Leadership, Culture and Community

Nurturing the dynamic and diverse people and institutions in philanthropy.

The Bay Area philanthropic sector is a dynamic, diverse community dedicated to marshaling resources – alone and in partnership – strategically and with maximal impact to improve the human condition. The work of the sector is complex and difficult, and cannot be achieved without attending to the “care and feeding” of the individuals and institutions that comprise it. This includes:

  1. supporting individual skill and professional development;
  2. cultivating executive leadership as well as the next generation of sector leaders;
  3. focusing on the internal culture and practices of philanthropic institutions; and 
  4. nurturing a thriving, sector-wide community that is rooted in a strong sense of shared purpose, committed to continual growth and learning, and making time to inspire and celebrate one another.

In our Community and Culture work, NCG will partner with our member colleagues and other philanthropy-supporting organizations to support efforts to strengthen and sustain the individuals and institutions that comprise the NCG community.  Examples include:

Events

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 9:00am

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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 9:00am

As grantmakers, our desire to have a positive impact on the communities we serve fuels our work. In order to create the greatest impact, we must work side-by-side with nonprofits and communities to solve problems and determine the most effective path forward.

Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 11:00am

For two years, the #MeToo Movement has dominated the news headlines as women who’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted continue to step forward to tell their stories. MeToo momentum was quickly followed by the Time’s Up Movement for workplace equity for women and people of color and a legal defe

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 9:30am

How can funder behavior evolve to be more collaborative, and more supportive of scaling the solutions and impact of grantees whose work creates positive, systemic changes to pressing problems?

Resources

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. 

In a June 26 session we shared examples of new approaches some foundations are using across four areas of practice - staffing philosophy, structure and design, skill development, and supportive culture - to foster greater connectivity, vibrancy, and engagement both internally and externally, ultimately opening up new avenues for impact, built on research conducted by FSG with the support of six funders.

News

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Northern California Grantmakers is pleased to announce Daniel Lau has been named Program and Events Manager.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Padmini Parthasarathy has joined the team at the Walter & Elise Haas Fund as its new Senior Program Officer for the Fund's Economic Security program. Congratulations Padmini!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

At a pivotal time in its shift to a new strategic direction, Blue Shield of California Foundation has engaged two new senior fellows, marking the launch of a new fellowship program that will bring fresh perspectives to the complex problems facing California’s communities.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

NCG member the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust has announced Kelly Kent as its new Program Officer. Congratulations and welcome to the NCG community!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Earlier this summer, I attended a discussion on how philanthropy could respond to the #MeToo movement — in this field, we’re all trying to make a difference for our communities, so why not start with our own organizations?