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Dear NNCG Community,


Welcome to 2023! I am thrilled to be taking on a new role as chair of the NNCG Steering Committee. In this capacity, I’m looking forward to connecting with you over the course of the new year: in this periodic letter; through our workshops and events; and in individual conversations as well. Connections are what NNCG is about, and I encourage you to take full advantage of the brilliance, creativity, and generosity that the NNCG community offers. 

On behalf of the Steering Committee, I can confidently say that we are extremely proud of NNCG’s progress to date and excited to share news about what’s next.

As you may know, we are about to launch our first Leading with Equity Institute for Philanthropy Consultants, a focused learning and professional growth opportunity for philanthropy consultants committed to helping their grantmaking clients advance equity in grantmaking and organizational practice. Participants will learn with experienced thought leaders in the equity space who are not afraid of challenging current assumptions and practices. 


In addition to this intensive Institute, our webinar and workshop offerings for 2023 are strong and include skill-building, deep dives on content and trends, and leadership networking. 


In just two months, NNCG has already offered several opportunities for our members to build stronger connections and skills:

  • Our State of NNCG Member Meetup meeting shared insights about the status of the network and provided a chance for leadership networking.
  • The Leading with Clarity and Impact webinar offered insight into the thoughtful expertise of Hirsch Philanthropy Partners, and provided an adaptable blueprint for engaging philanthropists in determining their values and focus.
  • We have highlighted the great work of more than 20 of our members, focusing on equity and strategic planning.
  • NNCG welcomed new members during our New Member Orientation and Mini Virtual Cafe and demonstrated the power of the NNCG network.

As consultants, we rarely have time to pause for learning. Our webinar series and networking opportunities reinforce and enhance essential competencies and understanding of important issues. Our learning community is growing daily, as more and more members join the action.


Mark your calendars and join us for upcoming webinars:

  • Join Philanthropy’s Perspectives on Rural Communities and Equity: What Works? on May 9 from 1:00-2:00 p.m.
  • Register for the Virtual Cafe, which is open to all on June 15 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET


NNCG has set meaningful goals for the next five years, which I will dive into more deeply in future letters. One of our immediate priorities is inviting more dedicated professionals to join our growing network. You can support NNCG’s future by getting the word out! Talk with colleagues about your experience with NNCG and invite them to check out our exclusive educational content, free virtual cafes, and welcoming community. They can learn more about membership on our website: https://nncg.org/membership/.

Do you have questions, ideas, insights, or jokes? Please feel free to reach out to me anytime at jessica@bearmanconsulting.com


Jessica Bearman

Chair, NNCG Steering Committee

The Leading with Equity Institute is here!

This 2023 learning and networking opportunity welcomes philanthropy consultants who are committed to helping their grantmaking clients advance equity through philanthropy.

The Leading with Equity Institute, held monthly from April to October 2023, consists of seven virtual sessions led by top-notch philanthropy consultants and practitioners who work at the intersection of philanthropy, race equity, gender equity, and disability justice, to name a few.

The Institute is designed as a survey course that covers diverse perspectives on equity and philanthropy consulting. Collectively, the sessions will equip philanthropy consultants with the tools, tips, frameworks, and strategies to help clients maximize their impact.

Leading with Equity Institute Faculty

Athena Adkins

Athena works with BetterWorld Partners, a female BIPOC-led consulting firm dedicated to supporting organizations as they lean into how they are showing up.

Shanize Byrd

A consultant with Frontline Solutions, Shanize Byrd is a values and mission-driven leader with extensive knowledge in political and educational landscapes.

Nadia Brigham

Nadia is principal of Brigham Consulting, with 20+ years of experience advancing racial equity, leadership, and community engagement in philanthropy organizations.

Marcia Coné

For three decades, Marcia has worked with foundations, nonprofits, and philanthropic service organizations to shift the paradigm & create cultures focused on intersectional equity.

Raymundo Garcia

Raymundo is an associate consultant at Frontline Solutions, a Black-owned consulting firm dedicated

to making the world more

just for all.

Yolanda Johnson

Yolanda's work includes counseling philanthropists on where to direct their resources. She gives back to causes supporting racial and gender equity, those with disabilities, and the arts. 

Risa Jaz Rifkind

As the Director of Civic Engagement and Marketing for Disability Lead, Risa propels the organization to realize its vision to have people with disabilities lead with power and influence.

Jeannie Infante-Sager

Jeannie is the director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI). She leads WPI’s efforts to translate research to practice and works closely with WPI’s national advisory council.

Beca Velazquez-Publes

Beca walks alongside and coaches organizations, private and public sector institutions, systems, and grassroots leaders on their diversity, racial equity, and inclusion journeys.

Upcoming Programming

May 9, 2023

Webinar: Rural Communities & Equity

Darryl Lester and Allen Smart discuss emerging philanthropic trends in rural communities across the US. Participants will be stretched to consider what rural philanthropy is, who benefits, and the connections between rural philanthropy and equity.

