Executive Search

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

Common Counsel Foundation’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.

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,

Peggy Saika
Interim Executive Director
Common Counsel Foundation

 

FROM THE BOARD

Peggy has led Common Counsel Foundation with vision, generosity, trust, and most importantly, intention. She has challenged us – Staff and Board – to now do the same. We know that this work is all about relationships. And, that our community holds the most essential ones. Help us find our next leader to carry the torch of progressive philanthropy at CCF.

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!

In Solidarity, 

Alex Tom & China Ching
Chair and Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Common Counsel Foundation 

Leading Edge of Progressive Philanthropy

We’re seeking our next leader to build on the relationships, strengths and values that have underpinned our work for 35 years.

How to Apply

We are seeking a leader who can inspire and challenge us and the sector, who can build diverse partnerships and deep relationships, and, most importantly, who intimately understands the power of unlocking resources in support of community-led change.

We invite you to share this position announcement widely or email to request a confidential networking call with Social Strategy for Change, a woman of color owned and led capacity building and leadership development practice, who are conducting this search. Phone inquiries are discouraged.

The final deadline for applications is December 16, 2022, at 5pm PT.

We are committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, we will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the application or interviewing process, please contact [email protected] upon submitting your application.


More About Common Counsel Foundation

We are trusted by movement leaders

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We benefit from deep connection and trust with community leaders who share insights and priorities about the work and context on the ground. As philanthropic advisors, we can connect what we learn from movement partners with the families and people who entrust us to advise their giving.

We have been engaged in social movement work for 33 years

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In recent years, we’ve seen uprisings and social movements pushing for systemic change. As many foundations join the work to support movement, CCF has more than three decades of  experience in this work to offer guidance and best practices to support grassroots and movement partners. We promote strategic social justice philanthropy and our granting criteria distinguish the differences between charity and transformation.

We work with a range of stakeholders to achieve our mission

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We advise family foundations on their giving, advise donors with funds that are held at CCF, provide fiscal sponsorships and build operational capacity for movement organizations, and are home to multi-funder collaborative initiatives. We welcome more partners to join us.

The depth of expertise and experience of our team

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The collective experience of our team combines on-the-ground work in community organizations with philanthropic expertise. Our staff and board have extensive professional knowledge and the nuance of lived experience with the issues that we engage in. We bring deep commitment and personal connection to the work, providing a richer analysis and context to our advising.

How we partner

We work with likeminded funders and donors who keep community priorities at the forefront

