Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! Many of us are entering 2023 with a quiet sense of renewal and optimism. The steady hum of uncertainty that has buzzed throughout the last three years is a bit softer, and we are finding more opportunities to be in community with one another and the people we love.

At ZFF, we are starting the new year with clarity, curiosity, and joy. Our new strategic vision promotes belonging, expression, and a shared sense of safety among people and communities across the Bay Area. The work we support in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties deepens community involvement, advances fair policies and practices, and creatively expresses our shared humanity and a future where everyone has what they need to thrive.

The clarity of our vision comes after years of learning including research, analyses, and feedback from our partners like you. One of the most important lessons for us is that clarity is not a fixed state. It requires continuous curiosity and an ability to adapt to changing circumstances. That is why the ZFF team spent the better part of last year building its learning agenda. Our learning agenda, takes the place of a traditional evaluation plan, focusing on questions that can test the assumptions associated with our framework, fill any knowledge gaps that appear throughout its implementation, and ensure flexibility when assumptions change or are no longer correct. A learning agenda is not about metrics, outputs, or timelines, rather it guides and strengthens our work through curiosity and a commitment to shared success. Please keep an eye out for more details and other updates about our learning agenda over the next few weeks.

It’s been a busy few years at ZFF, and we are eager to put our work into practice. There is urgency in what we do, and we recognize the challenges ahead; but with the new year we are reminded that this is also joyful work. Our shared commitment towards a vibrant region, rich with diverse expressions and experiences fills us with gratitude and optimism about 2023 and beyond. There is no better way to ring in the new year.

Thomas H. Zellerbach
Board Chair

Allison L. Magee
President and Executive Director