Housing: What We're (Trying) To Do

Housing – it’s clearly the issue that East Palo Alto and Belle Haven residents are most concerned about as Facebook’s continuous expansion has attracted foreign investors, driving housing prices higher than they’ve ever been. After learning about housing policies, I wrote a blog post. I’ve continued to plug myself into conversations...

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Privilege and Power in Funding Dynamics

Trust-based relationships. Grantee-centric philanthropy. True partnerships that advance impact for communities. How do we together improve the efficiency, respectfulness, and outcomes of our sector?Recently Jane Leu (previous Peery Foundation grantee, founder of several social ventures and prolific fund raiser), and I...

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Site Visit Success Tips

Having just returned from the Peery Foundation’s first extensive international site visit – a three country, nine organization trip to Africa, it is an apt time to reflect on grantee centric practices for site visits.This was my first site visit on the funder side of the table, having helped to organize over 20 visits and co-host at least half...

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Warts and All: Funder Feedback Q2 Report

Cycle 5 of our Funder Feedback rounded up on June 30th. The first part of the Funder Feedback tool asks respondents to rate us out of 5 across 3 behaviours: 1) Respectfulness, 2) Consistency, 3) Value (as in value we provide in interactions). Each quarter we've been doing consistently well on "Respectfulness", and, ironically, have some small variance in...

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The Housing Crunch

I’m sitting at Starbucks off of East Bayshore in East Palo Alto for the third time this week. Since joining the Peery Foundation nearly two years ago, I’ve had over 50 meetings with community members, educators, parents and students here. It’s almost impossible to walk in and not know any one. At a table close to the register...

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The Attitude of Gratitude

When I was a kid, my parents forced me to write thank you notes after every birthday and Christmas. I HATED doing it. I struggled to find something creative to say beyond “Thank you for the sweater. I can’t wait to wear it. Hope to see you soon.” [in reality, I was returning that so-not-cool sweater for a store...

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The Value of Time

What if you could calculate the value of the time you ask of your grantees? Would knowing the value of their time change what you asked of them? What if you found out they are 'spending' more then they 'earn' going through your grant making process? A few weeks ago we attended a workshop run by Jane Leu (PF...

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What is Our Approach in East Palo Alto?

That’s a good question that we haven’t quite nailed yet. Here’s my attempt at explaining where we are in the process. Feel free to leave comments if you have suggestions as we continue to sort through this. In the Local Portfolio, our work is heavily steeped in the communities of East Palo Alto and Belle Haven. The way we...

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A Glance at the PF Team Through Email Metrics

This past January, the Peery Foundation team got out of the office for our semi-annual retreat. It was two intense (but obviously rewarding) days of brainstorming and discussing how we define our role as individuals and as a foundation. One of my roles at the Peery Foundation is to make sure that while...

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In Nigeria, University Degrees Can Lead to Poverty

Christiana Ubah left school at 17 without prospects for further education, let alone a job. Born in the Lagos slum of Ajegunle, she had completed secondary school but could not afford further studies. But she was willing to learn; she had enthusiasm and a determined attitude. After a three-week employability skills...

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Funding and Privilege

Recently, I was reading about race and discrimination. A key theme reoccurred: most people with privilege are unaware of, ignore, or deny their privilege. Perhaps this is obvious. But it's a powerful idea to consider and apply personally. Where do I benefit from what Peggy McIntosh describes as an "invisible package of unearned...

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Funder Feedback: Cycle 4 Report

We rounded up cycle 4 of Funder Feedback on March 31st. In cycle 3 we received one or two critical comments, but the majority of comments were about what grantees liked about working with the PF. In cycle 4 I think people are beginning to trust that it's truly anonymous. How do I know? Because we got more critical feedback. Woohoo! This is where the real value in Funder Feedback lies...

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Why I Do What I Love

While I was growing up just outside of Washington D.C., my parents and all-girl’s college-prep school instilled a strong sense of service that has followed me throughout my life. I was surrounded by confident and accomplished women personally and academically who inspired me with their achievements. I decided then...

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