436 14th Street, Suite 425
Oakland CA, 94612
Phone: (510) 444-6063
Dennis Quirin is the President of Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG). NFG is a national membership association of grantmaking institutions who are committed to improving the economic and social conditions of communities of color and low income communities across the US. As President of NFG since July 2013, Dennis has lead an extensive organizational change process that has resulted in doubling the programming and membership of NFG. Dennis comes to this position with two decades of experience as an activist, organizer, fundraiser, and grantmaker working for social change.
He has extensive experience working in a variety of roles with nonprofits, designing and implementing strategic programs, and working effectively with diverse stakeholders. Prior to his work at NFG, Dennis designed and led the Race & Equity Collaborative at the Proteus Fund, a multi-city funding strategy supporting the growth of city-level alliances working at the intersection of racial justice and voter engagement.
As a bridge builder between sectors and strategies, Dennis has worked with some of the most respected social change organizations and leaders in the county, including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, SCOPE/AGENDA, Californians for Justice, and California Forward. Dennis began his philanthropic experience working at The San Francisco Foundation funding hundreds of social justice organizations in the Bay Area.
Dennis has served on the boards of Intersection for the Arts, Californians for Justice, Northern California Grantmakers Emergency Loan Fund, Civic Engagement Fund for AMEMSA Communities, and Bay Area Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. He currently serves as a trustee of the Common Counsel Foundation and as an Advisor to the Bay Area Justice Funders Network.
Sarita Ahuja is NFG’s Vice President of Operations. She joined NFG in April 2016. For over 20 years, Sarita has worked at the intersection of philanthropy and diverse communities engaged in social justice work. Sarita’s background includes past positions with The San Francisco Foundation, The California Endowment, The Ford Foundation and Asian Law Caucus; and providing consulting expertise to foundations, affinity groups and other nonprofits. Her skills include fundraising, program design, grantmaking, research and evaluation, and organizational development. She is currently the Board Chair of RYSE Youth Center and has served on the boards of the Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition, Narika and the California Vipassana Center. Sarita holds an MA in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota and a BA in Political Science from Northwestern University.
LaTosha Brown joined NFG in October 2014 as the Project Director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress. She is an award-winning community organizer, philanthropic consultant, advisor, political strategist and professional jazz singer with over twenty years of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation, and civil rights.
She is the founder of TruthSpeaks Consulting, Inc., a philanthropy advisory consulting business based in Atlanta, GA. She has worked as a consultant and advisor for individual donors, various public foundations and private donors. She is a founding member of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health and also served as fund’s first Executive Director. Under her leadership the Gulf Coast Fund gained national recognition, created strategic national partnerships and distributed over $2.5 million in re-granting dollars for community and coastal organizations in the gulf coast region.
Ms. Brown has consulted, advised and/or served as a resource and expert on rural organizing and special programming to a variety of foundations such as the Marguerite Casey Foundation, Ford Foundation, Babcock Foundation, Black Belt Community Foundation, Friends of New Orleans, New World Foundation, Open Society Institute, Surdna Foundation, Community Foundation of South Alabama, Clinton Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, Ibis Partners Investment Group, and the Tides Foundation, to name a few.
As a native of Alabama, Ms. Brown has dedicated her life’s work towards organizing resources and supporting the development of community-based institutions in the south, particularly in the black belt and gulf coast regions. She has also worked as a trainer, speaker and facilitator in the international arena. She has traveled and/or presented to more than 23 countries abroad. Ms. Brown has led many initiatives and special projects to provide resources and empower marginalized communities in the south. She is the founder of Saving OurSelves Coalition, a community led disaster relief organization that helped hundreds of families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She also serves as a national advisor to the National Coalition on Black Civic Engagement and several national policy organizations.
She is the recipient of several awards including the 2006 Redbook Magazine Spirit and Strength Award, 2007 Spirit of Democracy Award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Louis E. Burnham Award for Human Rights, the 2008 Emory Business School MLK Service Award, 2010 Audubon Award, and 2011 White House Champion of Change Award.
