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CEO Message: Hope, a Priceless Asset

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Most mornings when I wake up these days the same thought immediately fills my brain: “There is so much to DO!”

Don’t get me wrong – this has pretty much always been the case. So many of us live full lives, juggling busy work schedules and family activities while scrambling to squeeze a few minutes for ourselves here or there if we can. Busy is the new normal.

That’s not what I am talking about here. 

No, this is different. There is a new kind of “so-much-to-do” happening right now. As we confront a rapidly – and in some cases, dramatically – shifting policy landscape, our list of things to do is growing.

NCG is hitting its stride at a critical moment. We have the resources and capacity to inspire one another, catalyze good thinking, and mobilize and sustain effective action. 

NCG is bringing together members and our partners in the nonprofit, public, and business sectors in a neutral space to connect, communicate, align on strategies and take collective action to protect and preserve vital programs and services that have been painstakingly built over decades to sustain our families, and communities. 

We are communicating with each other more often and more deeply to share information about new developments. And we are checking in with one another, becoming more intentional about self-care and community support.

A few specific highlights of key developments and opportunities at NCG are worth lifting up:

Statewide Alliance

We have recently announced a deepening of our partnership with our colleagues at Southern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers, which we are calling Philanthropy California. We expect to leverage this newfound capacity in myriad ways as we all work together in service to the values and aspirations we share.

New Director of Equity and Social Justice

We are delighted to welcome Chris Punongbayan as our new Director of Equity and Social Justice. A formidable community builder, advocate, and leader, Chris will lead our efforts to infuse and integrate equity and social justice considerations and commitments throughout the work of NCG.

Public Policy

We are building our capacity to engage in public policy work with our members, our partners, and our Philanthropy California colleagues. The NCG Board of Directors has approved an engagement framework to inform our thinking as we establish policy priorities and develop strategies, and we’ll be creating a member-driven Policy Committee to guide us. We’ll be posting a job announcement next week for a new Public Policy Manager to support these efforts.

Opportunities to Collaborate

Member-driven working groups are coming together with renewed purpose and energy. The Bay Area Health Funders Network, Nonprofit Displacement Working Group, Legal Services Funders Network are but a few examples of vital collaborative efforts that are mobilizing with new energy to address existing challenges and emerging threats. We invite you to contact us if you have an interest in exploring one or more of them as a means to advance your work.

Brand Refresh

Our capacity-building efforts and organizational re-positioning would not be complete without a refreshed brand that embodies this new energy and direction. We love it, and look forward to sharing it with you next week. Stay tuned!

We find ourselves in dramatically uncertain and challenging times. While the work ahead may be daunting, the very good news is that the NCG community and our colleagues in California have already built the foundation and frameworks for formidable, impactful collective work. This gives us hope, which is itself a priceless asset in difficult times.

We thank you for being a part of our community, and a partner in our work.