New Chapter, Same Commitment to Social Justice
We are looking for our next executive director, who will help to define the next era of leadership and partnership in social justice philanthropy.
A note from Peggy
Dear Friends, Allies, Partners,
I’m writing to share that I will be stepping down from my role as interim executive director of Common Counsel Foundation at the end of 2022. CCF’s long history of supporting grassroots organizing towards social, racial and environmental justice was the compelling call for me to join as interim executive director over three years ago. It has been an amazing journey during one of the most tumultuous times in our country’s history. I have been fundamentally changed by the CCF community and each person that comprises it.
We have broadly framed this period of CCF’s development as “From Scarcity to Collective Abundance.” You have supported us through this period as we have continued to build our capacity, improve our work and seek organizational solutions that can benefit all of our partners. Through your efforts and the leadership of CCF Board and Staff it is significant to highlight these accomplishments. We have:
- Increased CCF grantmaking output to frontline organizations in Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities during the initial surge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Grown the CCF community of donors, funders and fiscally-sponsored projects, increasing CCF’s work in issues such as Black power-building, anti-militarism, mental health, public education and so many others.
- Celebrated ten years of Native Voices Rising, with over $2 million in grants to Native-led social change groups in 2021 and a $10 million campaign in 2022 to commemorate its 10th anniversary.
- Successfully implemented – and completed – the four-year $12 million Fund for an Inclusive California, whose community partners are now envisioning the next ten years of action for the housing rights movement in California.
- Grown to a staff of 20 with a senior team and key staff across the organization to shepherd and grow CCF’s practice, to increase and facilitate resources to our community partners.
It took a lot of collective effort, humility, and courage to grow our team while strengthening our practice of being led by social movements to advance a broader vision for justice and a regenerative economy. It has changed me profoundly – and certainly for the better. I am so proud to have been a part of this team and the journey we took together. And of course, this work will continue.
At Common Counsel Foundation, we believe that social justice movements are the drivers of lasting social change. The people that are closest to society’s ills have the richest understanding of real-life impacts and truly transformative solutions. Although this is a bittersweet moment for me, I look forward to supporting new leadership and working with all of you to ensure CCF’s relevance in critical thinking, problem-solving and investing resources for a just democracy.
With a grateful heart,
Interim Executive Director
Common Counsel Foundation
FROM THE BOARD
Dear Friends, Partners and Allies,
We write to share an announcement, a request and a call.
First, the announcement: at the end of 2022, Peggy Saika will be stepping down as the interim executive director of the Common Counsel Foundation (CCF). This is a planned transition, one spurred by Peggy’s own career-long commitment to growing leadership in philanthropy. It’s an embodiment of the way she has led CCF: with vision, generosity, trust, and most importantly, intention. She has challenged us – Staff and Board – to now do the same. And, to look to the future with strength, love and hope.
It goes without saying that in her tenure, Peggy has transformed CCF. When she joined us at the end of 2018, it was an uncertain and chaotic time for us as an institution and, especially, for our partners on the ground. Peggy understood that the core of our work, getting funds directly to grassroots organizations and to social movements, was more essential than ever. And, she brought all our resources, relationships and 30 years of experience to the task. Under Peggy’s leadership, we are proud to say that CCF has:
- Grown strong multi-partner collaboratives and pooled funds, leveraging both strategic networks and millions of dollars toward transformative social change.
- Welcomed new donors, families and philanthropies to our funding community, bringing new resources and new models of giving.
- Helped to incubate and accelerate social justice movement formations across the country who are building community power.
- Built a strong, resourceful and skilled team of seasoned movement and philanthropic leaders.
- Increased our annual grantmaking by 500%, from $4 million in 2017 to $20 million in 2021. Over 80% of those funds ($16 million in 2021 alone) were for general operating support.
We are confident that CCF is in the strongest place it has ever been.
Which brings us to our request: we need all the members of our community to help us as we embark on this new journey. We have hired Strategies for Social Change to help us manage the transition and have formed a Leadership Transition Committee, led by Staff and Board. We know that this work is all about relationships. And, that you all hold the most essential ones. You know CCF. And, our work. We believe that CCF is essential. And, we look forward to welcoming another essential leader. Please share the position announcement widely.
And, finally, a call: for celebration. There will be many ways in the coming months for the CCF community to reflect on, celebrate, and appreciate Peggy. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we want to express our profound gratitude to Peggy for her leadership and love. We look forward to celebrating together soon. Stay tuned!
Alex Tom & China Ching
Chair and Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Common Counsel Foundation
The deadline has passed and we are no longer accepting applications.
The search for CCF’s next ED is in the interview stage. We look forward to updating our community later this Summer.
More About Common Counsel Foundation
We are trusted by movement leaders
We have been engaged in social movement work for 33 years
We work with a range of stakeholders to achieve our mission
The depth of expertise and experience of our team
How we partner
We work with likeminded funders and donors who keep community priorities at the forefront
We are particularly adept at advising donors interested in supporting strategic grassroots organizing for positive social and environmental change. Our team holds deep relationships and partnerships with organizations working across a spectrum of justice-focused issues. We work with individuals and families to determine where they would like to use their resources to make a difference and we design portfolios and connect them with information to learn more, and leaders and organizations.
