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

Monday, October 15, 2018 - 10:30am

How do we create messages that build public understanding, engagement, and action? Join the Peninsula Philanthropy Network, as Moira O’Neil from the FrameWorks Institute defines what framing is and the importance of it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 1:00pm

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) and Grove Foundation have partnered to provide nonprofits with high quality capacity building support at scale.

Resources

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.

A nonprofit with adequate financial resources not only raises enough revenue to cover core operating expenses, but also maintains funds in reserve to buffer the organization against future uncertainty. In our third Financial Management session with FMA on May 3, 2018, we explored the importance of the right mix of financial resources in ensuring financial resilience, as well as the critical role of another resource key to a nonprofit’s success: its people. We also explored what a successful leadership team looks like and how funders can support their grantees in developing leadership capacity, especially in the finance realm.

On April 16th, 2018, we hosted our 2018 NCG Annual Conference, the largest gathering of the philanthropic community in Northern California.This year’s conference, Together for Good, featured lead thinkers on the critical issues of our time, such as the role of media in upholding democracy, overcoming social inequality, and advancing narrative change. We dug deep into how philanthropy can – and must – bring to bear not only financialresources, but also our collective leadership, voice, action and empathy to really move the ball. 

News

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Yesterday someone from San Francisco said to me “Wow…it’s been a year since the North Bay wildfires.” I quickly blurted back, “you mean 11 months.”

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Foundations often have underutilized talent and insight into the very issues they’re working to address — in their own staff. Entry- and mid-career staff are the most diverse in the field, and are often the most-unwedded to standard operating procedure.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

NCG member The California Wellness Foundation has a new Vice President of Operations Arun Baheti. Congratulations and welcome to the NCG community!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

When I took the job as Executive Director of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, I really did not appreciate how different it was going to be from being the Director of the SF Mayor’s Office of Community Development. Sure, I had an understanding of community needs and public sector grant making, and I was comfortable in a leadership position in community and local government.  What surprised me was how isolating it can be to head up a family foundation.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

NCG is pleased to announce Varisa Tantiwasadakran as its new Communications Associate. The newest member of NCG’s growing team set her sights on public service at USC and quickly picked up a philanthropy minor with her business major.