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October 2015
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 From the Executive Director...  
I was saddened by the recent passing of my favorite philosopher -- Yogi Berra. From "It ain't over 'til it's over" to "Hitting a baseball is only 10% physical; the other half is mental," Yogi's simple wisdom can be applied to almost any situation in our professional or personal lives.

Yogi's quote that seems most relevant to NNCG at this time is "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." With a significant new grant (more about it next month), webinar series following publication of our groundbreaking co-edited issue of The Foundation Review, redesigned website and programs showcasing philanthropy consulting in six cities over the past year, NNCG is indeed ready to take the next fork on the road in carrying out our mission to increase the quality, effectiveness and capacity of grantmakers by mobilizing and strengthening the work of knowledgeable, ethical and experienced consultants.

And unlike the restaurant Yogi was asked about that "nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded," there's plenty of room for new NNCG members, partners and program participants. Be assured that your thoughts, feedback and suggestions about our work are always welcome and valued.

As Yogi said, "You can see a lot by watching."
NNCG Webinars on Philanthropy Consulting 
Our series continues November 4th at 12p ET with the webinar Shine a Light: The Role of Consultants in Fostering a Learning Culture at Foundations presented by Ashley Blanchard, Jared Raynor and Marieke Spence of TCC Group.

Additional webinars diving deeper into the content of NNCG's co-edited groundbreaking issue of The Foundation Review are scheduled monthly through January. 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
Introducing NNCG Now!
We've entered the blogosphere, so be sure to check out NNCG Now!  for the latest thoughts and news from NNCG and our members.
NNCG in Washington D.C.
If you're in the D.C. area on October 15, join NNCG for a special luncheon presentation and discussion on The State of Philanthropy Consulting: Data from the Field at the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation. Speakers include Steven Lawrence of The Foundation Center, NNCG member Brigette Rouson, and Rick Moyers, Vice President Programs and Communications at the Meyer Foundation.

The program is co-sponsored by the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. RSVP asap to lori.jane@nncg.org.
NNCG Member Connections
Following a request for resources about a course she'll be teaching on Social Justice Philanthropy at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs , NNCG member Becky Lentz received several suggestions of reading material, speakers and other items from fellow NNCG members. We're always delighted when NNCG members are able
to assist and support each other's work!
Welcome New & Renewing NNCG Members!
New Members:
Jessica Bearman
Suzanne Callahan
Maria Demopoulos
Erica Ekwurzel
Arlene Rodriguez
Karen Thompson-Shaheen
Sylvia Zaldivar
        Philanthropic Ventures Fdn.

Renewing Members:
Teresa Araco Rodgers      
Sue Bochner      
Elizabeth Bremner           
LaVera Butler     
Dawn Franks       
Carol Gallo          
Hank Goldstein   
Susan Grinel        
Mary Heng-Braun             
Carloline Hodkinson         
Kathleen Johnson  
Martha Johnston
Dara Major  
Deena Margolis
Kay Marquet      
Kristina Mayer   
Thaler Pekar       
Laura Robbins    
Joanne Scanlan  
Thomas Scanlon
Marcia Sharp      
Jennifer Shen      
Brian Sooy           
Pamela Stevens  
Gwen Walden     
Gabriel Works    
Foundation Management Services
Frontline Solutions
Hershey Cause Communications 
Penn Flood Consulting
TCC Group
VIVA Strategy & Communications
 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.
Kris Putnam-Walkerly, President of Putnam Consulting Group, will be speaking at the Southeastern Council on Foundations annual conference on " Tips, Tools and Lessons on Multimedia Storytelling" on November 12.
Brian Sooy has been invited to present at the 2015 National Humanities Conference in St. Louis, MO. His presentation, "A Culture of Communication Nurtures a Culture of Innovation" will challenge grantmakers to be innovative in the manner in which they choose to communicate. Sooy's branding and digital agency, Aespire, guided the Wyoming Humanities Council through a rebranding process following design thinking principles, leading to the breakthrough positioning, Think WY, and the new domain name, ThinkWy.org. 
FMA 's Hilda Polanco delivered a session entitled "Assessing Nonprofit Financial Health" at Exponent Philanthropy's 2015 Connect Conference in Chandler, AZ this month.  In an effort to help build a more constructive dialogue between funders and grantees around financial concepts, participants learned how to review a nonprofit's key financial statements for signs of financial health and how to spot red flags that warrant a deeper conversation. 
In September 2015, Anne Schonfield, Principal Consultant at Schonfield Consulting, joined a press conference with the Fresno Regional Foundation featuring a report that Schonfield Consulting produced for this client. The report focused on impacts of California's drought on Central Valley non-profit organizations and how foundations and other funders can better support these groups. The report -- the 1st of its kind to examine drought and non-profits in California -- garnered extensive media coverage,including the Fresno Bee and  ABC News.  

On October 27,  Advocacy Collaborative Founder and Principal Laurel O'Sullivan will lead an interactive session for grantmakers at the Independent Sector pre-conference, " AdvocacyForward: Demystifying Policy Advocacy as a Grantmaking Strategy". In this  two hour training she will explore some of the challenges and opportunities behind the gap that exists between the possibilities advocacy affords as a grant making strategy and the hesitation and reluctance of foundations to embrace it.

Thaler Pekar & Partners recently provided an interactive program in Solutions-based Messaging to Fellows of the Connecticut Health Foundation. Next month, the firm will begin providing teleseminars to grantees of the Alaska Conservation Foundation, on the Power of Story to Engage Donors & Policymakers.

Patrick Johnston, Principal and Founder of BOREALIS Advisors, will be facilitating a one day workshop for members of Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) titled Essential Skills and Strategies for Grantmakers. Patrick is author of the revised 2015 edition of Good Grantmaking: A Guide for Canadian Foundations which will be provided to all workshop participants.  Held in Toronto, the workshop precedes a one day PFC symposium, Solving Challenges Together. Click here for more information.

Sue Bochner, of Sue Bochner + Associates will be the resident "expert" for the Ask the Expert Session at the Sponsorship Week Conference in Toronto, November 3, 2015, for the afternoon.  She will be hosting one on one sessions of 15 minutes each, with charities concerned about sponsorship issues.

On behalf of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Penn Flood Consulting is developing and presenting a workshop series on planning for capital projects. Nonprofit participants--potential applicants to public and private grantmakers for capital funding--will learn how to shape their projects, including developing a clear vision, sense of mission fit within the organization, market analysis, capital budget, fundraising and plan for post-construction sustainability. Visit this page for more information, or contact info@pennfloodconsulting.com

Richard Mittenthal, CEO of TCC Group, recently presented at the Exponent Philanthropy CONNECT conference in Chandler, Arizona.  Richard and Ashley Blanchard, Associate Director of Philanthropy at TCC Group, facilitated the day-long Trustee Essentials session, providing new and seasoned trustees with the tools and information they need to be effective. Also, Ashley Blanchard will design and moderate a session on "Fostering a Learning Culture in Family Philanthropy" at the upcoming National Center for Family Philanthropy conference in Seattle (Oct. 14-16). Ashley will discuss strategies for creating a learning culture in family philanthropy-resulting in better informed, more relevant philanthropy, and a more engaging trustee experience.  

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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