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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, August 18, 2020 - 10:00am

Philanthropy California and the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project invite you to join us for a monthly webinar series for funders.

Tuesday, September 15, 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.

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.

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.

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

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

NCG’s board and staff are pleased to announce the conclusion of a rigorous search for the organization’s next president and CEO. From a pool of nearly 90 candidates and many strong contenders, one leader emerged as the consensus choice of board, staff, and management. Oakland’s own Dwayne S. Marsh brings nearly thirty years’ experience advancing racial and economic equity through sustained work in the public, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

These past months, we've found ourselves returning to the same question: are our plans still serving their purpose or is there a greater opportunity made possible by the crises in which we find ourselves? We asked NCG's board, staff, and membership to weigh-in on how they're balancing this question. We'll publish their reflections in the months to come in this series on persistence and adaptivity. Glen Galaich of the Stupski Foundation kicks us off with insights, confessions from his consulting years, and a look at what he’s paying special attention to right now.

Friday, July 17, 2020

This month marks a changing of the guard in NCG’s policy advocacy. NCG’s Cecilia Chen is stepping down to assume a central role in efforts to end the criminalization of Black youth and youth of color in Oakland at the Oakland-based Akonadi Foundation.

Friday, June 5, 2020

NCG's members are speaking up, some for the first time, about the protests, the killings, and the structural racism behind them. Several point toward organizations we can fund right now to fuel this movement. We are proud to share all of them here.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Last year, we asked a handful of leaders to reflect on how they were planning for risk in 2020. We, of course, were thinking about the upcoming elections. We invited these leaders to reflect back on their forecasts in the face of a dramatically changed reality.