June 2015 
In This Issue
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Project in the Spotlight: LARRP
Joining Forces Against Hate Violence
Projects in the News
Top Tips: Working with Celebrities
Events and Learning Opportunities
From the Field
About Us

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Catalyst Team

Ravi Shah
Senior Program Associate

Lauren Kay
Director of Communications

From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer

Networks: The Social Sector's Way to Scale Change 

Cooperating, coordinating, collaborating with other groups - all three behaviors can amplify a nonprofit's effectiveness in addressing the needs of people and communities. However, building networks that reflect the best of those behaviors is tough, as anyone who has tried knows.


Put simply, a network refers to any sustained effort around which many different, autonomous organizations work in concert as equal partners pursuing a common social or civic purpose. If you've done this, you've likely experienced some uncertainty, even frustration or perplexity at the high level of demand that networked action places on your organization. Perhaps your network investment produced some greater good that benefited the people you serve and advanced the societal difference you want to make through your organization's mission.  If you're lucky, you saw all the groups in the network gradually begin to align their individual organizational missions around aspects of the network's broader purpose. 

To read the entire article, please click here. And see two examples of networks at work below.

Project in the Spotlight: LARRP

Broad Coalition Fights to Improve the Reentry Process

In 2011 counties throughout California began taking on the responsibility of incarcerating and supervising non-violent felons. This was state-mandated realignment and as time went on, many counties began exploring new ways of addressing reentry, diversion and the supportive services that could potentially prevent crime or the revolving door to the criminal justice system.


Los Angeles County, however, took a more established approach, directing a full 80 percent of its $1.1 billion from the state toward incarceration and supervision in the first four years of realignment. An LA Times editorial lamented that the state's largest county has yet to become the "leader in smart and effective justice" it ought to be. 


But that's exactly what a growing coalition of cross-sector service providers is pushing for. Under the smart and strategic guidance of project leader Peggy Edwards, the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership has become a major player in the reentry policy arena since it formed in 2012. Member organizations number about 350 now and work in the areas of physical and mental health, homelessness, family reunification,  housing, legal services, and substance abuse prevention and treatment.

To read the entire article, please click here

Joining Forces Against Hate Violence 

As part of its mandate to promote positive race and human relations, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations wanted to help strengthen and amplify the good work of the many local nonprofit organizations addressing hate violence around the region. 


They turned to Community Partners to help start a dialogue among L.A.'s most influential social service organizations representing populations who experience the highest rates of hate crimes. By February 2014, many came together to form the Hate Violence Prevention Practitioners Network. Made up of six organizations throughout the County who work to reduce hate violence, the network provides opportunities for practitioners to share best practices on education and prevention, while exchanging relevant and timely information about hate violence in the region. With five months of training and support from Community Partners staff, leading organizations such as BIENESTAR and CARECEN worked together to outline strategic prevention tactics, develop fundraising plans, and design social media campaigns to enable them to more effectively address hate violence as a collaborative effort. (Learn more about our work with networks here.)


And their work together has now resulted in a grant from the California Community Foundation! The funding will enable the network to usher in a new wave of community alliances and continue their work to not only establish ways to respond to acts of hate violence, but also improve their capacity to prevent them. 


Community Partners "helped lay the foundation" for the network and was "critical to the formation of this group," said Elena Halpert-Schilt, Assistant Executive Director at the Human Relations Commission.

-- Somer Greene, Cornuelle Summer Fellow, Occidental College '16

Projects in the News

Writer Brings First Book Festival to Bay Area

Some 50,000 turned out for the Bay Area's very first book festival earlier this month, an event three years in the planning and spearheaded by Berkeley writer Cherilyn Parsons.
Read more here.

Paul Vandeventer Podcast Interview 

President and CEO Paul Vandeventer talks civic reach, networks and the importance of storytelling with Philanthropy Hour's Greg Cherry. Listen online here, or download the podcast in iTunes



Reimagining LA's Civic Culture 

Some of Los Angeles' most prominent movers and shakers gathered at the massive Pritzker mansion in Beverly Hills recently for the kick-off of Donna Bojarsky's Future of Cities, an ambitious project under fiscal sponsorship that aims to re-engage civic leaders from diverse fields in solving the regions' issues. Get diverse takes from Hollywood Reporter, LA Magazine, and LA Observed.

