Founded in 2002, The Libra Foundation supports frontline organizations building a world where communities of color thrive. The Foundation partners with groups working towards justice and equity that center the voices and experiences of those disproportionately harmed by systemic oppression.
In response to the growing movement to reimagine traditional philanthropy, Libra’s multi-generational family board hired Crystal Hayling in 2017 to spearhead philanthropic practices that reflect social justice. This includes funding groups led by and for people of color and frontline communities, removing administrative barriers, and fostering collaboration and donor organizing.
In January 2019, Libra moved into a new office, a light and art filled restored home in the Presidio of San Francisco. A place for grantees, funders, and movement partners to ignite philanthropic transformation, cultivate connection, and imagine the future together.
The Libra Foundation is working to advance philanthropic transformation, including transparency about our financial practices and our endowment. Libra believes that funders should adopt practices that are responsive to the needs of their grantees and aligned with their grantmaking strategy.
Investments. Mission matters — in both grants and investments. The Libra Foundation’s endowment of approximately $500 million is invested for impact by the Candide Group and Asset Consulting Group across a variety of asset classes. In addition to screening out industries that directly contribute to climate change and public health crises (such as oil, gas, tobacco and firearms), The Libra Foundation makes direct investments in businesses and social enterprises that are mission driven.
A small sampling of our investments includes:
Donor-Advised Fund. As of September 2020, Libra has partnered with Amalgamated Foundation to create a donor advised fund (“DAF”), The Libra Foundation Fund, to help move funds more quickly and efficiently to grantees. We encourage you to learn more about Amalgamated’s aligned practices here.
We invite you to review The Libra Foundation’s audited financials:
Crystal Hayling, Executive Director
Crystal Hayling (she/her) has brought to The Libra Foundation a fresh vision of philanthropy that rejects business as usual and is responsive to the needs of frontline communities. Along with a team that reflects the diversity of the grantees Libra serves, she has built strong relationships of trust with POC-led organizations working actively across the spectrum of racial and social justice issues. In 2020, in the face of multiple historic crises impacting frontline communities, she worked with the Libra Board to double the grantmaking total, putting the foundation in the vanguard of change. In September 2020, she joined together a group of 12 foundations to found the Democracy Frontlines Fund, a new aligned giving strategy to meet this moment with $36 million in unrestricted, multi-year support for an exemplary slate of Black-led organizations.
Feeding her interest in equitable health care, Crystal was CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation where she spearheaded work to achieve universal health coverage. She was also part of the founding team at The California Wellness Foundation where she led a groundbreaking initiative to shift youth violence prevention from a criminal justice issue to a public health effort.
She has served on the boards of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, Northern California Grantmakers, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, and Grantmakers in Health. Most recently Crystal was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. She has also lived and worked in China and Mexico.
Born and raised in Florida, Crystal is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. She and her husband live in the Bay Area with their two teenage sons.
Jennifer Agmi, Senior Program Officer
As Libra’s first Program Officer for Gender Justice, Jennifer Agmi (she/her) brings an unyielding commitment to the advancement of gender and racial justice through grantmaking, fund development, and community partnerships.
In her prior position as Director of Programs of The New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF), Jennifer oversaw a portfolio of grantees working with low-income women and families across three issue areas: economic security; health and reproductive justice; and safety. While at The NYWF, she also led the new Fund for the Me Too Movement and Allies in partnership with founder Tarana Burke, and served as chief strategist for the multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative IGNITE!—charged with increasing investment opportunities to organizations working with gender-fluid and young women of color. Jennifer also designed and managed several Foundation initiatives, including a girl-led participatory grantmaking program, and the 5-year Initiative Against Sex Trafficking of Minors in NYC.
Jennifer’s prior positions include nonprofit analyst at the Growth Philanthropy Network / Social Impact Exchange in NYC, and program coordinator at The Guidance Center in Cambridge, MA. She has also served as Co-Chair of the Funders Group for Gender Equity at Philanthropy NY, and frequently speaks and writes on the subject of gender equity. Jennifer holds an MPA from New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and a degree in psychology with a minor in women and gender studies from Brandeis University.
Elissa Burke, Office Manager
Elissa Burke’s (she/her) exceptional administrative and business management skills are vital to her role as Office Manager / Executive Assistant at the foundation’s home in San Francisco’s Presidio. Elissa is responsible not only for the smooth functioning of Libra’s internal systems and providing executive support, but also for rolling-out Libra’s newly-launched community hub and workspace—ensuring visiting organizations’ gatherings and all public events are well managed.
