Pushing back against fundraising disparities to strengthen the capital region.

Tostrengthen the Sacramento region, we must support the success of local nonprofit leaders and fundraisers — the very people who champion positive change in our community. But data from past Big Days of Giving reflect what we know is true across the nation: nonprofits led by people of color typically receive less funding for their organizations, despite high-quality outcomes and strong relationships in the communities they serve. 

For example, during Big Day of Giving 2022, nonprofits led by people of color raised 38% less on average and received 30% fewer gifts than other similarly sized organizations. We can close this gap by nourishing connection and collaboration among leaders of color at local nonprofits. That's the aim of Cultivate.

Members of the first Cultivate cohort

Launched in 2022, the first iteration of Cultivate intended to increase the participation, number of donations, and dollars raised by 27 small organizations led or supported by people of color during Big Day of Giving 2023.

Learn about the first Cultivate cohort

From the success of that inaugural effort, Cultivate has expanded to provide ongoing learning and support for local fundraisers of color through two mutually supportive components:

Cultivate Community

Cultivate Community is a quarterly convening for people of color who are working to raise funds for nonprofits in the Sacramento region. Participants network, benefit from presentations and support from topic experts, address common challenges and celebrate achievements, and engage in a participatory grantmaking program that awards $10,000 in grant funding.

Cultivate Capacity

Cultivate Capacity provides support for those who have little fundraising expertise and who seek additional training running a Big Day of Giving campaign. Beginning in August, the first phase focuses on basic readiness and, starting in January, the second phase supplements regular Big Day of Giving trainings with deep-dives that maximize participants' success.

All leaders listed below participate in Cultivate Community; leaders marked with asterisks (*) are also members of the capacity-building portion of Cultivate.

  • Creo Abraham, Leap Ahead*
  • James Alexander, Sacramento Youth Center
  • Ali Anderson, Feed Black Futures (fiscally sponsored by Inquiring Systems Inc.)
  • Twiana Armstrong, seeMYchild*
  • Shirley Arnold, Sovereignty Abound African American Community*
  • Liz Baidoo, Celebration Arts*
  • Keadrian Belcher, C.L.A.S.S.Y. Inc (Captivating Ladies Acquiring Successful Standards Yearly)*
  • Kevin Bichanga, Women of Color on the Move*
  • Judy Billingsley, National Coalition of 100 Black Women -Sacramento Chapter
  • Wanda Brandon, Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center
  • Janne Ault-Brown, The Race and Gender Equity (RAGE) Project*
  • Damaris Canton, ION- Individual Opportunity Network*
  • Denise Carter, Bright Braille
  • Ebony Chambers, Black Womxn United*
  • Johanna Crystal, Sunny Side Theatre Co
  • Cliven Daluz, Greater Sacramento Urban League
  • Victoria Deal, Grandparents Gentle hugs/Seed to Skillet*
  • Tanya Faison, Black Lives Matter Sacramento
  • Jovana Fajardo, ACCE Institute
  • Carlita Ferguson, Sacramento Delta Foundation, Inc.
  • Matthew Gilliam, Access Sacramento
  • Terrence Gladney, Terrell Christopher Gladney Memorial Academy*
  • Kara Green, ABLED*
  • Janina Guarino, Better Decisions Counseling*
  • Kristee Haggins, Safe Black Space*
  • Adrianne Hall, St. HOPE Academy
  • Ashley Hammock, World of Powerful Youth*
  • Maria Madril Hernandez, Central Valley Movement Building Organizing Institute*
  • Dr. Rita Mukherjee Hoffstadt, Folsom History
  • James Duran Jackson, I Sound Music Performing Arts Community Development Inc*
  • Christina Marie Jeffers, Access Sacramento
  • Jenine S Jenkins, Stand Up Placer
  • Priya Kumar, Sacramento LGBT Community Center
  • Clarissa Laguardia, The California Center for Civic Participation*
  • Lee Lo, Asian American Liberation Network*
  • Fatima Malik, Del Paso Heights Growers' Alliance
  • Justin Margolis, Family and Community Connections*
  • Sydney Mathis, Africa House Sacramento*
  • Messiah Millares, Sacramento Literacy Foundation
  • Robin Moore, Weforce of California Incorporated*
  • Brittney Gandy, PhD, MPH, Sierra Nevada Journeys
  • NJ Mvondo, Interactive Healing Arts Project (Fiscally sponsored by Yolo Arts)*
  • RoShawn Perry, Daughters of Zion (DOZ) Enterpryz
  • Vanessa Richardson, California Groundbreakers*
  • Christopher Robinson, 4 Your Epiphany Foundation, Inc.*
  • Shacunda Rodgers, Holding Space*
  • Qiana Hill-Ross, The GreenHouse*
  • Alyssa Saunders, WEAVE
  • Leah Savage, Living Well Community Foundation*
  • Antonio Smith, AOYNOM FOUNDATION*
  • Synthia Smith, Sisters of Nia, Inc.*
  • Joshua T. Smith, Improve Your Tomorrow Inc.
  • Janae Supuni, Mutual Assistance Network
  • Chris Gee Schoon-Tong, My Sister's House
  • Yolanda Torrecillas, KidsFirst
  • Mykim Tran, Wake-Up Foundation
  • Sommer Hayes-Ware, Associated Students at Sacramento State
  • Josephine E Watts, BEST (Building Empowerment Skills Together)*
  • Renee West, Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum*
  • Linda White, Sacramento Delta Foundation
  • Astin Williams, Love Liberated*
  • Bobbie Wooten, Feed Sacramento Homeless*
  • Liz Baidoo, Celebration Arts
  • Myesha Britt, Gateway Community Charter School
  • Johánna Crystal, Sunny Side Theatre Co
  • Roula England, 350 Sacramento
  • Carlos Fuentes, Sacramento Community Concert Association
  • Sandra M. Gallardo, Friends of the Sacramento Library
  • Dr. Kristee Haggins, Safe Black Space
  • Danielle Hamilton, Center for Fathers and Families
  • Ashley Hammock, World of Powerful Youth
  • Qiana Hill-Ross, The GreenHouse
  • Paula Kelley, Kiwanis Family House
  • Christina Laygo, Dress for Success Sacramento
  • Maria Madril Hernandez, Tower of Youth
  • Faith J. McKinnie, Black Artist Foundry
  • Gloria Partida, Davis Phoenix Coalition
  • Diana Patterson, Sacramento Area Congregations Together
  • Josilyn Porras, Franklin Boulevard Business District
  • Dr. Shacunda Rodgers, Holding Space
  • Synthia Smith, Sisters of Nia, Inc.
  • Maria Tebbutt, The Bike Campaign
  • Mykim Tran, Wake-Up Foundation
  • Sawan Vaden, Community Against Sexual Harm
  • Josephine Watts, Building Empowerment Skills Today
  • Renee West, Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum
  • Nedra Williams, The Living Heritage Foundation
  • Wanda Williams, Center for Fathers and Families
  • Bobbie Wooten, Feed Sacramento Homeless