Yolanda Hippensteele is NFG's Director of Member Engagement. She joined NFG in January 2015. Yolanda has worked for almost 20 years as a leading strategist, advocate, grant maker, cultural organizer and communicator for initiatives in the fields of democracy, culture and social justice. Prior to NFG, Yolanda served as Program Officer at the Media Democracy Fund (MDF), a funder collaborative dedicated to promoting the universal right to communicate and access information. There, Yolanda worked on behalf of the Fund’s eleven contributing foundations to track a complex field and develop strategies that build a diverse and powerful organizing and advocacy ecosystem.
Earlier in her career, Yolanda was a founding staffer and Outreach Director of the powerhouse national media policy organization Free Press, where she helped build the organization from scratch, ran successful campaigns, and produced four installments of one of the nation’s largest conventions for progressive activists, the National Conference for Media Reform. Yolanda's prior work includes positions with independent media outlets and arts networks, a women’s rights lobbying firm in D.C., get-out-the-vote campaigns, and a moonlighting gig managing socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell.
Shannon Lin is a Program Associate for NFG. She joined NFG in June 2016. Her background lies in working to help empower communities of color and immigrants in the Bay Area. She has a strong commitment to serving marginalized groups and has experience in providing support for employment, educational, and health needs through organizations such as the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Shannon holds a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies and a minor in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. In 2015, she was awarded funding from the Goldman School of Public Policy's Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement to participate in an academic internship program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Nile K. Malloy joined NFG in April 2016 as the Senior Program Manager of the Democratizing Development Program. He brings 15 years of economic development, public health, community organizing, philanthropic relationship building, climate change, and environmental justice experience. Before joining NFG, Nile worked for eight years as the Northern California Program Director at Communities for a Better Environment managing campaigns and programs on climate adaptation, clean energy, environmental justice, and local economic development projects. Nile has also provided consulting services to philanthropy, non-profits and government entities on community equity-based climate planning and development. He has served on many boards and steering committees including the Oakland Climate Action Coalition, Climate Justice Alliance, Bay Area Resilience Initiative, Bay Area Rapid Transit Title VI Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, Bay Area Air Quality Management District Cumulative Impacts Working Group and Bay Localize. He holds a BA in African American Studies and Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan, and an MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Jose Olivas is NFG's Finance and Operations Manager. He joined NFG in November 2013. Jose brings over 5 years of managerial and administrative experience in both the for profit and nonprofit sectors. Jose previously served as the West Coast Operations and Bolder Advocacy Program Coordinator of Alliance for Justice where he facilitated over 400 events and trainings in public policy advocacy during his 3 year tenure.
Jose has participated in demonstrations across California in defense of immigrants and workers rights as well as met with legislators to support state bills strengthening domestic workers rights and healthcare expansion for immigrants in California. Jose received his BA in Mass Communications from UC Berkeley.
Lorraine Ramirez is the Senior Program Manager of NFG's Funders for Justice. She joined NFG in December of 2012. Lorraine has worked in social justice philanthropy for over a decade, in the areas of housing and the foreclosure crisis, LGBTQ rights, gender justice, and anti-violence organizing strategies. Lorraine has also served in fundraising roles with social justice community-based organizations dedicated to racial justice, economic justice, immigrant rights, workers' rights, and LGBTQ rights. Lorraine previously worked in US Programs at the Open Society Foundations, as a member of the Equality and Opportunity Fund team. Lorraine began her work in philanthropy with five years on the grantmaking team at the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, across their international and US-based grant programs.
Lorraine has consulted and partnered with a number of grassroots organizations across the US, on fundraising strategies, organizational development, and coalition-building. Lorraine has served on the board of the Audre Lorde Project, Queers for Economic Justice, and the Justice Committee, a Latina/o-led organization dedicated to building a movement against police violence and systemic racism in NYC. She is currently a board member of the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT), Trans Queer Pueblo, and Resource Generation; she also serves on the grants panel for the Mobilize Power Fund of Third Wave Fund.
Lorraine manages NFG's Funders for Justice, an initiative focused on police accountability and racial and gender justice, which launched in late 2014 in solidarity with the uprisings in Ferguson, MO.
