Monthly Update | May 2021
A Message from our CEO
As nonprofit professionals, we are now over a year into perhaps the most challenging leadership experience that many of us have had to date. There has been so much deep trauma for the people we serve, our colleagues, and ourselves. I hear both gratitude and some trepidation about what's next and what things will be like as we look at re-entry and pivot back into more “in-person” experiences, above and beyond the many critical in-person services that remained available and were delivered by our sector throughout the past year. Many of us are also hopeful that from this year of extremely difficult loss we may learn from these powerful lessons and actually implement change.

I believe the sector will be altered forever after this experience. Nonprofit leaders have in many ways found their voice and are challenging old practices while at the same time being faced head on with extreme increases in demand for services. It will be more important than ever for boards to recognize the impact the last year has had on their organization's staff and, if you haven't already, to change old systems and “best practices” within your organizations. The nonprofits that survive and even thrive after this experience will be those that have honest and open dialogues between staff and board members about the emotional toll of the last year - this simply cannot be business as usual.

I could not have gotten through this year as a leader without the incredible board at CEN; they were such supportive partners and always kept mission and staff front and center. Unfortunately, this is not the norm in our sector and I've seen many boards that have not acted as partners and have added to the stress and anxiety of their staff. We have to do better as a sector. This cannot continue, because so much amazing talent is going unrecognized, leaders are leaving the sector, and harm is being perpetuated.

I want to thank and recognize all of you, the community of nonprofit professionals, for your courageous work this past year and beyond. Your service and strength has been truly heroic. Please do not forget to take care of yourselves, talk about what you and your organization have been through, and continue to use your voice to move our systems forward to a place that is more effective and equitable.

Nonprofit leaders, board members, sector supporters - I hope you will all keep reaching out to us. We are so honored to continue to be here as a resource.
-Larissa Robideaux, Chief Executive Officer
Keeping up with CEN
Connect with Leaders, Colleagues, & Supporters at our Annual Leaders Institute Graduation Event!
The event is only 7 weeks away and space is starting to fill up - RSVP today! We hope you'll all join us on June 24th for a virtual event to celebrate the incredible leaders of our 13th and 14th Leaders Institute cohorts. Participants will hear an update from CEN, meet the current graduates, and enjoy opportunities to engage with friends, colleagues, and sector supporters in breakout sessions that highlight the sector's impact over the past year and beyond. All are welcome!
Reflect and Connect: Nonprofit Lessons Learned in 2020 & 2021
CEN is partnering with California State University East Bay (CSUEB) for the first time to bring together a larger network of nonprofit leaders to reflect and connect over the lessons we’ve all learned in 2020 and 2021. With social justice concerns, particularly related to Black and Asian lives, making their way to the forefront of our collective attention at the same time the COVID-19 pandemic rocked our communities, nonprofit leaders were called to balance it all both personally and professionally.
We hope you’ll join us for this panel discussion where CEN and CSUEB will share what worked and didn’t work for both our own organizations as well as the nonprofits we served. You’ll then have the opportunity to share your own personal experiences and reflect on leadership lessons while connecting in smaller breakout sessions. The goal is to collectively strengthen our skills, deepen our bonds, and re-energize ourselves for what lies ahead.
New Programs at CEN
Guided by our commitment to continually evolving our services to best meet your needs, we've enhanced all our curriculum with timely resources over the past year and are also adding new sessions to our calendar. As you saw in last month's newsletter, we launched the pilot for our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, & Liberation (IDEAL) Program last week. We deeply appreciate the 40+ leaders that joined us for this program and thank them for sharing their experiences, opening their hearts and minds, and trusting the CEN team to support them on their journeys. We very much look forward to offering this program again in the Fall.

In April, our staff also came together for a test run of our new Nonprofit Advocacy training, which will be offered for the first time on June 3rd. Not only did this support our own staff's continual learning, but it also allows us space to grow together and provide feedback on each of our new offerings. We look forward to hopefully seeing you at the pilot workshop next month!
Did You Know?
Each month we share an article or resource that challenges the way we view work and inspires a new way to effect community impact.

