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2021 SAFSF Forum

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NETWORKING – Coffee Chat: Nuts and Bolts of Grantmaking and Investing

May 6, 2021 @ 9:00 am 10:00 am PDT

Presented by Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF)

This informal, unscripted morning session provides a space to connect with peers and discuss the tools needed to effectively implement funding programs and collaborations in the food and agriculture system space. How are you translating knowledge about critical issues in the food system into support of transformative change, and moreover, ensuring that your application and review processes and board are aligned with this work?

This session may be of special interest to those new to philanthropy and those from small-staffed foundations looking for additional peer support, but all are welcome, no matter how much of a novice or expert you might consider yourself to be in this space. Come share the tools in your toolkit, discuss the stumbling blocks that are proving challenging, offer your learning to your colleagues, and make valuable peer connections to support you moving forward.


Virginia Clarke – Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders; CA

Virginia Clarke is the executive director of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF), a network of grantmakers working to strengthen connections, build capacity, and foster collaboration of the philanthropic and investment communities in support of vibrant, healthy and just food and farm systems. She has led the network in its growth and impact since starting with SAFSF in 2003 as a part-time coordinator. Prior to SAFSF, she worked with a variety of international education programs including the University of California’s Education Abroad Program as the regional director assistant for Asia and Africa, and the Salzburg Seminar in Austria where she was a program director and led outreach efforts in Latin America. Other life/work opportunities involved a stint at the World Bank; leading a management reorganization for a private clothing manufacturer; assisting immigrants in their efforts to secure legal residency in the U.S.; and creating/running a restitution project for juvenile offenders in Western Massachusetts. Her fluency in Spanish stems from living and working in Spain, Bolivia and Mexico. Virginia has a Masters in International Administration from the School for International Training and a B.A. with honors in Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara. A TEDx Manhattan alumni (2014), Virginia lives in Santa Barbara, CA and has two daughters.

Lenore Beyer – Kinship Foundation; IL

Lenore Beyer is the Director of Conservation Initiatives at the Kinship Foundation where she manages Food:Land:Opportunity, an initiative to create a resilient local food economy in the Chicago region, and supports programming for Kinship Conservation Fellows Prior to joining Kinship, Lenore was the vice president of policy and planning at Openlands, a regional conservation land trust where she created the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge and integrated farmland protection with local food initiatives.

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