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2017 Learning Groups Graduate

The month of June brought the completion of our six month learning group program for 2017. This year, the Foundation hosted four groups, two each in San Diego and Orange Counties. Each region hosted one group comprised of CEOs and Executive Directors and one group of senior leadership team members. In total, 44 leaders participated this year.

After participating in a learning group, participants report greater confidence in their leadership abilities, an increased capacity to fulfill their agency’s mission, and a greater ability to collaborate with others to accomplish their goals. Over 90% report being better equipped to support their staff. The learning group program is one of our oldest programs and serves and the cornerstone of our Network. To date, over 1100 nonprofit leaders have been in one of our learning groups!
Applications will be accepted for the 2018 program beginning in September. The six month program sells out each year, so interested leaders are encouraged to act quickly to secure a place in the cohort. The cost of the program is $350 and more specific details can be found under the Leadership Network tab on our website.

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Clare Rose Sabbatical 2017 Orientation

In an effort to replenish the stores of energy and inspiration for our community’s most gifted leaders and increase the capacity of nonprofit leadership within organizations, The Fieldstone Foundation and the Clare Rose Foundation joined forces four years ago to offer the Clare Rose Sabbatical Program as part of the Fieldstone Leadership Network. On June 7, 2017, we welcomed John Ohanian and 2-1-1 San Diego and Evan Marks and The Ecology Center to our sabbatical family. John and Evan bring the total to 15 sabbatical grants that have been given out over the four years of the program.

After a thorough orientation attended by the Executive Directors and their designated interim leader, Evan and John were joined by board members of the Clare Rose Foundation and past sabbatical recipients from Orange and San Diego. Over lunch, the group shared their sabbatical stories and gave their best wisdom to the pair as they begin the sabbatical journey. The orientation and luncheon was hosted at the Fieldstone Foundation offices in San Diego.

The day wrapped up with leaders from the first two cohorts participating in a focus group led by researchers from the University of San Diego. The research study is being conducted over the first five year period of the sabbatical program with the goal of measuring the impact of this unique experience on both the individual leaders, including the executive director, interim leadership, and board members, and the organizations as a whole.

The Clare Rose Sabbatical Program application process opens each January with selections announced made in May. More information, including a list of past recipients, can be found under the Leadership Network tab on our website. The sabbatical grant is valued at $50,000.

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Coaches Gather for Learning and Fellowship

This week, Fieldstone Coaches from both San Diego and Orange Counties gathered together for updates and training. Hosted at Casa Romantica in San Clemente, the Coaches spent the day supporting each other in their coaching activities by sharing resources and personal experiences with each other. In addition, Sue Schaffner, led a training module on how to lead a “personal strategy retreat” for a coachee. This module adds to the toolbox of each coach by giving him/her another instrument to help offer support and development to his/her coachee.

The Fieldstone Coaching Program pairs executive directors, one of whom has been trained as a consultative coach, in a twelve-month, confidential, one-on-one peer coaching relationship. Through a series of monthly meetings and ongoing conversations over the course of a year, coaches help to empower coachees to accomplish specific leadership goals and resolve organizational problems. Coaches meet with Fieldstone Foundation staff on a quarterly basis throughout the program for guidance and support.

Applications for the 2018 program will be available in September. The year-long program includes a 360 Degree Review from the Center for Creative Leadership and an hour-long debrief with a facilitator certified by the Center to give feedback. The cost of the program is $350. More information and the application can be found on our website under the Leadership Network Tab.

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2017 Clare Rose Sabbaticals Awarded

This week, The Fieldstone Leadership Network announced that The Ecology Center and 2-1-1 San Diego are the recipients of a 2017 Clare Rose Sabbatical.

Designed as a tool to help increase the capacity of nonprofit organizations, the Clare Rose Sabbatical provides three months paid leave for the executive director, a consultant to help with the planning and preparation, support for the leaders managing during the sabbatical and reintegration of the leader upon his/her return to the organization. The grant also provides $5,000 to be used for additional training as requested by the staff and a stipend to share with staff who lead while the executive is away. In total, the sabbatical grant is valued at $50,000.

With this announcement, the Fieldstone Leadership Network’s program has awarded 15 capacity building sabbaticals to organizations in San Diego and Orange Counties during the past four years.

