The Blog Name: Philanthropy Out Loud was the original name of this blog. Then I remembered something. Don’t be fooled, “BIG Philanthropy” is not about large piles of cash but rather about philanthropy done BIG. What inspired me to use this term and what does it mean anyway? A book called Living Big by Pam Gout which encourages the reader to take a leap and embrace their extraordinary life. What if philanthropy chose to live Big? What if it assumes fully the mantle of risk-taker and dreamer, seizes the day, capitalizes on opportunities, and comes into its own ripeness? Philanthropy is an art. Let’s embrace the creative and visionary spirit of the arts and use it to begin to write a new chapter in the story of philanthropy – one that models authenticity and honors the inherent joy of giving. Philanthropy was created to do big things. And there is simply too much suffering in the world for it to live little.
My bio: CJ Callen is Executive Director of Changemakers, a national public foundation that advances values, policies and practices to increase transparency, accountability and effectiveness in philanthropy. She brings to her work twenty-five years of nonprofit experience and an extensive background in public policy advocacy and grassroots community organizing.
As Director of Programs at Northern California Grantmakers, she was responsible for overall planning, integration and assessment of the organization’s professional development, organizational effectiveness, public policy, and family philanthropy activities. As Senior Program Officer at the Tides Foundation, she developed and implemented grantmaking programs and built relationships with a diverse group of grantees, institutional funders, and donors. As a consultant, she provided technical assistance and creative advice to foundations and nonprofits. At The San Francisco Foundation, she managed an initiative of collaborative projects working to reform systems affecting children, youth and families. As a public policy advocate, she founded a citywide youth organizing group, Youth Making a Change (Y-MAC).
CJ is a former board member of Women & Philanthropy. She currently serves as a member of the Public Policy Committee of the Independent Sector and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Foundation Center’s San Francisco Branch. CJ received her JD from Stanford University and her BA in political science and philosophy from New York University. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband Jeff, feline companions Roxie and Zoey and Cleo the wonder dog