Monthly Update | Feb. 2021
A Message from our CEO
Here at CEN, our work gives us the opportunity to meet thousands of local nonprofit leaders annually and to hear/witness what all of you are thinking about, wrestling with, and hoping for. We get to see (and learn from) the organizations that have been working and leading in anti-racism for years, but we also see too many local nonprofits that have not embraced or put into practice a commitment to anti-racism, which continues to concern me greatly.

As many of you know, anti-racist work cannot just be a personal philosophy, it has to be an organizational action. Leaders must take this action in partnership with staff, creating space to talk openly and transparently by asking questions and examining systems within each organization. Every day - as board leaders, executives, and nonprofit professionals - there are opportunities and moments where we can engage in anti-racism.

In the same way it is understood that you are expected to lead the financial health of your organization when serving as a board member or executive, you must lead the organization into anti-racism, if you haven’t already. Embracing truth and creating honest space to communicate in our organizations is at the center of this work. Being open and acknowledging missteps, working to rewrite biased practices and policies, learning how to make change on a systems level - each and every act leads toward power, truth, change, and collective liberation.

At a Race Forward training (listed below that I highly recommend!) I attended last week, I was moved by the question, "Will race equity be achieved, do we believe it is possible?” The majority of participants said “yes”. The facilitator agreed and also acknowledged how overwhelming it can be, how painful the work in this space is, and then shared the following quote from the great leader Fannie Lou Hamer, who said:

"If I fall, I'll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom. I'm not backing off."

Many days it can feel like we will never get there, but each day we can create change together, change that others after us can build upon. If we do not do this, we take away from our communities, from the people we serve, and those we serve with. When racial justice in our sector/society is realized, we will all benefit and the people we serve will benefit. Our sector will not live out its true potential until race equity is realized. With love, I challenge those in our sector that are not embracing this work, I challenge that if you are not stepping into this work you are not truly delivering on your missions.

We are all called to this work for different reasons, some of us are continuing the work of our parents before us and some are new to the work but recognize its importance. Collectively we will pass the changes we realize on to the next generation who will take it even farther.

At CEN, we acknowledge that we are not perfect, but we are incredibly dedicated to this work, and to our mission, so we continue to move forward in truth, courage, and care for those we serve. As Ibram X. Kendi wrote:

“Being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.”
We have seen unprecedented demand for our work this year and continue to grow our staff. We are honored to announce two additional members to our extraordinary team, Yanira Guzman and Allison Underwood, both remarkable professionals who bring their great depth of experience and strong skill sets to the CEN team. Welcome!

There are a number of new opportunities and announcements below, including CEN's acquisition of the Silicon Valley Next program for emerging leaders, so be sure to take a read!
-Larissa Robideaux, Chief Executive Officer
Keeping up with CEN
Please Join us in Welcoming Yanira and Allison to our Team!
Last month, we added two new members to the CEN team. Yanira Guzman joins our incredible group of leadership development specialists, bringing her own expertise to all our program offerings. Allison Underwood, who first worked with us a few years ago providing consulting and job coverage support, is now serving as our first assistant director of operations and development. Welcome to the team, Yanira and Allison!
To read more about Yanira, Allison, and our team, please click the button below.
CEN has Acquired the Silicon Valley Next Program!
We are excited to announce our new partnership with Curtis Chang and Consulting Within Reach to bring the Silicon Valley Next (SVN) program fully in-house to CEN. The SVN program is a collaborative approach to develop high potential nonprofit leaders, with an emphasis on providing an accessible professional development opportunity for the sector’s leaders of color. A select cohort of Fellows – all individuals deeply rooted in the community – receive training, coaching, peer support, and other investments to prepare them for executive leadership.

This program replaces the currently flawed model which forces each nonprofit organization to build its own isolated talent pipeline with a new model that collectively cultivates a shared talent pool Overall, through this acquisition, the sector will benefit from CEN providing long-term institutional stability and expansion potential to the SVN program. We look forward to updating you more in the coming months!
Participate in our "Bay Area Nonprofit Consultant and Leadership Program Surveys" by February 26th!
The initial deadline is fast approaching! If you provide consulting and coaching services or manage a leadership or capacity building program here in the Bay Area, we invite and encourage you to please participate in our survey!

