At the Central Valley Community Foundation, an integral part of our work to build stronger communities through effective philanthropy is by fostering the next generation of leaders. This is why CVCF invests in programs like Next Generation Philanthropy, which paves the way for a sustainable future of philanthropic giving by young local leaders. However, the future of philanthropy isn’t just about establishing a new generation of donors. CVCF knows it’s also about nurturing the next generation of nonprofit industry leaders who will become the future stewards of transformative charitable dollars.
CVCF was thrilled to bring on one of those future industry leaders as our fall 2017 intern. Claudie Richardson joined our team in September and has spent the last few months working in our Programs department. In her work at CVCF, she has assisted with putting together a 10-year retrospective report on one of our flagship grant programs, Transformative Opportunities for Youth (TOY). The report analyzes the work CVCF has been able to accomplish through a partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Anthem, as well as the work by local organizations and youth initiatives that have been funded through the program. The report also analyzes the demographics of the populations served through TOY-funded programs to answer important questions about racial-, ethnic-, and income-based disparities. “Why is it that Latinos in the Central Valley are more likely to become teen parents than other populations?” Claudie asks. “These are the kinds of questions our data tries to answer.”
As Claudie’s passion is for community service through field work, she wasn’t initially sure that sitting behind a desk to perform research was for her. However, she says her internship experience has transformed her mindset. “This [internship] work has really given me a greater appreciation for the research side of nonprofit work,” Claudie says. “Understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ is just as important as going out and working in the community.”
Claudie presented the findings of her 10-year report to CVCF’s Board of Directors on December 12, 2017.
Claudie is currently finishing up her last semester at Fresno State, with a special major in philanthropy and community-based leadership. “I was originally an international business major,” Claudie says, “but I met Dr. [Matthew] Jendian and he changed my life.” Claudie has been in Fresno State’s Humanics program, of which Dr. Jendian is the founding director of, since January. She says the program has further fostered her interest in sustainable development work through community service, capacity-building within organizations, and building bridges between nonprofits, government, and businesses. When she was approached with an internship offer at CVCF, she didn’t hesitate. “I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned in school and apply it in real life,” she says, “but the greatest takeaway from this internship [experience] has been a greater sense of what I want to do, and how I’ll go about doing it. It’s really clarified my vision for the future.”
Even in her spare time, Claudie enjoys engaging with and serving her community. When she’s not performing community service or leading worship groups with her Christian club at Fresno State, she enjoys listening to all genres of music and singing. She’s going home to Bermuda after completing her last semester at school, but she says she doesn’t plan to stay home long, as she wants to come back to Fresno to walk in the spring graduation ceremony before doing some traveling. Ultimately, she hopes to bring her skills and knowledge home to see how she can better serve the community there. “I’d like to engage with the Bermuda Community Foundation, and see how I can work in capacity-building and sustainable development there,” Claudie says.
We’d like to extend Claudie a huge thank you for her hard work and the best of luck with her future endeavors! Young leaders like Claudie will pave the way for a long, sustainable future of stronger communities and effective philanthropy. If you are interested in internship or volunteer opportunities with CVCF, please contact Elliott Balch, Chief Operating Officer, at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 559-825-6192. Internship and volunteer opportunities will also be announced on our website as they arise.