"There is no shortage of proven models for cross-community engagement and conversation. What civil society lacks is the time to deploy them. Building trust cannot be project-managed. Building trust is about relationships. Relationships take time. Time is something that is rarely funded.
Big money is being raised and spent right now to increase the tensions that both foster and feed off political violence. But how much is being invested in the conditions that support inclusive democracy?
Does philanthropy want an America divided by escalating political violence or a united democracy? Funders, your choices in this precarious moment are not neutral."

This recent post The Hard Work of Democracy: A Case for Leisure challenges philanthropy to re-evaluate certain funding strategies and support the critical relationship-building efforts and space for creativity needed to promote real democracy and sustainability of the nonprofit sector and its leaders. The author, Eric K. Ward, reframes what "leisure" really means and why we need to stop seeing it as a luxury but rather part of how we operate and push the work forward.
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.
Our nonprofit member community is growing! Has your organization renewed its CEN membership? As we've shared before, CEN has shifted our offerings to better support you through this unprecedented time of crisis. Members continue to receive deep discounts - usually 50% - on all of our programming, which we've expanded this year, and access to special resources. We hope you'll choose to join the community or renew today!
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!
Management Basics - Part 1
Have you found yourself leading a team without any formal training on what it takes to be a successful people manager? Are you struggling with management and/or looking for a refresher on management best practices? Especially in the nonprofit sector, where resources for training are often scarce at best, you are not alone! This workshop will show you the management 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 will also leave with the tools to improve productivity, communication, and overall team satisfaction.
Management Basics - Part 2
People are your organization's most valuable resource, and effective team management can be one of your biggest opportunities for impact -- especially during times of crisis. Effective leaders proactively address issues within teams that would otherwise contribute to a culture of distrust and resentment. 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.
Leadership Resilience - New Date!
Workplace stress is unavoidable, especially now. The key to handling this 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.
Recruiting & Retaining a High Performing Board
Our sector needs strong and representative boards in order to deliver on mission and guide our organizations through evolving challenges. In this workshop, you will learn to match board recruiting strategies to your organization’s mission, centering IDEAL frameworks throughout the process . We will explore tactics for effectively identifying what board talent your organization needs to achieve your impact goals, offer practical ways to find and develop these board candidates, and discuss strategies to keep them engaged once they’ve joined the board. We recommend your ED and board member(s) attend this workshop together.
NEW! Nonprofit Advocacy
There is a widely held, mistaken belief in the nonprofit sector that advocacy is prohibited. This course answers the question “What is advocacy?” and dispels the myths that surround the ability of nonprofits to advocate as part of the work they do in support of their missions. Attendees will learn advocacy strategies and develop an understanding of the legal constraints that govern the sector.
Newsletter Sponsorship
LiveImpact is a fully integrated, easy-to-use platform that is perfect for nonprofits of all sizes. It is built to deliver increased engagement and improved efficiency. It includes intelligent apps to support Fundraising, virtual and in-person Events/Auctions, Marketing, Volunteering, Memberships, Programs and Automation. LiveImpact is fully equipped to help nonprofits amplify their mission seamlessly in the new normal. Their onboarding experts work closely with nonprofits to customize the platform for their specific needs, making switching to LiveImpact swift and painless.

To learn more, you can visit them at or check out CEN's new website and enhanced customer interface thanks to LiveImpact!
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
Just Published - Fair Pay for Northern California Nonprofits: The 2021 Compensation & Benefits Survey
Six hundred forty-seven nonprofit organizations participated in the 2021 survey, which reports compensation levels for more than 250 jobs, making it the most comprehensive in the survey's 43-year history.

