July 2013  
In This Issue
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Projects in the Spotlight
Project News
Welcome Our Newest Staff
Welcome Our Newest Projects
Events and Learning Opportunities
About Us

Quick Links

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Visit Community Partners' Website

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Catalyst Team

Ravi Shah
Program Associate

Lauren Kay
Communications Manager
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Myth-Busting, Nonprofit Style


Overhead in business is simply a given. But in the nonprofit world? It's simply a dirty word.


Last week, three of the country's leading charity watchdog groups launched a campaign that calls on donors - private individuals, as well as foundations, corporations, and government - to look beyond the overhead-to-service ratio to a more varied menu of factors when deciding where to give.


I wholeheartedly agree that it's time to bust this myth about charity overhead. There's a massive fiction alive in the land, a fairy tell that says nonprofit costs should be held tight as a Victorian corset - or else something fishy is going on. Problem is, organizations that are unrealistically lean have zero financial breathing room. Eventually they wither and die. Conscious that our mere existence means we've promised the people we serve that we will always be there, my board of directors requires me as CEO to maintain a constant six-month operating cushion. 


To read the entire article, please click here.  

Projects in the Spotlight

Accelerating Public Transit in Los Angeles


Five years ago, there was no funding in sight and little promise for easing Los Angeles' traffic-clogged streets and freeways. Today we're in the midst of a kind of transportation renaissance, with more than a dozen, fully-funded mass transit projects now in the works, including the recently approved Crenshaw/LAX Line


Instrumental in the ongoing effort to improve public transportation in Los Angeles is Move LA, a project of Community Partners since 2008. Move LA was started by Denny Zane, a former mayor of Santa Monica, with the mission of developing broad support and new funding for a more robust, financially sound, and more equitable public transportation system. 


According to Beth Steckler, Move LA's deputy director, the group's major contribution has been in pulling together a coalition of labor, business, and environmental groups to work with Metro and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in support of transit. "MoveLA had the ability to [bring everyone together] and find common ground and meaningful solutions."


One significant solution was Measure R, which was a 30-year half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008. Measure R provides more than $25 billion for new mass transit projects. "Measure R is our big win," said Steckler. 


Now, as Mayor Eric Garcetti takes office, MoveLA can work to maintain LA's transit momentum. The group is next focused on building support to reduce the percentage of voters required to approve sales tax increases from two-thirds to 55 percent. Last November Measure J, the ballot effort to extend the half-cent sales tax approved by Measure R for an 30 additional years, fell just 56 percent, or 14,000, votes shy of approval. "By getting 66.11 percent of the vote, we know we have the support of the people," says Ms. Steckler. "I am hopeful we will have a measure to reduce the threshold to 55 percent on the ballot in 2014." 


Steckler credits Community Partners with helping MoveLA to stay on target with their goals. "Community Partners takes care of the structure and details and allows us to focus on our work," she said. "We're not bogged down by running an organization."


Project News


Citations Send Strong Message to Airline Contractors


As a result of Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health's (SoCalCOSH) advocacy on behalf of workers, Cal/OSHA issued 23 citations totaling $94,550 in penalties to Menzies Aviation, an airline contractor for Los Angeles International Airport. SoCalCOSH, a project of Community Partners, is a coalition dedicated to eliminating hazardous working conditions and promoting healthier working environments.  


Inspiring Future Entrepreneurs in South Los Angeles


Mashable profiled Urban Teens Exploring Technology (Urban TxT), a project of Community Partners, for its work teaching inner city teens the value of technology and the skills to be entrepreneurs. Urban TxT is currently midway through its summer program, teaching 30 students web programming languages, public speaking, business development, and more.  


The Los Angeles Press Club awarded Witness LA, a project of Community Partners, best Database Driven Online Journalism and best Investigative Online Journalism. Using the tools of investigative journalism, news reporting, and commentary, Witness LA is an online source for coverage of criminal justice news and issues.  


NewGround's Teen Leadership Program Wins Governor Award
NewGround's teen leadership program "MAJIC" received a prestigious honor from the Office of the Governor of California.  MAJIC was named "California's 2013 Faith-based Organization of the Year" for cultivating a commitment to service an volunteerism in the greater Los Angeles area. 

Welcome Our Newest Staff

Delmy Reyes 
Senior Finance Associate 
dreyes @ communitypartners.org
Working closely with the manager of finance and administration as well as the CFO, Delmy will manage project contract analysis and risk management. She oversees vendor contracts, insurance issues and project financial analysis reports. She was previously with an international development firm in Bethesda, MD. Delmy recently served as treasurer of the board for Community Bridges, Inc., a nonprofit organization that focuses on immigration integration and leadership development for diverse girls in her hometown of Takoma Park, MD. She graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia earning a degree in Accounting. Since Delmy is new to LA, she is spending her time exploring Southern California, practicing Bikram yoga, and spending time with her family.
Clark Souers 
Director of Human Resources and Talent Management 
csouers @ communitypartners.org 
In this newly created position, Clark oversees all aspects of human resources and talent management for all core and project staff of Community Partners. His human resources career spans the entertainment, hotel, and nonprofit industries. He was the director of human resources for Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Sprint Center in Kansas City and The 02 in London. Most recently he was the director of human resources for Penny Lane, a large social services organization in Southern California. Clark received his BA in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and earned his MBA from Arizona State University. He is also president and founder of LIFE REVOLUTION, a social cause organization. 

Welcome Our Newest Projects

Ethiopian Community Development Center

Project Leader: Esteban Martorell


Provides the Ethiopian community of Los Angeles with an institutional presence that can offer resources, programs and a collective community voice to address community needs and increase its civic engagement in greater Los Angeles.

Events and Learning Opportunities


LA Fellows Program

Deadline: July 8


The LA Fellows program is now accepting applications from nonprofits interested in hosting one of its experienced, highly skilled volunteers. The LA Fellow will be connected to the nonprofit through a meaningful match and will donate 100 hours of their time and talents to a specific project proposed by the organization. 
  Meet the Funders: General Operating Support
Monday, July 15

The Center for Nonprofit Management invites you to meet funders who fund general operating and overhead costs. Join local funders in small, rotating discussions as they share the latest best practices, as well as concrete suggestions, to increase your organization's competitiveness.

Social Innovation Fast Pitch Applications
Deadline:  July 22

Social Venture Partners is seeking Los Angeles' most innovative and high-impact nonprofit organizations to participate in the 2013 Social Innovation Fast Pitch. After a two-month training and mentoring program, finalists will make their pitch to an audience of hundreds in the philanthropic community. 

NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, a project of Community Partners, was a finalist in last year's competition

From the Field


Giving USA 2013 Report

Overall giving in the United States continues to rebound after falling sharply in 2008. Giving from foundations, corporations, government, and individuals totaled $317 billion in 2012, a 3.5 percent increase from 2011. Individuals donated $228.9 billion last year, a 3.9 percent increase from $220.3 billion in 2011. 

More and more donors are getting accustomed to giving online, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study. In 2011, donors gave $2.1 billion to 115,000 nonprofits online. 

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                             Phone 213.346.3210                  info@CommunityPartners.org
Los Angeles, CA 90012                                       Fax 213.808.1009