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.
Melody Baker is the Senior Program Coordinator for the Amplify Fund, a national pooled grantmaking program designed to build power and elevate the decision-making role of communities of color and low-income communities in regional and local development. Melody joined NFG in August 2018 after serving as Deputy Director of Programs at The Inner Resilience Program (project of Tides), a national non-profit focused on cultivating the inner lives of students, teachers and school communities.
Previously, Melody served as the Director of Grantmaking and Capacity Building at the Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) and as a Program Officer at the Hazen Foundation. In both roles she supported multi-issue, youth-led, community organizing programs focused on racial, gender, educational and environmental justice. Across her professional experience, which includes seven years managing design and production in the jewelry industry, Melody has developed deep project management skills. She is grounded in collaborative grantmaking systems and practice and has managed multi-stakeholder projects and programs. She holds a BA in African American Studies and Sociology from Wesleyan University.
Shannon Lin is NFG's Communications Manager. She implements strategies supporting the growth and visibility of NFG’s national network and programming in the field of philanthropy. Shannon joined NFG in June 2016 as a Program Associate, supporting the Democratizing Development Program, membership engagement, and database management.
Her background lies in advocating for workers' rights and providing support for the housing, economic, education, and health needs of immigrants, low-income communities, and communities of color. She has previously worked with Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Shannon currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) Bay Area Chapter. She holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies with a minor in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley. She was a fellow with the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement at the Goldman School of Public Policy in 2015.
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.
Amy T. Morris is the Director of the Amplify Fund, a national pooled grantmaking fund designed to elevate community voices in decision making, particularly related to regional and local development. Amy joined NFG and took on leadership of Amplify in October 2017 after nearly three years as the Director of Programs at the Fund for Global Human Rights, where she oversaw grantmaking programs designed to strengthen the global human rights movement by providing long term general operating support grants and capacity building opportunities for frontline organizations in more than fifteen countries. Previously, she was a Program Officer at the Surdna Foundation, first in Foundation Initiatives and later in the Strong Local Economies program. While at Surdna, Amy was a board member of NFG and the Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing.
Prior to working in philanthropy, Amy held roles in multiple sectors in her work for social justice. She directed the Earlham College Border Studies Program in the US-Mexico borderlands region, and the New York Union Semester program at the City University of New York (CUNY). In earlier years, she was as a union researcher for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a popular educator and policy monitor in Nicaragua and Colombia, and a high school Social Studies teacher in St. Paul, MN.
Amy holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and a B.A. in Urban Studies and Latin American Studies from Macalester College. She serves on the National Employment Law Project (NELP) board, and the Advisory Committee of the Earlham College Border Studies Program.
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, racial justice, immigrant rights, and anti-violence organizing strategies. Lorraine previously worked in US Programs at the Open Society Foundations, as a member of the Equality and Opportunity Fund team. She 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 social justice community-based organizations across the US, in the areas of fundraising strategies, organizational development, and coalition-building. She has previously served on the board of the Audre Lorde Project, Queers for Economic Justice, and the Justice Committee, a people of color 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 holds a B.A. in Women's Studies from Pomona College.
Lorraine manages NFG's Funders for Justice, a national funder organizing platform focused on grassroots organizing at the intersections of racial justice, gender justice, community safety, and policing/criminalization; FFJ launched in late 2014 in solidarity with the uprisings in Ferguson, MO, and around the country.
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 an 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.
Neda Said joined NFG as Program Coordinator, supporting Funders for Justice, Funders for a Just Economy, and the Democratizing Development Program, in September 2018. Neda’s experience has honed her skills in strategic community engagement, detailed program coordination, dynamic facilitation, and thoughtful curriculum development.
Prior to joining NFG, she has led community empowerment and organizing efforts in a myriad of ways, including through facilitation and crafting of curriculum in partnership with queer and trans youth leaders, supporting and training survivors and advocates for domestic and sexual violence, and managing leadership programs for youth of color. Neda’s work is driven by her ardor to alleviate injustices for marginalized communities at the intersections of identity. She continues to utilize her skills in building intersectional approaches, foundational structure, and methodical coordination for the movement towards liberation.
Neda currently organizes to end the criminalization and incarceration of survivors of domestic and sexual violence with national coalition, Survived and Punished. She completed her studies in Political Science and International Studies at the University of California at San Diego. When Neda isn’t immersed in planning the details of something, she’s probably out enjoying the sunshine.
Kita Urias joined NFG in April 2016 and is the Executive Assistant to the President. She provides administrative assistance to NFG’s President and helps manage the workflow of the Senior Management Team. Kita has supported the launch of several programs at NFG, including Project Phoenix, the Amplify Fund, and Philanthropy Forward.
Kita 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. 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.