WHO WE ARE
The SAM Initiative is a group of individuals who have pooled their financial resources and experience to fund and support programs that promote social change and benefit women, children and families in the Greater Los Angeles area. While we differ in age, professional background and stage of life, we are all committed to being more involved in our giving and raising awareness of the needs in our community. Members have been inspired to make personal donations, volunteer, and get involved in new organizations.
To inspire and serve as a catalyst to improve the lives of women, children and families in Los Angeles through expanded, engaged philanthropy.
To increase the pool of donors in Los Angeles who contribute to Sustainable and Accountable organizations, growing the Movement for social change.
To educate others about community needs and the role of philanthropy in driving lasting social change, promote participation in the process of building self-sustaining communities, and increase our giving capacity through innovative programs that engage and inspire our members.
While we differ in age, professional background and stage of life, we are all committed to the same goal of doing more than just writing a check. We joined together for the opportunity to become more involved in our giving and raise our awareness of the needs in our community. Members have been inspired to make personal donations, volunteer, and get their families involved in new organizations.
Organizations that meet our criteria can apply to The SAM Initiative for funding. Our members review grant applications and evaluate where we can have the greatest impact. The process includes organizational presentations, site visits, due diligence process and award ceremony.
The SAM Initiative was founded by Mindy Freedman in 2013 who wanted to share her own experience in collaborative giving and use her years of involvement with nonprofit organizations to inspire others. The SAM Initiative was born out of the passion and dedication of like-minded individuals wanting to have a meaningful impact in the community.
Mindy Freedman is a social entrepreneur, philanthropist, and visionary founder of The SAM Initiative, a social venture fund composed of philanthropic women who passionately pool their charitable dollars to fund and support programs that significantly improve the lives of women, children, and families. Through SAM, Mindy created two funding groups. One addresses the most pressing needs in the community, and the other, SAM SE (social enterprise), believes in sustainability and invests in non-profit organizations that have income-generating activities.
Mindy deeply believes in the power of collaborative giving, the concept that we can have a far greater impact together than we can alone. Through engaged philanthropy, her work continues to inspire others to give, which creates long term social change.
Mindy has more than two decades of experience working as a consultant for individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations. In addition, her expertise in micro-lending programs took her to Latin America for several years where she consulted with several NGOs and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ms. Freedman returned her focus to the United States where she applied her expertise in strategic planning, implementation, innovation, and executive coaching.
Currently, Ms. Freedman is a Trustee at the Jewish Community Foundation in Los Angeles. She is also Guest Faculty at the Graduate School of Nonprofit Management at The American Jewish University. Mindy earned her BA in International Affairs and Spanish from the University of Colorado, and an MPA in International Development and Spanish from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.