As a result of their participation in Cultivate, past participants have noted that they are better equipped to generate funding and solutions to grow their organizations' impact in the Sacramento region, and they have a stronger peer network.

"Cultivate has been an immense and immeasurable blessing for me. It’s helped me figure out what philanthropy is, what giving is, how to ask for donations, how to build networks. I don’t know that I would have had that without this program."

— SHACUNDA RODGERS, Founder and Executive Director of Holding Space

Members of the first Cultivate cohort with Foundation staff and Marisa DeSalles

There is no cost for participating in Cultivate, thanks to generous support from the RCA Community Fund and the Building Equitable Communities Fund of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation. 

Cultivate Eligibility

All who self-identify as fundraisers of color in the Sacramento region are welcome to apply to Cultivate. Participating individuals can have many different roles within their organizations, including: Development Director, Fundraising Associate, Chair of Board Fundraising Committee, Sole Staff Member, Experienced Nonprofit Pro, Social Media Manager, Grantwriter, Executive Director, and more. Participants may be paid staff or volunteers.

We particularly seek to support organizations with annual operational budgets under $500,000. 

While there are no strict eligibility requirements to participate in the program, based on demand and capacity, priority will be given to those who work on behalf of organizations that are BIPOC-serving, BIPOC-led, with an annual budget below $500,000, and/or that are registered or plan to register for Big Day of Giving. If you have questions about your eligibility, please inquire

2023/2024 Cultivate Calendar

Fall applications open

Monday, July 31

Virtual Info Session (View recording) Thursday, August 3, 2023 from 10 to 11 a.m.
Fall applications close Monday, August 14, 2023 at 5 p.m.
Fall selections and notifications Thursday, August 17, 2023
Cohort sessions (virtual)

Thursday, August 24, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Community session (in-person) Thursday, September 21, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Cohort session (virtual) Thursday, October 26, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Cohort session (virtual) Thursday, November 16, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Community session (in-person)

End of Fall session

Thursday, December 14, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Spring applications open Monday, December 18, 2023
Spring applications close Monday, January 15, 2024 at 5 p.m.
Spring selections and notifications Thursday, January 18, 2024
Cohort session (virtual) Thursday, January 25, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Cohort session (virtual) Thursday, February 15, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Community session (in-person) Thursday, March 21, 2024 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Cohort session (virtual) Thursday, April 18, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Post-BDOG Celebration Thursday, May 16, 2024 (time TBD)
Community session (in-person)
End of Spring session
Thursday, June 13, 2024 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Cultivate is coordinated through a partnership between the Foundation and longtime nonprofit fundraiser and Big Day of Giving advisor Marisa DeSalles of Good Tilth Consulting. For questions about Cultivate, please contact



Throughout the year, the Foundation launches competitive grant opportunities to fund the worthy work of local nonprofits. For the most current information for each granting programs, view our Grants Calendar and sign up for the Grants Registry.

View the Calendar and Registry