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Real Relationships: Coaching Skills to Cut the BS

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 -
8:30am to 12:30pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360, San Francisco
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Many people come to work as program officers wanting to support change and “do good” in the world. Along the way, owing to foundation restraints and changes in priorities and available grant funds, staff can become overwhelmed, even disillusioned, and lose their capacity to communicate honestly with grantees. The pressures of day-to-day grantmaking, the difficulty of managing scarce resources and the competition among non-profit organizations for funding can make it hard to think more creatively about our relationships with grantees, or funding strategies that build movements and change the world.

Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) and Bay Area Justice Funders Network (BAJFN) invite you to a half-day experiential training that will augment your skills as a program officer. This half-day experiential training will be led by three faculty members from Leadership that Works (LTW), an international coaching training school with a focus on coaching through an awareness of the impact of power, race, culture and privilege. This training will introduce foundation staff to:

  • Coaching best practices, and how to support grantees to profoundly enhance their effectiveness.
  • How to reduce tensions between grantees and funders and other collaborative partners.
  • How to execute action plans while honoring the values of both grantees and funders.
  • Your “coaching mindset” that will encourage grantees to think outside the box, tap into their resourcefulness and implement powerful change.


“There is a growing recognition in the foundation of how coaching can be a powerful tool to support the impact of our grantee partners. It’s an approach already used by many of the capacity builder partners who work with our grantees.  Coaching is being embedded into the training of our own grantmaking staff, and in turn it is elemental in how we interact with grantees. We’re beginning to employ better listening skills through the formation of better questions of our grantee partners, leading to more honest conversations.”

- Vera de Vera, Director, Community Building Initiative & Nonprofit Sustainability at the California Community Foundation


Kim Fowler, PCC, ORSCC, is a certified coach, trainer and facilitator. She was on faculty of the Coach’s Training Institute from 2007-2015 and has been on faculty of Leadership that Works since 2011.  Kim coaches individuals, executives, partnerships and teams toward effective, values-driven performance. Her coaching focus is on leadership development through a racial and cultural lens. Kim is a former Assistant Director of Grants for the Arts of the SF Hotel Tax Fund and was Executive Director of Theater Artaud. She just published “All Will Be Well: A Memoir of Love and Dementia,” a book about the impact on her family of her mother’s stroke and subsequent dementia.


Ernest Mark, PCC is a LTW member who brings over fifteen years of experience as an executive coach and organizational development consultant in the social justice sector. Working with people in transition, Ernest helps his clients connect with their passion, values and what's most important in life with an awareness of body, stance and presence. Ernest received a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University. He has presented at conferences hosted by the International Coach Federation, Association of Black Foundation Executives and Leadership that Works.


Leadership that Works

Leadership that Works (LTW) has a rich and respected history in coaching and coach training.  LTW is an innovator in the coaching field and was a lead partner in the Coaching and Philanthropy Project (CAP), created to assess and advance coaching as a strategy for building effective nonprofit organizations. LTW has used the results from CAP, as well as the experience of its highly skilled faculty, to develop specific competencies for the nonprofit and social justice sector, including coaching with an awareness of power, culture, race and privilege. LTW’s Coaching for Community Transformation brings coaching certification training into nonprofit organizations and develops leaders to continue the training in their surrounding communities.

Targeted Audience and Registration

NCG and BAJFN are pleased to co-host this training at no cost to members.  Capacity is limited to the first 25 members who RSVP, first come, first served. Preference will be given to individuals who are members of both NCG and BAJFN. Please register by emailing You will receive an email confirmation.

While this program is best suited for programmatic staff at grantmaking institutions, it will be valuable for anyone who is interested in coaching as a way to deepen relationships and achieve more, together.


This event is RSVP only. To RSVP email Registrar at