Top Tips: Working with Celebrities 

Celebrity culture in Los Angeles is as ubiquitous as palm trees and sunshine. So it's no wonder that many nonprofits are looking to capitalize on big-name endorsements. But what might appear to be a savvy shortcut to greater visibility and funding, isn't always.


Carol Ramsey, retired vice president of philanthropic services for the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), offered some tops tips for engaging celebrities when she spoke recently to a gathering of the Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color, co-hosted by Community Partners.

  1. Make sure you can handle it. If you don't already have a robust donor program and communications strategy, it's hard to fully capitalize on a celebrity's involvement in your cause. Before you invest time and money in celebrities, first invest in strengthening your organization's fundraising and communications programs.
  2. There is no magic list. Nonprofit leaders regularly turned to EIF for a ready-made list of celebrities' interested in working with nonprofits. It doesn't exist. You can, however, use the same tools EIF uses: IMDbPro, WhoRepresents.com, and looktothestars.org.
  3. Think like a talent manager. It's the manager's job to find the most lucrative opportunities for their clients, so don't be surprised if the celebrity you booked months in advance for your event backs out at the last minute. What interests the manager, second to money, is visibility. So, if you can guarantee hundreds of thousands of eyes on the celebrity (not just a few hundred), that could be appealing, especially for someone who is trying to get back into the limelight.
  4. They could end up costing, rather than earning, you money. While the celebrity might agree to make an appearance at your event or record your PSA for free, you might end up paying for their transportation or their stylist or other needs. And don't always expect them to make a gift of their own funds. Many give very little of their own money and instead appeal to their fans to support a select cause.
  5. Be creative. Seek easy ways for celebrities to support your cause: They can show up at an event, accept an award, walk through the room of a VIP reception, or donate signed items to an auction. They can provide a photo and quote for use in a fundraising appeal. If you want them to support your work on social media, be sure to provide their staff with exact language to be used for tweets and posts. But, remember:  Do your homework!!!  Be sure to get all the approval and clearances required by contract or arrangement with the celebrity's publicist or management.

Most of all, stresses Carol, keep your expectations low. When you finally do attract the interest of a celebrity, it can feel like doors will open magically. But even though many of them are compassionate and would like to do more, the reality is they are not in control of their time. So, try your best, be nice to their publicist, and don't neglect your other donors! -- Priscilla Hung


Events and Learning Opportunities

Big Data Day LA

Saturday, June 27

The third annual 
Big Data Day LA, the only free big data conference in Southern California, will feature representatives from City of Los Angeles, Couchbase, Databricks, Datastax, Fandango, LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Microsoft, Netflix, Oracle, Toyota and many more. Space is limited. Register here.

Free Training Opportunity for Promotores de Salud

Tuesday, June 23

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 
Office of Minority Health will host a stakeholder call to announce
Promoting Healthy Choices and Community Changes: an E-learning Program for Promotores de Salud. It is available in both Spanish and English at no cost to participants. Toll Free Number: 888-989-3422

Participant Passcode: 1071091 Registration is requested.


Grantsmanship Training Program
July 20-24

A comprehensive hands-on workshop that covers the complete grant development process, from designing sustainable programs and researching funding sources to writing and reviewing actual grant proposals. Click here to learn more and register.

From the Field


Gift Range Calculator

Planning your next capital campaign? How's that new funding program coming along? Check out the Gift Range Calculator, a tool that calculates the number and size of gifts you will need to achieve your goals so that you can measure resources appropriately. 

5 Easy to Use Online Logo Makers


Logos communicate more than just graphic design and artistic detail, they express an organization's mission, personality, and cause. Shopify helps you design a logo with impact.  

Charitable Giving Rises Past Prerecession Mark 

The Giving USA Foundation released their annual report showing that charitable giving rose for the fifth year, "rebounding past a prerecession peak to an estimated $358 billion."

About Us

Community Partners offers expert guidance, essential services, and a strong dose of passion to help foster, launch and grow creative solutions to community challenges.   

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

 Image credits
"Stock illustration: market" by duchesssaImage ID: 990401 via Free Images