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Leadership in the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sectors

The Weingart Foundation will continue to use its voice, influence and resources to build a shared vision of equity that advances fairness, inclusion and opportunity for all Southern Californians. Listed below are our current strategies in these areas.

Advancing Equity

In March 2017 the Weingart Foundation brought together leaders from philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, government, business, and labor to identify opportunities for advancing fairness and inclusion in communities throughout California. At the Achieving Equity convening, the Foundation outlined four equity strategies that we would pursue, in partnership with key stakeholders. Below is a summary of our progress in each strategy area. This work continues and we look forward to sharing updates.

Data to Action: Better data and ongoing analysis is needed to guide shared strategy, support advocacy, and measure progress. The Equity Profile of the Los Angeles Region, which was released at the convening, marked the beginning of a joint project from PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) to regularly publish regional equity reports that can serve as a resource for various stakeholders. Since the convening, a table of leaders including PERE, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), Southern California Grantmakers, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, have and will continue to meet regularly to identify the development of other resources needed to drive effective action.

Regional Programming: Inspired by the convening, the three regional grantmaking associations—Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers, and San Diego Grantmakers—agreed to devote significant programming to inclusion and opportunity. Over the past year, the three associations engaged in extensive racial justice training to help them better understand how to enter into this work in a meaningful way. They collectively sponsored nearly 40 equity-focused forums and conferences, reaching over 2,000 participants.

Leadership for Movements and Youth Organizing: The Weingart Foundation pledged to explore ways to provide nonprofits with the leadership training and support they need to build grassroots power and transformative movements. After the convening, we formed an advisory group of social justice leaders and colleague funders to guide us in the development of a pilot project for movement leadership development. On a separate but coordinated track, we also began exploring opportunities to support the capacity of nonprofit organizations engaged in youth organizing. This work has been informed by landscape reviews, field interviews and analysis. Once complete, we will share these reports, as well as our plans for moving this work forward.

California Executive Roundtable: A number of California funders left the Achieving Equity convening committed to working together more systematically to move a shared vision of justice and opportunity. In 2017, the Foundation formally created the California Executive Roundtable, a group of 16 foundation leaders from across the state focused on sharing best practices and taking aligned action to advance equity. The Roundtable met for the first time in February 2018 and is identifying goals and areas of collective interest.

Strengthening Organizational Effectiveness

The Foundation will continue to exercise leadership and provide other support to improve nonprofit organizational effectiveness and sustainability by advocating for full-cost funding and improved grantmaking and contracting practices from philanthropy and government. Full-cost funding means that funders contribute towards the total range of expenses nonprofits require in order to deliver on mission and be sustainable over the long-term.

  • Toward this end, we support the work of Philanthropy California in building the skills of nonprofit organizations to better understand, calculate and advocate for full cost recovery from both private and public funders. This work also includes education, advocacy, and skills building to encourage private foundations to support the full costs of project grants through their policies and practices.

  • We continue to support the California Association of Nonprofits’ efforts to ensure that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance, which reforms how nonprofits recover indirect costs, are fully and properly implemented at the statewide and county levels.

  • The Foundation continues to partner with the California Association of Nonprofits, Southern California Grantmakers and Los Angeles County in developing a pilot program for improving the administration of county indirect cost rates with nonprofit contractors.

  • The Foundation is supporting Phase Two of the Full Cost Pilot Project to continue to support and advocate for full cost funding across the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Led by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, Phase Two will explore the impact of the first phase of the full cost work focusing on the ability of the twelve pilot cohort participants to improve their operations, fundraising efforts and/or outcomes. A report of the findings and learnings would be externally disseminated.

  • We continue to participate in and provide support for activities of field-building organizations that work to improve nonprofit and philanthropic effectiveness.