Monthly Update | Dec. 2020
A Message from our Executive Director
I wanted to use this month’s message to highlight my staff here at CEN. This incredible group of women have been working tremendously hard for the last nine months. When we, like all of you, were faced with the challenges and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, these fearless women rolled up their sleeves, dove in, and worked together to completely transition our business model! They have been working tirelessly to meet the needs of our growing networks, while also creating timely new offerings and answering the call by so many of you in regards to race equity work. I feel so fortunate to work with these women everyday and have such gratitude for all that they do. A heartfelt thank you to Jen Polidoroff Fredericks, Illyasha Peete, Shana Peete, Emily Hilbers, Mona Singh, Jennifer Torai, Colsaria Henderson, and Kelly Huynh!

In addition to all of the work that has been done this year, we are excited to share that we will be detailing, in our January newsletter, a number of exciting new offerings and partnerships that we have been working on for the New Year. Thank you to all the nonprofit staff out there that are literally performing miracles, working so hard to keep moving your missions forward!
-Larissa Robideaux, Executive Director
Keeping up with CEN
Meet our Newest Leaders Institute Cohort!
In October of this year, we launched the fourteenth cohort of our long-standing Leaders Institute program. In response to COVID-19, our annual kick-off retreat was hosted virtually and this incredible group of leaders will continue to meet monthly until their graduation in May of 2021. Please click here to learn more about this year's class!

“COVID-19 and its widespread impacts have made a tough job even tougher. But I have found invaluable support at CEN's Leaders Institute gatherings. Nonprofit leaders share stories from the front lines, funding ideas, leadership strategies and — perhaps most importantly! — laughter, and I always find comfort in the reminder that we are all in this together.”
We're Hiring an Operations Coordinator!
This is your opportunity to join an organization that is dedicated to supporting current and future nonprofit leaders and building a strong and equitable community. The CEN operations coordinator will be a key part of the CEN team. Reporting to the director of operations and development, this role will be responsible for providing strong customer service, administrative support for marketing and fund development activities, and management of general operations. This hourly position is in office, part-time (about 20hrs/week and will be mostly remote until shelter-in-place is lifted) with competitive benefits (including access to our training and professional development programs at no cost) and significant growth potential. Compensation of $20-$25/hour based on experience.
Effectively Harnessing Your Nonprofit's Human Capital During Crisis - Strategies to Ensure Organizational/Employee Sustainability and Financial Security
We are once again partnering with Gian Panetta, Samantha Davenport, Kim Smith, and Matthew Sagers from MassMutual Northern California to address some of the prominent issues in harnessing your organization’s human capital at this time of significant stress and duress. Protecting your nonprofit from loss during significant shifts or transitions should be an important focus of leadership. In this program we will discuss the following:

  • How to address the myriad challenges from finance to culture and compassion fatigue
  • Why it is important to pay attention to the wellness of your employees and their financial situation
  • Why non-profits shouldn’t overlook the importance of employee benefits at all levels
  • How to package compensation/benefits at low or no cost that will encourage employee retention
  • What is the employer’s responsibility to employees as it pertains to financial wellness
  • How to maintain healthy relationships through voluntary wellness programs

We know that challenges in human capital are exacerbated during crisis times which means organizations must recalibrate and pivot as needed to grow and thrive. These topics will be covered with ample time and opportunity to discuss specific cases and issues that nonprofit leaders might be experiencing at the moment.
Did You Know?
Each month we'll share an interesting fact, statistic, or article that challenges the way we view work and inspires a new way to effect community impact.

"[A] high-powered coalition of institutional and individual philanthropists and analysts published a plan that seeks to reform donor-advised funds (DAFs), promote an increased payout from private foundations, and expand the charitable deduction ... Seeing a group like this put out public policy proposals that might not be received universally warmly by institutional peers is a promising change, and these particular proposals seem well chosen, promoting more rapid distributions of funds through nonpunitive incentives and a few strategies that would establish limits on the uses of money and transfers between foundations and donor-advised funds."

This recent article from Nonprofit Quarterly welcomes the "Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving," sharing the full proposal with readers and providing a public forum to broadly open up the discussion.
Member Features
CEN remains committed to supporting our sector through this challenging time and will continue to offer membership scholarships and payment plans to ensure you have access to the resources you need.
Has your organization renewed its CEN membership? As the nonprofit sector continues to face the negative impact of COVID-19, CEN has shifted our offerings to better support you through this unprecedented time of crisis. We have moved all of our programs online, offering virtual training opportunities that merge fundamental leading practices with crisis management resources and opportunities for authentic peer-to-peer connections and support. Members continue to receive deep discounts - usually 50% - on all of our programming, which we've expanded this year, and access to special resources.

