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About | Public Policy

Northern California Grantmakers members are grappling with complex issues in a diverse and rapidly-changing region. We recognize that policy is a powerful tool to advance significant and sustained change and improve outcomes. We believe we have a mandate to advocate for policy-based approaches to achieve shared goals.

NCG's Policy Committee (listed right) advocates for smart, effective policies to advance shared impact goals. The committee will tap NCG staff, collaborators, and expert advisors to educate policy makers and thought leaders about the value of philanthropy, and catalyze engagement and collaboration between NCG members, public officials, foundations, and community stakeholders to advance policy-based approaches to achieving the change we seek in the world.

Through our policy work, NCG seeks to:

  • Amplify community-based efforts that advance opportunity, racial equity and social justice for Black, Indigenous and other communities of color.
  • Equip our member community with tools, information, and skills to strengthen advocacy and policy capacity and engagement within their own philanthropic institutions and in the nonprofit organizations they support.
  • Build enduring relationships of trust between philanthropy and policymakers.
  • Support policy-based efforts to strengthen and protect the philanthropic sector.
  • Collaborate with members, local community partners, and statewide collaborators to advance policy initiatives that address targeted local and state issues.
  • Respond effectively and collectively to proposed policies that are contrary to shared values, principles, and goals.

The following goals guide us in our policy work:

  • Ensure the laws and policies governing the philanthropic ecosystem maximize the delivery of social good.
  • Expand economic security for individuals, families, and communities across Northern California.
  • Advance and promote the rights of historically marginalized communities in Northern California, including communities of color, low-income communities, and immigrants and refugees.
  • Leverage collective efforts to advance a statewide policy agenda as part of Philanthropy California. 

Philanthropic Impact

Philanthropy has an opportunity to not only respond to the crises at hand but to also take a long view for a stronger and more equitable California. Northern California Grantmakers invites you to join us in pursuing a better, more just California. In doing so, philanthropy can make a significant difference by engaging on the policy issues that shape the conditions for communities across our region. We must protect our democracy so that every eligible vote can be counted, we must continue to support a full and accurate census count, and we must ensure our redistricting processes reflect the diversity of California’s communities. And, beyond the election, we must lift up policy opportunities that undo systemic racism and discrimination.

The magnitude of the current social context requires us to recalibrate and accelerate change. NCG has assembled an array of opportunities for philanthropy to make the most of its influence:

  • Listen to grassroots movement leaders whose proximity allows a clear pulse of the communities they represent;
  • Connect with movement leaders in trust-based relationships and also learn from one another, explore innovative approaches for philanthropy to show up at its highest level;
  • Speak up alongside the communities we serve.  As leaders, we must be prepared to harness our full arsenal, including our influence. Our voices matter, and they signal to the communities we serve where we stand in moments of crisis and beyond.
  • Fund grassroots efforts to build power in Black, Indigenous, and People-of-Color communities. As we each figure out how we can get involved, it is critical to channel funding resources where they are needed most and trust those dollars will be put to good use.

Northern California Grantmakers is committed to continue providing its members with fresh programming, accessible resources, tailored learning opportunities, and trusted partnership, so collectively, philanthropy can meaningfully address the multiples crises we have faced this year and also plan for the long-haul as change takes time. Want to know more about how we engage in policy? Learn More >