Unicorns Unite

How nonprofits and foundations can build EPIC Partnerships

All the movers, shakers and change-makers of the world continue to tackle the growing list of problems facing humanity. However, there’s a problem. Nonprofits and foundations need each other to fulfil their quest to eradicate global poverty like a unicorn needs a rainbow, but the way in which they work together is far from perfect.

Enter the Unicorns.

Part relationship-counseling, part manifesto, part workbook. Unicorns Unite provides the game-changing ideas and talking points for the conversation we really need to have; how can non-profits and foundations work better together?

Jessamyn Shams-Lau

High school dropout turned MBA, Jessamyn currently co-creates and stewards the Peery Foundation's Grantee-Centric approach to philanthropy. Jessamyn is an advocate for interdisciplinary approaches, thoughtful risk taking, and bold ideas developed through apprenticing with a problem. Jessamyn joined the Peery Foundation as its first non-family staff member in 2009, helping to shape the Foundation’s initial approach and portfolios. Currently, as Executive Director, Jessamyn shapes and supports the Peery Foundation team, develops and guides overall strategy, and brings the Foundation Board's vision to life. Jessamyn utilizes her experience as part of the founding Ashoka U team in her hands-on role as a Board. Member of BYU’s Ballard Center, where she has created curriculum now taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Jessamyn serves as an advisor to Ashoka U and GrantAdvisor. Jessamyn has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Arts London and an MBA from Brigham Young University. She lives in the Bay Area with her ridiculously funny husband, defiant house rabbit, and two tiny hamsters. She used to have a mohawk haircut, she met her husband on Tinder, and her favourite Christmas movie is Die Hard 2.

Jane Leu

An Ashoka Fellow, the Founder of Upwardly Global and Smarter Good, and four other social sector start-ups, Jane Leu is intrigued by problems and their solutions. Known for both strong vision and execution, Jane has more than twenty years of entrepreneurial leadership of migration-related organizations. The common theme across her ventures is that they leverage the private sector to ensure that migration creates economic benefit for individuals, families, companies and countries. She is a Lecturer in Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Venture Partner, and has been on the advisory boards of Ashoka U, Joshua Venture, the Peery Foundation and the Migration Policy Institute, among others. Jane's contributions and leadership have been recognized by BYU Social Innovator of the Year Award, John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneur Award, among others. She holds a MA from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a BA from Tufts University.

Marketing & Publicity
  • Authors available for interviews, podcasts, speaking engagements, articles.
  • Market info: According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S. This number includes public charities, private foundations, and other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues.
  • Unicorns concept based on Vu's hilarious and popular social sector blog: nonprofitaf.com