NNCG Masthead
Summer 2015
In This Issue

Quick Links:  




Directory of Consultants


NNCG Membership Roster


Become a Member!


Sign up for our Newsletter  



Join the Conversation!


NNCG is now on Twitter


Follow us on Twitter






 From the Executive Director...  

A recent article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review entitled 'Using Brands for Impact' invited  

all of us in the social sector to think about the importance of an organization's "brand" in carrying out our work. "Brands are powerful instruments of influence. We modify our behaviors according to the mostly unnoticed but indelible imprint of brands," wrote Grant Tudor. 


When thinking about NNCG's brand -- or identity, I hope our core values are what come to mind. They include quality, diversity, transparency, service, partnership, collaboration, learning and more. These values represent the foundation of why we exist, what we do and how we  

carry out our work.


To better reflect NNCG's core values online, we recently redesigned our website. Our intent was to make the site warmer, welcoming and show NNCG as a vibrant community of professionals working in partnership - internally and externally - to strengthen philanthropy. I hope you'll have  

a chance to check it out and share your feedback with us.


As you'll see below, NNCG has been gearing up for a busy fall which will include new webinars building on the content of our co-edited issue of The Foundation Review, two convenings of philanthropy consultants and grantmakers, and the launch of our blog. More than ever, I'm inspired and energized by the commitment of our members and volunteer leaders to make the world a better place by strengthening philanthropy.

NNCG Webinars on Philanthropy Consulting 
Building on the content in NNCG's co-edited issue of The Foundation Review - the first publication of its kind devoted to the practice of philanthropy consulting - NNCG is presenting a series of webinars that dive deeper into the article topics. The series resumes September 29 with the webinar How to Implement a Funder-Supported Advocacy Effort and the Integral Role of Policy Consultants presented by NNCG members Deena Margolis and Leah Ersoylu.

Additional webinars about The Foundation Review article subjects 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, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, The Foundation Center, Learn Philanthropy, Exponent Philanthropy, Northern California Grantmakers, and The Foundation Review.
Save the Dates for NNCG Convenings  
in Chicago & Washington D.C.
If you're in or near Chicago, we hope you'll join NNCG for an informative program/networking breakfast at the Donors Forum on September 25.

If you're in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area, we hope you'll join NNCG for an informative program and networking lunch at the Meyer Foundation on October 15.

Watch for more details.
NNCG Member Connection
Following a request from a member in Ontario, we sent an e-mail asking other NNCG members if someone could partner with her on a project in South America requiring a knowledgeable philanthropy consultant with fluency in Spanish. As a result, Sue Bochner and Washington D.C. based consultant Thomas Scanlon will be working together to support an education project in Chile. Needless to say, we're thrilled to have brought two NNCG members together to assist with this important philanthropic work.
 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.
is an insightful briefing co-authored by Jennifer Shen of Blue Garnet, explaining how thinking about and measuring impact at the organization-level creates clarity on how an organization's components work together to achieve success. The briefing includes real-world examples, including a case study of The Downtown Women's Center. We are excited to share this resource and to see how social innovation leaders will put these ideas to work! Additional Blue Garnet resources can be found here
Early childhood advocates and supporters need a set of clear, compelling messages to differentiate infants and toddlers from traditional prekindergarten through grade 12 issues.  Lori McClung, of Advocacy & Communication Solutions (ACS) , in partnership with ZERO TO THREE   ,  was part of a team that analyzed messages most often used for birth to age 3.  The Infant and Toddler Message Guide   provides explanation of when and how to use different kinds of messages, ways to make them more effective, and guides users through the process of developing more for their own use.

Kris Putnam-Walkerly, President of Putnam Consulting Group, will be speaking on October 7th at the Exponent Philanthropy - CONNECT Conference in Chandler, AZ.  Titled "Grantmaking Essentials", her session will discuss how grantmaking is most effective when you have a process, but the process shouldn't overwhelm you or your nonprofit partners, or create barriers to learning. More details can be found here

Kris will also be the guest co-editor of the Fall 2015 issue of the Grants Managers Network's GMNsight: Advancing Grantmaking, the professional journal of grantmaking and the grants management profession. This issue theme is "Streamlining and Beyond", and GMN is accepting abstracts of 250 words or less on a rolling basis between August 15 and October 1, 2015, for publication through October 31, 2015. Abstracts may refer to current practices, research, and works in progress, and consultants are encouraged to submit!  Learn more here

Thaler Pekar, CEO of  Thaler Pekar & Partners, will be the keynote speaker at the Montana Nonprofit Association Annual Conference on Thursday, October 1, 2015. 
This past month, Informing Change released a final report on the Blue Shield of California Foundation's Clinic Leadership Institute Emerging Leaders program. Across seven years of data, we found that the Emerging Leaders program nurtures individuals' careers, solidifies their commitments to the field, and, in doing so, builds more resilient health centers. For the broader community health centers field, we summarize key lessons learned in designing effective programs and strengthening field-wide leadership.  The full report can be found here.

Jeff Hoffman, President of Jeff Hoffman & Associates, recently published a blog titled Investing in Africa: Large Opportunities, Large Challenges. Africa, a continent so large that India, China and the United States combined could easily fit within its footprint.  A place rich in culture, natural resources and opportunity.  Yet, giving in Africa with its immense scale and diversity of issues makes it daunting. Read the full post here.
Brian Sooy, president of Aespire recently published an article for the Grant Managers Network titled Five Perspectives for Crafting Your Perfect Pitch. This piece answers such questions as how do you use your voice to gain influence as a meaningful contributor to more than just the grant management process and what's the perfect way to pitch your CEO or Executive Director?  Read the full article here

In July, FMA Founder and CEO, Hilda Polanco, appeared with colleagues from the Wallace Foundation and the evaluation firm MDRC to share results of a multi-year financial management capacity-building initiative. The invitation is indicative of the growing interest from grantmakers in successful financial management capacity-building, especially among those with a focus on regional and local communities.
Welcome New Members!   
We are pleased to welcome the newest members
to the NNCG community:

  • Caryn Anthony
  • Emily Davis
  • Vanessa Shadoian Gersing
  • Becky Lentz
  • Laurel O'Sullivan
  • Community Foundation of the National Capital Region
    • Gabriella Barrow
    • Kesha Chandler 
    • Manon Matchett
    • Lee Christian Parker
    • Alicia Reid
  • Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
  • Tides Center
    • Casey Budesilich
    • Kimberly Middleton
    • Regina Ridley
    • Alex Rojas
    • ShaunĂ© Zunzanyika
  • VIVA Strategy & Communications
    • Nicole Tanner

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   



Copyright 2015. All rights reserved