Community Leadership Project Convening: December 2015

In 2009, the Packard, Hewlett, and Irvine Foundations launched the Community Leadership Project, which began as a three-year, $10 million initiative, but was expanded to a six-year, $20 million joint initiative. The goal was to increase the sustainability of small organizations serving low-income people and communities of color in three regions of California: the Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, and the Central Coast.

Over those six years, we have learned a great deal and, we hope, helped to significantly strengthen a wide variety of great organizations. Recently, the Community Leadership Project held its final gathering to share what we have learned, celebrate successes, and explore new opportunities for partnering with organizations that are doing vital work to serve low income communities and communities of color.

More than 65 organizations, including community grantees, intermediary organizations, and the Packard, Hewlett, and Irvine foundations, came together in a day-long meeting in Salinas to discuss a wide range of topics, including financial sustainability, leadership, communications, and how to continue to build a strong network of community-based nonprofit organizations, among others.

It was a great way to re-connect, take stock of the initiative, and perhaps most importantly, make plans for how to continue to serve California communities.

We have always tried to be very open to listening to new ideas from the field, and in the year ahead, we will be setting up more ways for organizations to provide feedback and recommendations that could shape new initiatives and partnerships that build on the Community Leadership Project’s great work.