The Carl & Roberta 
Deutsch Foundation


Cohort 8 - Already Halfway There!

Posted by HALO Award on August 1, 2019 at 4:40 PM

It’s hard to believe that Cohort 8 is already halfway through their HALO Award program year! Last week the cohort of seven Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations met for their second of four Peer Learning Sessions. At these Sessions key volunteer program and organization staff address specific volunteer program challenges and opportunities, participate in facilitated discussion led by Blue Garnet, and develop a volunteer management plan.

During the Session, Debbie Unruh, Executive Director of Elizabeth House and member of Cohort 7, returned to the HALO Award family to share about Elizabeth House’s HALO experience – both during their program year and now almost a year out. Debbie explained how the impact of the award transcends beyond the year-long, intensive support from Blue Garnet and the Foundation. In fact, Debbie and her staff often refer to the binder which contains the notes, worksheets, and activities from their own Peer Learning Sessions; she humorously referred it as her “Volunteer Management Bible.” Debbie’s alumni perspective provided the Cohort with meaningful context and the opportunity to learn from another organization’s hindsight.

Debbie Unruh, Elizabeth House

Cohort 7

As Cohort 8 continues to develop their volunteer management plans, several organizations explained a shift in the way they view volunteers since meeting at the first Peer Learning Session. These organizations are challenging what historically has been more of a transactional approach to volunteer management and are now identifying ways to consider and utilize volunteers as an extension of their own staff. Though each organization recruits and utilizes volunteers differently, all seven organizations agree that volunteers are vital members of their teams and central to achieving their organizational goals. Cohort 8 left Peer Learning Session 2 feeling “motivated,” “challenged,” and “ready” to continue developing their plans.

The purpose of the HALO Award is to strengthen and sustain nonprofit organizations through the support of volunteer program - it is always exciting to see the Cohort develop strategic volunteer managements plans that not only enhance strategies, but also directly reflect the values of the organizations and thus deepen impact.

Celebrating the Hearts of Volunteers

Posted by HALO Award on February 21, 2019 at 4:50 PM

On Valentine’s Day, The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation celebrated the 2018 HALO Award winners with a luncheon at the beautiful Marion Davies Guest House in Santa Monica. It was a perfect day to honor the love, dedication and hearts of the volunteer awardees, while also welcoming 7 new organizations to the HALO Award family including: A Place Called Home, EnCorps, Inc., Food on Foot, Learning Rights Law Center, Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation, Operation Jump Start and People Organized For Westside Renewal.

2018 Volunteer Awardees

The Foundation was honored to have Nike Irvin as the event’s keynote speaker. Nike is a 22-year veteran of nonprofit leadership who served as Vice President of Programs at the California Community Foundation and President of The Riordan Foundation and currently sits in the several nonprofit boards, including Southern California Grantmakers. Joined by her mother, Nike lifted volunteerism by sharing her personal journey of service, filled with anecdotes about love, commitment to family and community, and finding purpose.

Keynote Speaker: Nike Irvin, Founder of ZWN, Inc.

Other Luncheon guests included the 2018 Selection Committee, Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Volunteer Engagement, the Blue Garnet capacity building team, and HALO Award alumni, Gabe Middleton and Carmen McDonald, who later served on an alumni panel during the afternoon Orientation for the new cohort.

2018 Selection Committee

From left: Patrick Conyers, Executive Director of Pasadena Education Foundation & 2017 HALO Award Winner; Gabe Middleton, CEO of human-I-T & 2016 HALO Award Winner; Chris Henrikson, Board Member of Street Poets; Kara Soldati, President & CEO of United Friends of the Children; Carrie Harlow, Program Officer at The Ahmanson Foundation; Kristina Deutsch, Trustee at The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation

Not pictured: Dorothy Fleischer, Program Director at the W.M. Keck Foundation

Orientation Alumni Panel

From left: Gabe Middleton, CEO of human-I-T & 2016 HALO Award Winner; Carmen McDonald, Director of Legal Services at Los Angeles Center for Law & Justice & 2017 HALO Award Winner


Despite the heavy rains outside, warmth and love permeated the room for what is always a favorite day of the year for the Foundation. We can’t wait to get started with Cohort 8!