Current Projects

The following sessions are currently in process.

Brainstorming Sessions

Monday, July 13th, 5:00—6:30pm, Virtual

Adventure Scientists empowers researchers with a supply of skilled outdoor-athlete volunteers who can reach distant regions and bring back the data needed to advance environmental and human health solutions. It has carried out 130 scientific projects since 2011, and 80% of volunteers report they are more likely to pursue careers in conservation after their service with Adventure Scientists. COVID-19 has created a halt in its field operations and therefore the associated project revenue. While it can pilot new revenue opportunities, it would mean reallocating its focus from current donors. How should Adventure Scientists think about balancing its priorities and resources among the different funding streams it could pursue?

Thursday, July 9th, 10:00—11:30am, Virtual

African Diaspora Network harnesses and engages the intellectual, financial, philanthropic and entrepreneurial capacity of Africans and friends of Africa in support of economic and social development across Africa. Its programs include an African Diaspora Investment Symposium, Innovation and Impact Forums, Builders of Africa’s Future, and mentoring. It would like to bolster its access to funding to enable it to scale its programs further. Specifically, it would like ideas on how to leverage Silicon Valley corporations, foundations and donors to invest in its work.

Wednesday, August 12th, 12:00—1:30pm, Virtual

California Historical Society (CHS) has inspired and empowered Californians to make the past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives for 149 years. It offers exhibitions, educational programming, and dynamic on-line experiences, and partners with community organizations to steward and share unique California narratives. It would like to form a new donor leadership group, consisting of leaders representing the geographic and demographic diversity of the state, committed with true enthusiasm for and commitment to California history. CHS would like feedback on the concept of an “1850 Club,” including whether its drafted benefits and requirements of membership are attractive and feasible.

Tuesday, August 11th, 9:00—10:30am, Virtual

Centro Community Partners (Centro) provides underserved, low-to-moderate income (LMI) women and minorities with entrepreneurship education, financial literacy, one-on-one business advising, mentorship, and access to capital. Centro has served over 4,400+ entrepreneurs (primarily in California and New York), facilitated access to over $1,600,000 in capital/microloan, and provided 11,000+ hours of voluntary one-on-one advising to assist LMI entrepreneurs. Centro would like help with developing a strategic framework on how to improve its community engagement, which includes engaging with graduates, followers, partners, funders and prospective low-income women entrepreneurs to be recruited into its online programs.

Wednesday, July 15th, 9:00—10:30am, Virtual

CHAC’s mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities through access to comprehensive and culturally responsive mental health services in northern Santa Clara County. CHAC provides approximately 37,000 hours of client services per year in its clinic, school programs, and Family Resource Centers. While it has been successful in pivoting to provide services via tele-health during the COVID-19 crisis, its operating and financial circumstances has drastically changed. CHAC would like help with developing the philanthropic case for support of an essential community mental health agency, engaging potential benefactors who would understand the importance of CHAC’s work.

Friday, August 7th, 9:00—10:30am, Virtual

Help a Mother Out (HAMO) works to improve baby and family well-being by increasing access to diapers for families in need. HAMO is one of the largest diaper banks in the country, and due to its scale, had the unique opportunity to partner with a leading manufacturer to produce a private label diaper, ELO Baby. Since 2019, the majority of diapers HAMO has distributed are from its exclusive private label diaper. Other diaper banks have now expressed interest in buying ELO Baby diapers. HAMO would like help with exploring how it might expand the distribution of its private label diaper efficiently.

Thursday, July 16th, 12:00—1:30pm, Virtual

New Leaders Council (NLC) recruits, trains and promotes the next generation of progressive leaders to ultimately create a more equitable and just country. NLC hosts a six-month program that trains emerging young leaders with skills such as entrepreneurial goal setting, strategic communications, economics, finance and fundraising, and diversity and inclusion. It has trained nearly 9,000 leaders, of which over 60% are people of color, 60% are women, one-third work in the government sector, one-third work in the nonprofit sector, and one-third work in the private sector. With so many alumni, NLC is looking to increase alumni engagement and programming, and would like help with what information it should collect to create the alumni revenue and programming model.

Tuesday, July 28th, 12:00—1:30pm, Virtual

North Beach Citizens (NBC) utilizes the talents of the community to innovatively address the needs of its homeless and low-income citizens in an atmosphere of trust, integrity, and respect. Annually, NBC provides services to more than 500 homeless and low-income clients through programs including housing and mental health assistance, food security, a clothing library, and a Street Beautification Program. Due to COVID 19, NBC has reported serving 60% more individuals this year. At the same time, its annual fundraiser, responsible for 50% of its revenue, will need to go virtual. NBC would like help brainstorming virtual platforms and other fundraising campaigns, leveraging its 20th anniversary in the campaign.

