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June 2015
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 From the Executive Director...  

During the recent program NNCG organized at Philanthropy New York (see below), one of our speakers noted this was the first time she had been part of a philanthropy panel that featured three Latina women where diversity was not the primary theme. As the panel's moderator, I hadn't realized this was an unusual situation until her comment.


Upon further reflection, I believe this is an example of the value that NNCG's work has brought to philanthropy. As the Foundation Center's 2014 survey revealed, the vast majority of consultants hired by grantmakers are already known to them through their own networks. And as our panelist added, people of color have had difficulty accessing the traditional networks upon which grantmakers have historically relied.  


Since I've been with NNCG, it's become clear that diversity in all forms is truly one of our core values and an essential element of our organizational culture. As our steering committee vice chair Lee Draper recently stated, "NNCG seeks to preserve and strengthen a full ecosystem of philanthropic consulting and is deeply committed to diversity amongst philanthropic consultants. The NNCG Directory of Philanthropy Consultants is a powerful vehicle to showcase the talents and experience of consultants from sole proprietors, small firms and firms focusing on key specializations to major consulting firms.  It is also essential to reflect the breadth of consultants working in discrete regions or nationally and reflecting diverse ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds."   


I'm very excited about the new search function in NNCG's online Knowledge Center. With the help of our partner, The Foundation Center's IssueLab, finding specific items of interest amongst our more than 225 resources is much easier than before. Just go to the new pull-down menus or click Advanced Search on the Knowledge Center page for even more options.  And if you're looking for a resource in a subject area not included on the menu, let us know so it can be added.

 NNCG Webinar Series on Philanthropy Consulting

Join us June 24 at 1 p.m. Eastern time when we dive deeper into the content of NNCG's co-edited Spring issue of The Foundation Review. The webinar topic that day is The Use, Roles and Capabilities Needed from External Consultants in Philanthropy.  


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


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

 New York Networking: June 23

If you're in the New York area on June 23, be sure to join NNCG members and other philanthropy consultants for our special networking reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. NNCG member Hank Goldberg is hosting at his beautiful loft in SoHo. Learn more and RSVP here

 Event Recap:  NNCG at Philanthropy New York - May 19 
Over two dozen philanthropy consultants and grantmakers came together
at Philanthropy New York (PNY) on May 19. The program's theme was
The Value Philanthropy Consultants Bring to Foundations: The Data is Here
and featured a distinguished panel consisting of Dr. Brenda Henry-Sanchez, Director of Research for Special Projects at the Foundation Center, Hilda Polanco, NNCG Steering Committee member & Founder/CEO of FMA, and Dr. Aida Rodriguez, Chair of Management Programs at the New School University's Milano School & former senior official at the Rockefeller Foundation. A lively discussion about many of the issues and challenges facing philanthropy and philanthropy consulting followed the panelists' remarks. PNY recorded the program and the video is here.  


NNCG's panel at Philanthropy New York
 Event Recap:  NNCG in LA - May 20
How to Implement a Funder-Supported Advocacy Effort and the Integral Role of Policy Consultants was a dynamic panel discussion
Leah Ersoylu
Deena Margolis
on May 20th before an interested group of philanthropy consultants, grantmakers and nonprofit leaders in Southern California. The session highlighted the article written by NNCG members Deena Margolis and Leah Ersoylu
featured in the current NNCG co-edited issue of The Foundation Review and included comments by Efrain Escobedo of the California Community Foundation and NNCG Vice Chair Lee Draper. The group discussion highlighted the importance of advocacy for philanthropy by grantmakers themselves and by stimulating grantees to embrace it. Special thanks to Southern California Grantmakers for co-sponsoring, MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) for hosting and NNCG member Larry Kaplan for moderating.   
 Trends in Family Philanthropy Survey: Share Your Story

Share your voice and experiences in this exciting new benchmarking study: the Trends in Family Philanthropy Research Initiative. Click here to take the survey.


The study is the most comprehensive look at family philanthropy ever conducted. Learn how your giving program compares to the practices of other families. Find out what new directions families are interested in pursuing and what the trends in next gen involvement, impact measurement and new giving vehicles could mean for the field.


NNCG is joining with NCFP to conduct this field-wide, benchmarking study in partnership with the Urban Institute. Results will be released at the National Forum on Family Philanthropy from October 14 - 16 in Seattle, WA.   Be a part of this exciting new research - take the survey today.

 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.

