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Lift off: The Exploring Engagement Fund

BY Jeanne Sakamoto
Jeanne Sakamoto
Jeanne Sakamoto has worked at Irvine since 2004 and helps oversee many of the Fo
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| Nov 10, 2014

On October 23, we continued our relaunch of the Exploring Engagement Fund with a webinar that provided details on how to apply to this open application fund. More than 300 people joined the webinar hosts, Josephine Ramirez and myself, to learn and ask questions about the Fund, which provides risk capital for arts nonprofits with innovative ideas about how to engage new and diverse participants.

We were thrilled to experience the excitement and energy of all the arts nonprofits who are interested in this Fund. Our post-webinar survey indicated that most of the webinar participants intend to apply to put this risk capital to work. Based on the inputs we received during and since the webinar, it is clear that the Fund is attracting experimenters and big thinkers!

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BY Anne Stanton
Anne Stanton
As Director of the Youth program, Anne Stanton leads Irvine’s strategies to esta
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| Nov 07, 2014

In the midst of all the noise and spin about this week’s election results, I want to make sure you are aware of a very major victory for the Linked Learning field — the passage, by a two-thirds majority, of Measure N in Oakland! Measure N will generate $13 million a year for Oakland public schools, which will be used to expand Linked Learning to every high school in the district, and to open up postsecondary pathways for students.

Measure N, also known as the Oakland College and Career Readiness for All Act, was placed on the ballot by the Oakland Unified School District’s Board of Education and allows the District to collect a parcel tax of $120 on each individual parcel within the District's boundaries, with the funds used for the following purposes:

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BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Nov 01, 2014

In October 2014, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:


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BY Joyce Sood
Joyce Sood
As Digital Communications Officer, Joyce Sood leads Irvine's social media and di
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| Oct 29, 2014

Irvine staff will be out and about this month – deepening the impact of the work the Foundation supports. Here’s where you can connect with us and follow the conversations happening online in November:

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Progress with Pay for Success

BY Connie Malloy
Connie Malloy
Connie Galambos Malloy is Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy pr
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| Oct 28, 2014

Early this year, the James Irvine Foundation and Nonprofit Finance Fund launched the California Pay for Success Initiative to provide flexible funding and expert support for government and community leaders exploring opportunities to create Pay for Success agreements. Pay for Success is an innovative and promising approach to funding preventive social services. While Pay for Success experiments were underway in several other states, none had been structured in California.

Over the past six months, we've seen tremendous progress within the cohort of the initial five projects selected and in the development of a field of innovative Pay for Success practitioners and funders in California. In addition to the initial five projects selected, First 5 LA and the Children & Families Commission of Orange County were recently added to the group. These latest awards support continued efforts toward LA & Orange Counties assessing feasibility on how to sustain their respective newborn health programs through Pay for Success mechanisms.

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From the President: Excited about the Road Ahead

BY Don Howard
Don Howard
Don Howard was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2014.
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| Oct 28, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

It’s exciting, and daunting, to be asked to lead The James Irvine Foundation.

It’s exciting because we have the privilege of supporting talented and innovative leaders working to expand opportunity for the people of California. And, it’s humbling because of the enormity of the hurdles we face if we are to ensure that everyone in our state truly has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

Although I have been at Irvine for two years now, neither our board nor I see this leadership transition as a continuation of business as usual. All of us at Irvine are committed to capitalizing on this transition to reflect and to innovate. We know that our current programs are enabling tremendous impact in communities. We also know that we can, and need to, do much more.

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Our Visit to San Diego

BY Kevin Rafter
Kevin Rafter
As Manager of Impact Assessment and Learning, Kevin oversees evaluation efforts
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| Oct 16, 2014

Working in a state as large and diverse as California is, it’s valuable for the Irvine Foundation Board of Directors to hold some of its board meetings outside of our offices. Each year, the board visits a different region, to see the work that the Foundation is supporting and to meet with leaders in the community. We return from these trips invigorated by our grantee partners and inspired by solutions they are advancing.

In past visits to the San Joaquin Valley and to Riverside and San Bernardino, we took away insights about growth and uneven economic development in these regions. Earlier this month, in San Diego, California’s second largest county and our link to Mexico, we visited a place with more resources and advantages, but which also illustrates the great scope, diversity and disparity in California as a whole.

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Oakland Students Tell Their Linked Learning Stories

BY Daniel Silverman
Daniel Silverman
A native Californian, Daniel Silverman leads the Foundation’s communications wor
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| Oct 14, 2014

One of the many reasons we are excited about Linked Learning is because it ignites students’ passions by creating meaningful learning experiences in career-oriented pathways. Linked Learning is showing that when students love what they’re learning, they work harder, dream bigger, and learn more.

New public service announcements released today by Oakland Unified School District are a great example. They tell the story of Linked Learning in Oakland, and were produced by students in the Digital Media Arts Pathway, working with the district’s partners at Media Enterprise Alliance.

I encourage you to watch the two-minute video embedded below. Oakland Unified posted about a dozen short PSAs today, showing students in different career pathways. You can view all of those videos here. Check them out! I think you’ll be impressed.


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Guest Post: A Toolkit to Make Sure Every Vote Counts

BY Doug Chapin
Doug Chapin
Doug Chapin directs the Future of California Elections project. Chapin has been
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| Oct 14, 2014 1

By Doug Chapin – Director, Future of California Elections

Editor’s Note: The Future of California Elections (FOCE) is a coalition of election administrators, civil rights groups and election reform advocates, working to examine and address the unique challenges facing the state of California’s election system.

With Election Day less than a month away, new research shows that many California voters are at risk of having their vote-by-mail ballots go uncounted for due to one of three common errors – returning them too late, returning them without signing the envelope, or using a signature that can’t be matched against existing records.

Today, members of the Future of California Elections (FOCE) host a luncheon panel in Sacramento to launch an effort to help policymakers, staff and the statewide election community educate voters on how to prevent those errors from happening.

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Irvine Board Approves $16.8 Million in Grants

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Oct 06, 2014

The James Irvine Foundation Board of Directors approved $16.8 million in grants at its quarterly meeting last week. Of the 13 approved grants, two are within Arts, five in California Democracy, four are in our Youth program, and two Special Opportunities.

Here are some highlights of a few of the new grants:

ArtPlace America — Our Arts program made a $2.5 million grant to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to support California-based projects of ArtPlace America, a public-private partnership to promote the role of arts and culture in building livable, sustainable communities. ArtPlace is an innovative partnership between major foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

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Aaron Pick
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Alex Barnum
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Anne Stanton
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