Participation, Power and Philanthropy: Putting Nonprofits and Communities in the Driver’s Seat

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 -
9:00am to 4:00pm PST
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360 | San Francisco, CA 94105
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As grantmakers, our desire to have a positive impact on the communities we serve fuels our work. In order to create the greatest impact, we must work side-by-side with nonprofits and communities to solve problems and determine the most effective path forward. But what does it look like to have nonprofits and communities drive our work? How much participation is required to center our work on what the community tells us it needs? How can we be advocates for this approach to philanthropy? This full-day workshop will answer these questions.

Through individual reflection, group activities, peer coaching, and discussion, this hands-on workshop will help you assess how nonprofits and communities currently participate in your work. We will begin by discussing the importance of examining participation through diversity, equity, and inclusion lenses. You will leave with tools to help your organization plan for three important “W’s” of participation: when participation is important, who should participate, and what participation could look like. We will end our day with dedicated time to reflect on the role you can play in creating opportunities for participation moving forward.

Join us to:

  • Gain an understanding of why participation is a critical component of all of the work that you do
  • Assess how diversity, equity, and inclusion might influence participation
  • Use different tools, resources, and frameworks to foster greater participation with nonprofits and communities
  • Develop a plan to help your organization with its participation efforts

The workshop will be presented by Grantmakers for Effective Organization's (GEO) Emily Wexler, Director, Programs and Aerial Reese, Program Specialist. Don’t miss the opportunity to step away from the day-to-day and spend time thinking about this critical issue. 

Target Audience

This workshop is open to NCG and GEO members.


Aerial Reese, Program Specialist, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Aerial Reese is a program specialist ensuring high-quality peer learning, speaking engagements, publications and other programming. Aerial is also a member of GEO’s internal diversity, equity and inclusion working group.

Prior to joining GEO, Aerial worked at Alliance for Justice to develop and implement a national outreach and communications strategy for a film campaign about federal courts and unions. She also brings to GEO a background in policy, legislative advocacy and organizing.

Aerial currently serves as the Chair of Diversity and Inclusion for the Women’s Information Network. Aerial graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a minor in women’s studies from Agnes Scott College. While in college, Aerial led successful workers’ rights campaigns on her campus, including the unionization of all campus dining hall and maintenance staff.

Emily Wexler, Director of Programs, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Emily Wexler is a director on GEO’s program team. She previously served as a project specialist for the Scaling What Works initiative and has been with GEO since June 2011. In her current position Emily develops and delivers content for GEO peer learning, speaking engagements, publications and other programming.

Prior to joining GEO Emily received her master of public policy from Duke University’s Terry Sanford School of Public Policy. During her time at the Sanford School, Emily focused on the use of communities and research to design effective social policies and programs. In particular, she worked with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for her Master’s project to provide strategy and analysis on how to successfully implement data collection tools in North Carolina’s domestic violence and sexual assault agencies.

Before she received her MPP, Emily worked as a community organizer and policy analyst in Vermont. In this role, she worked on issues ranging from childhood hunger to access to affordable health care. In particular, in her work with the People Improving Communities Through Organizing Network (PICO) Emily collaborated with community leaders to conduct a public action to galvanize the state’s policymakers to protect critical components of the state’s social welfare program safety net.

Emily is an alumna of Princeton University’s Emerging Leaders Program and serves as a board volunteer with a housing first organization in Northeast Washington, D.C.

This event is co-sponsored by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO).