News & Events Article

Celebrating Kathleen’s Retirement and Launching the Honorary “Say Yes!” Fund

Episcopal Impact Fund Sends Off Retiring Executive Director with the Kathleen Piraino "Say Yes!" Fund and Installation as a Diocesan Canon



The Kathleen Piraino Say Yes! Fund

The needs of nonprofits do not always align with granting cycles or fall within restricted categories - emergencies occur, funding runs low, life happens. Kathleen was known among our staff and grantees as someone who found a way to "Say Yes!" when other avenues had failed. To mark her retirement and honor her commitment to saying yes in the face of greatest need, Episcopal Impact Fund has created the Kathleen Piraino 'Say Yes!' Executive Director Discretionary Fund so Kathleen's legacy will continue beyond her retirement.

We are thrilled to use the "Say Yes!" Fund to promote equitable recovery in the Bay Area. If you would like to add to the Fund and "Say Yes!" to organizations making a meaningful impact on addressing the root causes of poverty in our community, please click here.


 

Honorary Lay Canon Recognition


To honor Kathleen's career, Bishop Marc Andrus has designated her Canon for Outreach Ministries of the Diocese of California. This is a tremendous honor and we are thrilled on her behalf. She was installed as Canon on Wednesday, May 5th at Grace Cathedral. You can watch a recording of the event here.


 

The Impact Fund Community Says Thank You


"Kathleen's tenure at Episcopal Impact Fund has touched the lives of so many children and families in the Diocese of California. Her commitment to addressing the root causes of poverty has meant happier, healthier, and more hopeful lives for so many. The fruits of her labor will have a lasting impact on the Bay Area for years to come."

-The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of California, Episcopal Impact Fund Board Chair


"Kathleen is an empathetic leader, who I’ve watched, again and again, creatively put the Impact Fund’s treasure to work where it’s needed most. In response to the financial devastation caused by pandemic lockdowns, Kathleen doubled-down on our grantmaking—both in dollars and in reach. In response to the racial reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd, she led us to examine our internal policies, resulting in a more explicitly equitable approach to grantmaking and board recruitment, as well as to addressing systemic inequities by directly funding policy advocacy. We will all deeply miss her steady hand steering the ship."

-Jennifer Brooks, Board President, Episcopal Impact Fund


"You have been a treasure to our community. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement. Stay safe and healthy."

-Martha Ryan, Founder and Executive Director, Homeless Prenatal Program


"We are forever grateful for Kathleen and Episcopal Impact Fund's support of Good Samaritan over the years. The parents at Good Samaritan put their hopes and dreams in their children’s future. Kathleen's leadership and faith in our work allowed us to help each child overcome any challenge and together, we believed that every child deserves to reach their full potential."

-Mario Paz, Executive Director, Good Samaritan


"Over the years Kathleen’s efforts across the Bay Area have been instrumental, cutting edge, and critical. She brought the nonprofit safety net sector together to work on problems and issues that each one of our agencies, and us as Executive Directors, were struggling with. She asked tough questions, vetted us carefully, and then created and provided mentoring sessions, presentations, roundtables, gatherings and opportunities all designed to get people talking seriously about issues, connect the dots, and make improvements. We learned from one another and we learned from her. Kathleen provided opportunities for our agencies to shine at events like the Episcopal Impact Fund Night of Light Gala and provided the support to back it up. When Covid hit, Kathleen and the Episcopal Impact Fund were there for us almost immediately. The phone call acknowledging the crisis and offering the support was huge and appreciated. It was a difficult time made just a little easier by her thoughtful outreach and care. We are going to miss her at the helm where she quietly and thoughtfully made all the difference."

-Sandra Scherer, Executive Director, Monument Crisis Center


"Kathleen is a leader whom I admire and am grateful to know. I am deeply appreciative of the way in which Kathleen stewarded the Episcopal Impact Fund, including intentionally ensuring that the Impact Fund is a supportive and approachable partner in our work. Our community is better for her service. Thank you, Kathleen, and enjoy retirement!"

-Kian Alavi, Deputy Director, Good Samaritan


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