In This Episode:

Annually, Happy Hollow Foundation awards over $60,000 in conservation grants worldwide, alongside funding science-based education for more than 4,000 students in under-resourced schools. Since 2014, they have also been dedicated to improving the mental and physical health of thousands of older adults through accessible programs.

Happy Hollow Foundation Impacts and Outcomes Around Conservation, Education, and Play

  • Conservation Grants: Awarding over $60,000 in local and global conservation grants every year.
  • Education Funding: Funding science-based education for under-resourced schools serves over 4,000 students annually.
  • Access for Older Adults: Providing access for thousands of older adults to promote mental and physical health since 2014.


"Just one visit to Happy Hollow actually provides positive childhood experiences which combat against traumatic ones."

About Rhonda Nourse:

Rhonda Nourse, a trailblazer for women in television at KSBW-TV, KNTV, and KTVU-Fox 2, transitioned from news to philanthropy, setting fundraising records for causes like Sacred Heart Nativity Schools and Via Services. Now, as the Executive Director of Happy Hollow Foundation, she swaps the newsroom for red pandas and capybaras, continuing her impactful journey. A former Bay Area television news director turned philanthropy leader.


"The word happy is in Happy Hollow. And the mission... really is to foster pride and involvement so that Happy Hollow remains a community asset that is highly valued and accessible to all."

Show Notes:

  • Introduction to Rhonda Nourse and the Happy Hollow Foundation: Rhonda shares her background in philanthropy, inspired by her family’s dedication to giving back to the community. Her journey into fundraising began through volunteering at her children’s school.
  • The Role of Media Experience in Fundraising: Rhonda discusses how her background in television news and newspapers influences her approach to philanthropy, emphasizing the power of storytelling in engaging potential donors.
  • Happy Hollow Foundation’s Impact on Silicon Valley: Exploring the foundation’s mission to maintain Happy Hollow as a cherished community asset, Rhonda highlights the foundation’s focus on accessibility and support for underserved populations. 
  • Innovative Fundraising Strategies Post-COVID-19: Rhonda talks about reintroducing in-person events to engage the community and donors, sharing the success of the “Hooray for Happy Hollow” event that celebrated the foundation’s 65th anniversary. 
  • The Importance of Red Pandas, Capybaras, and Other Animals at Happy Hollow: This is a discussion on the educational and emotional impact of Happy Hollow’s animals, emphasizing conservation and the unique experiences offered to visitors. 
  • Community Engagement through Capital Projects: Rhonda details the Monarch Meadow project, a conservation effort that transformed a third acre into a pollinator-friendly garden, highlighting the collaborative nature of the project. 
  • Measuring the Impact of Philanthropy through Stories: The significance of storytelling in evaluating the foundation’s work, with Rhonda sharing how personal stories from visitors illustrate the profound impact of their experiences. 
  • Leadership and Vision for Happy Hollow Foundation: Rhonda reflects on her role as the executive director, her fundraising successes, and her aspirations for the foundation’s future. 
  • Rhonda’s Personal Connection and Memories of Happy Hollow: Sharing her own memorable moments and the nostalgia associated with Happy Hollow, Rhonda underscores the park’s role in fostering family connections and community joy. 
  • The Foundation’s Board of Directors and Education’s Role: Rhonda praises the supportive board of directors and discusses the critical role of education in the foundation’s mission, aiming to make Happy Hollow accessible and educational for all.

"I think both philanthropy and news are trying to master the art of storytelling."

Connect with Happy Hollow Foundation

If you would like to learn more or contribute to the mission of this organization, please contact:

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"Rhonda's passion and innovation in philanthropy truly set a benchmark for how we can all contribute to Global Conservation."

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