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    Aligning Practice to Values for 

    Personal, Organizational, and Social Change

    Driven by a vision of a truly just and equitable world, Rachel Humphrey has worked in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector for over 25 years. Rachel's career has been defined by compassionate leadership in aligning individual and organizational practices with one's deepest values.


    Rachel is passionate about people feeling connected, empowered, and purposeful in their collective efforts for justice, and brings a solid and ever-evolving anti-oppression lens as well as skills in Appreciative Inquiry and Conflict Literacy to supporting this aim.


    My approach is facilitative and participatory in nature. I bring coaching methods to all of my engagements, knowing that when individuals or groups come to their own insights and solutions, both the level of ownership and likelihood of follow through skyrocket.


    With that in mind, I design processes for inclusive participation, effective collaboration, decisive action, and critical reflection and learning. My longstanding commitment to feminism, anti-racism, and understanding the impacts of oppression and trauma are all foundational to inclusive and effective design.


    I approach each engagement first with deep listening skills so I can best understand your needs and culture, and together we develop a design that is customized, flexible, and appropriate. Based on what we decide, I may use a variety of facilitation, research, and assessment methods. I also draw on my 25+ years’ experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to share best practices and resources, as appropriate.


    Rachel has trained extensively in participatory facilitation methods with Community at Work, Institute of Cultural Affairs, Interaction Institute for Social Change, Social Transformation Project, and the Center for Right Relationships. She has studied embodied leadership practices and somatics with Strozzi Institute. She was certified as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation in 2009; holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco; and an A.B. in Anthropology and Asian Studies from Bowdoin College. Rachel has been a student of Buddhism and Yoga since her teens, and brings somatic and mindfulness practices to the work of personal, organizational, and social change.


    Rachel designed and led Justice Funder's leadership development and consulting work, including creating the Harmony Initiative, a program that equips grantmakers with the community, skills, and practices to make philanthropy a true force for equity and justice. Prior to joining Justice Funders, Rachel supported social justice and human rights nonprofits and foundations in change management, strategy development, and capacity building as an independent consultant and as a Senior Consultant for TCC Group. Before becoming a full-time coach and consultant, Rachel spent a decade mobilizing resources for community-based organizations around the world, including seven years as Director of Philanthropic Partnerships at the Global Fund for Women.


    I currently have two openings in my coaching practice. Please contact me for more information if you are a nonprofit and/or philanthropic leader working for social justice looking for coaching support.

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    Design Your Leadership

    Executive Coaching

    Executive coaching is a powerful, professional alliance in which leaders receive customized support to help them lead confidently and effectively through all the challenges and opportunities of organizational leadership. Using proven tools and techniques, I guide you through a process to assess where you are in your leadership and where you want to be. Together, we set goals, create and implement plans, and celebrate successes.


    As your coach, I can help you:

    • Develop your leadership style
    • Succeed through empowering others
    • Communicate powerfully and authentically
    • Proactively address white supremacy culture in your organization
    • Manage organizational growth and transitions
    • Sustain yourself through a healthy work/life balance
    • Problem-solve complex or politically-charged situations


    Coaching provides invaluable support to leaders at any stage of their career. If you are in a new position, coaching can help you start off on the right foot. If you are reaching a plateau, coaching can help you identify areas of growth or new goals that reinvigorate your work. And, if you are an executive, coaching can be particularly beneficial in providing you with an appropriate, confidential, and unbiased sounding board. As a white leader in multiracial social justice spaces, I can also help white leaders uplevel their understanding and action to create thriving work cultures.


    • Two executive coaching clients described the benefits of our work as follows:


    "Rachel helped me clarify my own goals. These conversations helped me understand how to approach each challenge in a way that was best for both the organization and for the organization's grantees and beneficiaries. Her questions helped me understand and see the impacts of everyone's choices. Rachel's commitment to social justice activism is fantastic, and gave me the confidence that we approached these questions from the same set of values."

    - Executive Director of an international foundation


    "After 6 months of coaching with Rachel, my relationships with my Board and staff are night and day from where they were. I am much less critical of the Board, and vice versa, and we're able to work together much better now. A key staff member who was a real problem is now performing strongly, and another is stepping up to new challenges successfully. Moreover, I've learned a lot about myself. I've become a better listener and am able to self correct. I am managing challenges thoughtfully and strategically rather than with insecurity or defensiveness.”

