Neil Jacobson, Disability Rights Activist

We were so sorry to learn about the passing of Neil Jacobson, a nationally known disability rights activist, on May 12, 2023. Neil was a “giant” in the disability rights community, he was featured in the Netflix documentary Crip Camp, and he was a long-time Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank. Schonfield Consulting had the great privilege of working with Neil and his team in 2022 on a business plan for his nonprofit Abilicorp. It was an unforgettable experience to work with Neil and witness his passion, work ethic and his dedication to inclusion and human rights. “Go, go, go”… as Neil always said!

Read More

Embedding DEI in Communications

Adding a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) lens to any organization’s communications is critical, but it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. We appreciate this article from The Kenneth Rainin Foundation about embedding DEI in communications. It offers practical “how to” tips, including developing shared practices for communications.

The Rainin Foundation is based in Oakland, with programs in arts, health, and early education. We worked with their team on an evaluation of their health program.

Let us know your thoughts and how your organization addresses DEI in your communications.

Read More

Inequity in Funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Savannah State University

I was saddened to see a recent study by Candid and ABFE, showing that on average, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUS) received 178 times less funding from foundations than the average Ivy League school in 2019.

In fact, the eight Ivy League universities received $5.5 billion from the 1,000 largest U.S. foundations compared to just $45 million for the 99 HBCUs in 2019. This shocking disparity shows that foundations still have a “long way” to go to address historic inequalities and systemic racism in higher education.

How can we best address this urgent problem going forward?

Read More

Honoring Judy Heumann

Painting of Judy Heumann

Last month, the world lost Judy Heumann, widely regarded as the “Mother of the disability rights movement.” Our former client Neil Jacobson with Abilicorp wrote this beautiful tribute about his lifelong friendship and collaboration with Judy. We are honored to have worked with Neil, and are so grateful for Judith’s incredible work.

Read More

Lead With Joy

In today’s world of growing social, political and environmental unrest, joy is not something we often think about in our social change work. But this webinar on Leading with Joy really shines a light on the role of joy in effective leadership. To make our work sustainable, we at Schonfield Consulting really believe in looking…

Read More

Episcopal Impact Fund Considers Affordable Housing Issues

In January, we wrapped up a strategic planning process with our client, Episcopal Impact Fund, which is the philanthropic arm of the Episcopal Diocese in the Bay Area. One of the most interesting topics that emerged was the opportunity for religious institutions to use their land assets to create affordable housing stock, of which California…

Read More

MacKenzie Scott Redraws Philanthropy

Did you hear about MacKenzie Scott “shaking up philanthropy’s traditions”? It’s amazing to see what a high-powered, creative woman with tons of resources can do to disrupt the established ways of giving and the norms of philanthropy.  Since 2019, MacZenzie (ex-wife of Jeff Bazos) has donated over $10 billion to nonprofits, community colleges and other…

Read More

Leadership Styles in 2023

Wow, hard to believe that January is already almost over!  In 2023, I’ll be adding more posts to LinkedIn to share resources, ideas and start a conversation. I’d love to hear from you!  How are you setting your organization up for strong leadership in 2023? We love this article from Alliance Magazine for reflecting on different types…

Read More