Generating ideas, connections, and action

Creating Sustainable Social Change: Step 1

Courtesy of Maria Ramos-Chertok
Mayacamas Ranch, Calistoga, CA October 2013
Rockwood Art of Leadership: Women in Racial Justice

A subgroup of these women worked on the Charter for Humanizing the Social Sector

At the end of October, I participated in the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership for Women Leaders in Racial Justice and Human Rights, in Calistoga, CA. Twenty-seven women (including myself) and two facilitators learned, laughed, and connected deeply during a weeklong training. I participated to learn more about leadership development in practice, as well as to take a moment for self-reflection and evaluation. I can feel the change in myself and have been able to see others through a very different lens; having a deeper understanding of what impact leadership development can have on people and their organizations. There are countless moments of learning, but one particular conversation struck me very deeply. It was a collective conversation in a small group looking for long-term Personal Ecology strategies to maintain a lifetime of commitment to the social sector.

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Emerging Leaders and Social Impact

Leadership as a Process

We recently had the opportunity to present at the Funders Network on Population Reproductive Health & Rights meeting in San Diego, CA as part of the Global Youth Leadership and Engagement Work group session. We really valued the opportunity to present to that group because we recognized that there was a strong alignment between our work. At LLC, we are working to promote a metashift in the way that we think about leadership (more inclusive, networked, and collective) to make greater impact on complex challenges. We believe that this change will help support how emerging leaders and innovators are realizing their potential, and creating openness for their work and contributions. During the presentation, we talked about what leadership as a process looks like, and how emerging leaders are working to advance social impact: focusing on collaboration, establishing partnerships, taking risks, and challenging traditional hierarchical structures. We also discussed how leadership development can support emerging leaders in the work, by providing skills, connections and visibility. 

In the next couple of months, we will continue to explore this topic and host a webinar to share these ideas with our community. read more »

Rooted in Love: Reflections on National Philanthropy Day

At its root, philanthropy means “love of humanity.” It is further defined as “the desire to promote the welfare of others expressed by the generous donation of money to good causes.” In practice, this is evident in our communities where money, time, and talent are offered to help foster change, and promote equity and opportunity. Every year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) hosts National Philanthropy Day, a tribute to philanthropists and fundraisers who are changing the world. The AFP Golden Gate Chapter organized the event on November 4th, highlighting the exceptional work of nine individuals who are leaders and change makers. With more than 800 guests, National Philanthropy Day was a tremendous success. However, the success came not from the size of the event but the networks being developed throughout the philanthropic community – including those collaborating both on the donor side and the nonprofit organizations who benefit from their investments; that foster the change our communities, schools, economies, and individuals are determined to make happen.

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Join the Boston Learning Circle: Hear the Energy Action Network (Vermont) Story

Join the Boston Learning Circle:
Hear the Energy Action
Network (Vermont) Story

Friday, December 13, 2013 read more »

LLC MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Learning Cluster Organizers Alex Carter and Jenifer Wagley

We proudly Spotlight two participants of this year’s Creating Space X who have generously accepted the challenge of organizing a learning cluster around the topic of Leadership and Networks: Alex Carter of the Safe Spaces Project, and Jenifer Wagley of Avenue CDC. We were fortunate to catch up with both Alex and Jenifer this month to hear about their current work and the stories of how they arrived there. We also get their thoughts on self-organizing as they launch the Learning Cluster. Check out last month’s Spotlight on Learning Cluster Organizers: Cheryl D. Fields and Mary Stelletello, to hear more about these informal virtual learning meetings. We encourage you to join the upcoming Learning Cluster call. If you are interested in organizing or participating in a Learning Cluster, contact

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The Bare Basics of Budgeting

At the end of September, I attended CompassPoint’s Budgeting for Programs, Grants, and the Organization Training with Sarah Gort. Although I have been monitoring and creating financial reports for LLC for over a year, this session gave me concrete tools and challenged me to continue to improve LLC’s financial monitoring to ensure sound management of our finances and promoting sustainability.


Most people get overwhelmed by numbers and want to run away from the process. Yet, money is what allows our organizations to keep the doors open, foster staff talent, and produce the important work that leads to social change. It does take effort, but these simple approaches can take the financial headaches out of our organizations and ensure sustainability.

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Is the Pipeline Metaphor Serving us Well?

We are excited to be writing the story of a program called On the Verge that is developing young leaders in Napa who are launching programs for emancipated youth, LGBTQ youth, young teachers and young parents. Many of these programs are being incubated through an umbrella organization, On The Move (OTM). We approached On the Verge about collaborating on a case study because we were excited about the impact the program was having on schools, neighborhoods, and its success in creating opportunities for young people to lead. Napa has a large Latino population (33%) and yet people of color are significantly underrepresented in leadership positions in business, government and the non-profit sector. On the Verge hopes to change this and has some big dreams about shifting the leadership demographics in Napa over the next ten years.

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Welcome New Philanthropy and Partnerships Manager, Elizabeth Lanyon!

If you have been following LLC’s transition and restructuring series, we have been implanting new strategies these past few months, which come at the recommendation of our board. Our board strongly suggested it was time to try something new to build LLC’s capacity to deliver on some very ambitious goals for 2017 – stay tuned for more info!


Earlier this summer, we conducted a successful search for a development staff member. With the support and guidance of CompassPoint, LLC was able to move forward on one of our goals and recruit an amazing Philanthropy and Partnerships Manager. Elizabeth Lanyon was interviewed by the entire LLC team and was a big thumbs up all around. She brings an impressive background in fund development, which we share below. We are impressed with her entrepreneurial spirit, a “can do” enthusiasm, a social change ethos and history of advocating for youth. read more »

Nonprofit Leadership Newsbrief: Power and Mindfulness in Leadership, October 2013

This month’s newsletter will take power and mindfulness, as it relates to leadership development, under its microscope. At Creating Space X 2013, we discussed how leadership is in a state of transition; that “wicked problems” or complicated problems of our age, such as climate change, income inequality, racial bias etc., will require a different kind of leadership to solve. This is a topic that most recently, UK actor and now guest Editor of the progressive New Statesmen magazine, Russell Brand, has recently taken to discussing. In this short soundbite from an Interview, he very passionately calls for a change in leadership and strategies to combat these wicked problems. We think it’s worth sharing!


This newsletter will examine the issues of power as it relates to leadership to combat these wicked problems. As we prepare to face the transition how can we re-orient our understanding and relation to power; how might we re-imagine power? read more »

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