Please note that this schedule, session descriptions, and speakers are subject to change as we continue to plan the event.

avatar for A. Sparks (Planning Committee Co-Chair)

A. Sparks (Planning Committee Co-Chair)

Harry and Masie Masto Foundation
Executive Director
Sparks (she/her) values and is deeply committed to promoting equity in the non-profit and for-profit social impact sectors based on her experience as a queer, multi-racial, next generation, woman in the field of philanthropy. She is currently Executive Director of the Masto Foundation, a US-based family foundation rooted in the Japanese-American community. Prior to taking on leadership of her family’s foundation, Sparks worked in philanthropy for 12 years, first as a Program Officer for United Way of the Bay Area and then at the Stuart Foundation (both in San Francisco). In addition, she founded a group called Queer Leaders in Philanthropy, a national network of LGBTQ-identified philanthropic professionals, focused on changing the culture of philanthropy to be more empowering of LGBTQ individuals through advocacy, community building, and supporting sustainable leadership.

For the past eight years, Sparks has served on the Program Committee for Horizons Foundation, the oldest LGBTQ community foundation in the US, and sat on several Horizons Community Issues Grants review panels. She has fundraised and advised the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, and promoted leadership in family philanthropy and with people of color at Resource Generation, the National Center for Family Philanthropy, AAPIP, and the Council on Foundations.

In addition to volunteering her time, Sparks has lead initiatives to make the field of philanthropy more accessible for young people and members of the LGBTQ community. She founded HYPE (Horizons Young Professionals for Equality), which is now one of the largest networks of young LGBTQ donors in the US, and was a founding member of the Funding Queerly Giving Circle which, in the last five years after granting out $1+ million, has fundraised and allocated more money to small-budget LGBTQ nonprofits than any other US-based giving circle.

Prior to entering philanthropy, Sparks worked as a clinical social worker for foster care youth in Harlem, New York and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Vassar College and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UC Berkeley. She splits her time between San Francisco and Seattle, where she recently completed her MBA at the University of Washington.