February 2015 
In This Issue
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Project News
Strengthening Networks
Projects in the News
Grants and Resource Opportunities
Events and Learning Opportunities
From the Field
About Us

Quick Links

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Visit Community Partners' Website

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Catalyst Team

Ravi Shah
Senior Program Associate

Lauren Kay
Director of Communications
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Even in Bad Politics, There's Good

Every news story in some way has political meaning.


Coverage of social media trends tells a story of the changing nature of human relationships, the essence of politics. A feature on any successful entrepreneur speaks volumes about our economy, the driver of many political deals. A government official on trial for bribery alerts us to the vulnerability of all government institutions, in which lie the hopes of protecting and preserving our democratic political system.


Too many of us either dismiss politics altogether or rank both it and its practitioners right down there next to garbage. The problem is that we the people make up the essential ingredient, the sine qua non, of politics. Without our presence, there is nothing. It is in turning our backs that we invite shenanigans from sharpies, stooges, sociopaths, self-interested cons or shady corporate interests ready to co-opt the action, the power and the money elected office virtually always controls. 

Journalists can guide us to this recognition through how they write their stories. So I propose that news reporters interested in alerting ordinary folks to the possibilities of change, and the roles they can play in it, ask themselves:  "How can I show the way this story connects with the larger story of politics and governing?"


To read the entire article, please click here

February Fun

You and Your Fiscal Sponsor: Keeping the Love Alive

Some view Valentine's Day as an opportunity for chocolates, roses, and homemade cards from paper doilies. Others see it as little more than a commercial Hallmark holiday. But wherever you fall on the spectrum, it's definitely a time when every article you read asks that you reflect on and celebrate your relationships. And this one is no different.

So, what are the best ways to keep your relationship with your fiscal sponsor in the happy place? We have a few ideas:
  • Know our love language. We know you love action and express your passion by changing the world. But do you know what we love? Keepin' it legal. Show you care by reading our handbook and telling us when you're thinking about adding power tools, skate ramps, or your in-laws to the payroll for your project activities.
  • Acknowledge our work. Is processing checks and securing insurance sexy? No. Is it essential? Absolutely! We work hard to get those unglamorous back-office tasks done to keep you focused on your programs. So next time you get an automatic email informing you that your paycheck has been direct deposited, remember the loving fiscal sponsor staff person who processed that monster payroll.
  • Give us backrubs. NOT! Part of our job is paying attention to HR laws and best practices. And we promise you that giving co-workers backrubs is something we're just not that into. During work hours. Or pretty much ever. But we would totally love it if you made us a mix CD.
  • Communicate openly and honestly. Let us know what's going on with YOU. Having employee management challenges? Fundraising drama? Cash handling conundrums? Trouble reconciling your vision with reality? We are here to help. We want to know. And we need to know. Related: we've seen it all, so we skip the judgments and go right to solutions. Unless you have a secret bank account. Then we are SO over.
  • Encourage us to pursue our dreams. Just kidding. That's the way we show our love for you. But you could introduce us to all your cool friends.
-- Cynthia Freeman, Sr. Program Director


Strengthening Networks

Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project Looks to Sustainability


It's the third and final year of a collaborative county-wide effort to promote community resilience - an approach for better preparing cities to handle disasters and emergencies. Community Partners, building on both our work on From Chaos to Community and our networks expertise, has been a partner on this Department of Public Health initiative.


Our staff recently brought together the 16 community coalitions involved in this effort to explore how they can sustain their work beyond the initiative together. The timing is certainly right: Los Angeles was recently named one of 100 resilient cities by the Rockefeller Foundation. 


Sponsors of this pilot project include the Centers for Disease Control, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Projects in the News


Wenonah Valentine, project leader of Community Partners-sponsored iDREAM for Racial Health Equity, has been singled out for two recent honors. She was nominated for a KCET Local Heroes Award for Black History Month, and  she received the first Community Vanguard Award when The National Black MBA Association-Los Angeles celebrated its 40th anniversary last month. iDREAM addresses racial and ethnic disparities in African American health and examines critical solutions to the infant mortality crisis in Los Angeles County.


Project Leaders Co-Author Op/Ed on Climate Change 


"...Combatting climate change is good for our economy, the air, our health and our quality of life," writes Jonathan Parfrey and Denny Zane, project leaders for Climate Resolve and MoveLA respectively, in an op/ed they co-wrote for the LA Daily News recently.  


Multicultural Communities for Mobility hopes this video, made for a Boyle Heights campaign, will help other groups better understand how to engage, work with and empower communities of color to advocate for themselves.  

23rd Annual Empowerment Congress Summit a Success!

The Empowerment Congress held its 23rd Annual Summit recently, drawing over 1,200 people from all over Los Angeles to learn about and discuss issues important to their communities. A project of Community Partners founded by LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Empowerment Congress event included informative workshops, inspiring speakers (including Dr. Cornel West) and the involvement of several other Community Partners projects. Click here to read more. 

In case you missed it: Paul Vandeventer, Community Partners President & CEO, has a
featured blog article on Stanford Social Innovation Review. 

Grants and Resource Opportunities

Durfee Sabbatical Program

Who doesn't need a sabbatical? Experienced nonprofit leaders (a track record of at least 10 years) are invited to apply for The Durfee Sabbatical Program. The sabbatical awards allow nonprofit leaders to take time away from the enormous demands of their jobs to travel, reflect, or otherwise renew themselves in whatever manner they propose, while giving the next generation of leaders the opportunity to expand their capacities. Organizations must have at least three full-time staff and be in good financial standing. Learn more here

Learning Software from Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation

Deadline: March 20

Could your organization benefit from up to $1 million of software and services to scale a social services program? The Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation is accepting applications for its

Impact Grant Program, which provides unlimited use of its Learning Management System (LMS) plus significant pro bono services to a select number of nonprofits looking to strategically build an externally-focused training or education program. Click here to learn more.

Events and Learning Opportunities

How Will California's Sentencing Reform Affect Communities?

Wednesday, February 18 at 7 p.m.


Peggy Edwards, executive director of the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Project, a project of Community Partners, along with Jason Bell, director of Project Rebound, and Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Stephen V. Manley visit Zócalo to look at the opportunities and challenges created for California communities by the passing of Proposition 47, a ballot measure instituting shorter prison terms for nonviolent crimes that could make at least 10,000 people eligible for release from prison. 

Green Leadership Awards

Deadline: Friday, February 20


Each year, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' Green Leadership Awards honor and recognize outstanding organizations and individuals that develop and employ innovative strategies and initiatives to enhance environmental sustainability. The Green Leadership Awards will be presented on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Click here for the application and to learn more. 


First-Ever Summit on Mobility in Los Angeles

Monday, February 23


Join Move LA, a project of Community Partners, as it joins other local and national nonprofit organizations and funders in hosting the first-ever shared-use mobility conference. The summit's focus will be on igniting conversations about new models of mobility that enable people to ditch their cars, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide affordable access to opportunity. Click here to register. Nonprofit tickets are $75.


From the Field


Hatch for Good: Tools to Tell Your Story


Storytelling is a key component of your communications strategy. Stories engage audiences and inspire action. Hatch has created a suite of resources to help you craft, curate, and share stories that strategically communicate your impact. Click here to learn more. 

10 Twitter Best Practices

Looking to grow your Twitter presence? Or just get started? Nonprofit Tech for Good has compiled a great list of Twitter best practices that all nonprofits should consider.

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 

 Image credits
"Adding Cream" by Christy Sheffield. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr