The Packard Foundation Joins the PropelNext California Partnership

Five foundations—the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Sobrato Family Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation—have joined together to pilot the PropelNext California Partnership and help youth-serving organizations in the state boost their impact on young peoples’ lives.

PropelNext, an initiative of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, helps leading nonprofits gain the mastery to collect, use and apply data for ongoing improvement and learning. The five foundations will partner to deliver the PropelNext program to 12-16 California nonprofits eager to transform their passion for helping disadvantaged youth into data-driven insights and practices that will help them deliver even stronger results.

PropelNext will offer grantees an integrated program that couples unrestricted funding (up to $400,000 per organization) with an equal investment in expert coaching, group learning sessions, and a peer learning community over three years so they can enhance their program models, implement strong performance management systems, and develop organizational cultures that practice ongoing learning and evaluation. As a result, grantees will be able to set strategic priorities informed by data and improved decision-making, measure and track performance and impact, and use evidence to increase support for their work. In the end, the five foundations believe the life prospects of disadvantaged youth in California will be improved by even smarter, stronger organizations.

The PropelNext California Partnership focuses on nonprofits operating in 15 counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

The process for selecting the California grantees began in November 2014, when the five foundations solicited referrals for prospective grantees through their local and national networks. This month, PropelNext will invite approximately 100 nonprofit organizations to apply, with final selections made by July 2015 and grants awarded soon thereafter.

All five foundations share a desire and commitment to communicate learnings from this new partnership, and will publish the results of a formal evaluation.

From the Five Partners

“The PropelNext initiative is an important opportunity to strengthen outcomes for disadvantaged youth in California,” said Belen Vargas, vice president of programs with Weingart Foundation. “The organizations that engage in this deep and transformative process will emerge, we believe, with greater capacity and more effective programs.”

“No one does a better job supporting youth development than EMCF,” said Larry Kramer, President of the Hewlett Foundation. “We are thrilled to join the PropelNext California Partnership to expand Hewlett’s support of Bay Area organizations focused on strengthening outcomes for disadvantaged youth.”

“We are excited to partner in this collaborative and to invest in the increased effectiveness of local youth development organizations. We believe that stronger organizations will lead to greater outcomes for the youth in our region,” Stated Mara Williams Low, Program Director of the Sobrato Family Foundation.

“We are excited to work with the Edna McConnell Clark, Hewlett, Sobrato, and Weingart Foundations to help strengthen youth-serving organizations in our communities,” said Carol Larson, President and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. “By joining colleagues to bring PropelNext to California, we increase our ability to impact the groups dedicated to transforming the lives of youth, ultimately making the future of our communities brighter for all.”

“The Hewlett, Packard, Sobrato, and Weingart Foundations are deeply committed to supporting organizations in their communities,” stated Lissette Rodriguez, managing director of PropelNext, “so we are excited to partner with them and focus on our next group of grantees in California.”

Peer to peer learning is an essential component of the program, so PropelNext will also explore whether selecting grantees that share a more localized context can facilitate such interactions, as well as increase the efficiency and sustainability of the initiative (The 15 grantees in PropelNext’s first cohort, selected in 2012, were located throughout the country).

Additional Information

Participation in the grants competition for PropelNext is by invitation only. Southern California grantees will be headquartered in and serve at least one of the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, and Ventura. For the San Francisco Bay Area, the counties are: San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma.

For more information about PropelNext, please visit For questions about the grantee selection process, please contact Danielle Scaturro at