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...Read More
Today, I want to talk about unrestricted funding. A couple of weeks ago, Paul Shoemaker published this piece speaking against what he calls “Quite Damaging Dollars” (QDD), funds that come with burdensome restrictions and are actually not just unhelpful, but actually detrimental to nonprofits’ work.Read More
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...Read More
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”...Read More
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!Read More
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?Read More
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...Read More
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.Read More
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”...Read More
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...Read More
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.Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
We’ve been heads down for a number of months creating a social innovation syllabus. After weeks of white-boarding, scribbling and sketching, revising documents, review sessions and feedback calls, we pressed print.
Our class, ‘Do Good Better’, provides a structure for students to: 1) discover the varied roles they can play in the social innovation sphere, 2) learn about 3 key skills useful in all roles they might be interested in: root cause analysis, solution evaluation, and impact measurement...Read More
Tomorrow I am teaching a class on how social entrepreneurs address really big problems. We’ll be over simplifying for the purposes of our 1hr 15 min class, but basically discussing two methods of impact and scale: 1) the laser focused approach, 2) the holistic approach.Read More
We are officially 2 weeks in to our brand spankin’ new course on Social Innovation - Do Good Better. So far, so good. We’re piloting the class to a small group of students at Brigham Young University.
As part of the class students are asked to blog once a week on a prescribed topic...Read More