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2015 Fundamentals of Effective Grantmaking

Thursday, October 8, 2015 to Friday, October 23, 2015
Center for Healthy Communities
1000 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $400.00
Non-Members: $950.00
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This program is at capacity! Contact [email protected] to be added to the waitlist.

Fundamentals of Effective Grantmaking: October 8, 9, and 23, 2015
Visit with a Grantmaker Sessions: October 13-16, 2015 (Participants will select one site visit)

>> Agenda

As grantmakers, we need to continually sharpen their skills and knowledge to keep pace with changes in the nonprofit sector and the growing demands on foundation resources. SCG’s signature Fundamentals of Effective Grantmaking program is an opportunity for foundation staff who are new to the field to learn primary grantmaking competencies and for experienced philanthropy professionals to revisit their core grantmaking skills.

Created and taught by seasoned grantmakers from the SCG membership, this interactive, three-day series introduces foundation staff to fundamental skills and procedures and provides opportunities to interact with colleagues in our philanthropy community during a series of engaging sessions:

  • The Process of Assessing Proposals and Site Visits
  • Building Respectful Relationships with Grantees
  • Evaluation
  • Understanding Financial Statements
  • Ethics in Grantmaking
  • Managing the Challenges of Grantmaking
  • Adopting the Networking and Mentoring Lifestyle

In addition to three full day sessions, participants select a grantmaking organization to visit in order to observe how Fundamentals lessons operate in the workplace.

Presenters include:

  • Wendy Garen, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
  • Shane Goldsmith, President and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Hill Foundation (@shanegoldsmith, @libertyhill)
  • John Kobara, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, California Community Foundation (@jekobara, @calfund)
  • Connie Malloy, Program Director, California Democracy, The James Irvine Foundation (@Connie4Irvine, @Irvinefdn)
  • Mary Odell, President, UniHealth Foundation
  • Jennifer Price-Letscher, Program Officer, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation (@USPacRimGrrl)
  • Belen Vargas, Vice President, Programs, Weingart Foundation
  • Paul Vandeventer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Partners (@panopticorps, @CommunityPrtnrs)
  • Adrienne Wittenberg, Executive Director, S. Mark Taper Foundation

Individuals who attend the full program and site visit session will receive a certificate signifying completion of the series.



Speaker Biographies

Raúl Bustillos
Senior Vice President, Community Relations, Bank of America

Raúl Bustillos is Senior Vice President, Community Relations for Bank of America’s Greater Los Angeles region. He coordinates civic and philanthropic activities for Bank of America in Los Angeles County. Prior to his current position, Bustillos served for 10 years at the Los Angeles Times where he oversaw philanthropic efforts including the Los Angeles Times Fund, Los Angeles Times Family Fund, Summer Camp Campaign, Holiday Campaign, and Donor Advised Giving Fund. He has served on various boards and advisory committees including the Koreatown Youth & Community Center, Southern California Grantmakers, American Camp Association Southern California/ Hawaii, Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services, and others.  Bustillos has a MA in Public Policy from Claremont Graduate University and is a graduate of the Coro Fellows program in Public Affairs. 

Wendy Chang
Director, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund

During her more than 25 years in the world of nonprofits and foundations, Wendy Chang’s focus has been on grantmaking, program development, public policy, technical assistance, and training. Currently, she directs grantmaking, initiatives, and capacity building activities at the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund. Chang’s previous positions include Executive Management Academy Director at the Whitecap Foundation; Director of Training and Advancement at Public Corporation for the Arts; Special Projects/Membership Director for the California Association of Nonprofits; and Director of Consulting Services for CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, Silicon Valley. She has served on many nonprofit boards, including as Chair of the Los Angeles Partnership for Early Childhood Investment; Board Member of Lambda Legal; Executive Board Member of the Liberty Hill Foundation; and as past chair of Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Los Angeles. Previously, Wendy was a founder and president of the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership. Chang has held leadership positions with the Junior League of Long Beach; Asian Heritage Council; and the Women’s Leadership Circle. She was also a member of Los Angeles Urban Funders, as well as Family Foundation Committee and Program Advisory Member of Southern California Grantmakers. She is a founding member of five community giving circles. Chang is a graduate of University of California at Santa Cruz, with majors in Business Economics and Computer Science.