Impact

Frontline Leaders Setting Strategy for Next Phase of Fund for an Inclusive California
Read more about the Fund for an Inclusive California’s community-led design process and how we are teeing up the next phase of work for housing justice and equitable development.
GXF Spotlight: Firelands Workers United, Native Justice Coalition
Hear from two frontline organizations about how GXF grants have supported them to collaborate and take quick action in moments of opportunity.
CCF Board Member Spotlight: Vanessa Daniel
For the last four years, the Common Counsel Foundation has been privileged to have the leadership of Vanessa Daniel as part of our board. A longtime activist, organizer, and funder of social movements, read on to hear Vanessa’s story and her perspectives on CCF’s journey.
Susan Wells: A Tribute to One of CCF’s Founding Family Members
“Susan cared a lot about a wide array of social justice causes, but she didn’t just care about the cause, she also cared deeply for the people leading the cause, for the organizers and the community leaders out there every day pushing for justice. ”
Funder Perspective: Opportunity Fund Connecting to the Movement Ecosystem through Native Voices Rising
The Opportunity Fund wanted to learn what they could do as a locally-focused foundation to repair historical and ongoing harm and extraction from Black and Indigenous communities. Native Voices Rising provides a partner and entry point to funding Native-led work.
A Message from Our Board: Our Next Phase of Progressive Philanthropy
Peggy has led Common Counsel Foundation with vision, generosity, trust, and most importantly, intention. She has challenged us – Staff and Board – to now do the same.
A Note from Peggy: Closing Out This Amazing Journey
“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.”
Expanding the Scope of Trust-Based Philanthropy: How Funders are Helping Reshape Learning & Evaluation
The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is partnering with the Fund for an Inclusive California in a three-part series to chart a course for how philanthropy can reimagine learning and evaluation in alignment with community priorities.
Donor story: Connie’s power-building focus is right at home at CCF
Connie partners with Common Counsel Foundation as a home for her giving to support community power that uproots structural racism.
Measuring our accountability to movement: CCF leaders share a flipped mindset for evaluation at CHANGE Philanthropy’s Unity Summit
Watch this inside look on how the Fund for an Inclusive California team uses Learning and Evaluation to break out of inequitable power dynamics and make us stronger partners and funders to the grassroots movement.
Native Voices Rising 2022 Grant Cycle Open May 16 – July 15, 2022
Native Voices Rising 2022 grant cycle is now open, celebrating its tenth year of community-led grantmaking to Native-led organizations.
Philanthropy Should Follow Where Native Women in New Mexico Are Leading
Native Women in New Mexico are leading the way, building solidarity and growing resources for their communities. Read about five leaders’ work during the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Wildfires Threaten More Prisons, the Incarcerated Ask Who Will Save Their Lives
CCF grant recipient TGI Justice Project is doing urgent work to protect incarcerated people from California’s wildfires.
Native Voices Rising Grants $2 Million to Community Organizing and Advocacy Efforts Led by Indigenous Communities
Native Voices Rising, is honored to announce the granting of $2 million to 88 Indigenous and Native-led advocacy and organizing groups.
Immigrant Mothers Pressure Senator to Support Path to Citizenship in Reconciliation Package
CCF Grassroots Exchange Fund recipient Movement for Justice in El Barrio demands support for a path to citizenship for immigrants in the budget reconciliation package.
Partnering to Support Values-Forward Philanthropy
Common Counsel Foundation partners with families and individual donors to expand philanthropic resources for progressive social movements. We are excited to welcome these new partners to the Common Counsel Foundation community.
Haiti faces disasters and chaos. Its people are most likely to be denied U.S. asylum
NPR reports on personal stories of people seeking asylum at the Texas border, sharing history of U.S. interference and interview with the Executive Director of UndocuBlack.
Commemorating the Anti-Racial Profiling Project One Year Anniversary
CCF grantee Asian Americans Advancing Justice shares its milestones after one year of fighting racial profiling in its community.
New report shares insights from three years of partnership for housing justice
We are excited to share insights from our journey listening and learning alongside community leaders in California at the forefront of housing justice.
Op-Ed: Let’s Liberate Our Hair at Work
National Black Worker Center Executive Director writes for Newsweek about the ties between white supremacy and oppressive hair standards for Black women.
Climate activists in South Dakota organize to #CutMethane
CCF Environmental Action Fund grantee Dakota Resource Council is on the front lines in the movement to Cut Methane.
Innovative Organizing in California’s Inland Region
The Inland Region has a powerful history of innovative organizing, in this session we heard from racial, economic and housing justice organizers.
California Set to Extend Eviction Protections
The New York Times reports on California lawmakers’ deal aimed at preventing California from falling off an “eviction cliff,” featuring the work of F4ICA recipient Housing Now.
Searching for the Lost Graves of Louisiana’s Enslaved People
CCF Grassroots Exchange Fund recipient Lowlander Center is doing critical work to protect ancestral burial sites of enslaved people against the expansion of toxic petrochemical plants.
On the Louisiana Coast, an Indigenous Community Loses Homes to Climate Change
Documentary shared stories from the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw people, an Indigenous tribe that has lived on Isle de Jean Charles for more than two centuries, and at a crossroads with increasing massive flooding.
Texas Republicans Fail to Gut Local Labor Protections
Texas Observer reports on Texas’ 87th legislative session and a hard-fought victory for labor advocates including Workers Defense Project.
The Climate Crisis Demands a National Black Climate Agenda
Op-Ed by Colette Pichon Battle in The Hill announcing the Red, Black and Green New Deal, a climate agenda
One Struggle, Many Fronts with Alex Tom
In the face of racist attacks on Asian communities, Alicia Garza talks with CCF board chair and executive director of Center for Empowered Politics, Alex Tom about racial solidarity, organizing and more.
Lawmakers have bodily autonomy; so should constituents
Bold Futures NM’s Kat Sánchez writes for the La Cruces Sun News about the importance of bodily autonomy.
CCF’s Grantmaking for Social Justice in 2020
2020 was an expansive year for Common Counsel Foundation. Our community is growing, welcoming new donors, movement and funder partnerships, and staff.
Native Voices Rising Supports COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery by Awarding $1.5 Million to Native-led Nonprofits
We are pleased to announce $1.5M of grant awards to 89 Native-led groups, with nearly half of funds going to new grant partners.
Colorado bill would regulate toxins in communities, especially low-income areas
Colorado Politics documents the movement of HB20-1265 through the state legislature and showcases viewpoints of bill advocates, including climate justice leader from Colorado People’s Alliance.
Environmental Justice: The Issues Faced
CCF Environmental Action Fund grantee North Carolina Environmental Justice Network celebrates 20 years of fighting climate, environmental, racial, and social injustice.

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