Regional Vibrancy and Sustainability

Building networks to sustain the fabric and culture of the place we call home.

The Bay Area economic boom is having dramatic, tectonic effects: deepening income and opportunity disparities and displacing ever-growing members of the nonprofit, arts, small business, and public sector workforce, which together form the backbone of critical services and cultural building blocks that are fundamental to safe, thriving communities.   

These same economic conditions are placing nonprofit and arts institutions themselves at higher risk for displacement, further threatening to undermine the vibrant character and culture that have been the legacy of our region for generations.  

Additionally, recent drought conditions throughout the region and state have underscored that the preservation of our environment and the beauty of our surroundings, as well as the mitigation of climate change, must be taken into account as we seek to sustain the vibrancy of our region.

As a part of our Vibrancy and Sustainability work, NCG partners with our member colleagues and other community stakeholders to strengthen and sustain the key institutions that comprise the fabric of our communities; support economic inclusion and opportunities for all residents; foster community resiliency; and strive to maintain what makes the Bay Area an exciting place to live and work. Examples include:


Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 12:00pm

How can foundations address the capacity building needs of nonprofits throughout a region?  The San Francisco Foundation’s mission is to mobilize resources and act as a catalyst for change to build strong communities, foster civic leadership, and promote philanthropy. As a part of this work, they are building regional collaboratives that focus on nonprofit sustainability in innovative new ways. Come learn more about their efforts and the work of other foundations who have similarly taken on a regional approach to capacity building. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 10:00am

What matters most to many people as they age or face an advanced illness, is the ability to remain in their home while being cared for and supported by friends and family. Cooking meals, arranging medical appointments, handling complicated insurance claims, and providing spiritual and emotional support are some of the many ways that family caregivers help loved ones live as they wish while aging or at the end of their lives.

How can we care for people’s needs in alignment with their culture and faith, support the family and friends who care for them, and build trust across the system? Join us to learn how the Alameda County Care Alliance is supporting people of color with advanced illness by bridging health care systems, faith based communities, and community based organizations to build relationships between families and providers that are rooted in trust. We will also discuss the pressures on caregivers who may face burnout, depression, and depletion of financial resources, and how supportive policies can enable them to care for their loved ones.

Friday, June 1, 2018 - 10:00am

The City of Stockton, California, has experienced a sea change around the new confluence of community leadership, innovation, and political will to address what many thought were intractable issues. 

Please join us for a full-day funders convening and Reinvention Tour in Stockton, where you will immerse yourself in the community at the street level and learn about transformative initiatives including the Stockton Scholars college promise scholarship initiative, the much-publicized Universal Basic Income pilot program, the South Stockton Promise Zone collective impact collaborative, the recently approved Advance Peace initiative to address community violence and trauma, and other community initiatives and organizations addressing the cradle-to-career continuum. You will encounter dynamic partnerships between community organizations, civic institutions, and public officials that are leveraging community impact strategies to rectify decades of underinvestment and neglect. This is a pivotal moment for Stockton, and we invite you to be a partner. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 12:00pm

Join NCG Book Club for a discussion of Ordinary Love and Good Will by Jane Smiley. Bring your lunch and an appetite for conversation! 

Monday, June 25, 2018 - 1:00pm

The public, looks to philanthropy to get it right with the dollars it invests.


The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) supports the testing and evaluation of innovative approaches to improve health care.

When the Jessie Ball duPont Fund went beyond its traditional disaster relief support after two devastating tornadoes struck Alabama in 2011, staff realized that they did not know enough about how public and private systems work, about where, when and how they intersect, or about organized philanthropy’s proper role. Through this document, they share their lessons and reflections.

The “Hurricane Irma: What Funders Should Know” webinar gathered several expert panelists to provide updates on U.S. damages and the situation throughout the Caribbean, and ways funders can address recovery needs.

With a new federal tax plan recently passed and budget cuts looming, the Governor and other state policymakers will face a tall task in order to fund the programs that provide the opportunities California values. To help finance tax reductions for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, Congre

Legal Service Funders Network (LSFN) hosted their second annual signature event, in which they explored how much providing legal representation to low income clients has changed over the past 50 years.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

This month, NCG's Collaborative Philanthropy Coordinator, Krystle Chipman, sat down with the Loan Underwriter of the Arts Loan Fund and Principal of Padma Consulting, Margaret Southerland. Margaret shared why she believes the Arts Loan Fund (ALF) can be a game changer for arts nonprofits in the region. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

In the aftermath of the fires which devastated Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma Counties, NCG spoke with members about their disaster funding interests and strategies.  One such conversation – with Claire Solot, Managing Director of the Bigglesworth Family Foundation – highlighted an interesting shift in post-disaster grantmaking in both focus and process.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The City of Stockton is an example of the resilience and hope that make California a great state.  It is a city known for its diversity and also for its challenges, such as when it filed for bankruptcy in 2011. But like the Phoenix of Greek mythology, Stockton is rebuilding itself as a city committed to setting the pace for how great cities will be governed in the future and what they will do to attract and care for their residents. The city’s extraordinary turnaround is being recognized.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

NCG member, Masha Chernyak of the Latino Community Foundation recently spoke at our event, Social Justice in Disaster. She touched on relationship building with grantees and what trust brings to the way we do grantmaking. Hear more about her take on relationships with nonprofits and why love is a key ingredient.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is not alone in wondering how to make more of its dollars and influence to help organizations stay put as rents continue to soar across the Bay Area. Hear from Shelley Trott at the Kenneth Rainin Foundation on the story of its big bet, the risks they took, and the payoff for Bay Area arts organizations.