Juliet Flores
Senior Program Associate, Annenberg Foundation

Juliet Flores serves as the lead project manager for the Foundation’s Program Department. She plays a central role in managing its capacity building initiative and advancing its responsive grantmaking priorities. Prior to joining the Annenberg Foundation, she worked as a South LA Representative for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Office of Neighborhood and Community Services. Flores earned her Masters of Public Administration at Baruch College as a National Urban Fellow, a competitive 14-month accelerated fellowship program for mid-career professionals who have a passion for social justice and equity and are committed to being change agents in the public and nonprofit sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Riverside and is an alumnus of Claremont Graduate University’s Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, an elite post-baccalaureate achievement program. Flores currently serves on the LA Chapter of the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) Steering Committee, is the Joint Affinity Group (JAG) representative, a member of SCG’s Family Foundation Information Exchange and the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment. Her international work includes volunteering with Habitat for Humanity building homes for needy families in Sri Lanka, spearheading fundraisers for the Niigata earthquake victims in Japan, and volunteering in post-tsunami relief work in Thailand. Flores served as a board member of the United Nations Association's Pacific Los Angeles Chapter from 2008-2010.

Cristina Gallegos
Vice President, JMC Philanthropic Advisors, Inc. & Senior Program Officer, The Atlas Family Foundation

With 16+ years of experience funding social change, Cristina Gallegos is responsible for a wide range of business operations and programmatic activities; she oversees the grant process for several foundations, individual philanthropists and Next Gen family groups. She works long-term with several Next Generation philanthropy boards, aiming to ignite their individual and collective interests, and providing structure and support to create change. Prior to joining JMC, Cristina acted as a pro-bono Program Officer for The Silton-Sturner Family Foundation, managing a portfolio of grants in the areas of Parkinson research, technology education, fine arts, and economic empowerment for disadvantaged countries. She previously developed and implemented complex information technology systems for DHL Worldwide Network Europe and Africa. The resulting systems were subsequently deployed to 22 countries. She currently serves on the Board of Ador Copiii, a Romanian organization improving the quality of life for abandoned children. Cristina holds a B.S. in Economics, a B.A. in Psychology and an MBA and is an executive coach for nonprofit leaders.

Wendy Garen
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and Board Chair, Southern California Grantmakers

Wendy Garen has played an integral role in the life of the Parsons Foundation. She joined the staff of the Foundation in 1986 as a program officer, just eight years after the Foundation began its grantmaking, and became Executive Director in 2001 and President and CEO in 2008.  The Parsons Foundation is $400 million endowment that is a quiet leader in Southern California philanthropy. Garen was a founding staff member of the children’s nonprofit Crystal Stairs, worked at Children’s Home Society and headed the Los Angeles Child Care and Development Council. She currently serves on the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families; the California Advisory Board of the Milken Institute; the advisory Board of the USC Center for Philanthropy and Public Policy, and as a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Luskin School, where she received her master’s in urban planning with a focus on public policy. In 2014, Garen was elected Board Chair of Southern California Grantmakers, a leadership hub where more than 280 members (individual philanthropists, foundations, corporations, philanthropy consultants, and government grantmakers) come together to learn, connect and take action. She is frequently a speaker at local and national meetings for philanthropy. 

Shane Goldsmith
President and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Hill Foundation

Shane Murphy Goldsmith is President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Hill Foundation, one of the nation’s most admired social change foundations. Prior to joining Liberty Hill, she was Executive Director of PATH Ventures, an affordable housing development agency. She also served as a Senior Advisor to City Council President Eric Garcetti for four years, overseeing field and legislative projects, including housing, economic development, the city budget, public safety, and LGBTQ issues. In addition, Goldsmith ran the Council District 13 Leadership Institute. Goldsmith sits on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Board of Commissioners, the national Board of the Neighborhood Funders Group, and the Steering Committee of the Los Angeles Funders Network for Smart and Equitable Growth. She recently received the Congressional Hunger Center 2014 Alumni Leadership Award.

