light shinning in the forest

Getting your project, initiative or program off the ground and headed in the right direction takes time and energy. The following resources may help you plan and execute your vision.

Cowell Reports

Grantee Perception Report. Center for Effective Philanthropy, 2012

Providing Assistance Beyond the Grant: S.H. Cowell Foundation.” Center for Effective Philanthropy, 2015

Sharing Responsibility to Achieve Collective Goals. Grantee Leadership Convening Wisdom Book, 2011


American Leadership Forum offers a year-long intensive leadership development fellowship through affiliates in Silicon Valley and in the Sacramento region.

The Center for Courage & Renewal seeks to create a more just, compassionate and healthy world by nurturing leaders’ personal and professional integrity and emboldening them with the courage to act on it.

Claros Group is composed of three organizational development consultants who work with non-profit leaders to provide coaching and consulting to help clarify goals, map a course of action, and stay focused on achieving results.

CompassPoint is a consulting organization that guides non-profits as they become better managed, more adaptive, and achieve higher impact.

Courij Consulting provides executive coaching for leaders and change management consulting for non-profits and school districts that serve communities of color.

Foundation Center is a leading authority on philanthropy and connects non-profits and grantmakers to tools and information. It also offers a comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants as well as research, education, and training programs.

The Goodman Center helps good causes reach more people with more impact by offering workshops in storytelling, presenting, strategic communications and more.

JVA Executive Director Training helps new executive directors lead with confidence. The training includes sessions on shared leadership, management, governance, fundraising, finances, marketing, program development and evaluation, and more.

Leadership Learning Community provides information, research, resources and learning circles to facilitate and develop learning about leadership.

LeaderSpring offers two-year, on the job fellowships for executive directors in San Francisco and Alameda Counties.

Making Wise Decisions offers user-friendly, step-by-guidance to organizations that are considering adopting a new data management system for the purposes of program improvement, evaluation and reporting, and/or fund development.

The NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence program is a partnership with the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government that offers non-profits a multi-disciplinary academic curriculum concentrated on the issues of leadership in organizations working to benefit their communities.

Rockwood Leadership Institute offers leadership programs led by nationally and internationally recognized thinkers, educators and activists who are experienced in sharing the most in-depth and leading insights on collaboration, capacity-building and leadership development.

Stanford Business School Executive Program for Non-profit Leaders offers a ten-day residential program designed to further the professional development of leaders in the non-profit sector.

The Taproot Foundation builds non-profit capacity by matching organizations with pro bono business consultants who assist with a range of issues including board recruitment, information technology, marketing, human resources and financial systems.

Walker and Associates Consulting  is a national management consulting firm with a wealth of knowledge and experience in meeting the unique needs of foundations, non-profits, intermediaries and small businesses – helping them fulfill their missions and better serve their communities.


California Family Resource Association advocates for public policies and resources needed for families and communities to thrive and succeed.

Center for the Study of Social Policy, for the Five Protective Factors Framework for Strengthening Families.

Family Resource Centers: Vehicles for Change / Centros de Recursos Familiares: Vehiculos Para el Cambio, a publication that defines and describes the key characteristics and activities of quality family resource centers (FRCs).

Family Resource Centers: Vehicles for Change, Volume II, refreshes the definition of FRCs based on their unique methods for service delivery and community change driven by relationships, reciprocity, and community development. This perspective serves to unite FRCs across the state as a “field of practice” and illustrates the environment necessary for FRCs to thrive.

Re-visioning Case Management: Partnering with Families and Communities to Create Meaningful Change is designed to spark discussions and encourage exploration of a comprehensive approach to engage families, organizations, and communities in ways that bring about meaningful and enduring change.

Reflections of executive directors and program staff of Family Resource Centers statewide who have directly engaged with children and families over the last 10 years.


In Lessons for Developing School and District Capacity to Transform Literacy Instruction: A Retrospective Study of the Canterbury Learning Collaborative, Ann Jaquith of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education relates how a decade-long collaborative effort among school leaders in an urban neighborhood cast ripples of change and challenge across their 55,000-student district.

California Collaborative on District Reform joins district leaders, policymakers, researchers and funders in ongoing, evidence-based dialogue and activity to improve instruction and student learning for all students in California’s school systems. It publishes briefs on vital issues for district improvement such as implementation of the Common Core State Standards, strategies to turn around challenging schools, and ways to build organizational capacity through district-to-district collaboration.

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching offers tools and inspiration for educators to improve their performance through disciplined inquiry and organizational learning.

In Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, educator Zaretta Hammond draws on neuroscience research to show how teachers can promote engagement and rigor among students of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Mindful Schools offers online training, consultation and resources for adults who want to learn the practice of mindfulness and to use the practice with youth.

The District Resource Center site at the Consortium for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) gathers insights, documents and data from a network of collaborating districts that are working to implement comprehensive, research-based approaches to SEL.

The Internal Coherence Framework, developed by Professor Richard Elmore and colleagues at Harvard Graduate School of Education, provides a lens on the conditions in schools that support instructional improvement and student learning. California schools and school districts can also learn more about building coherence for instructional improvement through the John D. Welty Center at Fresno State University.

Turning Around a High Poverty District: Learning from Sanger is a concise, practical and inspiring summary of lessons from the extraordinary success of Sanger Unified, an 11,000-student district in Fresno County.

Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University is focused on developing awareness of the vital role of language in understanding and expressing knowledge of academic content in the context of the Common Core State Standards.


California School-Age Consortium offers news, research, career information and a schedule of events and free training opportunities.

Central Valley Afterschool Foundation supports high-quality afterschool programs through training, communications, funding partnerships, and public awareness initiatives.

Chaplin Hall at the University of Chicago provides policy research that benefits children, families and their communities.

The Forum for Youth Investment helps communities and the nation make sure all young people are Ready by 21™ — ready for college, work and life by sharing best practices in the youth development field.

Learning in Afterschool & Summer is an effort by afterschool advocates and leaders to unify the field of afterschool and focus the movement on promoting young people’s learning.

National Standards & Quality Indicators provides a common and shared framework to help school systems and communities identify what youth need in order to achieve successful participation in postsecondary education and training, civic engagement, meaningful employment, and adult life.

Partnership for Children and Youth provides advocacy, technical assistance and access to resources such as physical and mental healthcare, out-of-school-time learning and enrichment activities, mentoring and educational support. Its work is organized around three key initiatives: Out of School Time; Community Schools; and Advocacy and Policy.

Public Profit provides high-quality, cost-effective data management and evaluation consulting services to non-profits, governments, and schools.

Ready by 21 is a set of innovative strategies developed by the Forum for Youth Investment that helps communities improve the odds that all children and youth will be ready for college, work and life. Ready by 21 is a set of innovative strategies developed by the Forum for Youth Investment that helps communities improve the odds that all children and youth will be ready for college, work and life.

Search Institute provides leadership, knowledge, and resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities including the framework of 40 Developmental Assets, which are positive experiences and personal qualities that young people need to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.