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Leadership, Culture and Community

Connecting habits of the heart, mind, and hands for people and institutions in philanthropy to guide principles and equitable action. 

At NCG, we pay attention to both the individual and collective. At its best, work can be a place for individuals to form a healthy collective, express a vision of what the world can be, and organize around shared purpose.

We nurture principled, conscious leadership to maintain perspective, connect to oneself and others from a place of compassion, embrace the understanding of a greater ‘we,’ and stay present through trying circumstances.

With careful tending, our workplaces can welcome us to arrive with the fullness of who we are, where we have been, and where we want to go. To bring this about, we are redoubling support for the people who are turning philanthropic workplaces into sites for open conversations about race, gender, and class to advance equity and social justice in our organizations and in our grantmaking.

In practice, we create welcoming spaces for discussions of candor, allowing potentially transformative ideas to surface and take life.

Defining our Terms

Leadership. The capacity to create shared vision, motivate and inspire people to engage with that vision, develop effective strategies, and build thriving teams that deliver results. 

Community. People joined together by shared purpose, vision, or goals. Characterized by persistence (i.e., enduring over time), relatedness (i.e., engagement with one another in dynamic ways), and connection (i.e., camaraderie).

Culture. The "look and feel" or an organization, community, or region that results from shared values, beliefs, and patterns of behavior. 

Events

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 2:00pm

This is not your typical ZOOM call. There will be no PowerPoints, no moderators, and no panel of speakers. For one hour, we invite you to join a conversation between two impassioned individuals discussing issues of resilience…over coffee.

Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 2:00pm

Social change leaders around the globe are facing systemic, operational, and strategic challenges related to COVID-19 that are testing the limits of their own and their organizations’ capabilities.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 10:00am

Philanthropy California and the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project invite you to join us for a monthly webinar series for funders. Each month, we’ll explore each of the six trust-based principles that, when practiced together, help alleviate power imbalance in the sector.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 10:00am

Philanthropy California and the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project invite you to join us for a monthly webinar series for funders. Each month, we’ll explore each of the six trust-based principles that, when practiced together, help alleviate power imbalance in the sector.

Pages

Resources

Values-aligned grantmaking is becoming every day parlance in our field, with good reason: foundation professionals are increasingly conscious of the role they play in social change.

If you're new to philanthropy, or interested in sharpening your skills, NCG's signature program, New Grantmakers Institute (NGI): Grantmaking for the 21st Century, helps build your understanding of best practices for ethical and effective grantmaking, and helps you place yourself

It was just last October that a firestorm erupted across the North Bay in Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino Counties. The most destructive in California history, the fires took lives, homes and livelihoods.

What does it take for a nonprofit to move from surviving to thriving? And, what kind of support can funders provide to meaningfully shift the trajectory of an organization? To most effectively deploy game-changing grants (capacity, operating, and infusions of capital – alongside project and program grants) funders must understand the intersection of strategy, financial health, and the needs of the whole enterprise. In our fourth and final Financial Management session with FMA on June 5, 2018, we explored several foundation approaches to leveraging the right kinds of grants at the right times. 

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have set change in motion across American society, from popular culture to the halls of Congress. But is philanthropy listening? And is philanthropy part of the problem? At the root of the sexual violence #MeToo addresses, and the workplace misconduct #TimesUp addresses, is misuse of power. Money, race, gender, and other factors cause breakdowns in how we communicate with each other. At this program, panelists offered up their own paths to discovering built-in systems that get in the way of righting power dynamics and the corrections they made (or want to make) to ready themselves for this moment. 

News

Alice Hom and Daniel Lau
Thursday, May 7, 2020

As the pandemic illuminates the structural cracks in our system, the spring month of May brings about renewal and growth—we hope this collection of articles does just that for you. This month's collection aims to increase understanding and bring more attention to the impacts our communities are facing. We specifically highlight increasing disparities in communities of color, hardships of front line workers, the war narrative, and the need for racial equity inclusive economic power shifts.

Friday, May 1, 2020

As Californians we know that our own well-being is tied to everyone else’s. California’s Immigrant Resilience Fund is making headlines demonstrating that we are standing together to make sure each and every one of us—native and newcomer—has resources to prevail through the outbreak. No one stands alone. We are one beloved community. Kathleen Kelly Janus, Senior Advisor to the Governor, and Daranee Petsod of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees joined NCG’s Emily Katz to explain how the fund came to be, some surprising new supporters, and what it means to have a ‘Si Se Puede’ moment (Yes, We Can!)

Thursday, April 23, 2020

As the weeks wear on and the scale of pandemic devastation broadens and deepens, it’s ever more essential to practice good mental hygiene. Without it, how can we expect to work with clarity and compassion when constant news can leave us feeling uneasy about things we can’t control? I invite you to take a break, watch, listen, and read.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

At the end of last year, we announced the departure of Ellen LaPointe as president and CEO of Northern California Grantmakers. When she left the organization on February 28, little did we know how much would change for our organization, our region and the world in the weeks that followed.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

More than ever, the focus on equity and social justice is needed during this time. April finds us physically distancing ourselves and for some communities the challenges are not new, just exacerbated with life-and-death consequences. The articles this month highlight the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities and how we need to re-think care, who does the care work, and why do disparities exist.