Nancy Wiltsek, van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation
Nancy Wiltsek, executive director of the van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation, gets it. She understands the role that a statewide organization like California CASA plays. “They have the ability to do the policy work and to have that 10,000 foot view, to look at the CASA’s across the state,” said Nancy, who acknowledged that not every donor understands California CASA’s role, because it doesn’t provide direct services nor does it work directly with children. People tend to not understand the impact that an organization like California CASA can have.
But she understands, and so do the Foundation’s trustees. “They appreciate what California CASA does to strengthen and support all of the local programs on the ground,” explained Nancy, who first learned about CASA when she served as the executive director of the Pottruck Family Foundation, a former California CASA funder.
van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation recently demonstrated their support for California CASA by awarding a generous $75,000 grant to build the capacity of CalCASA and Far North counties through marketing and communications activities, as a pathway to increasing the number of CASA volunteers. “Communications serves as an organizational capacity builder and often is the key component that many organizations don’t have the luxury to afford,” said Nancy. “This grant will support California CASA and all of the CASAs on the ground throughout the state.”
As a strong believer in transferring knowledge and building community, she supports California CASA’s efforts and ability to bring people together. But she cautions against the increasing interest in using technology to improve training, just because it can cost less and work more efficiently. “If you’re really trying to build community and relationships, then you have to combine technology with face to face work,” said Nancy, who ran an 11-month online nonprofit management course at Golden Gate University. “That’s when the whole can become greater than the sum of the parts. California CASA definitely understands that and has the ability to bring people together.”
When Nancy’s not running a foundation, she’s walking her miniature poodle with her husband in Crissy Field, and chairing the board of directors of Ignite, a national organization dedicated to building political ambition in young women.