Beyond Demo Day- The 2016

By Fernande Legros, Full Circle Fund Program Officer

On Wednesday, November 30th, 400 Members, guests, and supporters of Full Circle Fund descended on SF Jazz to celebrate the power of leveraging cross-sector partnerships to accelerate social change. We heard from our 7 amazing nonprofit partners, each of whom charged our community with several steps they could take to further their impactful work - from joining as a strategic partner, to donating a hoodie to keep someone warm this winter, to sponsoring a teacher learning program, or lending a hand on a solar project for a nonprofit organization. The theme of “intersection” was beautifully weaved through Nikki Silvestri’s remarkable keynote speech, which emphasized the power of engaging others with diverse experiences, and the hard and nuanced, but rewarding work of building community.

Intersection - that is where the Full Circle Fund community thrives. Reflecting the belief that together we can do more, our Members responded to our grant partners’ call in various and sometimes unexpected ways this year. What couldn’t fit in the 5-minute pitches were the stories of bi-weekly meetings, the stakeholder interviews, the long hours scoping projects, the connections made at Idea Lab and new insights gained, the calls reviewing financial statements and strategic plans, and the tireless hours spent crafting the partner pitches.

How did our members leave their marks on the Bay Area in 2016?

They did so by…

  • Developing a thorough and strong messaging kit that allows Lotus Bloom to tell a more cohesive story about its work and speak to various audiences

  • Providing recommendations backed by user insights to strengthen and expand East Bay College Fund’s mentor recruitment strategy and provide a framework for meeting its growth targets

  • Researching and evaluating potential models for mainstreaming the Mills Teacher Program and set its strategic direction

  • Producing a crowdfunding toolkit for RE-volv to enable anyone to raise funds for a solar project for a nonprofit in their community

  • Assessing Seacology’s travel program and making recommendations to stabilize and grow this long-standing and crucial fundraising program

  • Creating a strategic communications briefing and resource toolkit for The Conscious Kitchen as it looks to expand into new schools

  • Researching and determining the type of van, pricing range, and retrofit needs to make the Project Homeless Connect CareVan a reality. The CareVan project has recently been awarded a $100,000 grant from and will launch in March 2017.

Beyond the project hours and grant contributions, our nonprofit partners received an additional $2500 grant via the Accelerator Fund and 15 hours of executive leadership and pitch training by Trium. We also want to recognize the many others who participated in researching and vetting our nonprofit Partners. Again and again, our community has shown that we are up to the current moment.This year’s Demo Day was ultimately a great reminder that the leaders we need are already among us. Our commitment in the past 16 years, today, and in the long road ahead is to continue deepening our connections to and catalyzing these transformational leaders to greater success.

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