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The Russell Family Foundation

Equity in Education Cover

The Russell Family Foundation

June 2018 - January 2019


Strategy & Facilitation Services, For Nonprofits


Environment, Foundations

The Russell Family Foundation partners with grassroots leaders and community organizations throughout Pierce County and the Puget Sound region, seeking to build a more sustainable and peaceful world for people, places, and communities.

TRFF was looking to provide meaningful, effective support for their grantees that would go beyond a one-time gift. They came to Ostara with a goal to invest more deeply in building resources for the people and systems that sustain the many critical missions of their grantee portfolio.

Ostara custom-designed a diagnostic process to reveal the specific needs and goals of ten participating grantee organizations. Then we created fourteen workshops over four days of training in a four-month period, varying the size and type of learning in ways that were responsive to the grantee’s circumstances. Topics ranged widely across development and grant strategy and tools, to organizational identity and board engagement. We surveyed participants during the process and presented a brief to TRFF on our findings at the conclusion of the process, which led to a reunion series of meetings and coaching opportunities for each participant, later in 2019 and 2020.

Participants provided very positive feedback on the experience, often highlighting the value of the protected space for both learning and peer connection. Ostara was able to form 1:1 connections with each attendee, tailoring resources and conversations to help each individual person as well as the group as a whole. We are thrilled to be invited back for another round of training in 2020 with new grantee organizations. TRFF has honored participant feedback and asked us to double the number of hours spent at in-person sessions, and also include several months of follow up coaching.

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