From our Steering Committee Chair 
What's Next for NNCG?
We'd Like to Hear from You

As NNCG completes its 9th year, I am proud to say that we'll have much to celebrate as we mark our first decade in 2016! In the past year we have:
  • Grown a membership of more than 180, with 36 of those joining us in 2015.
  • Co-edited the ground-breaking issue of The Foundation Review dedicated exclusively to philanthropy consulting.
  • Introduced the journal at our Annual Convening in April.
  • Launched a 7-part webinar series to provide in-depth information for members and others about the articles we've published.
  • Expanded our online Knowledge Center to share our learnings and insights with the field of philanthropy.
  • Introduced our blog - NNCG Now!
  • Partnered with leading national philanthropy organizations and regional associations to promote our directory of consultants and share knowledge
NNCG has grown because of the commitment and engagement of many who care about our craft and our field. We've also grown because of the confidence and financial support bestowed upon us by our funders: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, Lodestar Foundation, and most recently the Ford Foundation, which awarded NNCG with a two-year, $150,000 core support grant.
Our success isn't happenstance - it's because of the planning and strategy crafted by our steering committee with the thought leadership of our membership. As 2016 begins, we'll be revisiting our strategy with a steering committee retreat, and we'd like to know what you'd like to see from NNCG as we move forward. What works well? What could improve? What could we add?
As we prepare for our upcoming planning retreat, we'd really love to hear your ideas. Please take a moment to share them with me at

Consulting Opportunity

A private foundation seeks a consultant with direct experience designing and executing peer-led or participatory grantmaking processes to provide applicable insights and best practices regarding such efforts. Please send a list of relevant experience to directly to Lori Jolliffe at
NNCG Webinars on Philanthropy Consulting

Our series returns in the new year on January 20th with the webinar The Family Foundation Life Cycle and the Role of Consultants presented by NNCG Member Mary Phillips of GMA Foundations, Suzanna Stribling of The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation, and Susan Shore Schwartz  of The Cemala Foundation.  This webinar is co-sponsored by The National Center for Family Philanthropy and it builds on this article in NNCG's co-edited issue of The Foundation Review published this past spring.

Registration is free for NNCG members; non-members receive a multi-webinar discount.  To learn more and register, visit our events page.

NNCG's Philanthropy Consulting Webinar Series is co-sponsored by the Council on Foundations, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, The Foundation Center, Learn Philanthropy, Exponent Philanthropy, Northern California Grantmakers, and
The Foundation Review.


Be sure to check out NNCG Now! for the latest news and thoughts from NNCG and our members.

NNCG members: Please remember that we would love to re-post your own blogs, so don't be shy in sharing them with us!

NNCG Members in Action

NNCG highlights members' thought leadership - articles, presentations, innovations and other activities that advance philanthropic practice. Follow the links for more information.

Vanessa Shadoian-Gersing, founding principal of VSG Insights, published an article on the recent World Innovation Summit for Education, a conference organized by the Qatar Foundation where First Lady Michelle Obama joined a panel of world leaders advocating for dramatic new investments in global girls' education. You can learn more about the case for educating young women in the Education Week article here.

As a sector, we have come to some consensus on "good governance" and the things boards should do to effectively govern organizations. We have identified the board's basic roles and developed metrics to gauge organizational success. What we don't know is whether and why these practices actually result in improved organizational health and long-term sustainability. Until now.  Check out the data-driven results in TCC Group and BoardSource's presentation from the BoardSource Leadership Forum in November.
La Piana Consulting's new  Collaborative Map helps illustrate for nonprofits, foundations, and other key partners the diversity and fluidity of mission-driven collaboration, informed by our more than 15 years of experience helping organizations work together to advance common goals. Watch a video introduction to the Collaborative Map, or explore the Map online; in addition to learning about various forms of partnership, you can view examples of how each has been used to create social impact.
FMA's Hilda Polanco and Rebecca Coker will present to grantees of Tipping Point Community in the Bay Area on Financial Strategy for Long-term Planning & Growth.  The full-day workshop engages leaders in an exploration of the roles of the board and senior leadership in the planning process. Focusing on forecasting, course correction, and risk management, the workshop shows how long-range plans can provide benchmarks against which progress toward strategic goals can be monitored and measured.
Barbara R Greenberg of The Philanthropic Group moderated  "Age-Friendly Communities: A Learning Circle for Funders," at the October conference of Grantmakers in Aging.  Designed to encourage questions from grantmakers about how to create an age-friendly community in their target locations, the learning circle enabled funders to exchange experience and build networks.  Also, Barbara and Jan Schwarz, together with several other aging experts, authored a research paper for a global federated grantmaker which is considering ways to begin funding in aging.  Entitled "Active Aging in the U.S.,"  the paper describes barriers to older adults' ability to age independently as well as strategies for action by local and national funders. 
Laurel O'Sullivan, Founder and Principal of the Advocacy Collaborative presented "Advocacy Forward: Increasing Your Impact and Funding Through Advocacy" on November 18 at the Kellogg School for Management, Center for Nonprofit Management.

Brian Sooy of Aespire will be presenting a webinar tilted Mission-Driven by Design: Lead Nurturing through Marketing Automation. Marketing automation is ideal for delivering meaningful content that provides value and powerful motivation-and can empower you to engage your audience as participants in your story (and at the same time nurture leads and relationships). Learn how we use strategic, inspirational, relationship, and leadership principles to empower clients to communicate with clarity, transform their culture, and share their story with courage - through the Sharpspring platform. 
About NNCG
The National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers is dedicated to elevating, expanding and improving philanthropy. It's the only organization that brings together high-quality consultants to support the work of grantmakers while advancing quality and ethical standards in the practice of philanthropy consulting. NNCG's distinguished and diverse membership represents experienced and carefully vetted practitioners and thought leaders in the philanthropic field.
Learn more at

Follow us on Twitter