The Catalytic Philanthropy Podcast
Bonnie Gonzalez — A Foundation Leader Serves as Mentor and Coach in Her Community

Bonnie Gonzalez — A Foundation Leader Serves as Mentor and Coach in Her Community

November 23, 2021

Working on health access and economic development on the Texas - Mexico border, Bonnie Gonzalez uses her mentoring and coaching skills to help community members fulfill their goals, and realize their full potential. Hear how a foundation leader plays a mentoring role to build capacity and leadership in her community.

 

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Bonnie was named founding chief executive officer for Knapp Community Care Foundation in late 2013. KCCF invests in prevention/wellness, direct health services, health related education and behavioral health. Bonnie has been involved in public and higher education, health care, and public nonprofit work throughout her career. She is currently on the board for Philanthropy Southwest, advisory board for Western Governor’s University-Texas, and Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Diane Brown — How Community Participation Amplifies a Foundation‘s Work

Diane Brown — How Community Participation Amplifies a Foundation‘s Work

November 23, 2021

A small foundation with four staff amplifies its work by engaging dozens of community members from all walks of life - government, business, civic, and nonprofit. Diane Brown explains how she and colleagues structure the work of volunteers, and make participation meaningful and fulfilling. As an example, the foundation collaborated with nonprofits and city leaders to establish a social purpose grocery store in a neighborhood without access to fresh food.

 

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Bio: A life-long resident of the Binghamton NY area, Diane Brown has been involved in nonprofit and community service for over 40 years. Currently she is chair of the board of New York State Habitat and has led the Community Foundation for South Central New York since 2006.

Michael Weinberg — Advocating for State-Level Systems Change Part 3: Tips for Getting Started

Michael Weinberg — Advocating for State-Level Systems Change Part 3: Tips for Getting Started

October 4, 2021

Michael Weinberg reflects on what he learned working in a successful advocacy coalition over several years, and shares tips for how foundations of any size can lay the ground to catalyze significant policy-level change on issues they care about. 

 

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Bio: Michael Weinberg is a Policy Officer at the Thornburg Foundation. His previous roles include program evaluation manager for New Mexico’s Legislative Finance Committee, public school teacher, and principal. Michael earned his doctorate in education from the University of New Mexico and lives in Albuquerque with his wife and two teenage daughters.

Michael's blogs:

Michael Weinberg — Advocating for State-Level Systems Change Part 2: The Power of Joining a Coalition

Michael Weinberg — Advocating for State-Level Systems Change Part 2: The Power of Joining a Coalition

October 4, 2021

A coalition is a powerful way for a group of foundations to learn together and build skills to do advocacy. Each member brings a different and valuable perspective. Michael Weinberg shares how a group of funders he brought together in New Mexico on early childhood got involved in advocacy, built relationships and trust with the state's legislature, and helped catalyze long-term public investments in the state's children and families.

 

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Bio: Michael Weinberg is a Policy Officer at the Thornburg Foundation. His previous roles include program evaluation manager for New Mexico’s Legislative Finance Committee, public school teacher, and principal. Michael earned his doctorate in education from the University of New Mexico and lives in Albuquerque with his wife and two teenage daughters.

Michael's blogs:

Janis Reischmann — Convening Nurtures Community and Powerful Ideas

Janis Reischmann — Convening Nurtures Community and Powerful Ideas

August 9, 2021

Over the course of 12 years, the Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation in Hawai'i convened a group of organizations working in a new approach to education focused on the environment. Over time, the foundation and its partners nurtured and developed this emerging field through peer learning, developing different models of program delivery, and demonstrating impact. Organizations around the state are taking notice, creating the potential for larger numbers of children and youth to benefit. Learn how convening, a strategy available to the smallest foundations, can help catalyze large-scale change.

 

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Bio: Janis has served as the Executive Director of Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation in Honolulu, Hawai‘i since April, 2008, and joined its board in 2011. Before coming to the foundation, she served as Vice President of Hawai`i Community Foundation and was the principal of a consulting practice focused on organizational development. She has masters degrees in social work and in business administration. Her home is on O‘ahu in Nu‘uanu with her husband and two dogs.

