The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize Californians who are advancing innovative, proven and replicable solutions to critical issues facing our state.
The Foundation provides each recipient with a grant of $200,000 to advance his or her work benefiting the people of California. The Foundation also helps recipients share their promising approaches with policymakers and practitioners.
Pay for Success is an innovative and promising approach to funding preventive or interventional social services. This initiative provides flexible funding and expert support to government and community leaders exploring opportunities to create Pay for Success funding agreements. While Pay for Success experiments were under way in several other states, none had been structured in California.
In a partnership with the Packard and Hewlett foundations, the Community Leadership Project builds the capacity of small and midsize organizations that serve low-income communities and communities of color in the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast, and San Joaquin Valley. This initiative concluded with a final set of grants in 2015.
The project’s goal is to help build sustainable organizations with three key characteristics: resilient leadership, adaptive capacity, and financial stability.More about the Project
We are attuned to the unique needs of the diverse places where we work in California, and have identified two priority regions: the San Joaquin Valley and Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
These areas are traditionally underserved by philanthropy, experiencing major demographic shifts and rapid population growth, and have low-income Californians residing in disproportionate numbers.
The New Leadership Network brings together diverse leaders across issues, sectors, and generations to learn, build relationships, and collaborate, for a better future for their region. The Network launched in Fresno in 2013.
A key aspect of how we support the charitable community in California beyond our grants is to commission research that illuminates important issues and trends in the nonprofit sector. These grants enhance funders’ understanding of key trends and issues in the nonprofit sector in California.
The Fund for Leadership Advancement provides support tailored to the needs of executive directors of selected grantee organizations, to enhance their leadership capacities. This support might include executive coaching, visits to peer institutions, attendance at executive seminars or organizational development consulting to improve the performance of the organization.
The fund is unusual among leadership-development programs in that it goes beyond one-time training events or conferences. We encourage executive directors to identify more than one kind of support to foster an integrated approach, to enhance their ability to acquire new skills and knowledge, and to assist them in applying new knowledge within their organization.
Applications to the Fund for Leadership Advancement are by invitation only and are limited to current Irvine grantees. Among the invited grantees, the application process is competitive. The fund makes six to ten grants per year in the range of $35,000 to $75,000 each.
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.Read the Story
In a series of resources to help community foundations become recognized community leaders, this addresses the questions: How can emerging community foundations define their leadership opportunity, role, and first steps and how can they lead meaningfully with limited resources? This report presents community leadership lessons distilled from the experience of Community Foundations Initiative II participants. These lessons are followed by a set of stories of leadership demonstrating how these organizations have navigated the journey — including ways they have faced the reality of limited resources, concerns about finding an issue that won’t alienate others, and the difficulty of turning down requests to lead. It also illustrates how the process has helped them forge a new identity as local leaders. The document concludes with tools to help other community foundations begin to plan their own leadership journeys.Learn More
Underwritten with $10 million from the three foundations, the Community Leadership Project (CLP) targets small and midsize organizations in three geographic areas: the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast, and San Joaquin Valley. This interim progress report found that CLP community grantees hold great potential to benefit from investments in capacity building. They have clearly articulated intentions around planning, program design, and organizational structure, but lack consistent and formal practices for maximizing organizational capacity.Evaluation of the Community Leadership Project - Full Report | Learn More
Launched in January 2014, The California Pay for Success Initiative provides support to a cohort of community leaders and government entities that are structuring Pay for Success (PFS) contracts to finance high-quality preventative social services throughout California. Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), in partnership with The James Irvine Foundation, designed the Initiative to further the exploration and understanding of PFS and the capacities required of nonprofit leaders, governmental entities, intermediaries and technical assistance providers to enable a broader shift to outcomes-oriented funding arrangements in the California social sector. This field report shares key observations and lessons from the application and grant award stage of the Initiative.