Quidoo Consulting, a leading consulting firm focusing on advancing the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, announced the departure of founding partner, Dr. John E. Brothers as he embarks upon his new role as President of the T. Rowe Price Foundation and President of the Program for Charitable Giving.

Paul Connolly, Director of Philanthropic Advisory Services at Bessemer Trust, recently had a blog published on the Stanford Social Innovation Review on how to build a bigger tent for effective philanthropy.


Thaler Pekar, CEO of Thaler Pekar & Partners, published  Working with Story: How to use oral histories to capture the past and communicate in the future in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.  


Brian Sooy, president of Aespire has been invited to present a breakout session at the National Council of Nonprofits' Network Learning Confab, in Lexington Kentucky on June 28-29, 2015.  This session - Design Thinking Matters: Strategic Communication is Not Enough -  will explore how four dimensions of communication align your State Association's purpose, character, culture, and voice; and how strategic design connects your strategy, message, and mission with your members and advocates.


Additionally, June 2015 marks the one year release anniversary of Brian Sooy's book Raise Your Voice: A Cause Manifesto. Raise Your Voice has been used by nonprofit leaders, executive directors, and boards to create strategy and guide strategic communication, and it has spent much of the last year in the top 10 highest-rated nonprofit marketing books on Amazon.com. Resources, including a free chapter, audio abstracts, a podcast, a video series, and a free poster of the 12 resolutions, are available at aespire.com.


Jeff Hoffman, President of Jeff Hoffman & Associates, had the opportunity to interview Jean Case, an actively engaged philanthropist,  investor and a pioneer in the world of interactive technologies. Her career in the private sector spanned nearly two decades before she and her husband, Steve Case, created the Case Foundation in 1997. She is a force of nature - smart, compassionate, energetic, forward thinking all wrapped up in urgency!  Blog recaps from the interview at the USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy's Distinguished Speakers Series luncheon can be seen here. Or, view the entire conversation on You Tube.    


In late May, FMA Principal Dipty Jain was invited to join Edward Pauly of the Wallace Foundation and representatives of the evaluation firms MDRC and ChildTrends on a webinar--attended by more than 150 nationwide--to discuss the results of an evaluation of FMA's multi-year capacity-building effort, the Strategic Financial Management Initiative. A recording of the webinar will be available soon here.


Dara Major, Dara Major Philanthropy Consulting, moderated a lively panel discussion on 5/21 for the Association of Fundraising Professionals entitled "Meet the Grantmakers: Cracking the Code of Family Foundations." With more than $20 billion in giving and a 63% share of all foundation giving, family foundations are a key part of the foundation universe. This panel was designed to demystify family foundations with insights on how "family" is woven into foundation mission and culture, and notable trends among NYC-area family foundations. With Jarett Lucas, Executive Director of the Stonewall Community Foundation, Tuhina De O'Connor, Director of Donor Services, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Hana Sun, Program Officer, Cricket Island Foundation. 


Pegine E. Grayson, Vice President/Philanthropic Services at Whittier Trust, will be speaking to the Financial Planning Association of the San Gabriel Valley on June 24 at 11:30 am on the following topic:   "Strengthening client relationships across generations through philanthropy".  The most successful advisors go in deep with their clients by building trust and becoming effective solutions providers.  As advisors, our livelihood depends on the preservation of our clients' wealth, but we know that 70% of wealth transitions to successive generations fail.  It also depends on the quality of our relationships with our clients' heirs, but 60% of intergenerational wealth transfers result in a change of advisor.  This presentation highlights the pivotal role that philanthropy can play in reversing these trends, and offers some practical tips on how advisors who may not be experts in charitable advising can have the philanthropic conversation with their clients in a way that inspires them to action and deepens relationships with them and their children.   


Mary Phillips of GMA Foundations led an interactive case study session - Finding Agreement on Family Boards - at the Family Foundations Forum in Williamsburg VA on June 9th. From a collection of case studies that GMA has designed for conferences, board meetings and family retreats, the experience of one family served as a springboard for a discussion of approaches to overcoming differences on a foundation board, and strategies for successfully balancing divergent board member interests with philanthropic priorities.    


Elaine Gast Fawcett of  Four Winds Writing co-authored a new white paper Philanthropy in the Family Office: A Global Perspective with philanthropy advisor Suzanne Hammer, president of Hammer & Associates, and co-branded with the Global Family Office Community in the U.K. The report includes a snapshot of philanthropy in family offices around the world, and with practical ways family offices can engage in philanthropy and impact investing. Access the report here.

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 

P.O. Box 40272  

Cleveland, OH  44140   



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