Donor Advised Funds
Donor Advised Funds are an efficient way for you to maximize your giving by leveraging our knowledge, relationships and strategic approach to support organizations that match your particular interests. CCF staff manages the granting process, offering you the giving power of an independent foundation without the management hassle and added administrative expenses.
We are uniquely qualified to design and manage a granting program that specifically targets organizations aligned with your particular values and interests. We work to make the process both easier and more efficient than the traditional route of starting an independent foundation of your own.
Our flexible and tailored services enable you to create a specialized plan for your philanthropy that best reflects the mission of your fund, foundation, or trustees.
Each family or individual who participates in this giving program works closely with Common Counsel to develop a customized grant-making program for their funds to maximize grant dollars and minimize overhead costs.
We support trustees with program design, grant-making, administrative record keeping, and money management that emphasizes our mutual commitment to social, economic and environmental justice.
Building power in communities that have been historically marginalized by systems of oppression requires significant financial scale and collaborative efforts. Common Counsel Foundation specializes in working with a variety of stakeholders, including donors, institutional funders, and grassroots organizations to design, manage, and evaluate multi-million dollar collaborative pooled funds tackling a range of intersectional social justice issues. We have a track record of developing community- and movement-led collaborative grantmaking vehicles at scale.
Fund for an Inclusive California
Our community of grassroots leaders, nonprofits and funders are committed to pursuing transformative approaches that will achieve well-being and housing for all in California.
Through investments, strategic coordination, growing and strengthening connections within and across movement, we support communities gaining control of the land on which they live – not just for profit but for the well-being of the people that live there.
Native Voices Rising
Native Voices Rising is a research, donor education, re-granting, and capacity-building collaborative created and led by Common Counsel Foundation and Native Americans in Philanthropy. Native Voices Rising is designed to support organizing, advocacy and civic engagement in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.
The 2022 Grant Cycle is open! Learn more about eligibility and access the application. Deadline to apply is July 15, 2022.
Grassroots Exchange Fund
Common Counsel’s Grassroots Exchange Fund (GXF) is a rapid response small grants program designed
to support networking and collaboration between grassroots social change organizations throughout the
GXF grants help small community-based organizations to engage in collaborative campaigns, strengthen cross-region and cross-sector movements, and participate in organizing, training and technical assistance trainings.
Still We Rise
Community-based organizations have steadfastly built the people power needed to win, and are poised to mobilize in support of democracy, resilience, and power-building efforts. In a rapidly changing social and political landscape, grassroots organizations are at the front lines, protecting and supporting vulnerable communities, such as immigrant, Black, Arab and Muslim, Native-American, women, working-class, and LGBTQ communities. Philanthropy needs to move flexible, responsive funding for equitable community priorities and needs that support democracy, resilience, and community-led power.
What makes Still We Rise unique:
Community-Informed Grantmaking – grassroots leaders inform the grantmaking process, priorities, and decisions
Responsive, Flexible Funding – grant awards can be quickly deployed to support ongoing and planned efforts, with grants reviewed and deployed on a weekly basis
Streamlined Proposal/Reporting Requirements – minimizing the proposal and reporting process to maximize the impact of funding dollars
The Still We Rise Fund is currently not accepting applications.
Incubation and Fiscal Sponsorship
Common Counsel Foundation helps build the capacity of social justice organizations. We provide fiscal sponsorship and operational support so organizations can continue to deepen and expand their organizing and movement building work.
Movement For Black Lives
The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) formed in December of 2014, was created as a space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural and political wins, convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement wide strategy. Under the fundamental idea that we can achieve more together than we can separately.
The Movement for Black Lives is an ecosystem of over 150 organizations that provides the infrastructure for Black-led movement building across the country. M4BL works to create a shared movement-wide strategy for how to improve the lives of all Black people. M4BL’s ecosystem represents organizations that coordinate actions, messages, and campaigns across the United States. This movement is driven by leadership anchored to eight tables that help coordinate members and recommend strategy: 1) Policy, 2) Organizing & Base Building, 3) Electoral Justice, 4) Cross-Movement & Multi-Racial Solidarity, 5) Resource, 6) Abolishing Patriarchal Violence, 7) Mass Engagement, and 8) Strategy.
The Color Congress
The Color Congress is a national collective of majority people of color (POC) and POC-led organizations aimed at centering and strengthening nonfiction storytelling by, for and about people of color across the United States and territories. We do this by supporting, resourcing, and connecting these organizations and building their collective power so they can be a more powerful force for change.
The Color Congress is supported by the Ford Foundation JustFilms, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Perspective Fund.
Windcall Institute supports and sustains labor and community organizers, particularly people of color and women through our signature Residency experience and Staying Power programming. Windcall believes that when our organizations are more life sustaining, imaginative, and visionary, our people and movements will:
-More profoundly contribute to dismantling of all forms of oppression.
-Collaborate with greater ease.
-Attract broader participation.
-Focus on what we want instead of what we oppose.
-Develop new ideas and alliances that advance us in substantive ways.
-Be positioned to change the policies and political structures to be more just.
RoadMap exists to provide this support through high-impact, relevant and integrated consulting services. As a team of capacity-builders “indigenous” to social justice and movement-building, RoadMap understands the organizational goals, strategies, structures and cultures particular to social justice organizations. As such, RoadMap is able to engage deeply with clients to provide precisely tailored capacity-building that fits their needs.