Socialize With Us

CEO Message: Announcing Our Areas of Focus

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


In the dozens of meetings I have had with NCG members since my arrival, I have been struck by the vehemence with which so many of you have strongly encouraged NCG to assume more of a leadership role in our community, and – to paraphrase many – “to stand for something.”  In response to your guidance, and to maximize the collective power of our community to greatest effect, I am delighted to announce that NCG will be partnering more deeply with our members in three key focus areas moving forward:  

Equity and Justice:  Leveling the opportunity playing field and working to right persistent wrongs 

Leadership, Culture and Community Nurturing the dynamic and diverse people and institutions in philanthropy

Regional Vibrancy and Sustainability:  Building networks to sustain the fabric and culture of the place we all love 

These focus areas will serve as drivers for our work, facilitate targeted, strategic resource deployment, and create a platform from which NCG can play a leadership role within our member community and more broadly. I invite you to take a closer look at our thinking and plans here.

We have identified these areas in response to discussions with many of you, our own assessment of the key issues confronting the Northern California region, and the encouragement of many nonprofit, community, business, public sector stakeholders with whom we collaborate. These concepts are broad and cross-cutting, and deeply relevant to a host of issues and opportunities with which you are engaged. We have defined the terms we’re using to explain what they mean to us.

Moreover, and significantly, these areas fit organically what we have been emphasizing in our work over the last two years or so, and engage the NCG staff and Board in ways that tap into our strengths and passion.  While we will always preserve bandwidth to address emergent issues and ideas, we believe that this focused approach will enable us to prioritize our efforts, engage more deeply, cultivate our leadership role, and communicate our efforts and impact more effectively.  

I invite you to read this short piece by Kate Seely, who will lead our Leadership, Culture and Community work, to see how these areas of focus may play out in one area of your relationship with NCG.

We are all grappling with complex issues in a diverse and dramatically changing world. The choices we make now will shape our community and cultural legacy for generations. This is big stuff, to be sure.  We are energized and excited to move in this direction, and to working closely with you to refine our understanding of these areas moving forward.  We look forward to partnering with you and with other thought leaders and stakeholders who share our goals and aspirations for healthier, just, thriving communities.

Ellen LaPointe
President and CEO
Northern California Grantmakers