that aims to increase the number of funders providing real cost funding.  Most recently, he served as Interim President and CEO for Northern California Grantmakers and led their efforts to launch a new strategic direction and business model.  Previously, he was the Vice President of the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) for more than 5 years and Vice President of the Youth Leadership Institute.  David also worked as the Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager for the National Wildlife Federation, and Director of Programs for the Horatio Alger Association. 

He serves on the board of Social Venture Partners Los Angeles and on the Southern California Advisory Board for Opportunity Fund. He is the author of "Nonprofit Financial Management" featured in "Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals" edited by Darian Heyman.  David served for ten years in the Air Force and Air Force Reserves and earned his M.A. in Political Science from Villanova University and B.S. in History & Politics from Drexel University. 

Pia Infante, Co-Executive Director of The Whitman Institute

Pia’s previous work as an organizational consultant and coach helped further equity-driven efforts nationwide for fifteen years. Just prior to her current role, Pia was the Director of Organizational Partnerships at Rockwood Leadership Institute, where she served on the senior leadership team and led a capacity building initiative for nationally recognized progressive movement leaders. Pia is currently the Board Chair of the Center for Media Justice, lead faculty for the IDEX Academy, and co-creator of the seminal "Organizational Development for Social Change" framework.

Pia is an ICF certified executive leadership coach, holds a M.A. in Education from the New School for Social Research, and a B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. 

Tony Rodriguez, Director of Business Development, GuideStar

Tony is responsible for earned revenue, licensing, partnerships and alliances for the West Coast. Early in his tenure at GuideStar he was instrumental in informing new products and performing account management functions for large customers. He regularly gets to work with the Bay Area's most innovative companies and organizations in formulating products and services for social impact. His professional background has included director positions in hospitality design and consulting firms and technology start-ups focused on leveraging Web-based software in design and construction management. His service in the nonprofit sector includes a leadership role as vice president of the board of directors for Youth Speaks, Inc. based in San Francisco. Additionally, he serves on the advisory boards of several nonprofits and is often invited to participation in early stage planning sessions by nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. Tony earned a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. When he's not at the office, you can find Tony enjoying his extracurricular activities such as trail running, attending poetry slams, backpacking, mountaineering and photography.

Julia Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, OneJustice 

As Chief Executive Officer, I am responsible for leading OneJustice’s statewide network of 100+ nonprofit legal organizations, law firms, law schools and businesses that together provide life-changing legal assistance to over 270,000 low-income Californians each year. In addition to my executive responsibilities at OneJustice, I enjoy traveling around California providing training and consulting support to the executives and boards of the legal nonprofit organizations in OneJustice’s network. My areas of expertise include designing innovative pro bono delivery systems and building effective and engaging board governance, including training board members how to be joyful “sparkplug” friend- and fund-raisers for their organizations. In 2012, I was named by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 100 Attorneys in recognition of my work at OneJustice.

I started my legal career in 1998 as an Equal Justice Works (then NAPIL) Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, providing free legal assistance to low-income residents with a focus on serving very young children with disabilities. I became Directing Attorney and then Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County’s first-ever Pro Bono Coordinator, developing and launching Legal Aid’s pro bono programs, which still continue to this day. From 2005 to early 2013, I served as the shared executive director of both OneJustice and its sister organization, the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC). In this capacity, I led statewide advocacy efforts on behalf of the legal services delivery system, undertook multiple statewide strategic planning initiatives, and served as the legal services community’s liaison to key access to justice partners. During this period, I received a 2010 CLAY (California Lawyer of the Year) Award from California Lawyer magazine for my work on the successful passage of AB 590 (Feuer), which created the Shriver Civil Counsel Act to increase representation for low-income Californians in civil matters affecting basic life necessities. I graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. in Linguistics and with honors from Stanford Law School. I really love playing indoor and outdoor soccer and roots for two soccer teams – FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspurs. I live in Pacifica with my husband, Michael, and my two teenage daughters.

Join Us on Twitter!

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

Speakers and Participating Organizations