PropelNext Selects 15 California Grantees

The PropelNext California Partnership is excited to announce that fifteen nonprofits have been selected to receive PropelNext grants and join its first California grantee cohort. 

Five foundations – the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Sobrato Family Foundation, Weingart Foundation, and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation – are partnering to deliver the PropelNext three-year program to local nonprofits serving economically disadvantaged youth in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. 

Each California PropelNext grantee receives a combination of unrestricted funding along with expert coaching, group learning sessions, and a peer learning community so that grantees are able to strengthen their ability to collect, use and apply data for ongoing improvement and learning. Each organization will receive up to $400,000 in funding over 3 years from one of the four California-based funders (noted in parenthesis below). EMCF will invest an equal amount in tailored coaching and consulting, facilitated group learning sessions and an online learning community.

Through the initiative, the 15 nonprofits will enhance and sharpen their program models, implement strong performance management systems, and develop organizational cultures that facilitate and practice ongoing learning and assessment.

As a result, the five foundations believe the life prospects of disadvantaged youth in California will be improved by even smarter, stronger organizations, as they will be better able to set strategic priorities informed by data and improved decision-making, measure and track performance and impact, and use evidence to increase support for their work.

The 15 organizations are:

From the Five Foundations

“We are thrilled to join the PropelNext California Partnership and support these organizations serving disadvantaged youth in the Bay Area,” said Fay Twersky, director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Effective Philanthropy Group.  “With new financial resources and support for strengthening programs and data collection systems, California PropelNext grantees will have even greater impact on the lives of youth in our community -- and provide important lessons that can be shared with youth service organizations elsewhere.”

 “The 15 nonprofit organizations selected to participate in the PropelNext California Partnership together serve some of the most vulnerable youth in the state,” said Belen Vargas, Vice President, Programs at Weingart Foundation. “We are so pleased that through PropelNext these groups will have the opportunity and resources to become even more effective in improving outcomes for young people.” 

“PropelNext California is an opportunity to strengthen local nonprofits who are creating positive learning experiences for California’s young people,” said Irene Wong, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Local Grantmaking Program Director. “Children and youth who thrive and realize their full potential are essential to building strong and successful communities.”

“This is an impressive cohort of PropelNext grantees—each effective, and each committed to the well-being of California’s youth,” said Rick Williams, CEO of the Sobrato Family Foundation. “It is an honor to partner with fellow California funders and provide support to programs poised to deepen their impact through participation in this innovative program.” Program Director Mara Williams Low added, “Judging by PropelNext’s first, national cohort, we have every reason to expect that this second, regional investment approach will strengthen organizations, build strong community between providers, and produce greater outcomes for youth throughout our state.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with five leading California funders, and excited about the 15 organizations that we jointly selected through our grants competition,” stated Lissette Rodriguez, managing director for PropelNext. “Now we are eager to blend the local knowledge and expertise our California partners bring with the tools and resources of PropelNext so we can nurture a new cohort of emerging nonprofits as they boost their impact by smartly using and applying data in their work."

The 15 organizations were selected through a comprehensive selection process that began in December with 91 invited organizations that the five participating foundations initially identified as promising candidates that could benefit from the PropelNext program. Over the coming years, the five foundations will share what they learn from this work, including publishing the results of a formal evaluation when they are available.