ONLINE EVENT: Fund Development and Wildfire Recovery: Perspectives and Strategies from Two Community Foundations in Northern California

Pink Minimalist Feminine Professional Marketing LinkedIn Banner (1280 × 340 px)
  • Thursday, June 9, 2022
  • 10:00 - 11:00 AM Pacific Time
  • Via Zoom - Please register at the button link below.
  • This meeting will be recorded. If you pre-register we will send you the link to this recording.

About this Meeting

The last 5 years of wildfire has taken a brutal toll on the land and people in Northern California.  So many have lost so much. But in the face of these wildfire tragedies, we have also witnessed incredible acts of generosity and compassion. Thousands have donated millions of dollars, and community foundations have stepped in with fund development to help gather and grow and distribute the funds to meet recovery needs-from the most essential emergency provisions of safety, food and shelter, to helping the community draft a vision and take strides to reach longer term goals and community benefits.

Sharing perspectives and strategies grounded in experience

Join us in this one-hour Community to Community session as we hear from two inspired leaders who will share what they know about fund development and wildfire recovery. They have innovated and served their regions through multiple fire seasons across our Northern California region and have so much experience with philanthropy and fundraising:

Megan Barber Allende, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Mendocino County

Alexa Benson-Valavanis, President and CEO, North Valley Community Foundation

Bring your own questions to the session and learn from their experience and example!

Our Guests

smiling woman in a blue dress and brown curly hairMegan Barber Allende joined the Community Foundation of Mendocino County in 2006 and assumed the role of President/CEO in October 2016. Megan received a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Comparative Art History and Literature and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a member of the Mendocino Latinx Alliance Steering Committee, the Health and Human Services Advisory Board, the League of California Community Foundation Board and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Advisory Group for the National Conference for Growing Community Foundations, and Ukiah Unified School District Advisory Committee. Megan moved to Ukiah over 19 years ago and enjoys raising her three children in the community.

Megan designed a disaster preparedness plan and directed the immediate response to 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021 county wildfires. Raised and leveraged $5.6M and strategically deployed resources to rebuild the homes and lives of the 500+ impacted households within 3 years.

She strategized and implemented $3.8M Covid-19 response effortto benefit individuals, small businesses, and the nonprofit sector in a region disproportionately impacted by economic and health disparities.

smiling woman with long brown hair and white sweaterAlexa Benson-Valavanis has served as president and CEO of the North Valley Community Foundation since July 2005. She was recruited to play basketball at Chico State University and graduated with a degree in journalism, then worked in business development in Shanghai, China, before starting an organization supporting nonprofit development in Guatemala. Alexa was hired to rebuild NVCF in 2005, and engineered a new business model mobilizing social entrepreneurs and philanthropists locally and around the globe. Under Alexa's leadership the foundation has grown from serving a dozen clients to more than 500 clients, engaging tens of thousands of donors, generating revenue of more than $152 million, while reinvesting nearly $100 million to causes in Northern California, the United States and throughout the world.  On Nov. 8, 2018, Alexa transformed NVCF into the lead philanthropic organization in the Camp Fire relief and recovery effort and has since built a COVID-19 response arm in efforts to help slow the pandemic and provide relief to at-risk populations. To date, NVCF has granted more than $53 million for wildfire recovery and has mobilized more than $3 million for COVID-19 response.

This event is organized by the After the Fire USA Community to Community Program and will be recorded for later viewing on our After the Fire USA YouTube channel Community to Community playlist