Announcing Our 2019 Grant Cycle Focus Areas

Photo of Kickoff speakers

L to R: Rachel Davis, Prevention Institute; Taryn Ishida, Californians for Justice;

Vanessa Moses, Causa Justa Just Cause; Alan Kwok, Northern California Grantmakers

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives." –Audre Lorde

Last month, we launched our 2019 Grant Cycle with a kickoff convening 130 individuals for a discussion on equity and community resilience across Economic Opportunity, Health, Environment, and Education. Our speakers shared how these issue areas are interdependent and cannot be addressed in isolation, encouraging more breaking down of silos to build partnerships across issues, organizations, and sectors.

Questions we explored on the panel (video here) included:

  • How do changes in school climate and local funding build resilience?

  • How does a community resilience approach differ from traditional disaster preparedness?

  • How do we develop healthy communities without contributing to gentrification and displacement?

  • In light of community trauma, what strategies promote healing and resilience at an individual and community level?

  • What are actions we can take to make our communities and ourselves more resilient?

The theme and current zeitgeist inspired conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across all Circles and yielded hundreds of ideas. These informed the issue areas our Circles will focus on this year:

Economic Opportunity

  • Employer diversity and inclusion programs

  • Business incubation for underrepresented groups


  • Behavioral health

  • Access to healthcare

Environment & Energy

  • Access to nature

  • Clean and green infrastructure


  • Education policy

  • Early childhood education

The teams will soon begin their inquiry process where they explore these issue areas, speak with experts, and further refine their topics with the goal of identifying potential Grant Partners in April.

If you’d like to join one of these Circles and participate in our Grant Cycle, consider becoming a Member! A portion of your dues supports the unrestricted funds we give to our Grant Partners, and you’ll have an opportunity to learn about local issues with a diverse community of professionals, access supplemental training including our Board Service Fundamentals series, and work closely with nonprofits to build their capacity for greater impact.


1 Community resilience: The ability to adapt, recover, and thrive in spite of adverse events or experiences. Community resilience is rooted in community factors, such as social networks and trust; willingness to act for the community good; living wages/local assets and wealth; healthy, equitable community design and infrastructure; and healthy products and services. (Source: Prevention Institute)

2 Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI): A set of principles, goals and strategies employed to overcome disparities in access and outcomes, representation and participation by marginalized population groups. Each concept is defined separately below.

Diversity: The demographic mix of a specific collection of people, taking into account elements of human difference, including but not limited to race, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age and disability status.

Equity: Achieved when you can no longer predict an advantage or disadvantage based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability. An equity framework is a proactive, strategic approach to improving outcomes that accounts for structural differences in opportunities, burdens and needs in order to advance targeted solutions that fulfill the promise of true equality for all.

Inclusion: The degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision-making processes within an organization or group.

(Source: National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. “Power Moves: Your essential philanthropy assessment guide for equity and justice.”)

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