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Regional Vibrancy and Sustainability

Making this a place we can all call home. 

Northern California is diverse and beautiful, with a rich cultural history and commitment to social justice. We are called upon to preserve it through shared effort. Today, the region’s economic boom is deepening income disparities and displacing the very people who form the backbone of the services and cultural building blocks for safe, thriving communities.

In addition, our nonprofit and arts institutions are themselves experiencing record displacement, further eroding the vibrant character and culture that have been the legacy of our region for generations.

Preservation of our environment and the beauty of our surroundings, as well as the mitigation of climate change, are also central to the vibrancy of our region.

Defining our Terms

Regional Vibrancy. The unique and distinct character that defines Northern California: its natural beauty, human diversity, artistic and cultural richness, innovative, entrepreneurial and creative economic engine, and deep legacy of social justice. Our "heartbeat," if you will. 

Sustainability. Strengthening and preserving our region's vital workforce, diverse and rich populations, nonprofit, nonprofit infrastructure, artistic and cultural communities and institutions, and natural environment. 

Resources

On July 27th, the Peninsula Philanthropy Network invited members to learn from practitioners forging new approaches in philanthropy. Innovations continue to rock many aspects of professional life in the Bay Area. In the field of giving, tech-based innovations ripple through traditional practices of philanthropy, building on the region’s long history of creating and testing bold new ideas in technology, the social sector and arts and culture. The interactive learning lab immersed particpants in the concepts and methods of impact investing and human-centered design.  The panel shared their approaches, the structure of their investments and the results.

Diversity makes us stronger. Large-scale movements including Black Lives Matter, Dreamers, Standing Rock and the 2016 presidential election are changing society and philanthropy along with it. Join fellow travelers for a deep dive into how they’re managing change and moving toward their values. The Peninsula Philanthropy Network is bringing together foundations from across the spectrum to reflect on changes they’re making to the way they do business and new types of partnerships they’re forging. Changes include deploying rapid response funds, shifting grantmaking priorities, and incorporating an equity lens that takes into account their position in relation to systems of power including by race, gender, ability, immigration status and sexual orientation.    

In an April 10th program, we heard from local leaders and nonprofits from the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma as they discussed how they are helping their communities, and what they need to be effective in disaster. Two Bay Area funders will discussed their disaster support and how it fits into their missions and broader programmatic work as well as ways that funders can support grantees and local leaders.

The culmination of a year-long collaboration between Causa Justa::Just Cause and the Alameda County Public Health Department, this report is a first of its kind combining neighborhood analysis using a quantifiable “gentrification typology,” with interviews of affected populations and public health research to present a comprehensive definition of gentrification in the Bay Area.

Philanthropy California held two urgent webinars to offer funders an up-to-the-minute briefing on local and state agency responses to the fires in Butte, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties.

News

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

In philanthropy, how do we steward resources back to the lands and communities that have experienced historical inequities? While it will not undo centuries of harm, it is a first step toward repair. NCG recognizes that we must move beyond optical land acknowledgments into tangible action. What does it mean to move towards right relationships with Indigenous communities? We are figuring it out. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

NCG and our Philanthropy California colleagues are delighted to share with you the following report detailing the efforts and impacts of Philanthropy California’s Fair Representation Fund. This pooled fund harnessed $2.5 million in direct philanthropic donations and guided additional resources. Ultimately, these investments helped to ensure that the 2020 state and local redistricting processes would reflect the perspectives of California communities that are too often left out of decision-making.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Still, it was worth noting, as the last two years were unlike anything professionally in the 28 years that proceeded it. A global pandemic, climate crises, economic destabilization, and assaults on democratic institutions occurring during a racial reckoning will have that effect. That said, I am more convinced than ever that I have the right job to do. We have the right job to do at NCG. 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

We all have felt the impact of heat waves this summer, but the costs and stakes are different across communities and neighborhoods in California. While temperatures rise in California, so do extreme heat illnesses and heat mortality. Those most impacted are unlikely to live in cooler coastal communities, or have access to air-conditioned homes. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

NCG is thrilled to announce that Qurratulain “Q” Sajid (she/they) has joined the team as the Senior Director for Public Affairs. President and CEO Dwayne S. Marsh had a chat with Q about the new role and prioritizing values within our work. Read on to hear Q’s take on philanthropy’s work of today, narrative strategy, trusting our wholeness, and grandmothers’ recipes.