Initial results from a study conducted by the University of San Diego’s Caster Family Center on Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research illustrate the positive outcomes this sabbatical program is achieving with its nonprofit partners. In addition to sustaining key executive leaders by giving them the opportunity for rest and renewal, senior leaders within the organization report learning much about what it takes to lead an organization as an executive director and giving them clarity about the skills and experiences they need to ready themselves for a leadership transition. Board member report gaining a better understanding of the organization’s inner workings, systems and programs leading to a deeper appreciation for staff and the organization’s mission. All involved report increased confidence in their leadership abilities and a more balance perspective on carrying out the work.

The Fieldstone Foundation and Clare Rose Foundations joined together in 2012 to create and deliver the sabbatical program. Based on the 20 year program offered by the Durfee Foundation, The Clare Rose Sabbatical Program is part of the Fieldstone Leadership Network, a continuum of nine separate programs to support and sustain nonprofit leaders throughout their nonprofit careers.

The next application cycle begins in January 2018 with an deadline of Jan. 30th. More information can be found on our webpage under the Leadership tab, Clare Rose Sabbatical.

Congratulations to Evan Marks, John Ohanian and the staffs of 2-1-1 San Diego and The Ecology Center!

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Leadership Book Club Applications Available Now

Last year, The Fieldstone Leadership Network launched the Leadership Book Club as a distinctive and creative way to study leadership. The first cohort of 12 nonprofit leaders is currently in Month 8 of the 10-month program and the cohort has decided to continue to read and study leadership together through literature once the program has “officially” concluded. Their choice to continue the program is a meaningful endorsement on the value of the experience and one that has lead Fieldstone to offer another session of this program. Applications are now available for the second Leadership Book Club, which will begin in September 2017 and run through June 2018. If you would like to hear what people are saying about the Book Club experience, please view this short video
Leadership Book Club

Crafted with assistance from leadership and literary experts, including the Department of Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego, Harvard, Center for Courage and Renewal, Warwick’s and various independent consultants, the book club works with a well-cultivated and meaningful book list. This list includes fiction, non-fiction and other books we are describing as “the third sector”. This category of books will include technical, business, philosophy and poetry that will round out the other literary choices. Each book has been selected for its ability to inspire and inform personal leadership development. The list is balanced with classics and new releases from a variety of authors to provide a diverse perspective and learning opportunity. It is designed to be a living document that will continue to evolve throughout the life of the program.

The Fieldstone Book Club is led by a professional book club facilitator. This will provide both the framework for the first three monthly discussions but also the training on how to facilitate and use book discussions as a teaching tool in your organization or with your leadership team. Our facilitator will work with each member as he/she prepares to facilitate one month’s discussion with a fellow member. This part of the program cultivates trusted relationships among the book club members, while also solidifying the facilitator training with hands-on experience.

Research has shown that reading has always been an essential component of leadership development (HBR, Feb. 2016). However, even with the best of intentions, it is often difficult to get to or finish all of the books competing for our attention. Book Clubs are proven to help one commit to and develop a healthy habit of reading. This habit leads to an increase in knowledge, as the more one reads, the more one learns. Book clubs also change reading from a solitary activity to a communal one. Reading communally encourages one to read more deeply as a way to prepare to share thoughts and impressions with others in the Club. Maybe most importantly, book clubs inspire one to read books which one may not have otherwise selected or finished. Often these are the most meaningful reading experiences as one’s perspective is challenged or expanded.

We are very excited to continue this program and invite you to join us as part of this unique leadership development opportunity. We have space for 12 leaders. We expect the group to fill up quickly, so if you are interested, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. The application and more specific information is available on our website under the Leadership Network tab.

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Robin Sinclair Joins The Fieldstone Family

Robin K. Sinclair has officially joined the Fieldstone Family as the new Leadership Network and Development Manager. In this capacity, Robin K will be responsible for managing the programs and activities of the Fieldstone Leadership Network in Orange County, California and to raise funds to support and sustain the programs of the Network. Robin is uniquely qualified for this work as she was a member of the Fieldstone Leadership Network as a graduate of our Executive Learning Group Program. Thus, she can speak from personal experience about the value of the individual programs and the Network as a whole.

For the past five years, Robin has served as the Executive Director/CEO of Casa Youth Shelter. Prior to her time at Casa, she was the Executive Director at Boys Hope Girls Hope. In both organizations, Robin was recognized for her passion and commitment to the clients and the integrity of her leadership.

Robin is married and is the mother of four grown sons. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren. As two of our three staff members are named Robin and share “S” as a last initial, we are affectionately using Robin’s middle initial and referring to her as “Robin K”.

You can reach Robin K at 949 8732736 and

Please join us in welcoming Robin K to Fieldstone!