·     Current, local compensation data on more than 250 jobs found in nonprofit organizations throughout Northern California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento region and the Central Valley
·     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
·     An updated "Economic Environment" section reporting organizations' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic taken in 2020 and projected for 2021
Asian American Women Artists Association - Sowing Agency Exhibition
Asian American Women Artists Association and API Cultural Center - San Francisco team up to co-present SOWING AGENCY: Seeding the Future of Environmental Justice, a multidisciplinary exhibition inspired by the fight for environmental justice, activating AAPI communities to engage in the issues of today’s climate crisis while working to realign our relationships with the Earth and highlighting collective leadership by BIPOC communities. On view at SOMArts Cultural Center and online April 30 through May 23.
APICC - United States of Asian America Festival 2021
Each year, the United States of Asian American Festival (USAAF) presents up to 20 different programs reflecting the artistic accomplishments and cultural diversity of San Francisco’s Pacific Islander and Asian American communities. USAAF showcases artists representing a diverse range of ethnic and cultural groups and aims to heighten the visibility of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) artists working in all disciplines - theater, music, dance, film, literature, visual arts, and more! Our goal is to nurture and empower these groups to be self-sufficient while providing the support they need to grow. 
Thrive Alliance - Funding Sources for Expanded Learning Programs & How to Apply
Join Thrive Alliance for their next meeting of the Peer Leaning Series, when they will present information about funding sources from different levels of government and how to apply for them. There will also be plenty of time for breakout rooms for an opportunity to compare notes with peers on the complicated search for funding and other current concerns for providers.
Understanding the Asian American/Pacific Islander Experience
Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian are hosting a three-part series of panel discussions on Understanding the Asian American/Pacific Islander Experience, that will feature a diverse group of AAPI leaders and community members from across the country. The panel discussions aim to provide a foundation for understanding our diverse AAPI community, discussing its culture and history, origins of prejudice and violence, and notions of identity within the AAPI community. All panel discussions are virtual, free and open to the public on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. PT: May 13, 20 and 27. 
Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley - Latino Board Leadership Academy Virtual Board Match Week
The Latino Board Leadership Academy (LBLA) is a comprehensive leadership training program designed to recruit and train Latinos to serve as potential nonprofit board members, and match them with boards of nonprofit organizations whose missions best match their personal interests. We invite nonprofits from different sectors such as Health, Education, Arts, Housing, Environment, etc to virtually meet our current and Alumni LBLA Fellows. Board Match Week will take place Monday, June 7th through Thursday, June 10th from 6-8 pm!
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
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory - Executive Director
SFBBO is a small but impactful nonprofit located in the South San Francisco Bay Area that is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats through science and outreach education. We are looking for an Executive Director to lead a diverse staff of 15-20 as well as hundreds of dedicated volunteers in advancing our mission. The ideal candidate will be passionate about conservation and the environment, an excellent communicator, and an inclusive leader who values teamwork and creative approaches to problem solving.
Good Karma Bikes - Annual Giving Director
You love people: connecting and engaging. You’re good at marketing in support of a great cause and love your community. You also believe that the annual giving program is the backbone of an institution’s fundraising. If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you. Good Karma Bikes is not about bikes. We support those underserved in our community with safe, reliable bicycle transportation.  No one is turned away for financial reasons. As the annual giving director, your primary role would be to develop and lead a multifaceted Annual Giving Program (AGP), including strategy to engage corporations, organizations, and individuals via e-campaigns, live events, and donor-centric communications. You’ll institutionalize ongoing donor programs measured by number of donors, donation amounts, and donor retention. 
JW House - Development Director
A full-time position reporting to the Executive Director, The Development Director serves leads all fundraising opportunities, all external communications, and high level project management produce increasing levels of visibility and support for JW House. He/she is a part of the senior leadership team.
Bay Area Cancer Connections - Manager of Volunteer Resources
This position will report directly to the Director of Programs and Services, and work closely with all staff and volunteers to develop and maintain an effective and engaging volunteer program. Responsibilities include things like volunteer cultivation, training, and sustainability, as well as overseeing our Helpline and our volunteer program as a whole.
Palo Alto Players - Development Associate
Palo Alto Players, currently celebrating 90 years of serving the community through the performing arts, is seeking a part time Development Associate to join its dynamic team. The Development Associate will support the Managing Director in managing all aspects of the organization’s fund development and donor relations. This position will work closely with donors, sponsors, and patrons as well as Palo Alto Players’ staff and Board. Ideal candidates will have nonprofit development experience, a passion for theatre, a ‘can-do’ attitude, and be a highly motivated team player. This position starts at part-time and includes flexible hours with lots of potential for growth. 
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