Through this open call as well as personal invitations, CEN (in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation) is putting together a comprehensive list to help raise visibility for you – the providers and organizations doing the critical work – and to better articulate the local leadership and capacity building ecosystem to assist both funders and the nonprofit community in selecting a consultant or program.

This process also aims to identify consultants and capacity building organizations that can demonstrate a deep understanding of the current landscape and offer well-rounded perspectives, experiences, and proven curricula that build leadership and organizational success. We are committed to ensuring this process includes people that are routinely left out of participating in efforts like these and is representative of our community and the wide array of services and support available. Please participate and share this opportunity!
Did You Know?
This month, in honor of Black History month, we share TWO articles
that challenge the way we view work and inspire a new way to
effect community impact.

"As long as there have been black people, there have been black LGBTQ and same-gender-loving people. Racism combined with the forces of stigma, phobia, discrimination and bias associated with gender and sexuality have too often erased the contributions of members of our community."

In celebration of Black History Month, NBC News shares the stories of "11 Black LGBTQ trailblazers who made history" such as writer and speaker Audre Lorde, pictured above.
"Incidents of anti-Asian violence began spiking last spring as the pandemic got underway, and hundreds more have been documented since then. According to an Ipsos survey, 60 percent of Asian Americans have observed people blaming members of their community for Covid-19."

"A wave of violent attacks renews focus on anti-Asian racism" as shared in this recent article from Vox.
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.
Nonprofit Learning
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!
Hiring & Developing Talent
In this workshop, you will learn tips to assess and define your organization’s needs and values before you begin the hiring process, gain insight to develop strong and inclusive job descriptions that will attract the right talent, and examine the interview process (both in-person and virtually) to better evaluate candidates.
Leading Others Through Change
This session is designed to give participants the tools and techniques to lead our organizations through times of change and crisis more effectively. As a result, participants will leave with a clearer understanding of what happens to people when an organizational change initiative (both expected and unexpected) occurs, and will feel more prepared to address the myriad challenges that come your way.
Developing a Thriving Board
In this workshop, we will share strategies for executive directors to effectively “manage up” to build stronger board relationships, engage each member, and move the board toward excellence. This course is also a great opportunity for board leaders to explore how they can support the development of this key partnership. Participants will leave with a strong understanding of board management best practices and a plan to work more effectively as a board, collectively leveraging key talent for maximum impact.
NEW! CEN's IDEAL Program for Nonprofit Professionals
All of us at CEN have a deeply held commitment to putting IDEAL principles front and center when engaging in our work and that includes the delivery of this pilot program. We have chosen to reschedule and update the structure of this program because, as a staff, we looked within and realized that we needed to take a step back and be more intentional in setting appropriate and explicit expectations and further development of the curriculum.

