September 2013  
In This Issue
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Alchemy Leadership Seminar
Our Partner in the News
Six Ways to Build From 'No'
Welcome Our Newest Project
Events and Learning Opportunities
From the Field

Quick Links

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Catalyst Team

Ravi Shah
Program Associate

Lauren Kay
Communications Manager
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer

Navigating Change at the Pace of Politics


Achieving common ground among widely disparate players in a hard-charging urban political pressure cooker like Los Angeles generally fails when directed from above.


A recent conversation with a well-positioned colleague brought this truism to mind.  She'd been frustrated, she said, that people in Los Angeles didn't talk to one another, sometimes didn't even know one another when they were working in the same field.  And if they didn't know one another, well, then, how could they all come together, agree on what's wrong and decide to change? She confessed she was teetering on the brink of that time-tested path favored through the ages by autocrats and czars: "I guess," she said, "we'll just have to make them decide."


The Los Angeles civic arena simply doesn't work that way.  Trace the path of any policy decision that ever produced significant change and one gob-smacking fact repeats like a hard chorus: No one - and I mean no one - was ever completely in charge.


To read the entire article, please click here.  

Alchemy Leadership Seminar


Applications are now being accepted for Alchemy Leadership Seminar, the Annenberg Foundation's signature three-day capacity building training. 


Community Partners works in partnership with the Annenberg Foundation and has helped shape a core part of the Leadership Seminar curriculum, in which both board chair and executive director participate. Together they work through a dynamic program that addresses fundraising, board effectiveness, public involvement and accountability.


The free training is now open to nonprofits from Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The sole cost of admission is the attendance of both the executive director and the board chair during the three days of training. For more information, click here.


Our Partner in the News

New Report on American Jewish Giving


Jumpstart, a philanthropic research & design lab based in Los Angeles which maintains a project partnership with Community Partners, has released a new study that examines the giving habits and motivations of American Jews across all ages, economic groups and geographies.


You can download the report here. Also, check out a range of press coverage by KPCC's Larry Mantle, The Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Los Angeles Times & Chicago Tribune, Ha'aretz, Jewish Journal, Forward, Jewish Week, eJewishPhilanthropy, and others.   


Grant Denied? Six Ways to Build From 'No'

By Cynthia Freeman, Senior Program Director
It seemed like a match made in heaven: your mission, their money. Maybe you met the program officer at a conference or "Meet the Grantmaker" session and clicked. Or their foundation tends to fund groups just like yours. You were really, really excited about this one. But when it came time for the grant decision, they just weren't that into you.


So what do you do next?


Don't give up! Winning over foundations can take years - but it can be worth the effort and the wait to finally get funded. 

Click here for six follow-up tactics that I have seen help groups successfully move past an initial 'no' from a funder. 

Welcome Our Newest Project

Project Leader: Karen Richardson


Gifts over Learning Differences (GoLD) Initiative provides afterschool STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) enrichment programs for youth in the San Fernando Valley, in particular to children whose intellectual gifts are masked by some form of social, physical, or emotional difference.  

Events and Learning Opportunities

 Leadership Development for Seasoned Executives
Deadline: September 13 

Executive Service Corps' Wells Fargo Executive Directors Leadership Institute (EDLI) is a one-year program for experienced nonprofit leaders that combines practical, interactive seminars, extensive executive coaching, and a supportive group of peers to help leaders leverage their talents and skills to guide their organizations toward even greater success.

 Liberty Hill's Change LA Party

Sunday, September 8 


Come "party with a purpose" at Liberty Hill's upcoming Change LA event. Not only will this be a great night out for a good cause, but our esteemed partner Shawn Landres, co-founder and CEO of Jumpstart, will be honored for his efforts to advance social justice in L.A. Jumpstart and Community Partners have worked together for years to provide fiscal sponsorship and programmatic services for Jewish groups under our partnership.



Affordable Music Lessons in Los Angeles


Capacity Building Workshops for Mentors

Pasadena Mentoring Partners, a multi-agency partnership managed by the Flintridge Center, provides free monthly workshops for mentors and others who work with youth. Upcoming sessions include: 
  • Getting Your Mentee Ready for College, September 14
  • The Basics of Mentoring, September 28 and October 26
  • Youth Behavior and Developmental Assets, October 7
  • Responsible Mentoring, October 24
To register for Pasadena Mentoring Partners Workshops, please send your name and contact information to

From the Field


Start Year-End Fundraising in September, Study Suggests


A Google research study suggests that nonprofits may need to start their year-end fundraising efforts as early as September. The study also found that video and smartphones are playing a larger and more important role in sparking online donations.

The Giving Day Playbook
The Knight Foundation has released The Giving Day Playbook, a comprehensive online guide on planning and implementing a successful Giving Day campaign that also includes best practices for online fundraising in general. Usually hosted by a community foundation, a Giving Day is a powerful 24-hour online fundraising competition that unites a community around local causes.  

About Us

Community Partners works with social entrepreneurs, grantmakers and civic leaders to imagine possibilities, design solutions and see them through to results. Our work includes fiscal sponsorship, grantmaker partnerships, thought leadership and knowledge sharing. 

1000 N Alameda St, Suite 240 
Los Angeles, CA 90012  
Phone 213.346.3210  
Fax 213.808.1009