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Power in Partnerships

"If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.” - African Proverb 


It’s a challenging world for nonprofits and the communities we serve. Although the road to recovery from the pandemic has been pitted by roadblocks and slowdowns, we have all learned that by working in partnership, we are more effective at overcoming these barriers and even at building something new and beautiful. 


As we navigate the complexities of this time together, Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits invites you to our annual Activate Your Impact Policy Summit, at which we will explore this year’s theme--Power in Partnerships


Join SVCN--in-person--as we explore how collaboration and alignment in the policy and advocacy context can advance equity, build power, and support growing thriving communities. Designed for nonprofits that want to take their advocacy efforts to the next level, our summit speakers will provide inspiration and practical guidance about how to fearlessly drive policies that advance social justice. As always, the summit will provide tools to help nonprofits further policies that will advance their missions.

Activate Your Impact 2023 is planned to be an in-person, one day conference on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.


#AYI23 will take place as a one-day conference on
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
from 8:30am - 3pm

at Texas Instruments in Santa Clara.


$100 for SVCN Members

$150 for Non-Members

Scholarships Available
SVCN is committed to making our trainings and webinars accessible to nonprofit employees who have been underrepresented in nonprofit leadership and management roles.

Questions about AYI? No problem! Email Danna Elneil at for assistance.

Activate Your Impact

Program and Speakers

Check-In, Networking, Breakfast


Policy Spotlight: Post-Election Recap



Organizing and Power
with Dr. Robert Ross (Keynote)

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is President and Chief Executive Officer for The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in September 2000, Dr. Ross has prior experience as Director of Health and Human Services Agency in San Diego County and as Commissioner of Public Health in the City of Philadelphia.

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During his tenure as President & CEO at The California Endowment, Dr. Ross has provided leadership in supporting the vision of underserved communities and grassroots leaders for a healthier California and a healthier America. The California Endowment has provided advocacy and funded efforts in support of “Health For All” across the state, expanding health coverage for undocumented residents, farmworkers, and “Dreamers”, strengthening diversity in the health workforce, advancing wellness-driven school climate reforms, improving health advocacy for young men and young women of color, and providing leadership for health-oriented criminal justice reform.

Through the Endowment’s 10-Year Building Healthy Communities campaign, he has supported the engagement and leadership capacity of young people and community residents to fight for improved health and wellness at the community level. He also served as a founding board member of Covered California, the entity responsible for the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California. Most recently, he served as Chair of the Los Angeles County Task Force on Alternatives to Incarceration, developing a strategic roadmap for the County to reform the criminal justice system in support of health-focused strategies to reduce incarceration. In 2021, Dr. Ross worked in partnership with the Board of Directors to raise $300 million for a first-ever social bond by philanthropy in California, designed to invest in systems-change and movement-building support of grassroots activists in social justice.

Policy Spotlight: Post-Election Recap


Presented by Bob Brownstein, Working Partnerships USA


Establishing a Nonprofit Policy Program:
Part 1, How-To A to Z

Establishing a Nonprofit Policy Program is a practical workshop for nonprofits covering procedures, strategy, tactics, partnering, and organizing to advance your organization's and community's policy objectives. Part 1, How-To A to Z, will go over the basics of advocacy, and how to get your Board and staff ready to advocate, well within legal parameters.

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Panel moderated by Gabriela Chavez-Lopez, Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley

Featuring Panelists: Maria Noel Fernandez (Working Partnerships USA),
Victor Vasquez (SOMOS Mayfair), and David Low (Destination: Home)


Establishing a Nonprofit Policy Program
Part 2, Nonprofit Experience Panel

In Part 2, Nonprofit Experience Panel, a panel of change-makers will discuss how their policy shops were established and have evolved, including how organized community members can and should inform your policy direction.

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Presented by Kyra Kazantzis, Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits

Policy Spotlight: Early Childhood Policy


Presented by Santa Clara County Board President Susan Ellenberg

Community Organizing and Movement Building -

A Funder’s Learning Journey

Nonprofits in Santa Clara County are engaged in advocacy and coalition work now more than ever. And, at the same time, it can be challenging to find resources for that work. In this fireside chat moderated by Michele Lew, Gina Dalma will share her insights on the philanthropic community's journey towards prioritizing support for social justice advocacy, power-building, and organizing work.

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Moderated by Michele Lew, The Health Trust

Featuring Gina D. Dalma, Silicon Valley Community Foundation




Policy Spotlight: Housing Justice Policy


Presented by Regina Celestin Williams, SV@Home

Community Based Advocacy: Purpose, Power, and Strategy

At this workshop on community-based advocacy models, we explore what goes into influencing policymaking decisions. We’ll show you step-by-step how to frame an issue, how to refine your “ask,” and how to develop an outreach and engagement strategy to accomplish your advocacy goals. Be sure to bring your questions and your curiosity for this interactive workshop!

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Presented by Vaughn Villaverde, Asian Americans for Community Involved (AACI)


Policy Spotlight: Health Equity Policy


Presented by Ngoc Bui-Tong, Santa Clara Family Health Plan 

Closing Remarks


2023 Program
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