    - Executive Director of a large local nonprofit organization

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    Strengthen Your Wellbeing

    Resilience Coaching

    I don't need to tell you that we are living through challenging and unpredictable times, and that it is taking a toll on all of us individually and collectively. These times require us to take better care of ourselves than ever before.


    As your coach, I can help you:

    • Understand and address your biggest stressors
    • Develop practices to support your emotional wellbeing
    • Leverage your body as a source of information and resilience
    • Improve your sleep, nourishment, and physical wellbeing
    • Sustain yourself through a healthy work/life balance
    • Strengthen your emotional intelligence


    In addition to a mastery of coaching skills, I will bring my life-long exploration of these topics to our sessions, sharing hard-won reflections and tools if/when appropriate. I am particularly passionate about helping people address their metabolic health and reverse type 2 diabetes, in way that is holistic, body-positive, science-based, and behavior-focused.



    As I work full-time at Justice Funders. I have limited time available for consulting engagements outside of Justice Funders. Therefore, the menu of options below are for smaller engagements. I consider requests on a case-by-case basis, depending on my availability and the potential for transformation.

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    Vision, Values, and Purpose

    A participatory and narrative approach

    Some of my absolute favorite work is helping organizations come to a shared vision, statement of purpose, and set of values. With these three components of an organizational identity set in a participatory and comprehensive manner, the subsequent strategy and culture work can succeed.  I use a story-based approach that is fun and engaging, and avoids the often painful "writing by committee." 


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    Facilitation and Curriculum Design

    Engaging design for successful programs

    It is a joy to bring my many years of experience in facilitation and curriculum design to support others. I can provide guidance and feedback on your meeting and/or program design that will set you up for success. From a 1-hour meeting to a 10-year long capacity building program - in person or online - I have countless tools and ideas to share to get you to your vision.

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    Culture Building

    Setting the groundwork for effective teams

    Organizational and team culture is foundational to having impact, not to mention enjoying work. In social justice organizations, we have the unfortunate tendency of replicating the very systems and behaviors we are trying to change and holding ourselves to impossible standards. I can advise and support in culture-building activities, including communication skills, decision-making skills, conflict literacy, and understanding and navigating power, to name a few.



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    James Irvine Foundation

    Grantee Capacity Building

    “Rachel is such a wise soul. Her trainings and coaching for our organization have been incredible, and have brought energy and focus to our team during a time of great change. She has been a fantastic facilitator of our Central Coast peer learning network, bringing a wealth of knowledge and tools to our group. We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to reflect and grow as individuals and an organization under her guidance.”

    Karyl Lynn Burns

    Producing Artistic Director

    Rubicon Theatre

    (Arts Regional Initiative Grantee)

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    Global Citizen Year

    Team Culture Building

    “Rachel provided invaluable training to our global staff on vital organizational issues like decision-making, communication, and managing commitments in our fast-paced, growing organization. She struck the perfect balance between sharing her knowledge and drawing out our own. Moreover, we felt closer as a team and ready to take on the challenges ahead of us after the workshop. I highly recommend her for your next training, workshop or retreat!” 

    Lee Lucca

    Chief Operating Officer


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    Global Fund for Women


    “Rachel is adept at striking a balance between relationships and results. Ensuring that everybody's voice gets heard while making progress toward desired outcomes isn't easy, but Rachel has an intuitive ability to do just that. Her balanced facilitation style ensures that decisions are reached in a collaborative, supportive environment that strengthens interpersonal relationships in the process.”


    Kelly McVicker

    Development Officer

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    International Accountability Project

    Executive Coaching

    “Executive coaching has far exceeded my expectations: not only has Rachel helped me grow as a leader, but staff has expressed that 'the work with Rachel has benefited the whole organization.' Weekly coaching has created a vital space for me to address truly important issues which otherwise are overshadowed by an endless stream of other pressing problems. I am proud of all that my organization has achieved since I began as ED, and Rachel has been an integral part of that success.”



