The Family Impact Canvas – a new tool for change makers

In about six weeks, CSSL will formally launch our new Social Impact Collective, a new community of high net worth families seeking insight, tools and connection to make their giving and impact investing more effective. Our inaugural group will gather for our Discovery Weekend in Half Moon Bay at the beautiful Miramar Farms.

In addition to the amazing people who are founding the Collective, we’re fortunate to have a tremendous group of faculty for the weekend to drive learning, reflection and action on social impact. The faculty includes:

  • Laura Tyson, our former Dean, and the Director of the Institute for Business and Social Impact here at Haas
  • Paul Brest, the former President of the Hewlett Foundation and Professor Emeritus at Stanford
  • Kat Taylor, co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank and signer of Warren Buffett’s giving pledge
  • Diane Parnes, Board Officer at SV2 and former ED of the Sobrato Family Foundation
  • Fay Twersky, Director of the Effective Philanthropy Group at the Hewlett Foundation
  • Paula Goldman, Global Director of Impact Investing at the Omidyar Network

And we’re still adding speakers. Continue reading


Alameda Point Collaborative Combats Poverty and Homelessness with the Help of Haas MBAs

Community Partner Spotlight: Alameda Point Collaborative

apc_logoAlameda Point Collaborative ( is a supportive housing community that was founded in 1999 to combat poverty and homelessness. Operating within the local community, APC began by transforming military housing on the former Alameda Naval Station into supportive housing communities. APC provides 500 formerly homeless residents, including more than 300 youth, safety and stability with a home to live. In addition to providing shelter, the organization focuses on providing job training skills and mental health counseling by trained professionals to encourage development. APC places a special focus on the youth of its community to ensure the future can overcome the drastic effects of poverty and homelessness. Emphasizing education as the core indicator of success, APC helps youth learn about health, nutrition, and horticulture.

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Photos courtesy of Alameda Point Collaborative’s Facebook page

Ever year, as a part of orientation week, first-year full-time Haas MBA students spend half a day providing community service at Alameda Point Collaborative.

Continue reading

Haas Staff Volunteer at the Oakland Zoo

An outdoor laboratory used by the Oakland Zoo to teach students about habitats is much improved after Berkeley-Haas staffers swept through wielding clippers, shovels, and rakes to clear the area of brush along the Arroyo Viejo Creek restoration project. The Zoo’s animals reaped benefits as well from Haas staffers who created chimp enrichment packets and potted native grasses that will be used to enhance animal habitats and zoo landscaping.

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It was all part of the first-ever Haas Staff Volunteer Day, organized by the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership and Engage@Haas – 72 enthusiastic Haas staff members participated on June 4, 2013. The service day exemplified Haas’ staff commitment to going “Beyond Yourself.”

“It was invigorating to see my colleagues rallying together to accomplish what seemed at first to be an inconceivable feat.” –Brandon Gardiner, Haas Facilities Coordinator    Continue reading

Giving Away a $10,000 Grant to a Nonprofit Organization in Cal Strategic Philanthropy

Cal Strategic Philanthropy is a course offered by CNPL to allows students to have the opportunity to give away a $10,000 grant to a nonprofit organization that they decide upon as a class. This semester, our class decided to split the grant into two $5,000 grants. Our final presentations are this Thursday, after which we will deliberate which two organizations of the four we are representing will receive the grants.

Haas Undergrad Shreya Dhingra

Haas Undergrad Shreya Dhingra

The number one lesson I have learned from this class is that it is so easy to fall in love with every single nonprofit organization you come across just by looking at their values and mission. A great deal of assessment is required to make a strategic and worthwhile philanthropic donation. My team is representing Not In Our Town, an organization that addresses hate crime in the US.

Our site visit to NIOT’s office in Oakland was a great learning experience to pool together everything we had learned from the course to make an accurate assessment of their work, impact, financial health, future goals, and leadership. The hardest task is to properly balance the appeal to both the head and the heart of your audience as you seek funding.

If you are interested in making a real impact with real money, take a look at the course webpage.

Prof. Silver presents Berkeley-Haas course to worldwide audience in Sienna, Italy

Philanthropy, and specifically, strategic philanthropy, is a topic finding its way into increasing numbers of disciplines in universities around the world. The purpose of this workshop is to inspire and prepare instructors worldwide to teach an experiential undergraduate class in strategic philanthropy, and to provide resources and a professional network to support their course development.

Dr. Nora Silver will deliver a workshop on Berkeley-Haas’ Cal Strategic Philanthropy undergraduate class, a course initially designed by students and winning a Big Ideas @ Berkeley curricular award. Each of the last three Springs, the class has received $10,000 from the Learning by Giving Foundation. The class researches and decides how that money will create the greatest social impact in the San Francisco Bay Area. Students indeed learn by giving about personal and group values, group decision-making, social issues, grantmaking criteria, nonprofit assessment, social impact, and the landscape of philanthropy.

The workshop is co-led by Dr. Kathy Kretman from the Center for the Public and Nonprofit Leadership, Georgetown University.

Workshop Content:

Session Handouts (pdf, 371 kb)

Philanthropy and Social Change syllabus, Georgetown U. (pdf, 50 kb)