Elissa brings years of both nonprofit and corporate experience to the Foundation. For the past decade (first in administration, later as Development Director) Elisa served Bread & Roses—a small Marin County nonprofit dedicated to uplifting the human spirit through free, live, quality entertainment for people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated from society. She also served 5+ years as Corporate Administrative Manager at The Egoscue Method in San Diego, running operations, human resources, and providing executive assistance to its leadership team. She also played a key role in Egoscue’s corporate expansion—coordinating legal consultants and documentation, conducting due diligence around clinic selection, training and supporting a growing staff, and serving as liaison between licensees and directors, growing the number of clinics from 1 to 25. Prior to Egoscue, Elissa worked for several years as Administrative Manager for the San Diego management and HR firm Davidson Consulting.
Elissa has a passion for the outdoors, sustainable and local agriculture, live music, and doing meaningful work that makes a difference—born and raised in Vermont, she has now embraced the Bay Area. Outside of work, Elissa volunteers regularly with local animal and food security organizations, including Halleck Creek Ranch, CUESA, Golden Gate National Parks, Roots of Change, and Urban Sprouts.
Angie Chen, Senior Program Officer and Community Engagement Director
Angie Chen (she/her) brings deep experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to her work at The Libra Foundation, with particular strengths in community engagement and coalition building. In her role, she partners with grantees to advance Environmental and Climate Justice and oversees Libra’s communications and community programs.
As founding Executive Director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum, Angie created and oversaw all aspects of a national funder collaborative focused on expanding equitable access to opportunities to learn, play, and grow outdoors. Prior to Blue Sky, Angie served as an advisor to the Pisces Foundation during its formation and as a Program Officer at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, where she supported field building efforts during its spend down. She has also contributed to designing and managing grantmaking initiatives at the Pacific Forest & Watershed Lands Stewardship Council and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
Angie holds a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University and a Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. She teaches with Northern California Grantmakers’ New Grantmakers Institute and has served on the board of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. A first-generation American raised in the Bay Area, Angie lives in San Francisco with her partner and a large, fetch obsessed dog.
Ashley Clark, Director of Knowledge and Grants Management
A passionate believer in philanthropy’s potential to promote equity and social justice, Ashley Clark (she/her) brings grantmaking, operations, marketing and communications experience to her work with The Libra Foundation.
As Director of Knowledge and Grants Management, Ashley stays abreast of the key leaders and trends in the Foundation’s program areas. Coupling extensive sector knowledge with deep data management expertise, Ashley administers and monitors Libra’s funding portfolio—working closely with current grantees and identifying potential partners.
Ashley formerly served Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2) as Director of Grantee Impact & Strategic Initiatives, where she co-led SV2’s strategic planning process, revised the organization’s capacity building strategy, and built strong relationships with grantees through an initiative focused on resilient youth. Prior to joining SV2’s team, Ashley consulted with a range of nonprofits, including Kiva.org, Faces SF, and BUILD.
Ashley is an economics graduate of Spelman College, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Ashley is a 2017-2018 Harmony Initiative Fellow with the Justice Funders Network. Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she lives in San Francisco with her husband, her young son, and her Wheaten Terrier.
Jennifer (Jenny) Herrera, Grants Associate
Grants Associate Jenny Herrera (she/her) brings a deep research and evaluation skillset to Libra’s team, through a community-responsive and intersectional lens, she supported and led a range of non-profit, government, and grantmaker-spearheaded research projects dedicated to uplifting community voices and propelling equity.
For years as a researcher at Harder+Company, and through her time with Impact Justice, Jenny measured the outcomes and effectiveness of numerous criminal justice reform, public health, housing policy, and early childhood education initiatives. Partnering with grassroots organizations, police departments, and community members, she helped evaluate diversion programs in California cities with disproportionate incarceration rates of Latinx and Black men. A firm advocate for inclusive practices in the research process, she led a participatory evaluation with young adults experiencing homelessness in the Tenderloin, San Francisco. She also designed and led an award-winning primary research study on street harassment and served as the Principal Investigator at the UC Davis Sociology Department. Through Committee to Bridge the Gap, Jenny documented pollution limit exceedances in Simi Valley’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory—advocating for toxic waste cleanup at that former nuclear facility.
