Akonadi In the Press

Four Top Influencers Debate Philanthropy in the First 100 Days

“With failure comes redemption and with failure comes convocation. With failure comes an opportunity to redeem ourselves. It’s okay to say we haven’t given enough support… We give because we all must give because there is no time to save for the rainy day.” – Lateefah Simon, President, Akonadi Foundation

Four top influencers voiced opinions rarely heard in philanthropy, debating whether history will judge philanthropy’s response to President Trump’s First 100 days as a watershed moment or failure to break free.  Akonadi President Lateefah Simon, Aaron Dorfman (NCRP), Cathy Cha (Haas Jr.), and Jacqueline Martinez Garcel (Latino Community Foundation) debated at the Northern California Grantmakers Annual Conference.

Watch the full debate here!

How will history judge philanthropy’s response to the policy positions advanced in President Trump’s first 100 days?

This was the question that Akonadi President Lateefah Simon, Aaron Dorfman (NCRP), Cathy Cha (Haas Jr.), and Jacqueline Martinez Garcel (Latino Community Foundation) debated at the 2017 Northern California Grantmakers Annual Conference.

While there were several great examples of how grant makers are creatively stepping up, more than two-thirds of the nearly 400 attendees said philanthropy’s response has not been sufficient.

Here are five questions to consider as we think about how to respond to the current moment.

Akonadi President Lateefah Simon in conversation with Gloria Steinem


On March 6th, Akonadi Foundation President Lateefah Simon sat in conversation with Gloria Steinem – author, activist and luminary of the Women’s Rights Movement. This conversation focused on Gloria’s reflections on a life of activism and a call to action in this political time. The event was held in the Mission’s historical Brava Theatre to kick off the SF Women’s Building Speaker Series.

‘I don’t live in the past. I’m thinking about the next day & the day after. I live in the future for what would be & could be’ -Gloria Steinem

You can see more photos and the listen to the Live Stream from this March 6, 2017 event. News links below:


Akonadi Foundation receives Outstanding Foundation Award for National Philanthropy Day

November 15th marks the annual recognition of National Philanthropy Day, where people around the world come together to honor those on the front lines of social movements and those who are supporting social movements through giving. Each year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Golden Gate Chapter marks this day to celebrate the spirit of giving by recognizing exemplars in philanthropy and social change, and this year, Akonadi Foundation was awarded the Outstanding Foundation Award. Quinn Delaney, Akonadi Board Chair and President Emerituss  accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation. Her video is highlighted here:


Gutsy Grantmaking for Grassroots Organizations

By Dana Textoris & Matt Carter | January 2016
Grassroots Fundraising Journal

SOCIAL JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS can be in a tough spot when it comes to getting grant funding. Grants for advocacy work and general operating support can be difficult to find, making it tempting to chase grants for “fundable” projects support that veer away from core mission. Perhaps a much-needed grant is awarded— but only with uncomfortable strings attached. Or an organization without a grants track record might simply not know where or how to get started.

Lateefah Simon: Personal journey still her inspirational sword

Lateefah Simon remembers her own struggles as a community college student in San Francisco. At one point, the young mother was evicted from her home, scurrying to pack boxes before going to class.

She recalled one professor asking her about the dust on her jacket that was soiled from the move.

“I just broke down in tears,” Simon said. “There’s something about community colleges. The professors and staff see students on their knees literally, figuratively and spiritually just trying to get through.” Read More

Categories: Akonadi Foundation, Lateefah Simon, Philanthropy

Prop. 47 will keep youths on right path


California’s foundations are ready to help in the criminal and juvenile justice reform that will reduce the “school-to-prison pipeline.”