"The value of the Harmony Initiative is beyond words. Our facilitators expertly created a space that allowed us to bring our best selves, go deep and be vulnerable together while holding each other accountable." - Sara Dronkers, Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Resources, Humboldt Area Foundation

Harmony Initiative

Justice Funders launched the Harmony Initiative in 2015 to support professional grantmakers in strengthening their philanthropic practice to better align with values of justice and equity.

Designed by and for grantmakers, the program provides in-depth exploration of both transitional and transformational philanthropic practice to bring about a Just Transition for philanthropy.

How to Join

We have now closed the recruitment process for the 2021-22 Harmony Cohort. The next program will be offered in 2022. Please fill out the interest form to receive an email notification when the next application cycle starts.

You can learn more about the Harmony Initiative here. And don’t forget to subscribe to our email list to receive our bi-weekly e-newsletters and announcements about other Justice Funders programming.

Thank you!

Why Harmony?

As a Justice Funder, you recognize that grantmaking practice doesn’t always align with social justice values. Given the history of philanthropy, you know its culture is embedded with habits that reinforce our current, extractive economic system. So you want cutting edge tools, intentional practices, training, and knowledge to partner with grassroots communities, select impactful grantees, evaluate social change work, and collaborate in philanthropy.

100% of the participants in our Harmony Initiative have been able to make at least one change to make their grantmaking more equitable. What is immeasurable is how our alumni will now go on to improve the quality and quantity of resources flowing to social justice movements.

If you are looking to improve your current philanthropic practice and/or innovate how grant-making is done, Harmony is for you!

"The Harmony Initiative allows us to translate our hopes and intentions into a reality that is more cogent and effective for the field and for movements advancing systemic social change." - David Moy, Senior Program Officer, The Hyams Foundation
Program Logistics

There are four retreats for each Harmony cohort:

  • Retreat #1: Opening
  • Retreat #2: Strategy; Outreach and Application; Due Diligence
  • Retreat #3: Making the Case; Award and Implementation; Evaluation and Learning
  • Retreat #4: Closing

As a small, cohort based program, 100% active participation is required. To enable participation from grantmaking institutions of all sizes, tuition fees are sliding scale, based on annual organizational grantmaking budget.

What do I get out of The Harmony Initiative?

  • 100+ hours over nine months allows for practice and integration into day-to-day work.
  • A cohort of 25 grantmakers provides a close community of practice and support.
  • Four retreats using highly engaging facilitation techniques based in adult learning theory provide substantive content and tools relevant to grantmaking in today’s world.
  • Peer practice groups encourage nuanced problem solving and offer real-world lessons.
  • Identity-based affinity groups support skills building for effective leadership in multi-racial spaces and provide healing spaces based in robust racial-justice analyses.
  • Ongoing one-on-one coaching (up to 8 hours) provides tailored, individual support and accountability in pursuing individual goals.

Who should apply for The Harmony Initiative?

The program is appropriate for practitioners who are directly responsible for grantmaking and who seek an opportunity for reflection and learning in community. The Harmony Initiative is equally applicable for those looking to improve current philanthropic practice as those seeking ways  innovate how philanthropy is done. Executive Directors as well as Program Associates have participated in the program. We seek a diversity of issue foci and experiences as well as geographic diversity to create a rich and nuanced learning community.

"We know that the status quo of doing philanthropy as usual will not move the needle for the kinds of impact and change we want to see for our communities. With a brave learning community, we move along a collective journey of understanding how to navigate and leverage our roles in institutions and the larger philanthropic sector to push for more equitable practices in grantmaking." - JC De Vera, Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Harmony Cohorts

Harmony Initiative Class of 2021-2022

Alison Grubbs
Program Director, New Pluralists

Amanda Solter
Program Officer, Rights and Governance, CS Fund

An Nguyen
Program Manager, Office of CEO Programs & Special Projects

Britt Savage
Consultant, Bridgespan

Fela Thomas
Senior Program Officer, People, The San Francisco Foundation

Gina Jackson
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Return to the Heart Foundation

Guadalupe Pimental Solano
Opportunity, Equity and Inclusion Senior Officer, Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF)

Hilde Steffey
Director, Food and Farm Communications Fund

Jaime Colling
Philanthropy Program Specialist, REI Co-op

Jared Naimark
Program Associate, Emerging Strategies, The 11th Hour Project/The Schmidt Family Foundation

Jodi Ravel
Program Officer, CARESTAR Foundation

Jose Santacruz
Senior Program Associate, Criminal Justice Initiatives, Borealis Philanthropy

