About Us

The Community Leadership Project is an effort to strengthen grassroots organizations that serve low-income people and communities of color in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley. The David and Lucile Packard, James Irvine, and William and Flora Hewlett foundations have long traditions of supporting diverse and low-income communities. We believe that this grantmaking is critical to our missions.

The first phase of the Community Leadership Project launched in April 2009 and continued through December 2012. It was underwritten with $10 million from the three foundations, with the goal to build the capacity of community-based grantees. Twenty-seven intermediaries provided substantial support to 100 small organizations. They also offered trainings, workshops and leadership development opportunities to more than 300 additional leaders and organizations.

A midpoint evaluation by Social Policy Research Associates showed meaningful progress in a variety of areas. Building on the success of the first phase of this work, a second phase of the Community Leadership Project began in late 2012.

For this second phase, the Community Leadership Project refined its vision and adopted a more focused goal of working to increase the sustainability of a new set of small, community-based organizations. The three funders believe sustainability involves three elements: strong leadership, stable finances and the ability to adapt. Additional details about Phase 2 assumptions, goals, strategies and anticipated outcomes are available in our logic model (PDF).

In this second phase, the Community Leadership Project will award $8 million in grants to five regranting intermediary organizations through 2015. Each community grantee selected by a regranting organization will receive funding of at least $60,000 over three years. An additional $20,000 will be available for leadership and technical assistance.

Below is a map of target counties and organizations serving those areas.


View CLP All: Intermediaries and Grantees (Phase 2) in a larger map

CLP Funders

The Hewlett, Irvine and Packard foundations are proud of the work of Community Leadership Project grantees, and value supporting leadership development, networking and other innovative strategies to improve community conditions in high-need areas of the state. The foundations will continue to meet and discuss ways that they can live these values and goals in their individual work, as well as potentially partner with one another in the future.

The Hewlett Foundation will also continue its longstanding efforts to support disadvantaged communities through its programmatic work. For example, the Hewlett Foundation's Education program supports reform in some of the region's most troubled schools to improve the quality of education, and its Population program makes grants in the San Francisco Bay Area and California's Central Valley to reduce teen pregnancy—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

In addition to the Irvine Foundation’s other grantmaking in these regions, Irvine also funded the Irvine New Leadership Network in Fresno to bring together diverse leaders across issues, sectors and generations, to learn, build relationships and collaborate in ways that improve their region. That effort has concluded, and the Irvine Foundation is now exploring other ways to support grantees and communities in under-served regions.

And the Packard Foundation’s Local Grantmaking Program encompasses five counties surrounding the Foundation—San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey—with a focus on nonprofits in the arts, children and youth, conservation and science, food and shelter, and population and reproductive health. The Organizational Effectiveness Program also helps current Packard Foundation grantees build core strengths in areas like strategic and business planning, financial management, board and executive leadership, and communications.

View Material From Phase 1