Posts Tagged ‘Bay Area Asset Funders Network’

NCG Interim President and CEO David Greco: Together We Can Be The Change

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

DavidGreco_blog_nameThere are many challenges facing the communities we serve–healthcare, education, income inequality, immigration, environmental issues, and social justice, among others. To address these pressing issues, many grantmakers have joined together in collaborative efforts. We have national organizations such as Grantmakers in the Arts, Grantmakers in Aging, and Grantmakers in Health as well as local networks such as Bay Area Early Childhood Funders, Bay Area Democracy Funders, Bay Area Asset Funders Network, and Bay Area Justice Funders Network.

These grantmaker collaborations have been able to bring focus and expertise to a number of critical issues as well as helping to focus philanthropic dollars. They have also allowed grantmakers to launch initiatives and projects that otherwise would have stalled. As a broad based membership association, what role can Northern California Grantmakers play in supporting these efforts? The reality is that organizations such as NCG play a critical role in the success of these issue-focused collaborations because we recognize that no issue is an island.

Who can link the education funders with those focused on immigration and a path to citizenship?

Who can bring together the funders focused on supporting resource starved communities in Marin, the East Bay and Silicon Valley?

Who can bring together the corporate funders with government agencies and private foundations?

Who can bring together public policy, research, and resources to move grantmakers to action?

NCG can.

NCG’s track record for bringing together grantmakers speaks for itself:

  • AIDS Partnership California (APC): The APC started as an NCG collaborative fund in 1987 and later transferred to the California HIV/AIDS Research Program as one of its funding programs in 2009.
  • NCG’s Arts Loan Fund (ALF) and Emergency Loan Fund (ELF): The ALF and ELF have been around since the early days of NCG. Using these pooled loan funds, NCG members have given over 2,500 low-interest bridge loans–over $40 million–to Bay Area nonprofit organizations.
  • Disaster Preparedness Task Force: NCG housed this member-led initiative to develop a disaster preparedness toolkit for grantmakers which culminated in a disaster preparedness toolkit.
  • Nurturing networks:  NCG has assisted a number of member-led networks including the Bay Area Asset Funders Network, the Bay Area Health Funders Group and the newly formed Mad Hatters Network to bring together funders to discuss issues and job roles.

14_quote_DGreco_silosWe cannot allow critical issues to exist in silos. The balkanization of philanthropy will only result in less impact. Whatever your area of interests is, we must realize that the solutions to these critical issues are related and often interdependent. We know lasting solutions need holistic approaches.

At NCG, we firmly believe that it is only by working together, collaboratively, across issue areas and geographic regions that we can develop comprehensive and sustainable solutions that result in real impact.

Together we can ensure more people have access to critical services, build vibrant arts and cultural institutions, and create healthy, resilient communities. Together we can work towards a thriving society for all.

Together we can be the change.

NCG Welcomes New Peer Networks and Collaborative Philanthropy Program Specialist

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

NCG's welcomes Jamie Schenker to its staff.

NCG is excited to announce the appointment of Jamie Schenker to the position of Peer Networks and Collaborative Philanthropy Program Specialist.

To introduce Jamie to the NCG membership and highlight her new assignments, we asked Jamie to share a little about herself and the work she’ll be doing here at NCG.

NCG: Hello, Jamie. Tell us a little bit about how you entered the field and where you were previous to joining our staff.

Jamie: I joined the nonprofit sector during my last semester of undergrad when I lucked out and took an internship with a great organization. Since then, I’ve worked for a foundation and a consulting firm that specialized in evaluation work for nonprofit and foundation clients. Just before joining NCG, I worked in evaluation and organizational learning at The California Wellness Foundation.

NCG: What drew you to the Peer Networks and Collaborative Philanthropy position at NCG?

Jamie: Peer networks, both formal and informal, have played an integral part in my professional career. As a member of NCG and a steering committee member of the San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, I have seen firsthand the benefits of providing opportunities for peers to come together to learn about new topics, share ideas, discuss current issues, and enjoy each other’s company. NCG’s Collaborative Philanthropy work was attractive to me because it leverages the expertise of grantmakers to build knowledge among peers and also to provide support in the way of funding for nonprofit organizations and individuals.

NCG: Let’s break down what your work will include. Tell us how your position will interact with peer networks here in the Bay Area?

Jamie: What’s great about the Bay Area is that we have an ample amount of peer networks for grantmakers. I hope that in my new role I can find ways to collaborate with other networks while also supporting all of our individual roles within the sector.

NCG: For those out there unfamiliar with NCG’s Collaborative Philanthropy Programs, tell us what they are and your role in managing them.

Jamie: NCG has a long history of bringing together grantmakers to make collaborative philanthropic investments in various ways, from the early days of Environmental Grantmakers and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrant and Refugees to the Summer Youth Program and AIDS Partnership California. Currently, NCG supports two loan funds – the Arts Loan Fund and the Emergency Loan Fund. Both funds provide quick turn-around, low-cost financial assistance to organizations located various Bay Area counties. As well, NCG houses various collaborative networks such as the Bay Area Asset Funders Network. My role in Collaborative Philanthropy is to support existing programs as well as foster and support new collaborative ideas from our membership.

NCG: Who can participate in a Collaborative? Can members approach you about creating a new one?

Jamie: Our current collaboratives are open to NCG members and stakeholders in the issues they care about, leading to some important cross-sector work, innovative investments and peer learning. We encourage our members to approach us about any collaborative ideas that we might be able to support with our network of expertise, sometimes as simple as an introduction to a fellow member doing like work, or facilitating connections to collaborations across our region and nationally.

NCG: And finally, what about your work are you most excited about?

Jamie: I’m excited about everything – supporting NCG, an organization that has supported my professional growth throughout the years; supporting those in need of funds to achieve their missions and goals through the loan funds; and continuing to support networks of peers that encourage learning and growth among each other and in the field. Members can be on the lookout for more discussion of peer networks and collaborations on the NCG blog, where I’ll be posting as I investigate where philanthropic collaboration is thriving in our region and beyond.


We hope you’ll join us in welcoming Jamie to the NCG staff. And if you have any questions about her work with peer networks or NCG Collaboratives, you can contact Jamie at or at 415.777.4111 ext 27.

Advocacy Grantmaking Training: Why Support Advocacy in an Election Year?

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Do you know the legal parameters of what advocacy activities your foundation is able to support? What about during an election year, when electoral efforts are kicked into high gear? And, really, given all of the considerations you currently have for your grantees, why should you even be thinking about any of this?

NCG is ready to once again delve into these questions as part of the Alliance for Justice’s Advocacy Grantmaking Workshop, this year co-presented in partnership with the Bay Area Asset Funders Network.

This regularly offered workshop offers a training geared toward grantmakers to explore how various advocacy activities — including lobbying and nonpartisan electoral work — are central to furthering the goals of nonprofits, as well as the foundations that support them. The session, led by Nayantara Mehta, Senior Counsel with AFJ and member of NCG’s Public Policy Committee, will explain the legal rules governing these activities.

During the session, which will be held at The California Endowment’s Oakland Conference Center, we’ll also review the types of activities foundations may legally fund and those they may conduct themselves, all while addressing why foundation support for advocacy is so important.

Register now and come prepared to have your own questions answered >>


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