Joshua Delfin
Program Officer, Common Counsel Foundation

Kevin Douglas
Director of National Programs, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

Nahir Torres
Senior Program Officer, The Hyams Foundation

Nuala Cabral
Program Officer, Independence Public Media Foundation

Shannon-Patrice Small
Senior Program Associate, Energy Optimization, Energy Foundation

Shayla Robinson
Senior Program Associate, Disability Inclusion Fund, Borealis Philanthropy

Sherella Williams
Office and Grants Manager, Vice Chair of the Gender Justice Fund, Independence Public Media Foundation, Gender Justice Fund

Sherese Ward
Portfolio Director, K12 Education, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Sonja Uwimana
Program Officer, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Theresa Jackson
Manager, The Sybert Foundation

Theresa Chen
Senior Director, Evaluation & Learning, Skoll Foundation

Tiffany “Ti” Wihelm
Program Officer/Operations, Opportunity Fund

Harmony International Class of 2020 – 2021

Bia’ni Madsa’ Juarez Lopez
Manager, Keepers of the Earth Fund, Cultural Survival

Blia Moua
Program Officer, SH Cowell Foundation

Christen Lee
Grants Manager, Common Counsel Foundation

Cristina Yoon
Senior Director, Grants Management, Skoll Foundation

Curtis Yancy
Associate, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Djaka Blais-Amare
Community Grants Associate, Calgary Foundation

Emmanuel Otoo
Program Officer, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

Gina Peralta
Program Officer, Heising-Simons Foundation

Huong Nguyen-Yap
Director of Community Investment, Women’s Foundation California

Ingrid Wasylyshen
Grants Associate, Calgary Foundation

Jennifer Angarita
Senior Program Officer, Funders for Housing and Opportunity

Jennifer Herrera
Grants Associate, The Libra Foundation

Jonathan Jayes-Green
Vice President of Programs, Marguerite Casey Foundation

Kathleen Maloney
Executive Director, Irene S. Scully Family Foundation

Malavika Sahai
Communications Program Manager, Environmental Grantmakers Association

Malila Becton-Consuegra
Program Officer, Stupski Foundation

Mary Turnipseed
Program Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Nichelle Brunner
Program Associate, Transforming Movements Fund, Borealis Philanthropy

Rebecca Van Sickle
Managing Partner, 1892 consulting

Sara Campos
Senior Program Officer, Grove Foundation

Sarah Zlotnik
Senior Program Officer, Stoneleigh Foundation

Sheila Bapat
Program Officer, RISE Together Fund, Proteus Fund

Stephanie Lerner

Tanuja Dehne
President and CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Harmony West Class of 2019 – 2020

Alejandra Martinez
Program Officer, Borealis Philanthropy

Allison Domicone
Program Officer, Hirsch Philanthropy Advisors

Amy Silva
Strategic Learning & Evaluation Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Andrea Granda
Senior Strategic Advisor, Tides Advocacy

Athena Youm
Program Assistant – IDPI & DEI, Raikes Foundation

Cindy Alvarado
Evaluation & Impact Program Officer, The Simmons Foundation

Daniel Lau
Manager – Programs and Events, Northern California Grantmakers

David Pontecorvo 
Director of Grantmaking Systems, Evaluation and Learning, East Bay Community Foundation

Debrah Giles
Senior Program Officer, East Bay Community Foundation

Grecia Ayon
Place Pathway Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Haewon Asfaw
People Pathway Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Jennie Goldfarb
Independent Consultant, Currently supporting Libra Foundation and Latino Community Foundation

Jennifer Agmi 
Senior Program Officer, Libra Foundation

Joanna Kabat 
Director of Grantmaking and Capacity Building, Liberty Hill Foundation

Joshua Lee
Power Pathway Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Kelly Kent 
Senior Program Officer – Elders, May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

Leah Laxamana 
Program Associate, Walter & Elise Haas Fund

Marselle Alexander-Ozinskas
Senior Program Officer, S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Melanie Jiménez
Program Associate, The San Francisco Foundation

Paula Ambrose 
Program Officer, Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Peggy Chang
Program Associate, Heising-Simons Foundation

Sandy Tesch Wilkins
Senior Manager – Investments, Humanity United

Harmony East Class of 2019 – 2020

Alisha Williams
Program Officer – Social Justice Program, Arcus Foundation

Bart Westdijk
Director of Operations, New England Grassroots Environment Fund

Ellen Wang
Program Officer, Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Hehershe Busuego
Program Officer, Essex County Community Foundation

