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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

Monday, April 13, 2020 - 10:00am

To save time and money, more organizations are conducting trainings and meetings online, but most of us have not been taught how to run a successful “webinar.” As a result, these virtual gatherings are often boring, plagued with technical problems, and waste the time they’re supposed to be saving

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Three weeks ago, the two of us stepped into our new roles as acting Co-CEOs of Northern California Grantmakers. That was the same day the world learned we would need vigorous hand-washing and distance to protect each other and everyone in our community from a new rapidly spreading virus. A most unusual start in our roles. But, then again, these are most unusual times.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Anxiety and fear are the body’s biological impulse to keep us safe. This fear is not purely personal, given my privileges of age, ability, proximity to resources, what science tells me. It is fear for my beloveds and all who do and will suffer: my elder parents, 3,000+ miles away; family members working in healthcare; loved ones who live with respiratory illnesses, diabetes, and immune-compromising conditions; neighbors and colleagues, laborers in the service industry and gig economy; and the countless numbers of us, known and unknown, who cannot access quality healthcare.

Allison Magee
Thursday, February 27, 2020

It’s hard to believe that in just a few years, Ellen and the NCG team have transformed the organization into what it is today. With over twice as many staff and a budget that’s almost four times the size, NCG is a force to be reckoned with. 

Surina Khan
Thursday, February 27, 2020

I asked five foundation executives—private, public, family, tech, small and large—if they’ve taken any special measures to ready themselves for the year ahead. In our third installment, we hear from Surina Khan, CEO of the Women's Foundation of California.

Nicole Giles headshot
Thursday, February 6, 2020

NCG is pleased to welcome the newest member of its team, Nicole Giles, as its new Strategic Initiatives Associate.