Jara Dean-Coffey
As NNCG members, many of us work with our philanthropic partners to focus their strategies in service of articulated goals. We consider context and explore the values and guiding principles that inform their decisions. We recommend that they revisit their strategic frameworks routinely to help maintain a balance between accountability and adaptability.
Last month, we turned those consulting skills inward. As NNCG entered its 10th year, we felt it was our time to take stock of where we are, who we are, how we do what we do, and to what end. The entire NNCG Steering Committee met in San Francisco for one-and-a-half days at space graciously donated by the Walter and Evelyn Haas Jr. Foundation, where Charter Member Stephanie Clohesy led us through our first-ever face-to-face strategic planning discussion.
NNCG Steering Committee and Staff
Three points became increasingly clear:
  • NNCG is a network of consultants/consulting entities working collaboratively with philanthropy partners: grantmakers, donors, social investors.
  • The benefits we offer are transformational, providing our network with access to information, visibility and connections that can advance both practice and philanthropy.
  • We want to nurture existing programs into greater scale, relevance and impact based on a model for effective philanthropy consulting/effective philanthropy.
At our Annual Convening in April we will share more information and specific opportunities for you to join us in lifting up the best of our work (and yours), in service of effective consulting and philanthropy. We look forward to seeing you there!


Jara Dean-Coffey, founder and Principal of jdcPartnerships, is a member of the NNCG Steering Committee.  Her role in structuring our strategic planning retreat and Annual Convening has been invaluable as we move forward in this next phase of growth.

NNCG Annual Convening

Our Annual Convening will take place on Sunday, April 10th from 4-6p at the 
Washington Hilton in the Holmead Room on the Lobby Level.  This is in conjunction with the 2016 Council on Foundations Annual Conference.

Special guests and presenters include Dave Biemesderfer, CEO of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and Stephanie Clohesy, CEO, Clohesy Consulting.

NNCG Non-Members:  $35

Would you like to be a sponsor of our Annual Meeting?
  Please see the attached form for complete details.  Sponsors will have their name and logo in all printed materials, as well in all email communications.  Individual sponsorships are only $250 and firm sponsorships are just $500. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity!
NNCG to Implement New Membership Management Software

We are excited to announce that we will be implementing new membership management software over the next several weeks.  This will better allow us to track all membership data, and will give our members more control over their profiles.  We will also be able to create a social community, allowing our members to make connections with one another, create and join circles, and share their status and activity stream through a members-only list serve, as well as forums and discussion boards for posting topics and responses.  Please watch for status updates as we progress! 

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.
Thaler Pekar, CEO of  Thaler Pekar & Partners, was recently a guest on BBC World Radio's The Forum, on the topic of " The Pleasures and Perils of Storytelling". She joined a psychologist and a journalist in discussing the need for complex stories in complex times.

Rebecca Van Sickle, Managing Partner of 1892 consulting, will be speaking at the Grants Managers Network Conference from March 14-16 in New Orleans. Rebecca will present a GMN Short Talk on the Five Common Misconceptions about Grants Management Systems Implementations where she will share the top five fallacies for these complex projects and how to avoid them. Rebecca will also moderate a session called Five Ways Grants Managers Can Dig Into Data to Make a Difference. The session is designed to help grants managers understand practical ways to leverage their grant information to inform strategies and decisions both inside and outside their organizations.

The hot topics of foundation evaluation and nonprofit sustainability will be addressed in upcoming presentations by Jeff Glebocki, CEO, Strategy + Action/Philanthropy.  On February 29, Philanthropy Southwest is hosting a presentation in Dallas entitled,
"Evaluation:  Using Stories, Numbers and Relationships to Learn How You are Making a Difference."  Jeff will highlight the tools and techniques for how foundations with small staffs can learn about the impact they are having.  On March 4, the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation has invited Jeff Glebocki to make an encore presentation of his well-received session, "There is no such thing as sustainability!"  This session will be part of the annual Lodestar Center Nonprofit Forum in Tucson.

Dawn Franks, CAP, president of Your Philanthropy, celebrated a one year birthday as a contributing author to the Give Well column in the Tyler Morning Telegraph. Over the course of late 2014 and throughout 2015 she provided twenty articles on philanthropy topics ranging from modeling generosity and   learning from the generations below and above to donor intent and millennial impact.

Foundations and families often struggle with the boundaries between public generosity and privacy.  Amy Segal Shorey , Principal at GMA Foundations , leads an interactive case study session on the topic, exploring the many sides of this highly personal decision, at Associated Grant Makers in Boston on March 1st. Through small group discussion, grantmakers and philanthropic advisors will consider the merits of anonymous giving, of grantmaking with a strong communications component, and an approach that balances the two. Registration details can be found 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.

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