    Joanna Levitt

    Executive Director


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    LeaderSpring Center

    Succession Coaching

    "As a certified coach who oversees a coaching program for social sector leaders, it is my privilege to recommend Rachel Humphrey’s coach services. Rachel, a seasoned leader and manager, astutely helped me prepare my organization for a leadership succession at a time of growth and fast change. Her support was no small feat given this pivotal and complex transition, both professionally and personally. Among other lessons, when faced with challenging decisions, I learned from Rachel to more swiftly identify and weigh simultaneously conflicting values and priorities at hand, enabling me to make otherwise difficult choices with greater clarity and confidence. Without hesitation, I wholeheartedly recommend Rachel as a trusted coach and advisor."   


    Cynthia Chavez

    Former Executive Director


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    Techbridge Girls

    Executive Coaching

    "I began working with Rachel as a first-time CEO.  My goal was to have an executive coach that provided a safe space to grow, learn and evolve my leadership.  Rachel is extremely easy to talk to and a wonderful listener.  She has the ability to guide your thinking so that you are able to come up with a solution or path forward that is authentic to you. She also brings a deep awareness of the nonprofit sector especially in areas of social justice. That lens was extremely important as I navigated my leadership experiences in the sector." 

    Nikole Collins-Puri



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    CARESTAR Foundation

    Vision, Values, and Statement of Purpose

    "As the first CEO of the CARESTAR Foundation I had the initial goal of integrating race equity into the foundation from the start, and Rachel supported me in that goal by working though our mission and values as well as supporting the board in their understanding and pursuit of that north star. Rachel is a phenomenal facilitator as she so adeptly demonstrated in numerous trainings with us, but particularly the intense wordsmithing of our mission and values language. She is unflappable!"


    Tanir Ami



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    Culture Building and Embedding Justice

    We were seeking a partner to help us evaluate our programs and identify opportunities for embedding equity and justice throughout all of our work. Rachel has been on this journey with us through thick and thin. Her thoughtful, knowledgeable, positive, and patient approach has helped our team build trust, empathy and confidence in building and carrying out a cohesive, impactful and restorative vision. She has truly become a natural extension of our team, enabling us to make significant strides and setting us up for success in the future. I can’t speak more highly of Rachel and the work of Justice Funders.


    Lisa Myers

    Director of Environmental Grants



    Below is partial list of past and current clients for coaching and consulting:


    Philanthropic Institutions:

    • American Jewish World Service
    • Anne Ray Charitable Trust
    • California Communications Access Foundation
    • College Access Foundation of California
    • Disability Rights Fund
    • East Bay Community Foundation
    • Energy Foundation
    • Firelight Foundation
    • FIRST 5 Santa Clara County
    • Fresno Regional Foundation
    • FRIDA the Young Feminist Fund
    • Global Fund for Women
    • Goldman Environmental Foundation
    • Health and Environment Funders Network
    • Humanity United
    • International Funders for Indigenous Peoples
    • International Human Rights Funders Group
    • James Irvine Foundation
    • Kern Community Foundation
    • LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund
    • Marin Community Foundation
    • Marra Foundation
    • May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
    • Oak Foundation
    • One World Children's Fund
    • Patagonia
    • Partners Asia
    • Present Purpose Network
    • San Francisco Foundation
    • The Christensen Fund
    • UNWomen
    • Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights
    • Wikimedia Foundation 


    Nonprofit Organizations:

    • Action Aid International
    • American Center for International Labor Solidarity
    • Answer
    • Ashoka's Changemakers
    • Asylum Access
    • Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association
    • CARE USA
    • Casa Serena
    • Center for Environmental Health
    • Ceres
    • Cornerstone Theater
    • Davis Art Center
    • Fair Trade USA
    • Girls Inc. of Chattanooga
    • Global Citizen Year
    • GRAIN  
    • Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon
    • International Accountability Project
    • IPEN - A Toxics-Free Future
    • L.A. Educational Partnership
    • LeaderSpring
    • Mind Body Awareness Project
    • Museum of Contemporary Arts Santa Barbara
    • National Steinbeck Center
    • One World Youth Project
    • Pacific Institute
    • Partners Asia
    • Pilobolus Dance Company 
    • Power to Decide
    • Rubicon Theater  
    • Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
    • Somos Mayfair
    • Stockton Symphony
    • The Energy Foundation/Green Tech Action Fund
    • The Pachamama Alliance
    • Union of Concerned Scientists
    • WAGES
    • Whole School Mindfulness
    • Women's Earth Alliance
    • Women's Refugee Commission
    • Youth Speak Collective

    You're awesome. Let's talk.

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    rachel (at) rachelhumphrey (dot) com


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