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Positive Change, Served Up Hot!

Monday, December 7, 2015

When was the last time you saw a room full of philanthropy professionals leap to their feet in applause? Watch Youth Speaks Poet Tassiana as she rallied the Northern California Grantmakers community to a standing ovation at our sold-out annual conference earlier this year imploring each of us and our organizations with this important call to action:


“Who are you fighting for/ What are you fighting for/ Because that determines who will be cheering for you at the end of this test for endurance/ It is our duty to fight/ It is our duty to win/ Run like someone’s life depends on it/ Because someone’s life/ Depends on it/ There is no mediocrity here/ Every battle you fought every race you’ve run has been preparing you for this/ Together we can do it/ Together we have changed the world/

So TOGETHER, LET’S BETTER THE WORLD / On your mark/ Get Set/ GO.”

As NCG’s Board Chair, it is my privilege to update you on how NCG has grown and strengthened its membership community, program work and current financial position this year to better serve you and your organization as we commit to bettering our Bay Area region and the world!

This year our membership grew by an impressive 25% to become 163 members strong! We saw program after program sold out, with wait-lists. We expanded our programming breadth, which included exploring social issues that impact our communities, enhancing grantmaking practice and expertise, convening senior leadership and CEOs, and supporting specific foundation types, to name a few. Plus, our program convenings were intentionally geographically dispersed from the South Bay and the Peninsula, to the East Bay and San Francisco.

One unique program offering featured Anna Deavere Smith in her latest piece, Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, allowing members to come together at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and talk about the “school-to-prison” pipeline in California. Three times we had to secure more tickets as members got their families involved. We are inspired by members’ enthusiasm for building community through the arts!

What were your favorite programs of the year?

All of NCG’s recent program growth and success is a direct result of fantastic leadership by my fellow Board members along with our new CEO leader this year, Ellen LaPointe and her amazing staff team. Together, we have built up considerable momentum heading into 2016 with a set of new organizational values and a strategic partnership with our fellow regional associations, Southern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers, in the California Philanthropy Alliance (more news to come in 2016). Furthermore, we have secured new funding to solidify our vision and increase the long-term financial sustainability of NCG. For those interested in our 2014 year-end financials, please email Myra Bicknell to receive an electronic copy.

It is my pleasure to invite you to become a greater part of this inspiring NCG community right now! How?

1) Renew your agency’s membership today! Your agency’s renewal form has been mailed out, so please mail in your dues to continue to access a marketplace of philanthropic thinking with a community of peers so that we can ideate, build and grow together. Please contact Kate Seely if you need your member invoice emailed to you again.

2) Vote to support NCG's new Board member slate by December 20! In late November, your agency's main contact received an electronic ballot and voting instructions, so please ensure that your organization casts its vote for our new and returning Board members. Vote here.

3) Come celebrate holiday cheer with NCG and ten other Bay Area philanthropy affinity groups Wednesday night, December 9th from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm at the San Francisco's War Memorial!

Please RSVP today to join our joy-filled annual Holiday Party to network and connect with an amazing group of your peers that share your concerns about the Bay Area's social issues.

4) Attend NCG programs in 2016. Stay tuned as programs are developed for 2016 and come join us. 

5) Express interest in serving on a NCG Committee! We would love to hear from you if you have time and interest in engaging with NCG on a deeper level by helping to plan programs and support our membership efforts and expanding community. Please email Kate Seely if you are interested.

During this season of giving and receiving, I want to acknowledge and thank each one of you for devoting your efforts to bettering our local region and the world beyond! I appreciate and value your engagement in NCG and our philanthropic community-at-large and look forward to connecting our collective energy and shared aspirations to fuel some of philanthropy’s best work during 2016! 

Respectfully yours in service,

Diane Parnes
2015 NCG Board Chair