Fluent in Spanish, Jenny is also fluent in a host of research design methodologies and data collection approaches that honor lived experiences. A Bay Area native, she continues to plant seeds in the East Bay with her three dogs.
Daniel Lau, Democracy Frontlines Fund Initiative Officer
Daniel Lau’s (he/him) career is centered around connecting people to build trust and collective power towards advancing racial equity and social justice. As a child of immigrants, he understood the power and importance of community from a young age and has continuously strived to build community in his experiences as a public health practitioner, asset builder and economic developer, and philanthropic convener. His passion and devotion to people and purpose bring him to the Democracy Frontlines Fund Initiative Officer role at The Libra Foundation.
Prior to joining the Libra team, Daniel was with Northern California Grantmakers, crafting and designing program and cohort experiences focused on advancing racial equity and building leadership capacity in the philanthropic community. He also managed several multimillion dollar funder collaboratives for the 2020 Census, older adults, and youth organizing. Before NCG he promoted health equity through cross-sector collaboration among community developers and health practitioners with the Public Health Institute. He also holds experience in asset building and economic development from his role at Mission Asset Fund and leading the expansion of the Lending Circles social loan program.
Daniel is an alum of Justice Funders’ Harmony Initiative, Urban Habitat’s Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, and the Congressional Hunger Center’s Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship. He is a former EPIP Bay Area chapter steering committee member and active in a new giving circle – API Giving Project. Daniel holds a BS in Human Biology from UC San Diego (also his hometown!) and an MPH from Boston University. He lives in San Francisco and can be found plotting his next move in a strategy board game, exploring the natural beauty of the Bay Area with his dog Akoya, or experimenting with new Instant Pot recipes.
Shauntel Murphy, Executive Assistant
Shauntel Murphy (she/her) was born in San Francisco, the eldest of two siblings. At a young age, she grew to be protective and responsible for her sisters and brothers and understood the sacrifices her mother made for their family. Shauntel’s mother, a minister, instilled in her a great sense of empathy and desire to give back to her community. This, at its core, is what drives Shauntel to support fierce leaders who are standing up for what’s right.
For 14 years, Shauntel has worked as a right hand to executives across sectors, providing critical administrative support so their organizations can run smoothly. She was an Executive Assistant to leadership teams at UC Berkeley, Amerprise Financial, and Dignity Health, where she was honored by the Medical Executive Committee and received a “Recognition of Excellence Award”.
At Libra, Shauntel provides Crystal and the Libra team with masterful assistance – skillfully balancing the ins and outs of supporting the Executive Director. She believes in the work of Libra’s grantee partners, and wants to be a part of making their lives more beautiful. As a former girl scout, Shauntel loves to go on adventures and travel, and enjoys spending quality time with her family.
maisha quint, Senior Program Officer
maisha quint’s (she/her) career has been guided by her commitment to build power and self-determination in marginalized communities. Her two decades of on-the-ground leadership as a social justice organizer, community programs director, arts and policy manager and family advocate are essential to her role as Program Officer focused on Libra’s Criminal Justice work.
maisha served most recently as the Multicultural Fellow at the San Francisco Foundation where she led its $3M Arts & Culture portfolio, and co-designed working groups for Immigrant & Refugee Rights and Youth Organizing. She also helped develop strategies for the foundation’s $8M housing and anti-displacement efforts in the Bay Area. Before joining SFF, maisha worked as Community Programs Director at EastSide Arts Alliance, advancing intersectional approaches to cultural strategy and place-based equity, with a particular focus on the development of a Black Cultural Zone in East Oakland. She also served several years with the statewide network Legal Services for Prisoners with Children as Communications Director and Family Advocacy Coordinator, helping families advocate for policies on behalf of their incarcerated loved ones.
An extensive writer, frequent speaker, experienced trainer, and passionate community organizer, maisha has campaigned with Committee to Free the San Francisco 8, Stop the Gang Injunctions Coalition, the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. She currently serves as adviser to the Center for Political Education, is a recent fellow of both the Justice Funders Network’s Harmony Initiative and CompassPoint’s Arc Towards Justice Leadership and Solidarity Program, and is presently a poetry fellow with Cave Canem. A Bay Area native, maisha holds a BA in African American Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an MFA in Poetry from Mills College.