Young had been dreaming about an organization that could bring non-profit leaders together to share knowledge and resources. When she met Nop, a local real estate broker and generous supporter of the community, they discovered they shared that vision. As they pursued it, they hired a consultant who thought it was an awful idea and only had a chance of working if they carefully selected the member non-profits. That caused some reflection, but they decided to ignore the advice and bring any non-profit on board.
Now there are more than 100 active member organizations locally and Young estimates they’ve served probably 500 non-profits. When Covid and the lockdown hit, they moved their educational programs to Zoom and now have served well over 1,000 organizations in 47 countries. The education program is free and open to any interested person or organization.
The alliance also offers a nine-month program for 12 executive directors that provides training, knowledge sharing and community building. She said that community building is a key element in their programs.
Thanks to a generous landlord that is leasing space at 40% under the market rate, they have their Commonpoint Nonprofit Center on North L Street in Livermore. It’s a 3,000-square-foot space that has a full kitchen, a conference room and meeting rooms, desks and offices that non-profits can rent on a short term or long term basis. Given the huge break on rent, Young says they are moving toward sustainability, but there’s still fundraising to do—something she says is a constant.
Some of money goes directly to their non-profit fund that is $100,000 annually. Grants of between $5,000-1,000 are given to between 35 and 40 organizations that apply annually. Only about one-third of the applicants receive grants.
They’re partnered with the 3 Valleys Foundation with both focused on serving the non-profit community although the foundation also is working with its donors. The foundation is striving to build an endowment as well as robust donor-advised funds, while the alliance plows its fund back into the community as quickly as it can.
The organization’s budget has grown robustly over the last few years, going from $207,000 to an estimated $747,000 this year with a $1.4 million grant from the Alameda County Health Dept. driving that. That grant brought together the alliance, the Tri-Valley Haven, CityServe, AXIS community health and Open Heart Kitchen to reach out to the under-served neighborhood north of the railroad tracks bounded by Marilyn Avenue and Junction Avenue.
Next week, the alliance’s anti-poverty initiative will present its Bridging the Gap program at the Bankhead Theatre from 10 a.m. to noon. They’ve lined up a distinguished group of speakers and will be unveiling their report on poverty in the Tri-Valley. Based on what Young shared with me (not yet for publication), there are surprises in that report. It’s a free event with registration required. The anti-poverty collaborative was formed simultaneously with the alliance with the goal of focusing attention and resources on poverty in the valley.
In November, the alliance will gather non-profits and interested people for its 3rd Power of Giving celebration. Chris Helfrich, the CEO of the Steph and Ayesha Curry’s Eat, Learn. Play. Foundation, is the keynote speaker, while Las Positas College President Dyrell Foster will be the emcee. It also includes awards.
You can register for both events and learn more about the alliance at https://tvnpa.org/