Members Only Opportunity
One of CEN's philanthropic leaders has over 400 bottles of wine that they are looking to donate to a local organization (or a few organizations, based on need). If your nonprofit could use some or all of this wine for an upcoming virtual gala or other fundraising or organizational development opportunity, please reach out to to learn more.
Nonprofit Training
In response to COVID-19, CEN has moved all of our programs online, offering virtual training opportunities that merge fundamental best practices with crisis management resources and opportunities for peer-to-peer connections and support. Additionally, we're offering special discounts and payment plans to make these offerings increasingly accessible during this challenging time so please reach out!
Strategic Planning 101
Whether it is time for your organization to develop a new plan or you're looking for a guide to adjust your current plan, this workshop will leave you with the tools and resources you need to get the process going. We will review the three basic steps to effective strategic planning and will explore the various ways that organizations can utilize the process to increase impact and meet goals. Additionally, we will take a look at how organizations with a limited budget can either tackle this daunting process on their own or assess what to contract for in order to make those dollars go father.
Leadership Resilience
The key to handling stress is not to avoid it, but to find methods to work with it without losing resolve. This course is designed to give participants the tools they need to identify workplace stressors, end self-deprecating talk, build communicative workplace structures, and calmly deal with change. As a result, participants will be able to effectively manage daily upsets, foster healthy relationships with coworkers and clients, and increase happiness and satisfaction in day-to-day work life.
Understanding Nonprofit Financials - Level 101
In this class we will explore the basic elements of common nonprofit financial statements and will identify tips to better understand what they mean and how they can be used to determine the health of an organization, specifically in times of uncertainty. Participants walk away with an understanding of how they can use this financial information to make timely, strategic decisions.
Management Basics - Part 1
This workshop (great for new managers and those looking for a refresher) will show you the techniques you need to set yourself – and your team! – up for success. Participants will learn how to set expectations, manage performance day-to-day, and review human resources best practices. Additionally, we'll offer leading practices and strategies for managing and working remotely as well as resources to help staff cope during difficult times. You'll leave with the tools to improve productivity, communication, and overall team satisfaction.
Management Basics - Part 2
In this workshop, participants will gain ways to build a culture founded on trust (increasingly important in a virtual setting) by exploring working styles and setting expectations around working together. The workshop will also identify ways to turn a currently dysfunctional employee/team into a high performing asset. Bring your own examples/struggles and we will work together to create action plans.
Nonprofit Board Essentials
In this workshop, we will go over the basic responsibilities of nonprofit board service to help board leaders understand their commitment and to set appropriate expectations between staff and board. Additionally, we will explore ways for nonprofit board members to maximize support of the organization's mission. This session is also a great program for individuals interested in exploring nonprofit board service and gaining a better understanding of what this commitment means.
Fundraising Basics - Level 101
Participants will explore the basic fundraising process, gain a framework for building a comprehensive fundraising plan, and will learn how to develop a case for support and then strategies to communicate it effectively to donors. We will also touch on the Board's role in fundraising and how best to support these efforts. This beginner level session will leave you with the templates and resources you need to start fundraising more strategically, especially during current challenges.
Newsletter Sponsorship
Interested in newsletter sponsorship? This is a great opportunity to share your services with our community of nonprofit leaders and to support CEN's ongoing networking efforts? Please email
National Day of Racial Healing - Healing Circles
In honor of the National Day of Racial Healing, we invite you to participate in one of two healing circles, below. The National Day of Racial Healing is a movement designed to lift interconnectedness, promote social justice, and heal the harms of inequity through community, relationship, and structural change. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation spearheaded the national movement in 2017 sharing the perspective of “Racial Healing as a process that restores individuals and communities to wholeness, repairs the damage caused by racism and transforms societal structures into ones that affirm the inherent value of all people.” 

In Santa Clara County The National Day of Racial Healing is a coordination of events and actions designed to promote racial healing, youth voice, equity, and connectedness. The County of Santa Clara’s theme for 2021 is: Healing through justice, truth, and equity: Black lives are Sacred. This movement builds on the collective healing work of our system partners and honors the diversity that makes us all sacred. Join us in this movement by attending one of two remaining healing circles as together we support one another through these challenging times.
Free Virtual Legal Clinic for Nonprofits on January 21st
Open to 501(c)(3) nonprofits providing direct services to low-income or underrepresented communities in Northern California, this event will pair each participating organization with a team of 2-3 experienced attorneys from Covington & Burling LLP and Dolby Laboratories, Inc. to receive a free legal health check-up, covering areas such as:

- Changes to California and Federal Law for 2021
- Corporate Governance and Reporting Requirements
- Employment & Human Resources
- Finances and Fiscal Management
- And more!