Nike Irvin
Vice President, Programs, California Community Foundation

Nike Irvin leads the California Community Foundation’s Programs team, responsible for more than $20 million in annual grants that provide core operating support to priority program areas such as the arts, education pipeline and health. She also leads teams on four special initiatives: Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men (BLOOM), the El Monte Community Building Initiative, Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow and the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative.  Her areas of expertise include capacity building, branding, and program development and implementation. Before joining CCF, Irvin served as President of The Riordan Foundation and as a consultant/coach for nonprofits and foundations. She serves on several boards of directors and is a trustee for The Riordan Foundation,  Southern California Grantmakers and previously for Crystal Stairs, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, and UCLA Alumni Association.  Irvin received a BA in Economics & Political Science from Yale University and was also named one of the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she earned an MBA.  She is a Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute, a Marshall Memorial Fellow, and a Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly.

John E. Kobara
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, California Community Foundation

In 2008, John Kobara was appointed EVP and COO for the California Community Foundation. He has been involved in education, social justice, and philanthropy for his entire life, and has held leadership positions at a wide variety of regional, national, and international non-profit organizations in the arts, education, and philanthropy. Kobara has given hundreds of workshops and presentations for Fortune 500 corporations, universities, professional associations, nonprofits, and community organizations all over the world. He speaks on career and life development, pursuit of passion, multiculturalism, mentoring and networking. He posts his ideas, thoughts and recommendations on his popular blog about Adopting the Altruistic Mentoring and Networking Lifestyle @ and the Huffington Post. Kobara has been engaged in three pioneering start-ups traversing a broad spectrum of industries. Previously, he was CEO of the CK12 Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles,, Vice Chancellor of UCLA, and VP General Manager of Falcon Cable TV. Kobara was a Coro Fellow in LA and earned degrees from UCLA, USC, and Occidental College.

Connie Malloy
Program Director, California Democracy Program, The James Irvine Foundation

Connie Galambos Malloy was appointed Program Director for the California Democracy program in 2015, leading the Foundation’s grantmaking in the areas of governance reforms, elections policies and practices, voter and civic engagement, and immigrant integration. She served as Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program from 2012-2014. Additionally, Malloy staffs Irvine’s Pay for Success Initiative and plays a lead role in the Community Leadership Project, a partnership to serve low-income and diverse communities in three regions with funding from the Hewlett, Irvine, and Packard foundations. She also serves as a Commissioner for the first-ever California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Before joining Irvine, Malloy served as Senior Director of Programs for Urban Habitat, an environmental justice nonprofit in Oakland, California and has worked previously with the Regional Sustainability Initiative at Redefining Progress, United Way in Riverside, California, the Peace Corps in Bolivia, and as a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellow. She earned her master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in communications and Spanish from La Sierra University.

Mary Odell
President, UniHealth Foundation and Board Member, Southern California Grantmakers

Mary Odell is President of the UniHealth Foundation, a private healthcare foundation that makes grants primarily to hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California. Prior to joining the Foundation in 1999, she served for eight years as President of The Riordan Foundation and its associated public foundation, Rx for Reading. Before becoming a foundation officer, Odell pursued a career in elementary school teaching and administration and worked as an education and instruction specialist for IBM. She currently serves on the Board of Southern California Grantmakers and LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program. Odell has done extensive graduate work in early childhood education and early speech and language acquisition; she has credentials to teach preschool through 12th grade and adult education. She holds a certificate in nonprofit management from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.

Jennifer Price-Letscher
Senior Program Officer and Staff Liaison, Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

Prior to joining The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Jennifer Price-Letscher was a consulting Program Director with the Sterling-Dorman Foundation, where she managed grantmaking and grants operations activities, and designed training programs to promote college access practices in community-based organizations. She was also Executive Management Academy Coordinator at the Whitecap Foundation, where she created and evaluated cohort-based training programs for nonprofit executives and their board members. As a consultant, Price-Letscher has facilitated strategic planning, executive transition, board governance activities, fund development, evaluation, and grants administration, working with such organizations as Shakespeare Center/LA, the Archdiocese of Cleveland, Hillcrest Foundation, and Grand Performances. Formerly Board President at Hill & Dale Family Learning Center and Founding Board Member for Diavolo Dance Theatre, Price-Letscher currently serves on the board at Westside Neighborhood School and on the membership committee for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. She holds an MSc in positive organizational development and change management with highest honors from Case Western Reserve University, a BA with a double major in American Studies and English Literature from the University of Oregon, and professional certifications in college counseling, leading/coaching with emotional intelligence, building sustainable enterprises, and appreciative inquiry.

