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Advisory Board Chair

Margarita Luna
Senior Program Manager,
The California Endowment

Advisory Board Vice Chair

Lina Paredes
Guillermo J. Valenzuela Foundation

IEFA Project Director

Max Freund
Praxsys Leadership


Collaborative Grantmaking Initatives Action Team Lead
Margarita Luna
Senior Program Manager,
The California Endowment

Leveraging Investments Action Team Lead
Anita Dharapuram
VP, Community Consultant
Community Development Banking, PNC Bank

Learning Agenda Action Team Lead
Margarita Luna
Senior Program Manager,
The California Endowment

Advocacy Planning Action Team Lead
Denisha Shackelford
Program Manager,
Inland Empire Community Foundation


The Inland Empire Funders Alliance (IEFA or Funders Alliance) is a collaborative network of organizations with significant formal grantmaking activities in the Inland Empire region of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties that have joined together to increase communication, coordination, and collaboration to advance our guiding principles of equity, advocacy, and systemic change.

  • Equity to advance racial equity and social justice, including disparities and structural inequities affecting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities
  • Advocacy by and on behalf of nonprofits and the communities they serve
  • Systemic Change to address problems at their roots and strengthen underlying determinants of well-being and flourishing

Core Leadership & Administration

  • The Advisory Board (AB) provides overall strategic direction and leadership to the Funders Alliance, and serves as the liaison to the fiscal sponsor.
    • The Advisory Board is composed of the Chair, the Vice Chair, the lead of each Action Team (AT), and a staff liaison representative from the IEFA’s fiscal sponsor, the Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF). IEFA Consultants, Praxsys Leadership, participate in Advisory Board meetings as well.
    • The AB is elected by the IEFA membership every two years for a two-year term. The current AB was elected to serve for the calendar years 2021-22.
  • IEFA is fiscally sponsored by the IECF.
    • The IECF provides fiscal support and management of IEFA’s financial resources, including membership dues and administration of funding applications for dues payments.
    • IECF also supports the Funders Alliance with grants management, including tracking receipt and disbursal of funds for IEFA pooled funds and other grantmaking initiatives.

Action Teams

IEFA members are encouraged to participate on at least one Action Team. Participation is an opportunity to make a contribution to the region while building skills and relationships with leaders in the field by working collaboratively on a specific issue. The current action teams are:

  • Learning Agenda Action Team (Team Lead: Margarita Luna, The California Endowment): Strategize, plan and implement events to catalyze conversation and action among funders, regarding issues relevant to the Inland Region and to the philanthropic field.
  • Advocacy Planning Action Team (Team Lead: Marisol Inzunza, The California Wellness Foundation): Develop a plan proposing the ways in which the Funders Alliance might engage in policy advocacy to promote community-driven systemic change and equity solutions to benefit the Inland Empire.
  • Fellowship Action Team (Team Lead: Denisha Shackelford, Inland Empire Community Foundation): Design fellowship program for community fellows to advance IEFA work and develop diverse future philanthropic leaders in the region.
  • Collaborative Grantmaking Initiatives Action Team (Team Lead: Denisha Shackelford, IE Community Foundation): Support the ongoing oversight of pooled and aligned funding grantmaking initiatives and fundraising efforts for pooled and aligned funding.
  • Leveraging Investments Action Team (Team Lead: Anita Dharapuram, PNC Bank): Develop tools and resources to facilitate information sharing among members and build IEFA’s internal capacity to incubate collaborative philanthropic initiatives.

Each action team is convened around a specific purpose but has the autonomy to conduct their work based on how the members decide to achieve their goals.

IEFA Staffing Support

The IEFA is currently staffed through support from two primary consultants:

  • Backbone consultant: Max Freund serves as Project Director of the Funders Alliance. He and his team at consulting firm Praxsys Leadership, Inc. provide core support to ensure consistent coordination, communication, productivity, and capacity to accomplish its goals. This includes strategic advice, technical assistance, and project management to the Advisory Board and Action Teams, as well as structural support, meeting logistics, and member communications. The Praxsys Leadership team also support IEFA in all phases of development and implementation of pooled funds, aligned funding, participatory/trust-based grantmaking, and other collaborative approaches to philanthropy in the region.”
  • Collaborative Grantmaking Consultant: This role (currently filled on an interim basis by Praxsys Leadership) supports, facilitates, and guides the Collaborative Grantmaking Initiatives Action Team and its related projects. This includes all phases of development and implementation of pooled funds, aligned funding, participatory/trust-based grantmaking, and other collaborative approaches to philanthropy in the region.

IEFA Members

IEFA members and supporters are represented by local and statewide funders, each working to advance the Funders Alliance mission.
As of July 2022, Inland Empire Funders Alliance official members are:

Bank of America Foundation
BBVA Compass/PNC Bank
The California Endowment
California Wellness Foundation
Desert Healthcare District Foundation
First 5 Riverside
First 5 San Bernardino
The Guillermo J. Valenzuela Foundation
HMC Designing Futures Foundation
The IEHP Foundation
Inland Empire Community Collaborative 
The Inland Empire Community Foundation
Inland SoCal United Way 
The James Irvine Foundation
JP Morgan Chase Global Philanthropy

Kaiser Permanente-Riverside
Kaiser Permanente-San Bernardino County
NeighborWorks America
Regional Access Project Foundation
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Southern California Edison
SCAN Health Plan
Southern California Edison
St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund
The United Way of the Inland Valleys
The Weingart Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation
Western Wind Foundation
Women’s Foundation California