Facilitation


IMPORTANT INFORMATION PER COVID-19: The Community Boards’ office will be closed for physical walk-ins and in-person services until further notice. We will continue our services remotely during this time.


Public Engagement & Organizational Development

Community Boards’ facilitation services are a critical resource for nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and many businesses.

Community Boards is certified by the City Administrator’s Office as a Local Non-Profit Business Enterprise for Service Area 3, Stakeholder Facilitations. Our certification number is CMD082016850. Our city vendor number is 05377. Our EIN is 94-2382967 as Community Board Program.

Primary Contact: Karen H. Lipney, ADR Programs Director, (415) 920-3820 x109. To discuss your organization’s needs, timelines, and goals, contact Karen by telephone or email at Learn_More@communityboards.org with her name in the subject line.


What is Facilitation?

Facilitation is when a neutral third-party leads a process that helps group members identify and define their shared goals, while also identifying the issues blocking fulfillment of these goals. Facilitators assist groups by surfacing underlying issues and concerns, while increasing opportunities for consensus.

Community Boards’ facilitation expertise has been proven to be an effective tool for generating constructive results for clients confronting institutional challenges and internal conflict. Our facilitators provide the orderly framework that allows people to speak passionately about their opinions and convictions. They create the necessary forum for “competing” parties to challenge and debate each other in a productive, respectful, and civil manner.

Ultimately, Community Boards’ facilitators excel at assisting all involved parties in finding their points of common interest and developing action plans for proactively moving forward. In addition, they are experienced at providing decision makers with clear, concise summaries of participant commentary to help inform future actions at the policy level.


Community Boards’ facilitators can help when:

  • Groups are confronted with multiples issues.
  • Decision-making and actions involve multiple parties.
  • Changes in mission or service delivery need to be addressed.
  • There is limited time to achieve a goal.
  • Consensus from all parties is essential.
  • Groups are at impasse and unable to move forward.
  • There are changes in staffing or budgeting.
  • An organization or agency is restructuring.
  • Public or private hearings, meetings or forums are held.
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We have provided public facilitations in collaboration with:

  • San Francisco District Attorney’s Office
  • San Francisco Planning Department
  • San Francisco Department of Public Works
  • Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services
  • San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department
  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • San Francisco Rent Board
  • San Francisco Police Department

Past Facilitations

  • Facilitated multiple Mission Action Plan 2020 (MAP2020) community forums and stakeholder meetings for SF Planning Department.
  • Facilitated community meetings for Outer Sunset Mixed-Use Development Project to address development plans in the Outer Sunset that neighborhood stakeholders were resisting.
  • Facilitated meetings sponsored by San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department to obtain public input on enforcing leash laws for dogs in public parks.
  • Facilitated issues between staff members of the San Francisco Public Guardian and the San Francisco Conservator when they merged into the Department of Aging and Adult Services.
  • Facilitated a large group dispute between 300 students, teachers, parents, school administrators, and police officials at Thurgood Marshall High School after student rioting.
  • Facilitated a harassment dispute between Mission Boys and Girls Club members and the San Francisco Police Department.
  • Facilitated a large-group dispute between environmentalists, city officials and feral cat advocates working on a plan to re-introduce quail into natural habitats in the city.
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Costs

We charge a $70 case opening fee and $200/hour for the facilitation itself. Due to the complexity of most facilitations, we also charge $75/hour for case preparation and for post-facilitation debriefings and reports. In order to keep Community Boards’ services accessible and affordable, our fees are negotiable to be as cost effective as possible.

Graphics: © 2012 Masterful Facilitation Institute