Letter from Byron Johnson – Capacity Building Initiative Officer at the East Bay Community Foundation

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Byron Johnson – Capacity Building Initiative Officer

I am incredibly humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve as the East Bay Community Foundation’s new Capacity Building Initiative Officer and to lead EBCF’s Black-led Organizations (BLO) Initiative.

As a seasoned capacity builder and a native son, I am delighting in the power and potential of this initiative. I am thrilled to share a bit of what we have planned and what you can expect to see and hear in the coming months.

As a reminder, the goals of this initiative are to:

  • Enhance the growth, sustainability, impact, and sense of community of Black-led anchor institutions in the Bay Area in order to ensure the long-term vitality of those organizations and the Black communities they serve.
  • Apply a fresh, dynamic, and replicable approach to collaborative capacity building that further develops the nonprofit sector with a lens towards race and equity.

We will accomplish these goals through the following components:

  • BLO Accelerator: An intensive six-month program designed to bolster the growth and sustainability of emerging, innovative community anchors that have a vision for growth, promising ideas, and a willingness to work in new ways to catalyze personal, organizational, and community change.
  • Cross-Cutting Programs and Services: Peer networking and learning, as well as access to relevant workshops and speakers will be available to all BLOs.
  • BLO Stabilizer: A three-year program for mature community anchors designed to minimize risk and guide organizations through transition by providing leadership development, board recruitment, advanced training, and succession planning.

Over the next quarter, we will select a program evaluator and a cadre of capacity building providers who we will work with to finalize the program design. In addition, we will start the application and selection process for the BLO Accelerator with an eye towards launching in the first quarter of 2018. We are also working towards launching the BLO Peer Network and Learning Platform during the same time frame.

Our goal is to build an initiative that will be effective and useful. Stay tuned for more updates and feel free to reach out to me via email or phone. My contact information is below.

In community,

Byron Johnson
Capacity Building Initiative Officer – East Bay Community Foundation
(510) 208-0824

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