May 7, 2024

🗽Live from NYC!

Dr. Azita Emami, Dean of the Yale School of Nursing

May 29 | 6:30pm ET – In-Person (Yale Club of NYC) & via Zoom

Nursing is in crisis. While doctors are in charge of a patient’s medical care, nurses are the backbone of our healthcare industry. They are the first people that patients interact with — assessing and triaging patients, monitoring vital signs, and administering treatments while providing compassionate care, and educating individuals and families about health. But the U.S. is now facing a shortfall of up to 450,000 nurses, 20% fewer than required for patient care. Against this backdrop, the Yale School of Nursing, ranked 6th in the world, plays an important leadership role in addressing the challenges and opportunities faced by the nursing profession.

Please join us on Wednesday, May 29th at the Yale Club (and virtually via Zoom) as YANA’s Town Hall spotlights Dr. Azita Emami, Dean of the Yale School of Nursing, who will share her thoughts on the current crisis and her vision for the future.  

David McCullough III ’17, Co-Founder & CEO of the American Exchange Project

June 26 | 6:30pm ET – In-Person (Yale Club of NYC) & via Zoom

To connect our divided country, The American Exchange Project sends high school seniors on a free, week-long trip to a hometown very different from their own. In 2019, David McCullough co-founded AEP as a first-of-its-kind, cross-cultural exchange program for graduated high school seniors. AEP has been hailed as a domestic Peace Corps that is effectively bridging the gap and building greater understanding and empathy across class, cultural, racial, and geographical divides throughout our nation. In 2023, AEP partnered with 53 high schools in 31 states. American Exchange Project has raised more than $5 million and partnered with Harvard psychology researchers to study the program’s long-term impact. To learn more view the profile on AEP broadcast on ABC’s Good Morning America.


Reducing Inequality in All Its Forms: Trust-Based Philanthropy at the Ford Foundation

Kathy Reich ’93 delivered a Masterclass in social impact and what might be called Big Philanthropy at YANA’s Town Hall on April  24th at the Yale Club of New York. A graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with over 20 years experience in the nonprofit sector, Reich relocated from her native California to New York in 2016 to launch BUILD (Building Institutions and Networks), a signature $2 billion, 12-year program at the Ford Foundation whose mission is to “reduce inequality in all its forms” both in the United States and around the world.

Thus far, BUILD has given away $1.6 billion to 550 grantees, 55% of these in the United States and 45% worldwide. Women lead two-thirds of the organizations which have benefited from BUILD money. Within the United States, a majority are run by people of color. BUILD believes in proximate leadership, which just means that the people most affected by the problems nonprofits work to solve are best positioned to drive those efforts.

Reich’s desire to work in social impact dates back to her childhood in Los Angeles, where her father was a crusading journalist at the Los Angeles Times taking on abuses of power at all levels, and her mother was a successful lawyer-turned-middle school teacher. She also credits the Westlake School for Girls, which had an unusually robust middle and high school community service program in the 1980s, along with a dedicated part-time coordinator, for shaping her commitment to social change.

The April session departed from the typical Town Hall format: a 15 or 20 minute presentation followed by a Q and A session. CEO and YANA founder Ken Inadomi ‘76 conducted a fireside chat with seven incisive questions about BUILD’s model, trust-based philanthropy (versus project or grant philanthropy), careers in philanthropy, and advice for nonprofits who want to tap into resources on the scale of the Ford Foundation, with an endowment of 16 billion.

Reich began by explaining, broadly, what makes BUILD different from other heavily endowed foundations: it distributes large, multi-year, unrestricted grants, along with “always optional” opportunities for peer learning and other institutional advice. BUILD took 25 of its grantee partners to the Skoll World Forum conference this past April. Calling Ford the world’s “largest social justice philanthropy” (with 600 million dollars of grants provided annually), President and CEO Darren Walker’s goal is “to spend as much money as possible” to ameliorate the world’s most urgent problems, from climate change to economic, racial, and gender injustice, and everything in between.

The problem is that large systems change doesn’t happen in neat 12 or 18 month time frames; it “takes place over an arc that takes decades,” according to Reich. In this field, success is not linear, nor is impact measurable in minutes or days. When nonprofits receive yearlong grants, they’re “tied to the treadmill of short term thinking…constantly thinking about [securing] the next grant [and] document[ing] impact,” in a familiar dynamic known as the “nonprofit starvation cycle.”