Jalisa Whitley
Program Officer, The Beckner Advancement Fund

Jessica Debrah
Program Associate/ Victoria Foundation Fellow, Victoria Foundation

Kendra Hicks
Director of Radical Philanthropy, Resist Foundation

Maria Mulkeen
Program Officer, The Hyams Foundation

Maya Graham
Program Manager, Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation

Natalia Caruso
Director of Grantmaking and Partnerships, MADRE

Sergio Marin Luna
Program Officer, The Hyams Foundation

Shanell Ransom
Grants & Operations Manager, Samuel S. Fels Fund

Stephanie Greenwood
Senior Program Officer, Victoria Foundation

Tara Huffman
Director, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program, Open Society Institute-Baltimore

Harmony West Class of 2018-2019

Ain Bailey
Associate Initiative Officer – Great Communities Collaborative, The San Francisco Foundation

Aldita Gallardo
Program Associate, Borealis Philanthropy

Alicia Harris
Program Officer, Grove Foundation

Angie Chen
Senior Program Officer, The Libra Foundation

Bailey Malone
Executive Director, CS Fund

Cecilia Chen
Policy Director, Northern California Grantmakers

David Kim
Program Associate, The San Francisco Foundation

Demitrius Burnett
Program Officer, The San Francisco Foundation

Janeen Mendoza Cruz
Education Program Officer, Tipping Point Community

Jasmine Jones
Executive Director, West Contra Costa Public Education Fund

Kana Hammon
Product Manager, Tech & Society Solutions Lab

Kara Dukakis
Senior Program Officer, Early Childhood, Tipping Point Community

Lindsie Bear
Program Director, Native Cultures Fund, Humboldt Area Foundation

Meaghan Calcari Campbell
Program Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Rob Hope
Initiative Officer, Bay Area Workforce Funders Collaborative

Vanessa Camarena-Arredondo
Program Officer, Akonadi Foundation

Harmony West Class of 2017-2018

Sepi Aghdaee
Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Ashley Clark
Knowledge and Grants Manager, The Libra Foundation

JC De Vera
Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Sara Dronkers
Director of Grantmaking, Humboldt Area Foundation

Daisee Francour
Fellow and Bay Area Program Officer, The Christensen Fund

Annelise Grimm
Program Officer, James Irvine Foundation

Adriana Grino
Program Officer, Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Caitlin Hamood
Program Officer, Chorus Foundation

Fernande Legros
Program Officer, Full Circle Fund

Allistair Mallillin
Program Officer, Common Counsel Foundation

Rena Meyers-Dahlkamp
Program Manager, Conflict Transformation Fund

David Moy
Senior Program Officer, Hyams Foundation

Michelle Myles Chambers
FAITHS Program Manager, The San Francisco Foundation

Maisha Quint
Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Jasjit Singh Dhanoa
Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Harmony West Class of 2016-2017

Galina Angarova
Program Officer, Swift Foundation

Diana Chao
Program Coordinator, Xelay Foundation

Masha Chernyak
Vice President of Programs and Policy, Latino Community Foundation

Katie Fahey
Program Officer, Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Kailyn FitzGerald
Program Officer, Sobrato Family Foundation

Iris Garcia
Learning and Impact Program Officer, Akonadi Foundation

Heather Masaki
Grants Coordinator, Thousand Currents (formerly IDEX)

Jake Mogan
Program Associate, The 11th Hour Project

Elaine Mui
Grants and Operations Manager, General Service Foundation

Lorraine Ramirez
Program Manager, Neighborhood Funders Group

Jennifer Root
Northern California Political Director, SEIU Local 2015

Jazmin Segura
Fellow, The San Francisco Foundation

Elizabeth Wampler
Initiative Officer, Great Communities Collaborative, The San Francisco Foundation

Cassandra Zawilski
Program Assistant, McKenzie Foundation

Harmony West Class of 2015-2016

Alexandra Desautels
Program Manager, The California Endowment

Bessma Mourad
Program Officer, Skoll Global Threats Fund

Esperanza Tervalon-Garrett
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives, Groundswell Fund

Jose Carmona
Program Director, The Energy Foundation

Kathryn Gilje
Executive Director, Ceres Trust

Marissa Tirona
Director, Blue Shield Against Violence, Blue Shield of California Foundation

Michael Roberts
Program Manager, The 11th Hour Project

Padmini Parthasarathy
Program Director, The California Wellness Foundation

Shalini Iyer
Director of Programs, Metta Fund

Valeria Velazquez
Program Manager, Neighborhood Funders Group

Zach McRae
Program Associate, The San Francisco Foundation