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About NCG

About Us

Northern California Grantmakers may have been started by grantmakers in philanthropy, but now we are a philanthropy serving or as we like to envision it, a philanthropy transforming organization. We’re a nonprofit, not a philanthropic institution. It’s confusing, we get it. We don’t serve as grantmakers, but our membership base is made up of some dynamic funders moving philanthropy as a whole.  

NCG is made up of community members across philanthropy including program officers, board members, donor trustees, individual donors, movement conveners, communicators, visionaries, advocates, dreamers, and believers. We believe in our collective power for good.  

Our Mission

Northern California Grantmakers mobilizes philanthropy to build healthy, thriving, and just communities in Northern California.

Our Vision

Philanthropy redistributes resources, capital, and power back to historically marginalized communities leading transformative change. 

Our History

We started as the “Lunch Bunch” in the 1960s, a group of philanthropic leaders committed to growing together. We formalized ourselves in the 1980s as Northern California Grantmakers with the goal of supporting a base of philanthropic members. Currently, we have more than 200 institutional members and over 4,000 individual members. For the past forty years, we have been working to gather, mobilize, and transform philanthropy. 

Our Racial Equity Journey

NCG’s North Star is racial equity both internally and externally. We listened to our members, movement groups, and other stakeholders and answered the call to embody racial equity in all of our efforts. 

In 2015, we completed a survey of our members who named the need to go deeper in our impact. In 2017, our previous CEO completed interviews with 100 foundations who named racial equity as the focus needed for the field. In September 2020, our current CEO Dwayne S. Marsh joined the team, signifying a deep commitment to center equity and social justice. By doing this, we built on the momentum of the organization’s equity journey in the last half-decade.  

To do this, we have been making sure that in everything we prioritize, we consider how an intersectional racial analysis will lead to a more equitable future. We also fully acknowledge that how we do what we do matters. Being clear about these two things is not easy, but we are convinced that it is the right way to approach the work. Our choice is to lean into impact, which comes from directly influencing transformative practices in the field.