The project grant funding model discourages risk-taking and innovation, which in turn denies nonprofit organizations the crucial opportunity to learn from failure and invest time and money in deep partnership with other leaders, partners, and networks. “BUILD is an attempt to do things differently,” states Reich modestly, in describing the simple, but far from easy, goal, which required a massive shift in Ford’s longstanding internal culture.

Such culture shifts inevitably meet with resistance, especially given the size of BUILD’s five-year, flexible, unrestricted grants which emphasize equitable partnership between the funder and the nonprofit. The concern is of course that the money will not be used effectively and that ceding control over how monies are used will limit the funder’s ability to track and measure success. The reverse turned out to be true. Organizations were far more effective, achieving greater results than ever before. Thanks to the Ford Foundation’s leadership and trustees, particularly Darren Walker and Hilary Pennington ‘77, ‘83 SOM, change happened more quickly than Reich expected.

Reich’s “number one piece of advice” to those reluctant to follow BUILD’s example: “Try it.” Once they began awarding money in this way, the nature of the relationships with the grantee partners transformed completely. Conversations became more open, candid, trusting, and productive.

Stay tuned for YANA’s May 21st Newsletter for Part II of the three-part series on BUILD Director Kathy Reich’s illuminating, detailed conversation with Ken Inadomi, which will cover real-world examples of BUILD’s success (AMAN in Indonesia and Ashe Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans), the differences between domestic and global nonprofits, the value of a “warm introduction,” careers in philanthropy, contextual metrics of success, and access to large foundation grant money.

Nonprofit Consortium

Yale alumni nonprofit Executive Directors and Development professionals are invited to join this month’s Nonprofit Consortium. It is an opportunity to share challenges and learn from each other and from experts on topics ranging from building your board, to creating a sense of belonging and community, and diversifying your revenue streams.

The Consortium will feature a roundtable discussion on Adjusting Narrative for the Times on Friday, May 17 at noon ET.

If you are interested in participating, please email Rachel Littman

Yale Day of Service – Ways to Make a Difference

It’s not too late to sign up for the Yale Day of Service. What began more than a decade ago as a single day of giving back to our local communities has expanded into an ongoing call to action for service spanning the globe across multiple days. Check out your opportunities to participate.

YANA Board Matching Night

Speed dating for nonprofit organizations and prospective Board members! This summer, YANA will host its first-ever Board Matching Night, in which 4 to 6 executive directors seeking to fill board vacancies will be invited to “pitch” their nonprofits to our global alumni audience. Details to follow including an application for Boards seeking to participate. Save the date: July 31.


From last November’s historic teacher strike in Portland Public Schools to reports of major budget shortfalls in several districts, school funding, class size, and educational outcomes have become a daily topic of conversation across Oregon. At the same time, recent data showed that Oregon is the only state in the nation where students have fallen further behind after the influx of state and federal funds meant to help them catch up after the post-Covid emergency. Particularly stark were the widening test score gaps between wealthy school districts and those serving poorer, traditionally underserved students.

Join a panel of experts for an essential conversation about the future of education in Oregon:

    • Peyton Chapman, Principal of Lincoln High School
    • Mark Hass, Former Oregon State Senator
    • Sarah Pope, Executive Director of Stand for Children Oregon
    • Natalie Pate (moderator), K-12 Education Reporter and Producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)

Caribbean Nurses Securing Global Health

May 15 | 6:00 PM ET – Virtual

Dr. Oscar Noel Ocho

Dr. Oscar Noel Ocho

Director - University of the West Indies School of Nursing

Dr. Paulette Cash

Dr. Paulette Cash

President of the Caribbean Nurses Organization

Nester Edwards

Nester Edwards

Chief Nursing Officer & Chairperson of Regional Nursing Body

Dr. Tatiana Sadak

Dr. Tatiana Sadak

Deputy Dean – Yale School of Nursing

This webinar offers a unique opportunity to gain insights into the invaluable role nurses and nurse leaders play in promoting health equity, health policy, education, and addressing disparities on a global scale.

Join us for an enlightening webinar on “Caribbean Nurses Securing Global Health” as we delve into the vital contributions from pioneers like Mary Seacole in the Crimean War, to the current endeavors of Caribbean nurse leaders in the context of global healthcare.

Whether you are a healthcare professional, student, or simply passionate about global health, this webinar promises to be both informative and inspiring.

Don’t miss out—reserve your spot today and be part of this enriching conversation!