Doug Bauer — See the Big Picture, Become a Player in Your State

Doug Bauer — See the Big Picture, Become a Player in Your State

August 9, 2021

Catalytic funders work to understand the ecosystem of their issue or community. They find out what grantees need to perform well and be strong and sustainable. Doug Bauer talks about how listening also allows him to understand the relationship between the nonprofit and public sectors in New York State, and how engaging with diverse organizations connects him to this big ecosystem. By engaging constantly with other funders and networks, Doug becomes an active participant in the policy landscape, and empowers his foundation to play a role in making sure billions of dollars in state and federal money is spent in ways that are accountable to people in the community.

 

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Bio: Doug is the Executive Director The Clark, Scriven and Fernleigh Foundations in New York. Doug has more than 20 years of experience in the field of philanthropy and currently serves three foundations. The Clark Foundation focuses on helping individuals to lead independent and productive lives and supports nonprofits and programs in New York City and Cooperstown, NY. Doug is also executive director of The Scriven and Fernleigh Foundations.

Phil Li — Trust Puts You in a Learning Stance

Phil Li — Trust Puts You in a Learning Stance

July 29, 2021

A powerful thing happens when philanthropists demonstrate humility through listening and respect - they earn trust. Trust allows funders to learn how they can support grantees to do bold, ambitious work. Trust also builds relationships with partners who are essential to advocacy and systems change. Phil Li, one of the country's foremost champions of a trust-based approach to philanthropy, explores how power dynamics undermine trust, and offers first steps to building strong, mutually beneficial relationships with grantees.

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Bio: Phil is president of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, which aims to create a more just and vibrant New York. Previously, he worked on Wall Street and ran a nonprofit. Phil serves on the board of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and was board chair of Philanthropy New York.

Michael Weinberg — Advocating for State-Level Systems Change Part 1

Michael Weinberg — Advocating for State-Level Systems Change Part 1

May 6, 2021

Small, place-based foundations are uniquely positioned to make change in the policy arena. In this three-part Podcast, Michael Weinberg chronicles the Thornburg Foundation's move into advocacy, the first steps, the unfolding journey, and what the advocacy coalition ended up accomplishing, which surpassed expectations. Michael explores how successful advocacy work is grounded in research and data, collaboration, and focused persistence. 

Part 2 will be published in June.

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Bio: Michael Weinberg is a Policy Officer at the Thornburg Foundation. His previous roles include program evaluation manager for New Mexico’s Legislative Finance Committee, public school teacher, and principal. Michael earned his doctorate in education from the University of New Mexico and lives in Albuquerque with his wife and two teenage daughters.

Michael's blogs:

Sheena Solomon — The Power of Proximity

Sheena Solomon — The Power of Proximity

May 6, 2021

The Gifford Foundation is small, but its dedication to listening gives it a very big presence in Syracuse, New York. Executive Director Sheena Solomon sees listening to community members and building trust as a mindset; she calls it "Proximity." Proximity empowers Sheena and her staff to be better at the capacity building work they specialize in. Sheena wants to know what nonprofits' real needs are, and she wants to hear directly from diverse community members. Learn how Proximity helps the Gifford Foundation not just pursue Equity, but embody Equity in all its work. 

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Bio: Sheena Solomon is Executive Director of the Gifford Foundation in Syracuse, New York. She has been instrumental in the design and planning of Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders, a leadership development training that focuses on increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of nonprofit boards. Sheena is passionate about fostering growth in others. Sheena also serves on local and national boards such as You Can’t Fail Inc, the Syracuse Economic Development Corporation, and The Near Westside Initiative. In her role as Executive Director she remains fully committed and engaged in racial justice and equity work.

John Richardson — Finding and Supporting Breakthrough Ideas Part 2

John Richardson — Finding and Supporting Breakthrough Ideas Part 2

April 28, 2021

A challenge for people with promising ideas is to have someone believe in their work and offer the first grant. Philanthropy has the freedom to provide this risk capital, and small foundations excel in early-stage funding, backing ideas that later attract the attention of large foundations and government. Meet a small funder whose purpose is to find creative entrepreneurs in the environmental and energy fields, and provide early support -- plus the encouragement -- to begin turning powerful ideas into reality. 

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Bio: John is the founding executive director of Blackstone Ranch Institute, which provides early seed grants and strategic advice to emergent initiatives across a broad array of environmental and sustainability fronts. During the 1990s he was a global troubleshooter for UNICEF, where he investigated the effectiveness of their role in the world’s most complex humanitarian relief operations.

John's blogs:

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