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February 2015
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From the Executive Director...  

Having just completed my fourth month with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, I am honored to be working with an extraordinary group of professionals

dedicated to strengthening philanthropy and civil society throughout the United States and beyond. NNCG's Steering Committee is truly modeling volunteer leadership at its best!


It's also clear that NNCG has come a long way in a relatively short period of time and is now recognized as a valued resource and partner in the national philanthropic community. This was evident during the past month when Steering Committee Chair Kris Putnam-Walkerly and I were welcomed with open arms at meetings with senior officials at the Council on Foundations, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, National Center for Family Philanthropy and the Foundation Center.


Our partnerships with each of these organizations, as well as others including Philanthropy New York, Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers and the Learn Philanthropy Project at Grand Valley State University's Johnson Center for Philanthropy speak to NNCG's culture of collaboration, enabling us to leverage resources in ways that serve our members and strengthen the field of philanthropy consulting.


As you'll see, this is a very exciting time of growth for NNCG's programs and resources. Our Webinar Series is now monthly, with three timely topics and highly respected presenters scheduled through April. Our co-edited issue of The Foundation Review (TFR) will be the first of its kind devoted exclusively to all aspects of philanthropy consulting. NNCG's Annual Meeting, planned for April 26 during the Council on Foundations national convening in San Francisco, will include a special program and reception marking the official launch of the groundbreaking TFR issue. Additionally, NNCG's online Directory of Philanthropy Consultants continues to grow in size and visibility with new NNCG members and links from the websites of several regional associations of grantmakers.


We're also working with our partners at the Foundation Center's IssueLab to better categorize the over 200 resources about almost every aspect of philanthropy in NNCG's online Knowledge Center.


Moreover, I've been energized and inspired by meeting or talking by phone with our NNCG members. Your work is making a difference in so many ways, and I look forward to meeting more of you at our Annual Meeting and during my travels. Together - with each other and our strategic partners - we will continue doing great things to strengthen philanthropy and civil society during 2015 and beyond.



NNCG Webinar Series - Register Today
NNCG offers monthly webinars that explore topics and practices of particular interest and value to philanthropy consultants. Register today!

February 25, 2015 2-3p Eastern  

Presented by Kathleen Enright, President & CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations; co-sponsored by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations



NNCG Members: FREE

Non-Members: $35

Giving Circles - Catalyzing, Building, and Supporting Shared Giving

March 24, 2015  2-3p Eastern

Presented by Jessica Bearman; co-sponsored by Learn Philanthropy, a project of the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University 



Members:  FREE

Non-Members:  $35


April 1, 2015   2-3p Eastern


Presented by Thaler Pekar, CEO of Thaler Pekar & Partners; member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers






NNCG Annual Meeting: Join us April 26th

Join the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers at the Council on Foundations conference in San Francisco for a  

Special Annual Meeting and Launch of our co-edited issue of The Foundation Review.  The event will include a panel discussion with some of the authors followed by a reception for NNCG members and friends.


Please note it's not necessary to register for the conference in order to attend NNCG's Annual Meeting.   

Grant Managers Network - Call for Papers 

Grants Managers Network is accepting abstracts for papers to be published in the Spring 2015 issue of GMNsight: Advancing Grantmaking, the professional journal of grantmaking and the grants management profession. The issue theme is "Collaborations and Connections" and writers are encouraged to consider topics where grantmakers and others within philanthropy have worked together or are building connections related to data sharing, common grantmaking, connected practices, or other collaborations within the field. Abstracts may refer to current practices, research, and works in progress.


Please visit their website for complete details. 

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.

Richard Mittenthal, Chris Cardona, and Ashley Blanchard of TCC Group have revisited thier popular "Ten Keys to Successful Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders" ten years after publication.  This new paper, "Ten Keys, Ten Years Later: Successful Strategic Planning for Foundation Leaders" discusses how the field of philanthropy has evolved considerably, yet the fundamentals remain relevant. Read the complete paper here.


