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Leveraging Your Leadership: Wielding power beyond grants for greater impact

November 28, 2018

Leveraging Your Leadership: Wielding power beyond grants for greater impact
Nov. 28, 2018

What does it mean for funders to wield power equitably with all the assets at their disposal? How can they take stock of how much and how well they’re exercising public leadership as advocates, conveners, mission investors, and peer organizers?

Join NCRP, Mission Investors Exchange, and The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities for the fourth webinar in our series on the exciting new resource, Power Moves: Your essential philanthropy assessment guide for equity and justice, Nov. 28 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

View the webinar slides and watch the recording.

Photos of the participants in the webinar.

Featuring a panel of seasoned leaders, the discussion will explore concrete ways that grantmakers can leverage their public leadership beyond grantmaking to create equitable, catalytic change.

Rodney Foxworth, executive director of BALLE, will moderate a rich conversation with Bina M. Patel, CEO and Founder of Saathi Impact Consulting; Kevin Walker, president and CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation; Edie Blakeslee, vice president of grantmaking & community leadership with the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina; and Zelalem Adefris, Climate Resilience Director with Catalyst Miami.

RSVP and follow the conversation on social using #PowerMovesEquity! To learn more and download your free copy of Power Moves, visit

In the meantime, check out the recaps from the first three webinars, including an overview of the toolkit and deeper dives into building power and sharing power.

Have a burning question that you hope will be addressed on the webinar? Contact Caitlin Duffy, senior associate for learning and engagement, at

Speaker Bios:

Rodney Foxworth (@RDFoxworth and @BeALocalist)

A nonprofit leader and social entrepreneur, Rodney is executive director of BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies), a network of entrepreneurial leaders working to advance equitable economic opportunities through entrepreneurship and local business ownership in marginalized communities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Previously, he was CEO and Founder of Invested Impact, a consulting firm focused on economic development, philanthropy, and social innovation, and co-founder and Strategy Advisor of Impact Hub Baltimore. Prior to founding Invested Impact, Rodney was community manager at BMe, a national network of black male leaders and entrepreneurs. Rodney has also served as program manager at Job Opportunities Task Force, a policy advocacy and workforce development organization. Additionally, he has been a consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Calvert Impact Capital and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, among others.

Rodney is a BALLE Fellow, Next City Vanguard, and Baltimore Business Journal “40 under 40” honoree. He is featured in the Washington Post bestseller, “Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding.” Rodney serves on the board of Justice Funders, SOCAP and Thread, Inc.

Bina M. Patel (@saathiimpact)

Bina has more than 20 years of global cross-sector experience in advancing social good and justice. She has extensive experience building and leading collaborative efforts, and enjoys seeing big ideas take shape in communities. Bina has led strategic initiatives to help communities transform themselves through innovative, inclusive and sustainable efforts in the areas of asset building, public health, civic engagement and economic development. Her projects have included a revitalization of the community-based small business lending market post-2008 recession, an actionable cross-sector civic plan to advance gender equity, mobilizing residents to collaborate on developing solutions to persistent community challenges, and advancing racial equity through addressing structural racism.

The journey into consulting started in the nonprofit sector, and continues to be an illustration of her commitment to centering community power and betterment. Since she launched Saathi Impact, her consulting practice continues to be of service to the collective social good.

Edie Blakeslee (@CCFofSC)

As Vice President of Grantmaking & Community Leadership, Edie leads Coastal Community Foundation’s key community initiatives, oversees grantmaking efforts and directs community leadership opportunities within its 9-county footprint. Edie is responsible for the recently created “Civic Engagement Agenda Summary,” the result of 10-months of intentional, external-leaning community conversations designed to listen to community wisdom which informs the strategic framework for CCF’s future, including grantmaking practices, programmatic design, place based impact investing, among other efforts. With a team of six, the Grantmaking & Community Leadership Department is focused on helping to create vibrant communities by united people and investing resources. Edie spends time in each of CCF’s service area, stretching the entire coast of South Carolina, from North Carolina on down to Georgia.  

Kevin Walker (@NWAFound)

Kevin Walker spearheads the Northwest Area Foundation’s (NWAF) efforts to shape a future in which all people and communities in its region can thrive on their own terms and live free of poverty. Under his leadership, the foundation has sharpened its focus on asset building in a set of priority communities: Native Americans, communities of color, immigrants, refugees and people in rural areas. At the heart of this approach is NWAF’s commitment, honored every year since 2012, to target 40% of its giving to Native-led organizations. Other signature aspects of the foundation’s work during his tenure include an expanded commitment to mission investing and an organization-wide drive to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.

Kevin is board chair of Philanthropy Northwest and a past board chair of the Minnesota Council on Foundations. He also serves on the boards of BoardSource, the national organization dedicated to excellence in nonprofit governance; and Akiptan, a Native community development financial institution affiliated with the Intertribal Agriculture Council. Prior to joining the Northwest Area Foundation, Kevin spent 13 years with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan, including nine years as director of Mott’s national Pathways Out of Poverty program. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, Lisa, and their two sons.

Zelalem Adefris (@myzelalem and @CatalystMiami)

Zelalem is the Resilience Director at Catalyst Miami, Steering Committee Member of the Miami Climate Alliance, and a Philanthropic Trustee of the Solutions Project. She holds an MPH in Global Environmental Health from Emory University and a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Brown University. Her previous work experiences include environmental justice organizing at the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island and conducting emergency preparedness research at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At Catalyst Miami, Zelalem works to educate Miami-Dade County residents on climate threats, build climate leadership in Miami-Dade County’s low- and middle-income communities, implement programs that strengthen community resilience, and advocate for equitable climate policies.


November 28, 2018
Event Category:


National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy


Keeping a close eye on philanthropy