From the Border to Capitol Hill, 2024 So Far

Our year has been off to a busy start! From an immersive journey to the southern border, to deep dives into equitable grantmaking practices and impactful discussions on pressing issues at Foundations on the Hill, our team has been hard at work!

Continue reading to learn more about our achievements thus far, plus what’s in store for the rest of the year.


A Visit to the Southern Border

At the start of the year, a group of funders joined us on a meaningful trip to the southern border to visit nonprofit and volunteer organizations providing essential support and a welcoming environment to new immigrant arrivals firsthand. This trip was a part of our ongoing efforts to support a humane and sustainable immigration system. You can read our reflections on the experience here and learn more about our Binational Migration Funders Collaborative here.

Equitable Grantmaking Deep Dive: Data-Driven Philanthropy Workshop

On the 25th, we were joined by our partners at UpMetrics for the first session of our equitable grantmaking deep dive series, focusing on how data can be used as a powerful tool for positive change. In the words of Stephen Minix, “Humanizing is important: if we only look at numbers, we lose inspiration.” Whether you missed the event, or just want to relive the invaluable content, learn more about the session here.

Yes in God’s Backayrd (YIGBY) Groundbreaking

On January 18th, we joined civic and church leaders for an emotional groundbreaking in Logan Heights. Yes in God’s Backyard (YIGBY), a group fiscally sponsored by Catalyst, broke ground on a new construction project in collaboration with Bethel AME Church. This pioneering initiative will deliver 26 multifamily units, offering affordable housing to formerly homeless veterans and seniors. Learn more about the groundbreaking and future of the project here.


Pulse of the Practice Webinar

While we unveiled our inaugural Pulse of the Practice report in 2023, this year we hosted a webinar to dissect the report’s insights and key findings, revealing promising evidence of equitable grantmaking practices, challenges in funding smaller grassroots organizations, opportunities to clarify language around funding practices, and emerging trends in impact investing. Watch the full webinar here to learn more about the practices, challenges, and trends for philanthropy in our region.

Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) 2024

Later in the month, our CEO, Megan Thomas, joined forces with our Philanthropy California peers on a trip to Washington DC to discuss climate, disaster response, housing affordability, and racial justice. Our delegation left no stone unturned, meeting with five of the six Congressional representatives of Imperial and San Diego Counties, the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, FEMA, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Learn more about this trip and Megan’s insights here.



Funder Grantee Relationship Series: Session One

To start off the month, we had the first of our two-part Funder Grantee Relationship Series, once again led by Stephen Minix, the Senior Director of Communications UpMetrics, and Christina Griffin-Jones, a seasoned community organizer and fundraiser. This event grounded us in the historical context of funding practices, addressing the power dynamics that exist between funders and grantees. Read our interview with Stephen to hear his thoughts on the inherent power dynamics that exist within funder-grantee relationships, and how we can best address them. And, make sure to join us for part two on May 16.

Corporate Philanthropy Cohort

On March 14th, our corporate philanthropy programming made a triumphant return! During our first 2024 session, new and familiar faces came together to connect, share insights, and help shape the future of this series. They shared insights on common challenges they face in their work around employee engagement, communication strategies, and community relations. The group is excited to continue convening, and our next session is already in the works for early this summer.



Our Move to a Four-Day Work Week

We kicked off 2024 with a bold move: transitioning to a 4-day work week! Our staff now enjoys the flexibility of working 32 hours per week, while still receiving full compensation, benefits, and paid time off. After a successful three-month pilot, we’re now three months into this transformative journey, and can confidently share that we’ve fostered a happier, more human-centric workplace. Dive deeper into our journey to a four-day work week and why it’s important to us here.

An Expanding Team!

We also expanded our team with two new staff members! We are excited to be joined by a new Imperial Valley Manager, Maria Peinado, and Administrative Coordinator, Tasha Matthews. Learn more about Maria and Tasha here.



We’ve accomplished a lot this year, but we’re just getting started! Stay tuned for our upcoming programming, including our Fundamentals of Grantmaking series, funder and nonprofit grant application workshops, and – of course – our annual conference at the end of the year. Keep an eye on our events page to make sure you don’t miss out on any of these exciting events, and we hope to see you soon!