CORP virtual legal clinics help organizations flag issues before they become problems and provide post-clinic legal support as needed. Whether your nonprofit has a legal ‘to-do list’ or you simply want to make sure it’s in good shape for 2021 and beyond, apply now to take advantage of this unique opportunity. The approximate value of this free, individualized, legal consultation is $4,000.
Participate in Fair Pay for Northern CA Nonprofits: The 2021 Compensation and Benefits Survey
2021 promises to be a year unlike any other as nonprofit managers continue to navigate the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's how your organization will benefit from the "the best survey of its kind:"

·  Current, local compensation data on more than 200 jobs found in nonprofit organizations throughout Northern California
·  Base pay levels and bonus/incentive pay for each job with details by annual operating budget, location within Northern California, number of employees and primary field of service
·  Employee benefits in detail: paid time off, insurance, retirement
·  Salary increases over past year and expected during the next year
·  Policies with respect to on-call work, overtime, shift differentials, pay for bilingual skills, introductory periods, performance reviews and more
Y-Labs Ventures
Y-Labs develops future-ready leaders by empowering youth to solve real-world challenges. We build a community of inspiring young people, connect them with mentors and provide opportunities for them to grow and build capacity to solve challenging real-world issues with their community. We accomplish this mission through: exploring applications of emerging technologies / STEM to social innovation, teaching project-based learning, human centered design approaches, and life skills programs, and partnering with expert mentors in academia and industry. Programs include:

Startup Accelerator | Student teams build the foundations of social entrepreneurship by working with mentors to solve real-world problems from non-profits and other organizations.

Personal Finance for Teens | Students learn how to manage their finances effectively through budgeting, investing, interest, and other core concepts.
The Science of Leadership & Happiness | Students learn to discover their purpose, manage time effectively, deal with negative emotions, make good decisions, and communicate with confidence.
Human Centered Design | Students learn a creative approach to solving problems with a focus on human perspectives and design for social impact by empathizing, prototyping, and testing to create products that solve a need.
Online Safety Course | Students build digital citizenship skills by learning how to navigate the internet safely, exploring their digital footprint, easily spotting and fact-checking misinformation, and other core concepts.

STEAM Research Projects | Students develop core expertise in their chosen area of the STEAM and work in collaboration with an expert mentor to develop a meaningful social impact project from scratch.

Success Story - NEquest: Y-Labs Demo Day winner NEquest, a virtual neurological exam platform which optimizes patient data collection prior to a doctor visit, is now a full-fledged startup. The team is made up of 3 PhDs, 2 software engineers and 2 designers. 
AFP - Navigating the New Normal
Nonprofits must be nimble, adaptive, and flexible under any set of circumstances. The multiple crises we are facing this year have heightened the need for us to exhibit even more creativity, ingenuity, and skill to manage effectively. Join us for a conversation with local nonprofit association leaders from SVCN and Thrive as they share insights about how nonprofits have responded and the road ahead.
Does your organization have a training or resource you would like to share with our newsletter community? Please email Posts must include a link to learn more and be formatted into a short blurb.
Nonprofit Sector Job Openings
California Native Vote Project - Deputy Director
CNVP's Deputy Director (Deputy) is a new leadership position created at a pivotal moment in the organization's growth and responsible for ensuring that the organization has the internal leadership, systems, and culture in place to support its mission. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Deputy will be responsible for ensuring CNVP's operational and financial stability, managing the organization's programs and staff, and overseeing the growth and quality of effective programs across the state of California. Overseeing and directing the operations and administration of a $1.5M nonprofit with a geographically dispersed staff the Deputy will possess strong operational and financial acumen, enabling them to serve as an effective organizational leader and coach to the team. The Deputy will also serve as a steward of CNVP's values and culture – investing in CNVP's staff and supporting staff morale, accountability, and communication across the organization.
Have a Job Opening You Want To Share?
Please email to feature your organization's job opening(s) in an upcoming newsletter (format: 3-4 sentences with a link to learn more). Priority is given to CEN members.
Sobrato Center for Nonprofits - Redwood Shores
330 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 151
Redwood City, CA 94065