Mitchell Singer
Director, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

At Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), Mitchell Singer helps individuals, foundations, and corporations create strategies for giving, identify organizations to support, and understand the impact of their gifts. He manages grant portfolios and assists foundations in optimizing their operations and governance. Before joining RPA, Singer served as Associate Director of The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California and worked at The California Endowment, where he managed several grant programs and staffed the foundation’s Governance Committee. He also served as a Congressional Aide and Caseworker for Congresswoman Jane Harman. Singer serves on the Board of Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and he holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management from American Jewish University.

Kamella Tate
Owner/Principal, KTA/LLC

Dr. Kamella Tate is the owner/principal of KTA/LLC, a Los Angeles-based firm that provides research, program design, evaluation, and fund development services to community nonprofits in the arts, healthcare, and education sectors. Clients have included The Music Center, Film Independent, T.H.E. Health & Wellness Centers, Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among others. She has served as senior staff at The Music Center, Tacoma Actors Guild, and Shakespeare Orange County, as well as an adjunct professor at University of Southern California (research methods), Claremont Graduate University (practice-based research and evaluation), and Chapman University (voice, text, Shakespeare, theatre production). Dr. Tate also designs and teaches customized workshops in research methods and program evaluation throughout Los Angeles, working with practitioners, funders, and policy makers. She holds an MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and a doctorate in educational psychology from USC.

Paul Vandeventer
President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Partners

Paul Vandeventer is President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Partners, a nonprofit he co-founded in 1992 to help foster, launch, and grow creative solutions to community challenges. Vandeventer has led the organization through 23 years of dynamic growth to now include more than 145 projects, a core staff of over 30, numerous partnerships with grantmakers, and the management of close to $30 million annually. His expertise includes management, planning, communications, training, and organizational development. Vandeventer is the co-author of Networks that Work: A Practitioner’s Guide to Managing Networked Action, and he writes and speaks on civil society, community, philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

Belen Vargas
Vice President, Programs, Weingart Foundation

Belen Vargas began her professional career in nonprofit legal services in Los Angeles County, focused on women’s issues and school inclusion issues for children with disabilities. Prior to joining Weingart Foundation, she worked at Public Counsel on the Childcare Law Project. Vargas joined Weingart Foundation in 2000 as the Foundation’s first Program Associate, was promoted to Program Officer in 2003, and Senior Program Officer in 2007. In 2008, she became Associate Vice President, Grant Operations, and then subsequently as Vice President, Grant Operations. In 2014, she assumed the role of Vice President, Programs, where she oversees the Foundation’s grant strategy and planning, communications, and overall program assessment. Vargas holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Southern California School of Law. She is a graduate of both the Council on Foundations’ Career Pathways Leadership Program and Harvard’s High Potentials Leadership Program.

Adrienne Wittenberg
Executive Director, S. Mark Taper Foundation

Adrienne Wittenberg serves as Executive Director of the S. Mark Taper Foundation. She has worked at the Foundation for the past 17 years in both financial management and grantmaking positions. Wittenberg has served as a member of Southern California Grantmakers’ Management and Program Committees. Prior to joining the field of philanthropy, she earned her license as a Certified Public Accountant while working as a tax consultant with the public accounting firm, Deloitte and Touche. Wittenberg is a member of the AICPA and the California Society of CPA’s.


Each full-day session will take place 8:45 am to 4:00 pm.
Visit with a Grantmaker is a half-day session.

>> Agenda

Who May Participate:
Current SCG members and other grantmakers eligible for SCG membership.

This program is designed for grantmakers who are new to the field (less than two years) or for relatively seasoned grantmakers seeking to revisit their primary grantmaking skills.

Current SCG Members: $400
Eligible Non-members: $950

Program fee is due prior to the start of the program. Fees cover all course materials, lunches and refreshments. 


This program is at capacity! Contact [email protected] to be added to the waitlist.