June 15, 2023

Virtual Café

Free and open to all!

Join members of NNCG for our summer virtual café of the year. It’s an opportunity for peer exchange and learning among NNCG members and friends. There’s just a bit of facilitation to keep the conversation moving! Bring your favorite drink & food.

July 13, 2023

NNCG Boot Camp with Maya Sandifor

Free and open to all!

Join Maya Thornell-Sandifor, founder of Mandala Change Group, to experience five key practices that will help you guide your philanthropy clients through a change process that centers on equity and inclusion.


NNCG & 21/64 Renew Partnership, Introduce New Benefits

The National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG) and 21/64 have renewed their two-year partnership to host joint learning sessions online - one in 2023 and another in 2024 - as well as provide discounts in dues and programming for NNCG members and 21/64 advisors.

NNCG full members can receive a 10% discount for all 21/64 trainings and workshops on multigenerational family philanthropy and next gen engagement, PLUS an additional 10% discount on 21/64 tools. Email info@2164.net for more information.

Going to be in the Boston area May 17-18, 2023?

Take advantage of the NNCG & 21/64 Partnership discount

for the in-person 21/64 Approach training there!

Welcome New & Renewing Members

Renewing Members

Kathy Sessions

Marcia Cone

Colton Strawser

Yvonne Moore

Karen Davis

Tony Macklin

Mari Barerra

Coby Williams

Suzanne Busta

Lisa McGill

Jeff Glebocki

Seema Shah

Holli Rivera

Belinda Lyons-Newman

Linda Marshall

Laura Duty

Seth Klukoff

Marcus Littles

Engage R & D

Whittier Trust

Suzanne Callahan

Aria Camaione-Lind

Amy Morgenstern

Yolanda Johnson

Karen Murrell

Mark Neithercut

Sharmila Thakkar

Allen Smart

Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Mary Elizabeth Rider

Suzanne Smith

Renewing Firms

Brigham Consulting

The Colorado Health Foundation

GMA Foundations

Strategic Philanthropy

The Philanthropic Group

Marga Inc.

New Members

Monique Curry-Mims

Angela Frusciante

Kassie Davis

Sharon Toomer

Kim Carpenter Drake

Nathalia Mesa

Madison McKay

Rene Bryce-Laporte

Marshall Ginn

Kristina Klaas

Megan Watkins

Mark Hager

Renée Joslyn

Ekstrom Alley Clontz & Associates

Liz Vogel

Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken

Members in Action

Susan Barry is now the CEO of GMA Foundations, the full-service philanthropic advisory firm established in 1982.

Barry’s extensive career across nonprofit, civic, and philanthropy sectors includes 20 years in leadership of community foundations in Louisville KY, York PA, and Rhode Island. Outgoing CEO, Mary Phillips, remains as Senior Advisor.

Leslie Pine
Susan Winer

Leslie Pine from The Philanthropic Initiative and Susan Winer from Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd contributed chapters to Wealth of Wisdom: Top Practices for Wealthy Families and Their Advisors, published in late 2022.

Emma Beeston authored a new book Advising Philanthropists: Principles and Practice. Advising Philanthropists explores what the role of the philanthropy advisor entails, the practicalities involved and the wide range of skills and knowledge needed to start and excel at working with donors.

Available for pre-order here.

Emma has also published an article and two blogs:

Maddie Williams of Strategic Philanthropy Ltd published two articles in the Family Wealth Report regarding Next Generation giving. Maddie is an advisor for Strategic Philanthropy Ltd, and holds a Masters in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from Grand Valley State University in junction with the Johnson Center for Philanthropy.

Read here:

Cause Communications has been proud to partner with community-based organizations, public agencies, and other private funders these past five years on WE RISE, a community-centered, “collaborative impact initiative” to advance wellbeing in Los Angeles County.

Check out the final report to learn more about last year’s impact.

Featured Member Corner

Strategic Planning & Evaluation

Strategic Planning Spotlight

Erica Villarreal Ekwurzel

Founder, CivicAIM

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Chaletta Huertas

Senior Program Officer, GMA Foundations

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David Maurrasse, Ph.D.

President/CEO, Marga Inc.

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Tuti Scott

President, Changemaker Strategies

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Maya Thornell-Sandifor

Principal, Mandala Change Group

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Full Firm Member

Hirsch Philanthropy Partners

Catalina Ruiz-Healy, Sr. Director

JC De Vera, Director

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Evaluation Spotlight

Lisa Spalding

Senior Partner, The Philanthropic Initiative

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Suzanne Callahan

Suzanne Callahan

Founder, Callahan Consulting for the Arts

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Corey Newhouse

Founder and Principal, Public Profit

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Pat Vinh-Thomas

Pat Vinh-Thomas

Senior Advisor, The Giving Practice

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Maritza Guzman

Maritza Guzmán

Senior Consultant, TCC Group

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Kein Lee

Vice President & Principal Associate, Community Science

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