On March 6th The San Francisco Foundation hosted “Philanthropy Rising,” a donor peer learning session. This event is part of a series that TSFF has been hosting over the past year, as a way of bringing donors, thought leaders, and community members together through discussion and knowledge sharing on current issues. At this particular session, the group focused on the recent Executive Orders and the response of Bay Area philanthropy. Donors shared their personal philanthropic reactions to the Muslim bans in an open style roundtable discussion moderated by Judith Bell, Vice President of Programs at the Foundation. When donors were asked to share what prompted them to attend the session, many stated they wanted an opportunity to learn more about immigration, meet other donors, and deepen their knowledge of the Bay Area philanthropic landscape.
Donors heard from Tessa Rouverol Callejo, Program Officer, and Jazmin Segura, Fellow. Tessa shared information regarding the Bay Area response to anti-immigration legislation and Islamophobic rhetoric within Bay Area communities. She noted that organizations serving immigrants have seen a remarkable influx in volunteer interest since the election and the inauguration. Tessa remarked that mobilizing these excited and engaged citizen volunteers is critical in leveraging the power of these immigrant-serving organizations. Another interesting note that she shared was debunking myths around undocumented folks and their families. It is a common misconception that all families are either undocumented or documented, when in fact, mixed status families are more common. This leads to the breakup and separation of families when a member with undocumented status is deported.
Jazmin Segura described TSFF’s Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building, a new initiative the foundation launched to quickly deploy resources to grassroots organizations that are on the frontlines battling issues of racial justice and civil rights. This fund recognizes the necessity to respond to community need in real-time as events develop lightning fast with the new administration. Grants are reviewed on a rolling basis, and currently $347,000 has been deployed to 29 Bay Area organizations.
Lastly, our donors shared their own mindsets when approaching philanthropy in these fast-paced, daunting times. Donors asked each other questions in an open and informative discussion. One donor shared his experience working with immigrant focused organizations for decades, while still expressing a desire to learn more in the ever changing landscape of today’s political climate. Another donor voiced interest in organizations aiding the fight for reproductive rights for immigrant women of color – a comment that was echoed around the room.
Additionally, one donor was curious about “Know Your Rights” trainings, specifically what they entail and how people in immigrant communities know where to access these critical trainings. Jazmin explained that the trainings take place in many languages, and that TSFF partners closely with grassroots organizations that are deeply engaged in these communities in order to get the word out when trainings occur. Some donors commiserated over the struggle to remain engaged in news and organizing, but agreed on the ultimate necessity in not giving up, and in fact, fighting harder to attain equity and safety for all in the Bay Area and beyond. Overall, this robust discussion facilitated further learning and sharing between the foundation’s donors.
As a continuation of the foundation’s goals to provide opportunities for donors to engage in the local community, we will be hosting another walking tour at the Fruitvale Village in Oakland on Friday, April 21st from 8:30am-11:30am. The tour will feature local organizations, residents, and leaders making change in this unique neighborhood. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this event is for individual donor advised fund holders of TSFF only. Please visit Donor Center for more details.