Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles header

Who We Are

The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the statewide non-profit supporting the California Community College system, the largest system of higher education in the nation. Incorporated in 1998, the Foundation serves as the official auxiliary to the California Community Colleges’ Board of Governors and the systemwide Chancellor’s Office.

The Foundation is the trusted partner of the California Community Colleges— facilitating collaboration, accelerating innovation, and increasing systemwide resources

Our Mission

The Foundation’s mission is to benefit, support, and enhance the missions of the California Community College system.

As the official foundation of the California Community Colleges' Board of Governors and Chancellor's Office, the Foundation is a unique 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides effective services and innovative solutions for the largest higher education system in the nation. Foundation programs reach all 116 California Community Colleges and 73 districts, and are designed to benefit students, colleges, college foundations, and the system as a whole, helping to improve higher education opportunities throughout the state.

In doing our work we seek out opportunities to help facilitate collaboration, accelerate innovation, and increase system-wide resources through a variety of ways, including entrepreneurial programs, philanthropy, and state and federal grants and contracts. As we near the midpoint of our second decade, we are focused on providing centralized support and enhancing our ability to respond quickly to the needs of the system. 

I’m proud to work alongside an outstanding group of colleagues to benefit, support, and enhance the California Community Colleges.

Keetha Mills, President and Chief Executive Officer

Core Values

The Foundation has identified the following set of core values that are followed in pursuit of its goals.

  • Collaboration.
    We believe that working effectively together as organizations, teams, and individuals creates opportunities and increases impact. 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
    We are committed to eliminating barriers to equity, and act deliberately to create and sustain a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace.
  • Strong Relationships.
    We believe in building long-term, trusted partnerships, within and outside of our organization. 
  • Innovation.
    We believe in the power of innovation, and embrace strategic risk-taking and continuous learning.
  • Growth and Development.
    We believe that learning leads to critical growth and development, and promote this model throughout our organization and in our work. 
  • Shared Leadership.
    We believe that the most effective way to lead is through sharing accountability and responsibility throughout the organization. 
  • Shared Understanding.
    We value knowledge sharing, open communication, and the joint perspectives that emerge from collective contributions striving to achieve shared goals across a diverse organization.
  • Shared Success.
    We empower ourselves to set aspirational goals, to learn from challenges together, and to celebrate successes organization-wide.

Shared Leadership

The Foundation strives to foster a "shared leadership" environment where authority and responsibility are diffused throughout the organization, creating an environment of greater trust, engagement, accountability, and effectiveness—enabling the organization to "do more with more (leadership)."

Three characteristics are common in the effective implementation of shared leadership models:

  1. Adaptability within the spectrum: Knowing when a particular expression of leadership is appropriate, and being able to shift within the spectrum of shared leadership as needed.
  2. Orientation toward shared leadership: Expanding the problem-solving capacity of an organization without giving up the ability to use a top-down approach when necessary.
  3. Culture of trust: Developing the relationships needed to shift within the [leadership] spectrum, without any negative impact or mistrust. 1

In addition to implementing these core characteristics, the Foundation’s shared leadership model aims to develop and empower leaders throughout the organization by:

  1. Fostering engagement, initiative, and problem-solving.
    Each staff member is an important contributor, and shares the responsibility of working to achieve the mission of the organization. The Foundation strives to include staff members in key decision-making processes and empowers them to take risks and bring solutions to challenges.
  2. Cultivating collaboration and trust.
    Teamwork is encouraged throughout the organization, and each staff member is strengthened by team support and leadership guidance. The Foundation’s organizational structure creates leadership teams, cultivates intra-organizational relationships, and encourages cross-collaboration. Open and clear communication is prioritized.
  3. Promoting accountability and acknowledgment. 
    Each staff member has a clear understanding of their role in the organization and is held accountable for meeting shared goals. The Foundation strives to make staff members feel valued, and initiative and high performance is rewarded.
  4. Creating a culture of continuous improvement.
    By empowering leaders throughout the organization, the Foundation increases its flexibility and adaptability, creating an environment for innovation, improvement, and growth.

1 Michael Allisan, Susan Misra, and Elisa Perry, "Doing More with More: Putting Shared Leadership Into Practice, "The Nonprofit Quarterly



Strategic Plan

The Foundation is planning for the future and embarking on a growth-minded mission to "double our impact" by the end of a third decade of service. Read more in our Double Impact Plan. Download >

Our Office

1102 Q Street
Suite 4800
Sacramento 95811
Toll Free: 866.325.3222
F: 916.325.0844

Foundation for California
Community Colleges

1102 Q Street, Suite 4800
Sacramento, CA 95811

Toll Free: 866.325.3222
Fax: 916.325.0844

Contact us >

Supporting our Work

Help the Foundation further its mission to benefit, support, and enhance the California Community Colleges.

The Foundation for California Community Colleges is a 501(c)(3) organization (EIN 68-0412350).

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Who we serve

The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 116 colleges and 73 districts, serving nearly 2 million students.

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