Across the country, people are standing up for equality and justice. In California, our grantee partners are reaching out to communities across the state to get out the vote for the recall election. From the Movement for Black Lives to #MeToo to the struggle for LGBT rights, we’re seeing a groundswell of action and determination to create a better, fairer society.
At the Haas, Jr. Fund, we know that strong, compassionate and capable leaders are key to fulfilling the promise of these and other movements for change. That’s why I am so excited to see how the Fund’s longstanding work to strengthen nonprofit and movement leadership has blossomed to become an independent entity, The LeadersTrust.
Alongside other funders, we launched The LeadersTrust earlier this year—and now this new organization is welcoming its first executive director, Sidney Hargro. Sidney is a nationally known leader with a career-long commitment to advancing racial equity and social justice through smart and innovative philanthropy. He is the right person to move The LeadersTrust into high gear as it sets out to support more people and organizations to deliver on their goals for their communities and the world.
A Legacy of Leadership Support
More than 15 years ago, the Haas, Jr. Fund launched our Flexible Leadership Awards (FLA) program to bring custom-tailored leadership support to core grantee partners working on issues from LGBT and immigrant rights to education. Over the years, we expanded this support to reach more nonprofits, refined our approach, and shared research and lessons with the field about the power and the possibilities of investing in the people at the heart of change.
We found a growing interest among funder colleagues in offering similar kinds of support to their nonprofit and movement partners. It’s those conversations and early partnerships with other funders that led to the launch of The LeadersTrust.
As the Fund’s senior director of leadership, Linda Wood joined with a stellar staff team to grow and expand our leadership investments in ways we never thought possible. Today, Linda is applying her experience and know-how to the work of The LeadersTrust as its first board chair. We wish her and Sidney all the best as they steer this new organization to bigger and broader impact for people, organizations and movements.
Widening the Circle
We also hope that still more funders will join the Haas, Jr. Fund and our partners in The LeadersTrust on this continuing journey. If you are interested in investing in leaders in proven ways that transform the ability of people and organizations to achieve positive change, we encourage you to contact The LeadersTrust.
At the Haas, Jr. Fund, we have an enduring commitment to supporting our nonprofit partners to strengthen their leadership and effectiveness—both through our ongoing support for The LeadersTrust and through other investments in skill-building, training and other activities. You’ll continue to see leaders front and center across our programs and work in different ways.
Time and again, we’ve seen the transformative power of these investments for people and communities. We are thrilled to now have a cadre of wonderful partners in this work at The LeadersTrust, and we’re hoping to keep the circle growing ever wider in the months and years to come.
Together, let’s support people to build their power and skills to lead change.