Philanthropy News Digest recently interviewed NNCG member Paul Connolly, who is director of Philanthropic Advisory Services at Bessemer Trust, in this article entitled The Quest for Smarter Giving.  The article covers strategic giving, and impact measurement, how funders and donors select giving vehicles, and generational dynamics in family philanthropy.


La Piana Consulting is partnering with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation to launch the Nonprofit Leadership Academy in March 2015. Twenty teams of North Carolina nonprofit staff and board representatives will be selected to participate in this intensive nine-month program of training, coaching, and peer-learning. The Academy will be led by La Piana Consulting in collaboration with a team of talented North Carolina-based consultants.  See this page for more information. 


Larry Kaplan is a Los Angeles-based consultant with a specialty in advocacy - public affairs, governmental and community relations, strategic messaging and policy research.  He writes regularly for the national Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) as a "citizen journalist," with a focus on the intersection between public policy and politics and the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.  You can see his "newswires" at least once a week if you subscribe to NPQ online, or look for his previous articles here.


Brian Sooy of Aespire was interviewed for the December 2014 issue of the new publication, Nonprofit Performance Magazine. This free digital publication is published by the SynerVision Leadership Foundation. The title of the article is "Clarifying Your Cause Will Shape Your Manifesto." Subscribe here.     

Brian was also invited by SynerVision Leadership Foundation to participate in a three-part video series: "Mission Driven Organizations with SynerVision Leadership." The conversations are available here.   


Informing Change built the Evaluation Capacity Tool in order to better prepare funders and organizations for the planning, data and learnings that come with an evaluation. We recently guest-blogged for AEA365 on using the tool effectively, with tips on how to get everyone on the same page and on board with assessing evaluation. To download the Evaluation Capacity Tool, please visit our website.   


Mark Neithercut, President of Neithercut Philanthropy Advisors,  had an article published in the September/October 2014 edition of the Family Foundation Advisor.  The article addresses the importance of developing a clear and effective mission statement. Read the full article here.


Amy Main Morgenstern, President of Main Stream Enterprises, partnered with Anne Goodman, President & CEO of the Saint Luke's Foundation, on their 10/31/14 presentation at Key Private Bank's Nonprofit Educational Summit.  Entitled: "To What End?  High Performing Organizations Supported by High Performing Funders" their remarks and discussion focused on the premise that it takes high performance grantees and high performance grantors working together, with shared expectations, to deliver meaningful, enduring results.  Among the points discussed and resources shared were The Overhead Myth: Moving Toward an Overhead Solution (Oct 2014) and The Top 25 Management Tools' and survey distributed in October by the Bridgespan Group.  


Dara Major of Dara Major Philanthropy Consulting, published an article in the  Stanford Social Innovation Review in partnership with the New York State Health Foundation and The Staten Island Foundation. Through the lens of "disasters" - whether defined as climate change, the dismantling of voting rights, or disparities in the justice system- the article examines the social sector's preparedness and resilience at a whole-systems level.  "How we engage with grantees often sets up unrealistic, unfinanced, and unattainable goals-and leaves many nonprofits vulnerable in what are increasingly high-risk environments. Funders, alone and together, can do better. A good place to start is by examining our funding practices and taking steps to improve them-today."


Michelle Magee has been named President of Harder+Company Community Research, following more than a decade serving as the firm's Senior Vice President.  In addition, Clare Nolan will serve as the firm's first Chief Strategy Officer while continuing her current role as Vice President. Company founder Paul Harder will retain his title of Chief Executive Officer.  See their website for complete details. 


Barbara R Greenberg of The Philanthropic Group is a new co-chair of the Steering Committee of Community Food Funders   Together with other funders of food systems, she will be a panelist at the March 15, 2015 annual conference of Just Food to be held at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. 


Kris Putnam-Walkerly, President of Putnam Consulting Group, was  recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal article "How Small Companies Should Give to Charities."  

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 NNCG.org.

National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

a Tides Center Project 

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Cleveland, OH  44140   

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