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Advisory Board Chair
Margarita Luna
Senior Program Manager, The California Endowment

Advisory Board Vice Chair
Lina Paredes
Consultant, Guillermo J. Valenzuela Foundation

IEFA Project Director
Max Freund
Partner, Praxsys Leadership


Collaborative Grantmaking Initatives Action Team Lead
Patricia Watkins
Program Officer, Weingart Foundation

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

Leveraging Investments Team Lead
Nicole Pritchard
Program Office, The James Irvine 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). The Project Director, IEFA backbone and collaborative grantmaking consultants 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 ABwas elected to serve for the calendar years 2020-22.
  • 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 three current action teams are:

  • Collaborative Grantmaking Initiatives (CGI) Action Team Provides oversight, leadership, and decision-making related to implementation of collaborative grantmaking initiatives to advance equity, advocacy, and systemic change. Current active initiatives are the Black Equity Fund, a trust-based philanthropy partnership with the Inland Empire Black Equity Initiative raising $5 million over two years to support Black-led and -empowering organizations in addressing systemic barriers to racial equity in the region; and the Redistricting Pooled Fund, which seeks to increase community engagement in current electoral redistricting processes.
  • Leveraging Investments (LI) Action Team: Develops tools and methods to increase the collective impact of philanthropy in the Inland Empire. These include mapping members’ past and present current giving, connecting communities of interest, identifying potential priority areas, and providing insights into future opportunities for impact.
  • Learning Agenda Ation Team: The Learning Agenda Action Team identifies relevant philanthropic and regional topics to raise, investigate and share with IEFA members.

Backbone & Grantmaking Support

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

  • Backbone consultant: Principal Max Freund of  consulting firm Praxsys Leadership, Inc. serves as Project Director of IEFA.  Leadership provides core support to ensure that the IEFA has 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.
  • 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 June 2021, Inland Empire Funders Alliance official members are:

Bank of America Foundation
The California Endowment
The California Wellness Foundation
Desert HealthCare District Foundation
First Five San Bernardino
HMC Designing Futures Foundation
The Guillermo J. Valenzuela Foundation
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
SCAN Health Plan
St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund
The Weingart Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation

To see the formal organizational chart of the IEFA, click here.