This 2-day program is a genuine, candid space to explore the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, and Liberation (IDEAL) and the effect of these principles on the community you serve and the organization as a whole. We intend for this to be a space where you can be real, courageous, and supported as we deeply and authentically discuss IDEAL topics, so we’re asking everyone to commit to being present for the entire course and to engage in behaviors that demonstrate a commitment and genuine respect for the work and one another.
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
CEN and All Stars Helping Kids are working together to increase access to capacity building support for the All Stars 2021 Cohort. 
Through this partnership, All Stars Helping Kids has funded CEN membership for all of their grantees. Additionally, the two organizations are working together to provide access to discounted capacity building training through CEN for the All Stars portfolio of grantees. All Stars Helping Kids and it's growing portfolio has partnered with CEN to increase long-term impact through continual learning. The All Stars mission is to disrupt the cycle of poverty and encourage innovation by seed funding start-up nonprofits in the Bay Area so youth in low-income and marginalized communities have access to quality education, the skills, and resources they need to start a career, and health and wellness support. to stay healthy in body and mind. The All Stars Helping Kids Accelerator Program - 2021 Cohort, which launched last month, includes BAWSI, Camp Common Ground, My Digital TAT2, Razing the Bar, and Youth Beat.
OnBoard Governance Certificate Program
A nonprofit is only as strong as its backbone, and the backbone of every nonprofit organization is its board of directors. The Alliance for Better Nonprofits’ OnBoard Program will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to be an effective and valuable board member. Learn how you can give back to your community in a meaningful and fulfilling way! 
Nonprofit Learning Lab Webinars
Join Nonprofit Learning Lab for free nonprofit webinars in 2021 with topics ranging from fundraising, diversity, equity and inclusion to marketing. February webinars include:
  • Your Guide to a Seamless Online Event
  • The 4-Step Plan to More Donations and Greater Fundraising Results
  • 3 Steps to Double Your Donations on Facebook with Facebook Fundraisers
  • Golf Fundraisers in 2021: What to Expect and How to Plan for Anything
Race Forward: Racial Justice Trainings
Race Forward’s Building Racial Equity series is a collection of interactive trainings for those who wish to sharpen their skills and strategies to address structural racism and advance racial equity. Unlike “diversity trainings” which primarily focus on interpersonal relations and understanding, the Building Racial Equity trainings emphasize how to challenge and change institutional racial inequities.

Race Forward is offering trainings throughout February and March.
Northern California Grantmakers | Calendar of Events
At Northern California Grantmakers we bring philanthropy together to tackle our region’s most pressing social issues. In these learning spaces, we welcome curiosity and candid discussion that lead us to new solutions and ways of being in relation with each other.
AFP Silicon Valley | From Boring to Brilliant: Learn to Master the Virtual Fundraiser
Want to hold a virtual event, but don’t know where to start? Do you want to boost the results of your next event? Join us for a discussion with experienced fundraising leaders on virtually everything you should know about virtual events! You’ll learn strategies to engage and retain your attendees through an effective storyboard, how to set up sponsorships for success, and ways you can raise funds during your events. Our speakers will also review the key platforms and their strengths and weaknesses. Bring your questions for a lively Q&A.
SSIR Live!: How Nonprofits Can Leverage Randomized Evaluation Tools & Measure Social Impact Effectively
This 90-minute interactive SSIR Live! webinar (available on-demand later) will outline how organizations can use digital technology to more easily conduct randomized experiments to measure impact, and demonstrate why randomized evaluation should become an essential part of every social sector leader’s strategic toolkit.
THRIVE | Redistricting: A Once in a Decade Opportunity!
Our County came together to get the most accurate Census results possible. Now, after the Census results are submitted, the lines that determine who is represented in Congress, state Assembly, state Senate, city council, county boards of supervisors, school districts, and special districts are redrawn. This is your opportunity to make sure that your community can elect people that truly represent you. California’s redistricting process is transparent, but they need to hear from you.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation - Community Catalyst Fund: Arts & Culture - Now Accepting Applications!
The work that this program funds will be part of a long-term strategy to achieve systemic change in Silicon Valley. Organizations seeking to apply should have a clear focus on racial justice and a plan to center the community they are serving in leadership, design and implementation of programs. Priority will be given to BIPOC-led and allied organizations and those with annual budgets under $1 million. 
Participate in Fair Pay for Northern California Nonprofits: The 2021 Compensation & Benefits Survey
2021 promises to be year unlike any other as nonprofit managers continue to navigate the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in this survey will provide your organization with information on local nonprofit compensation and benefits. Additionally, you will find out how the local nonprofit community is coping with current economic conditions. More than six hundred nonprofit organizations, reporting on over 33,000 jobs, participated in the 2020 survey, making it among the largest and most robust in the survey's 42-year history.
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
Breakthrough Silicon Valley - Director of Development
The Director of Development (DoD) will lead the revenue strategy and fundraising efforts for BTSV to meet and surpass our annual revenue goal of approximately $1.5M, while working to increase revenue year-over-year moving forward. As a key member of Breakthrough’s four-person executive team, the DoD will partner with leadership to set organizational priorities to increase our impact, and will partner closely with Breakthrough’s engaged Board of Directors.
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