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The Power of Collective Giving

Thursday, February 6, 2020
10:00am - 12:00pm PST
350 S Bixel St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
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Southern California Grantmakers and Everychild Foundation invite you to a conversation about the power and impact of giving circles. This symposium coincides with the 20th anniversary of Everychild Foundation, a giving circle that has invested close to $18 million in the Greater Los Angeles community. The program will feature a conversation with several local giving circle leaders. Come hear the philanthropic lessons these leaders have learned by engaging in a giving model that has greatly risen in national popularity over the past two decades.


Chun-Yen Chen 

Executive Director, Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF)

As Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF), Chun-Yen provides executive leadership and directs operations and grantmaking for the organization. Previously as project-based Development Director, she cultivated major donors to grow its Donor-Advised Fund as well as the scholarship program. Chun-Yen has over 16 years of professional working experience in non-profit executive management and fund development, state government budgetary analysis, and academic faculty fields. As Community Development Officer at a community bank in Southern California, she worked closely with the FDIC, Federal Reserve Bank, and other regulatory agencies to develop collaboration and partnership among financial institutions and non-profits to bring qualified Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) services, investment, and donation opportunities to low and moderate-income communities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. As Senior Budget Examiner in the New York State Government, she analyzed state agency fiscal operations, developed budgetary and policy recommendations, evaluated proposed legislation, and monitored revenue and expenditures for the Governor. Chun-Yen is active in her community, serving as a recreation commissioner for the City of San Marino and as a board member of the Chinese Club of San Marino. Born and raised in Taiwan, Chun-Yen received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from National Taiwan University and a master’s degree as well as doctoral candidacy in Public Administration from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, SUNY at Albany.

Cara Esposito

Executive Director of the Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation

Cara Esposito is the Executive Director of the Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation which funds innovative projects and initiatives that benefit Los Angeles County and improve the wellbeing of its communities. The foundation grants over 2.5 million dollars annually. Prior to her role as Executive Director, Cara spent nine years as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, with special emphasis in Juvenile Prosecutions.

Cara graduated with a BA from Harvard University, a JD from Loyola Law School, an MPA and a Doctorate in Policy Analysis and Planning from USC’s Price School of Public Policy.  Cara sits on the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Institute, Inc., The Price School of Public Policy at USC, and Southern California Grantmakers. Cara is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles and is married to Joseph Esposito, with two children ages fourteen and eleven.

Piper Kamins

Program Officer, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and EPIP-LA Giving Circle Co-Chair

Piper Kamins is a Program Officer at The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, where she has worked since 2014.  Her previous nonprofit experience includes program management in homeless services and positive youth development, and consulting in criminal and juvenile justice.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a Fellow with the Program in Criminal Justice Policy.  Piper was born and raised in Los Angeles.

Jacqueline Jacobs Caster

President and Founder of the Everychild Foundation

Jacqueline Jacobs Caster founded the Everychild Foundation in 1999 after participation on numerous local nonprofit boards and becoming frustrated with the “gala” fundraising model. She went on to create a membership organization based on the giving circle model that provides meaningful involvement opportunities for educated and professional women.The group is comprised of over 200 Los Angeles women who each contribute $5,000 annually. The dollars are pooled, and the organization makes a single $1 million grant in the community each year f to fund a new innovative project serving a critical unmet need of local children.

Jacqueline is personally engaged in juvenile justice reform work and is a member of the Los Angeles County Probation Commission which monitors juvenile incarceration facilities. She was also integrally involved in convincing Los Angeles County officials to adopt the Missouri Model approach of restorative juvenile justice and helped persuade the Los Angeles Police Department to launch a new youth diversion program. It provides a fresh start for eligible youth offenders in lieu of adjudication if they participate in a therapeutic program and victim-offender mediation. As a result, the program has now also been implemented in numerous other municipal and school district police departments throughout the County.

Jacqueline earned her B.A. from Pomona College, her Masters in City and Regional Planning from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. After practicing real estate law with Loeb and Loeb in Los Angeles in the mid-80s, she moved into the field of urban redevelopment, spending several years with Disney Development Company. She later headed her own consulting firm for over a decade performing economic feasibility studies for clients including Fortune 500 companies, municipalities and cultural institutions.

She currently serves on the board of The Campaign for Youth Justice in Washington, D.C., as well as on the Advisory Boards of Safe Place for Youth, The Blue Heron Foundation, The Westside Food Bank, Team Prime Time and The Women’s Foundation in the United Kingdom.

The Everychild Foundation’s mission is to ease suffering of children in the Greater Los Angeles area, whether due to disease, disability, abuse, neglect or poverty. The Foundation makes one grant per year for an amount of up to $1 million. The grant is funded by annual contributions from Everychild members.


Benjamin Torres

Co-founding member, Southern California Latino Giving Circle and President and Chief Executive Officer, CDTech

Benjamin Torres is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Development Technologies Center (CDTech), a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit focused on addressing issues of racial equity and economic justice in low-income areas of Los Angeles through a social justice lens that empowers residents to lead the process of their community’s stabilization efforts.  Benjamin’s entire career has been focused on placing the tools of democracy directly in the hands of society’s most marginalized residents through education, training, engagement and multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic community building. For the last 21 years, his voice and leadership have supported the South LA region’s Black/Brown neighborhoods to increase their social capital and economic opportunity through inclusive democratic and power building action and the strategic utilization of highly effective public, private, nonprofit and resident partnerships. Benjamin has been with CDTech since 2002.  Prior to his appointment by the board in 2010 as CDTech’s President and CEO, Benjamin served as the Vice President of the Working Democracy Division and Director of CDTech’s Community Planning program at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC); the MultiCultural Collaborative’s Community School Initiative in Watts; and, the Multi-Cultural Education Consortium in Santa Barbara.

Presented in partnership with:



No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and SDG members and eligible non-members

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & SDG members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

About this Location
This location is ADA compliant, has dedicated nursing rooms, and gender-neutral restrooms available.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions