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Thought Leadership

NCG creates key resources for philanthropy by partnering with trusted partners, researching emerging trends, and listening to what's needed from the NCG community. Below you'll find perspectives and resources we believe are key to transforming philanthropy. 

5 Shifts Philanthropy Must Make Toward an Equitable Region

Committing to transform our region means that everyone rolls up their sleeves and puts the good of the whole—a shared vision of inclusive regional prosperity and well-being—above individual organizational mandates and missions. This requires funders to embrace new narratives of possibility and inclusive decision-making, invoke new mental models, shift organizational and philanthropic sector culture, change default behaviors, and make bolder, more generous, and community-responsive commitments... and to act on them. 


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Sharpening the Edge 2.0

At NCG, we believe that funders should take full advantage of every tool in their grantmaking toolbox to advance their systems-change and equity goals. 501c(4)-aligned funding can accelerate movement building, strengthen our democracy, and advance racial equity. Sharpening the Edge 2.0 is a 4-part learning and collaboration series that will help philanthropic grantmakers sharpen their power-building strategies by engaging in 501c(4) funding and complementary 501c(3) funding strategies.


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Nonprofit Sustainability

Northern California nonprofits are the driving force and backbone of our collective efforts to address the social justice issues impacting the region. NCG has launched a new initiative to support this backbone and strengthen the nonprofit sector. This begins with focusing on the key factors impacting nonprofit sustainability in the region to shift grantmaking practices and support evolving organizational needs.


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Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

NCG has partnered with the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project (TBPP) to bring the trust-based philanthropy framework to our members since its inception in 2019. Trust-based practices are undergirded by a set of values grounded in advancing equity, interrogating power imbalances, and cultivating mutually accountable relationships, and that exist within four dimensions of an organization: its culture, structures, leadership, and practices.


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Better California

Better California. It’s our name. And our mission. Despite decades of monumental change and progress, California is a place still riven by inequality. Better California seeks to change that story by deploying philanthropy to use all its assets to help create a California in which all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Together, California funders can create a Better California.


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Equitable Recovery

The road to recovery from any crisis requires philanthropy to address the underlying factors and continue to prioritize them. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic amplified pre-existing health and wealth disparities for communities of color. While it seems like we are on the other side of it, there are continued impacts on the most vulnerable.


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National Center for Family Philanthropy

NCG has partnered with the National Center for Family Philanthropy to give members direct, free access to NCFP's monthly webinars for family giving. Additionally, NCG members also have free access to NCFP's extensive database of resources for philanthropic families that work with them in their online Knowledge Center.


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Solidarity, Not Charity in Philanthropy

by Dwayne S. Marsh & Suzanne St. John Crane

Charity connotes power or resources granted from the top to the bottom. Solidarity recognizes the mutuality and agency of all beings involved. To move from charity to solidarity means affirming the deep dignity and power of historically marginalized communities. In philanthropy we are not doing a service to movement leaders and community members by moving resources to them, they are doing a service for us by reclaiming wealth and capital that has been historically extracted and denied to them.