Wednesday, July 29th, 9:00—10:30am, Virtual

Open Up Resources (OUR) increases equity in education by making excellent, top-rated curricula freely available to districts nationwide. Teaming up with expert authors, it has created free Common Core aligned materials for all educators. Today, OUR has reached at least one million children in 1,300 school districts, including those in high-poverty districts in Memphis, Detroit, and Oakland. OUR recently partnered with the nonprofit and winner of the Global Learning XPrize, onebillion. It will be the exclusive distributor of their innovative onetab device with adaptive math and literacy courseware for PK-Grade 2, providing potential opportunities for OUR in different markets. OUR would like brainstorming help on how it can increase its visibility and reach given this new partnership.

Tuesday, August 25th, 12:00—1:30pm, Virtual 

San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation provides the philanthropic support that helps San Mateo County Community College District students take full advantage of the programs and services at its three colleges: Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. It funds scholarships and programs such as Project Change, which serves youths who have been through California’s juvenile justice system, and the Promise Scholars Program, which increases student graduation rates. The Foundation is about to embark on an endowment campaign that would ensure scholarships in perpetuity for the region’s most vulnerable students. It requests help in articulating its unique value propositions before creating the marketing collateral.

Wednesday, August 5th, 12:00—1:30pm, Virtual

SETI Institute is a scientific research center studying the origin, nature, and prevalence of life in the universe, with a commitment to public education about SETI, astrobiology, and general science. Its one-hour weekly national radio show and podcast Big Picture Science is a significant part of its public education effort. Big Picture Science is enjoyed by listeners across the United States and worldwide through 150 broadcast stations, and the podcast averages 70,000 downloads per week. Public radio funding, however, is difficult to obtain, and it is challenged with meeting the operating costs of this program. The Institute would like help with developing a compelling pitch to an organization or philanthropist to be a major underwriter of the radio show.

Thursday, August 13th, 12:00—1:30pm, Virtual

SETI Institute is a scientific research center studying the origin, nature, and prevalence of life in the universe, with a commitment to public education about SETI, astrobiology, and general science. The Institute currently has three major education programs funded – two of which are NASA programs (Reaching for the Stars and Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors). Changes in the education funding structure by NASA necessitates a diversification of funding sources. The Institute is also interested in fulfilling its global vision to make an impact on global science education and literacy. It would like help with a “pitch” to attract support from foundations, private sector and philanthropic individuals for funding of its NASA programs and future global programming.

Thursday, July 23rd, 12:00—1:30pm, Virtual

San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates (SFCASA) transforms the lives of abused and neglected foster youth by providing one consistent, caring volunteer advocate, trained to address each child’s needs in the court and the community. It is an agency of 325+ volunteers, numerous partner agencies, and professionals dedicated to providing San Francisco foster youth and juvenile justice-involved youth with the support they need to help them reach their full potential. It has increasingly become a challenge to recruit enough new CASA volunteers to support the program’s growth. SFCASA welcomes the brainstorming of ideas for a recruitment strategy to expand its volunteer pool, particularly among older adults.

Monday, August 3rd, 1:00—2:30pm, Virtual

StarVista provides counseling, crisis prevention, youth housing, and outreach programs, reaching over 41,000 people in San Mateo County each year. From substance abuse and thoughts of suicide to domestic traumas and homelessness, it helps people persevere and transform some of life’s toughest situations into personal victories. It has created a new Very Important Parents (VIP) Group to support its programs and be advocates for raising awareness on StarVista’s services. How can StarVista leverage its newly formed VIP group to expand its reach and visibility during a time of great need?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 12:00—1:30pm, Virtual

The Nature Conservancy seeks to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. In California, it has protected 1.5 million acres of landscapes and 3.8 million acres of sea floor off its coast. The California chapter is increasingly using a variety of tools to protect nature. It is seeking to blend ‘impact investments’ and other non-traditional sources of funding with traditional philanthropic and public financing. Specifically, it is developing two financing tools—Conservation Loans (low interest loans from individuals directly to supported projects) and Acquisition Catalyst Fund (a donation-generated fund, recycled into financeable projects). It would like feedback on its pitches for the two blended finance tools that will expand and accelerate its land protection work.