Angelica Ramirez joined NFG in March 2016 as a Program Associate. Angelica provides administrative and programmatic assistance for finance and operations, membership, Funders for Justice, and Funders for a Just Economy.
Prior to working at NFG, Angelica has served at the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center, Office of Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Public Allies Silicon Valley and San Francisco, and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC). Angelica holds a B.A. in International Relations from UC Davis.
Adriana Rocha joined NFG as Vice President of Programs in May 2017. She has worked in social justice for more than 20 years, bringing deep expertise in grantmaking, organizational and network capacity building and non-profit management. Before becoming and independent consultant, Adriana served as a senior manager and practice director for CompassPoint, a national leader in providing capacity building support to social justice leaders and community-based organizations. During her six years at CompassPoint, she led the organization in creating and implementing its theory of change and aligning the organization's systems and culture to achieve its goals.
Adriana honed her skills in social justice philanthropy and capacity building while serving as a program officer at the New York Foundation and Director of Grants & Capacity Building at the Just Beginnings Collaborative. She also worked at Community Resource Exchange in New York City where she provided planning, fundraising and board development consulting to community organizing, immigrant, youth and HIV/AIDS organizations.
Adriana has served on the boards of the Latino Commission on AIDS, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, and the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT). She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Politics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Master’s degree from Columbia University, Social Organizational Psychology Program. Adriana is from Toluca, Mexico.
Lindsay Ryder joined NFG as Membership Manager in June 2017. Lindsay brings over 7 years’ experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic fields and is committed to supporting a strong and viable sector at all levels. Her background includes experience working on a range of civil and human rights issues, including refugee/asylum law, freedom of expression and open democracy, criminal justice reform, and women’s civil rights. Prior to joining NFG, Lindsay served as Program Officer of the Security & Rights Collaborative at the Proteus Fund, where she implemented a multi-faceted grantmaking strategy to support grassroots advocacy, communications advocacy, and leadership development with a broad field of racial justice, civil liberties, and human rights organizations. Prior to joining the Proteus Fund, Lindsay worked as a Legal Associate at Alliance for Justice, where she performed legal research on complex state and federal issues, monitored legislation, and developed resources and training materials to support progressive nonprofit organizations engaged in advocacy. Lindsay has also served as an independent consultant, with experience supporting organizations and foundations with research, program development, fundraising, and partner engagement.
Lindsay holds a BA in Psychology from New York University, and a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, where she was the recipient of an International Human Rights Fellowship and Class of 2010 Public Service Award. During law school, Lindsay held legal fellowships with the Innocence Project, ACLU Women’s Rights Project, South Brooklyn Legal Services and ARTICLE 19 in London.
Kita Urias is NFG’s Executive Assistant to the President. She joined NFG in April 2016. She has a background in education and a passion for youth development and social justice. Prior to working at NFG, she taught Pre-Kindergarten and has since welcomed a daughter of her own. Having also worked in property management and marketing, Kita brings over seven years of administrative experience and strong communication, organizational, and troubleshooting skills to NFG. Kita earned a BA in English with a concentration in Education from the University of Texas - San Antonio.
Manisha Vaze joined NFG in February 2017 as the Senior Program Manager for Funders for a Just Economy (FJE). Manisha has more than 12 years’ experience as a community organizer. Before joining FJE, Manisha was the Director of Organizing at Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) based in South Los Angeles. At SCOPE she managed its grassroots voter engagement and community organizing strategy, and co-led its campaign activities to build power alongside residents of South LA. Her work at SCOPE helped advance an agenda to eliminate structural barriers to social and economic opportunities, and build replicable job training and workforce models that have regional and national impact.
She also was the Senior Organizer at Families for Freedom (FFF), a New York City-based community organization by and for families facing deportation due to an interaction with the criminal system. She campaigned to win federal changes to immigration law and statewide changes to cut ties between the local criminal system and the federal immigration system. Manisha also has experience in mental health program development and policy advocacy and served as the Follow-up Coordinator at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University.