“Harmony Initiative is both extremely practical and ‘big picture’ provocative. The Initiative has been foundational for me as I've moved to philanthropy from being an organizer and nonprofit executive director.” - Kathryn Gilje, Executive Director, Ceres Trust

Harmony Initiative

The Harmony Initiative was launched in 2015 to support professional grantmakers in strengthening their philanthropic practice. The Harmony Initiative provides cutting edge tools, training and knowledge needed to partner with grassroots communities, select impactful grantees, evaluate social change work, and collaborate in philanthropy.

Designed by and for grantmakers, the program’s curriculum follows six common steps in the grantmaking cycle (strategy development; outreach and application; due diligence; making the case; award and implementation; and evaluation and learning) and investigates the competencies needed at each step.

Guest speakers and faculty bring on-the-ground expertise and knowledge from years in the field. Past guest speakers and trainers have included:

  • Holly Bartling, General Service Foundation
  • Vini Bhansali, Thousand Currents
  • Carol Cantwell, Fun With Financials
  • Jara Dean-Coffey, Luminare Group
  • Vanessa Daniel, Groundswell Fund
  • Aja Duncan, Management Assistance Group
  • Kathryn Gilje, Ceres Trust
  • Meerim Ilyas, Urgent Action Fund
  • Taj James, Movement Strategy Center
  • Rajiv Khanna, Thousand Currents
  • Gara LaMarche, Democracy Alliance
  • Michelle Mascarenhas, Movement Generation
  • Kellea Miller, consultant and researcher
  • Susan Misra, Management Assistance Group
  • Dewey Schott, Leadership That Works
  • Eveline Shen, Forward Together
  • Alex Tom, Chinese Progressive Association
  • Kenji Treanor, Sobrato Family Foundation
  • Beth Trimarco, The East Bay Alliance for a
  • Sustainable Economy (EBASE)
“Participating in Harmony helped me understand philanthropy’s challenges– and gave me the tools and confidence to tackle those challenges. I emerged from the program both committed to and excited about my work in philanthropy.” - Alexandra Desautels, The California Endowment
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?

  • 130+ hours over ten months allows for practice and integration into day-to-day work.
  • A cohort of 15-20 grantmakers provides a close community of practice and support.
  • Case study method encourages nuanced problem solving and offers real-world lessons from esteemed guest faculty members’ experience.
  • Individual coaching provides support and accountability in pursuing individual goals.

Who should apply for The Harmony Initiative?

The program is appropriate for philanthropic professionals of all levels who are directly responsible for grantmaking and seek an opportunity for reflection and learning in community. The Harmony Initiative is equally applicable for those looking to improve on current philanthropic practice as those looking to innovate how philanthropy is done.

How to Join

Please complete the interest form below to get started. Justice Funders follow up with you to complete your application details.

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Step 2: Geographic Region
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"Harmony inspired me to think about the field of philanthropy in a completely new way. Instead of being mystified (and sometimes frustrated) by the structures and processes that exist today, I have a vision for how philanthropy can work for social justice and movements.” - Elizabeth Wampler, Initiative Officer, Great Communities Collaborative, The San Francisco Foundation

Harmony Cohorts

Class of 2018-2019

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

Aldo 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
Program Associate, The San Francisco Foundation

Kana Hammon
Executive Director, YCore

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

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

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

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