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Crossroads and Turning Points – Cultivating the Bench Strength of your Development Team

On Friday, March 3rd, The Fieldstone Leadership Network hosted its first Crossroads and Turning Points for 2017. Featuring Kathy Drucquer Duff from KDD Philanthropy, over 40 San Diego nonprofit leaders participated in a half day session to receive training and guidance on nuancing donor strategies and outreach.

The session provided practical ideas and advice on the “art” associated with the science of moves management within an organization’s donor development strategy. The session also addressed:
asking the right questions, incorporating transitional language into donor meetings, portfolio management strategies and tools to assist in the growing, and upgrading of portfolios and the discipline needed to be successful in this work.

Kathy Drucquer Duff’s unique experience across healthcare, higher education and nonprofit organizations allows her to assess the opportunities within each environment and provide trainings on a wide range of areas. KDD Philanthropy is one of the few consulting firms that regularly builds practical exercises, real-life scenarios and tailored role plays into trainings – allowing participants to take away practical, ready to implement tools for their work. We are proud to have partnered with KDD Philanthropy to bring this learning opportunity to nonprofits across a wide spectrum of focus areas to support them in reaching their fund development goals.

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2017 Coachees Complete 360 Degree Assessments

Our 2017 cohort of Coachees from Orange and San Diego Counties has now completed its 360 Degree Assessments as part of our annual coaching program. Working with the Center for Creative Leadership, each of our Coachees completed the assessment tool personally and invited key people in a variety of roles in his/her life to complete the assessment as well. Upon completion, each Coachee spent time reviewing the results with a certified facilitator so he/she is able to understand what the data means and how to use the results to further develop his/her leadership style. The Center for Creative Leadership pioneered the use of these assessments and remains a leader in the field. We are happy to have been working with them to provide this portion of our coaching program since its inception in 1996.

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Fieldstone @ 4 Video

Ever wonder about Fieldstone @ 4 and how it helps our nonprofit leaders do their work? We are thrilled to share a short video, produced by FLN member Lee Ann Kim, that provides a framework for the program and gives the viewer an opportunity to hear directly from Fieldstone @ 4 participants on how these gatherings help them as they lead.

This month, we will host two Fieldstone @ 4 gatherings:
On March 23rd , San Diego will host a conversation on how leaders in key nonprofit subsectors are “Leading with an New Administration”. Panelists include:
Barbara Mandle, Champions for Health;
Pauline Martinson, I love a Clean San Diego and Paulina Lis, San Diego Green Building Council;
Andy Carey, Border Philanthropy Project and
Kathi Anderson, Survivors of Torture and Walter Lam, Alliance for African Assistance.

On March 29th, Orange County will be discussing “HR that Impacts Your Bottom Line” with Kathleen Buehler and Mindy Weinheimer of the Blind Children’s Learning Center.

Fieldstone @ 4 is a component of the Fieldstone Leadership Network and provides a “living room” experience for nonprofit leaders to come together for fellowship and knowledge. Based on the concept of a “third place”, Fieldstone @ 4 provides the space for Members to use this time in whatever way will best serve his/her leadership needs each time we come together. As Fieldstone @ 4 is an open canvas for leaders to design and use as part of his/her personal and community leadership development, Members are welcome to meet with colleagues for personal discussions, simply enjoy each other’s friendship over a glass of wine or cup of coffee or join a peer facilitated conversation on topic’s relevant to today’s nonprofit leader. Fieldstone @ 4 is open to all members of The Fieldstone Leadership Network.

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2017 Learning Groups Filled with Vibrant Leaders

      In the new year, four new cohorts of Learning Groups began to meet. Forty-Five nonprofit leaders from throughout San Diego and Orange Counties are participating and represent various subsectors of the nonprofit landscape, including education, the environment, health, social service, literacy, arts, technology, sports and exercise, diplomacy and international relations, and faith based charity. The four groups will continue to meet monthly through June 2017.

Each monthly curriculum module incorporates group problem solving activities as well as discussion on state-of-the-art leadership and management research grounded though the practitioner’s lens. These topics address common issues among nonprofits, such as:
Problem Solving, Leadership and Management, Developing Leaders, Managing Up and Team Building, Stages of Nonprofit Growth and Development, Conflict Resolution and Persuasion, Board Development, Time Management and Delegation, Strategic Planning, and Empowerment.









The Learning Group program has be filled to capacity since its inception in 1994. Applications for the next cohort will be accepted beginning in September 2017 and are available on our website. The next cohort will begin meeting in January 2018.

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