Staff Members

Neighborhood Funders Group
436 14th Street, Suite 425
Oakland CA, 94612

Phone: (510) 444-6063

Click on the name of each NFG staff member to read a brief bio.

Dennis Quirin
President | Ext. 2014

Sarita Ahuja
Director of Organizational Development | Ext. 2018

LaTosha Brown
Project Director, Grantmakers for Southern Progress | Ext. 2011

Yolanda Hippensteele
Director of Member Engagement | Ext. 2013

Shannon Lin
Program Associate | Ext. 2012

Nile K. Malloy
Senior Program Manager, Democratizing Development Program | Ext. 2017

Jose Olivas
Finance and Operations Manager | Ext. 2009

Lorraine Ramirez
Senior Program Manager, Working Group on Place-Based Community Change and Funders for Justice | Ext. 2010

Angelica Ramirez
Program Associate | Ext. 2015

Kita Urias
Executive Assistant to the President | Ext. 2016


Dennis_Headshot.jpgDennis Quirin was appointed President of the Neighborhood Funders Group in July 2013. He 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. Most recently, 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 on the Advisory Committee for the Bay Area Justice Funders Network and on the board of Pac+.

Dennis is a graduate of Carleton College in Minnesota and has served as an assistant in the Fine Arts Department at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is trained as an abstract painter and is the father of two wonderful children.

Sarita-Ahuja.jpgSarita Ahuja is NFG’s Director of Organizational Development. 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_Office_Photo_PR.jpgLaTosha Brown 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.

YH-headshot.jpgYolanda Hippensteele has worked for over 15 years as a leading strategist, advocate, grant maker, cultural organizer and communicator for initiatives in the fields of democracy, arts and social justice. In her current role as Director of Programs at Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG), she helps build capacity in philanthropy for community-centered social change. 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 for grants 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 stint managing socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell.

Yolanda lives in Oakland, California with her partner and toddler.

SL_headshot.jpgShannon Lin's 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 is the Senior Program Manager of NFG’s 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.

JO_Staff_Pic_Sept_2014.jpgJose Olivas 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.

LR_Staff_Pic_Sept_2014.jpgLorraine Ramirez joined NFG in December of 2012, and 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 the Working Group on Place-Based Community Change and Funders for Justice, an initiative focused on police accountability and racial justice, which launched in late 2014 in solidarity with the uprisings in Ferguson, MO. 

AR_Headshot.jpegAngelica Ramirez, NFG’s Program Associate, brings experience advocating on issues impacting marginalized and underserved communities. She previously worked at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), where she served as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Associate. Angelica recruited and supervised nearly 100 volunteers, giving back $2.5 million in tax refunds to the East Bay community. She studied in Hong Kong and Davis, California, graduating from UC Davis in 2014 with a degree in International Relations. Through her local and global experiences, Angelica has developed a deep commitment to fostering and creating policies that build healthy, thriving communities.



Kita Urias, NFG’s Executive Assistant to the President, 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.