First Impressions With The Peery Foundation

Part of my job as Program Assistant at the Peery Foundation is to field calls and general emails that come into the office.  I love to talk to people that are passionate about their work and strive to make the world a better place. Here is an informal list of observations of what makes a successful first call with us...

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Now We Are 5

Did we break the record for longest hiring process ever? Probably not, but after 1.5 years of interviewing and searching for the right candidate it certainly felt like we should have earned a world record. On January 2nd we welcomed our fifth team member, Jayson Morris. Jayson will be heading up our Regional and...

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Initial Impressions of Life on the Foundation Side

At the beginning of January, Jayson joined the Peery Foundation as our Social Entrepreneurship Portfolio Director, overseeing our Regional and Global Portfolios. Jayson comes to the foundation having worked for nearly 10 years helping to grow several international nonprofits, including Room to Read, one of the fastest growing nonprofits ever. After 7 years helping Room to Read...

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New Program Assistant at the Peery Foundation!

Hi, I’m Jocelyn! Here’s a little background on why I love the work we do here and what I’ve learned in my short time thus far. Before starting at the Peery Foundation, I attended and graduated from the Monterey Institute of International Studies with a Master’s in International Policy Studies. During the course of my studies I took two workshops, “How to Start Your Own Social Enterprise”...

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‘Why are you still funding in East Palo Alto?’

Recently, while attending a conference in Colorado, we were asked to break into smaller table groups. I was stunned to learn that many individuals from all over the country had either heard of East Palo Alto or used to work directly in the community. Excitement pulsed through me – I was about to make connections with others that felt as passionately as I did about EPA!

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Grantee-Centric: A Different Kind of Philanthropy

What if foundations mostly gave unrestricted funding instead of dictating how grantees could spend their grants? What if foundations kept supporting grantees who performed instead of ending funding because the “grant cycle” had ended? What if foundations ditched the whole system of soliciting grant proposals and focused on proactively searching for great grantees? 

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Cash Flow Wizardry for Small and Growing Nonprofits

If you are the Executive Director/CEO of a nonprofit, guaranteed this is a busy time of year. Likely you are deep in the throes of finishing your 2015 budget, and getting your board to approve it before everyone moves into full holiday mode. It is also a happy time of year because holiday gifts are coming in, as well as good news on grant application processes started much earlier...

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A Conversation With Vittana's Former COO

The Peery Foundation has funded Vittana since 2008 with grants totaling over $600,000, with our last grant going out to Vittana after their announcement was made to close Vittana's doors. Kate, and I sat down for a reflective virtual chat about what we could both learn from Vittana's story given the grantee-grantor relationship between Vittana and the Peery Foundation.

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Big Bang

Last week I was in Fort Colins in Colorado, at the annual Big Bang gathering. Thankfully, the weather was delightful so my CA-light wardrobe was not tested for CO-winter readiness—it would have failed…Big Bang Philanthropy is a collaborative group of like-minded funders who all give at least $1M annually to global poverty solutions, more particularly to “impact driven”...

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What is a Funder’s Role in Collective Impact?

Last week, I was lucky to attend FSG’s and the Aspen’s Institute’s Collective Impact Forum conference in San Francisco. I learned achieving large-scale change through collective impact has five major components. 1) Common Agenda 2) Shared Measurement 3) Mutually Reinforcing Activities 4) Continuous Communication 5) Backbone Support. In one of the whole group sessions...

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Now We Are 4

We’re still small, but at 4 people you feel like a team—a real team. With our new found identify, we just created the first version of our Team Manual. We reviewed policies and procedures materials created by other foundations and learned a lot about the topics and policies we might want to cover. We went with a lite version, which, I’m excited to say, is exactly two sides of paper. 

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Grant Making By Conversation?

In the few months I’ve been at Peery, I’ve been meeting with community leaders throughout East Palo Alto. Particularly, I have learned a lot from the hard-working principals of Ravenswood City School District (RCSD). Given my own experience as a site administrator in Ravenswood, coupled with my recent conversations, I know that each of them wishes they could clone...

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Turning the tables (just a little)

We’re pulling the trigger on creating an app/platform that will enable us to get rolling feedback and ratings on our performance, from our grantees. Advocate Creative will be building us a platform that is simple to use, quick to complete and 100% anonymous. Our hope is once we have it in place our grantees (and others) can rate us on 3 characteristics on a rolling basis—as often as they...

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The difference between equality and equity

The terms equality and equity, in the context of education and social issues, are used interchangeably often. But there may be a way to think about the terms differently, perhaps to better guide the process of grant making. Equality stems from the word equal, as in the same. You cut the pie equally, so that everyone gets the same amount. Equity starts with the premise...

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We grew!

Last month we brought on a new team member, Avani Patel (pronounced Av-ni). Avani is our Local Portfolio Director and will be building our work in East Palo Alto focused on educational outcomes.

Here’s some of what we’re excited about in having Avani as part of our team: - She came directly from the Ravenswood City School District, where her previous position...

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Grantees as Customers: Four ways funders can serve and empower grantees

At the Peery Foundation, we think of grantees as our customers and act accordingly. We’re not investing enough resources on our own to solve social issues at a systemic level, so we try to focus on our core function: to invest in social entrepreneurs and leading organizations. This means we leave the big, hairy problem-solving to grantees and focus on how to create a funding environment that better enables their success...

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Tips from an Instructional Designer

As you know we’re piloting a new class at BYU, one that we hope at some point soon we will adapt and deliver online for anyone to take. As part of this process we solicited the assistance of an instructional design professional. She had great tips and considerations for teaching from a distance and developing online content...

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