The Common Counsel Foundation (CCF) is a nonprofit foundation consisting of a group of grantmaking funds which donate to over 300 left-of-center advocacy groups each year.
As of January 2021, CCF is the new fiscal sponsor of Movement for Black Lives, one of the leading advocacy groups associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. Though as of February 2021, Movement for Black Lives is not listed as a sponsored project on CCF’s website.
The Common Counsel Foundation consists of five funds: Abelard Foundation West, the Acorn Foundation, the Kindle Project, the Lora L. and Martin N. Kelley Family Foundation Trust, and the David R. Stein Fund.
The member funds direct their grants through six Common Counsel Grant Programs: the Acorn Foundation supports environmentalist groups, the Grassroot Exchange Fund currently assists groups connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nature Voices Rising focuses on Native American organizations, the Social and Economic Justice Fund supports collaboration between progressive groups, the Still We Rise Fund focuses on organizations that support racial and ethnic minorities, and the Fund for an Inclusive California finances low-income community groups in California.
In 2018, the Common Counsel Foundation received $19,222.706 in revenue, with $17,414,561 coming from grants.
In January 2021, CCF received a $150,000 grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation.
The Common Counsel Foundation acts as a fiscal sponsor for other nonprofits, an arrangement in which nonprofits which have not received formal tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service are run as a project by an approved nonprofit.
As of February 2021, CCF lists three sponsored projects: the Kindle Project, a fund for low-income community groups and also a member fund of CCF; RoadMap Consulting, a social justice movement consulting group; and the Windcall Institute, a left-progressive organizational leadership training program. Movement for Black Lives is listed as a sponsored project on its own website, but not on CCF’s website.
Common Counsel Foundation executive director Peggy Saika is a veteran of Asian American-interest and left-of-center advocacy groups. From 2002-2015, she was the president and executive director of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. Prior, Saika was the founding executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. From 1983-1991, she was the executive director of the Asian Law Caucus. Saika was a co-founder of the Asian Women’s Shelter, Asians/Pacific Islanders for Choice, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. She has also been on the boards of Equal Rights Advocates, Progressive Assets Management, the Alston/Bannerman National Fellowship Program, the California Wellness Foundation, the New World Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, Ms. Foundation for Women, United Way of the Bay Area, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, National Network of Grantmakers, and the Council on Foundations. Saika is currently a Board member of the Patrick and Lily Okura Foundation and Green 2.0.
CCF director of strategy and asset building Allistair Mallillin has also worked for numerous Asian American and left-of-center advocacy groups. Prior, he worked as the membership and communications manager for Justice Funders, a left-wing community group in Oakland. Previously, Mallillin was the executive director of the Asian American Resource Workshop, the associate director of programs and services at Philanthropy Massachusetts, and also worked for the Haymarket People’s Fund, New England Foundation for the Arts, Saffron Circle Giving Circle, Access Strategies Fund, and Funding Exchange. Mallillin serves on the boards of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Integrated Rural Strategies Group at Neighborhood Funders Group, and the Local Engagement Chapter of Exponent Philanthropy.