Socialize With Us

10 Ways to Engage in 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014
It’s a new year! Make a resolution to make the most of your NCG membership.  And in case you need any help in figuring out how to do so, here are ten ways to engage in 2014.
1. Develop/Sponsor a Program with NCG Staff
Many of our best programs begin with ideas from NCG members. Quite often, members will become aware of interesting information or data on a grantmaking issue before we do.
If you have an idea for a program, contact NCG Program Specialist Angela Jones and we’ll guide you through the process to turn your idea into a full-fledged NCG program.
NCG members can also support NCG programming through financially sponsorships. Whether it be our Annual Meeting, a year-long series or just one program–members who support NCG programs make grantmaker education, professional development and one-on-one connections possible for their peers.
If you’d like your organization to financially sponsor NCG programming, contact NCG Staff for more information.
2. Write an NCG Blog Post or Send Us News
NCG’s blog isn’t just for pithy articles about engagement or NCG announcements, it’s also a platform for our members.
NCG members are invited to share their thoughts and ideas on philanthropy as guest bloggers or send us the latest news (articles or press releases) about their organization.
If you’d like to be a guest blogger or simply would like to share news, contact NCG Communications Associate Marisela Orta to learn more about using our blog to help amplify your voice.
3. Go to NGI or Send a Co-Worker
Every year NCG’s New Grantmakers Institute (NGI) offers grantmakers new to the field an intensive two-day workshop to help build a framework and best practices for effective and ethical grantmaking. In addition to developing a network of peers, NGI participants will have the special opportunity to learn from a dynamic faculty of seasoned philanthropic leaders.
4. Have Lunch with NCG
Come have lunch with NCG at a Lunch and Learn brown bag session. Designed to fit your busy schedule, Lunch and Learn is an opportunity to informally gather together with other NCG members. No advance work is ever necessary. Topics will vary, but all will be current and thought-provoking.
The next Lunch and Learn is January 29th and will focus on The Waiting Room Storytelling Project.
And if you have suggestions for future Lunch and Learn topics, or are interested in hosting a Lunch and Learn gathering at your office, please contact NCG Members Services Senior Manager Phuong Quach.
5. Attend the Annual Meeting
I should say Annual Conference. This year NCG is trying something new. Our annual conference is in the works and we’ll have more details about the topic, speaker, location and date soon.
What we can say is that this year we’re partnering with local organizations to develop a dynamic day of conversation about an issue that is affecting communities both locally and nationally. We hope you’ll join us this year!
6. Join a Loan Fund
NCG’s Arts Loan Fund and Emergency Loan Fund are our two longest-standing collaborative philanthropy endeavors.
Started in 1981 in response to the unique cash flow needs of arts organizations, the Arts Loan Fund (ALF) provides quick-turnaround, low-cost financial assistance to arts organizations located in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties, and individual artists located in the cities of Oakland and San Francisco.
Founded in 1973, the Emergency Loan Fund (ELF) pre-dates NCG’s incorporation. Similar to the ALF, the ELF provides quick-turnaround, low-cost financial assistance to nonprofit organizations located in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and San Francisco counties.
Each loan fund is made up of NCG members who meet regularly to review loan requests. By leveraging their pooled resources both loan funds combined have provided close to 2,500 low-interest loans and 260 grants totally over 47 million-an enormous investment in the health of the Bay Area nonprofit community.
7. Attend the Corporate Philanthropy Institute
NCG’s signature annual corporate event, the Corporate Philanthropy Institute (CPI) is a day-long conference developed to focus on the most significant global and national trends impacting corporate philanthropy.
If you’re a corporate grantmaker, we hope we’ll see you at this year’s CPI later this year.
Visit for the latest news on this year’s institute.
8. Start a Network
NCG has several networks for members to participate in: the Corporate Contributions Roundtable (CCR), the Family Philanthropy Exchange (FPE), the Bay Area Health Funders Group (BAHFG) and the Mad Hatters Network.
While the CCR and FPE are long-standing grantmaker networks, both the Bay Area Health Funders Group and the Mad Hatters Network are recent NCG networks. And both were started by members.
If you would like to gather your NCG peers who share the same staff role as you or grantmaker focus, please contact NCG staff about piloting a network.
9. Attend a Program
Tried and true, one of the easiest ways to take advantage of NCG membership is to attend a program. NCG programs not only offer grantmakers the opportunity to dive deeper into an issue, they also provide members with the chance to network with peers in-person.
10. Volunteer on an NCG Committee
NCG relies on an engaged base of member volunteers in committees to drive programming and help staff to develop relevant content. These volunteer committees meet regularly and provide valuable networking and professional development opportunities for members.
NCG’s current volunteer committees include:
  • Corporate Contributions Roundtable-this steering committee helps NCG staff develop programming nuanced for corporate grantmakers.
  • Family Philanthropy Exchange-this steering committee helps NCG staff develop programming specifically for family grantmakers.
  • Membership Committee-this committee helps NCG staff review membership, eligibility and dues policies.
  • Organizational Effectiveness and Professional Development-this committee oversees NCG activities and initiatives related to building the skills of individual grantmakers and the capacity of foundations to engage in thoughtful philanthropy that produces meaningful results.
  • Contact NCG staff if you are interested in learning more about NCG’s volunteer committees.
That’s it. Ten ways to engage in 2014. We hope you’ll try out a few of these options in the coming year.