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President's Message - June 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Jump to: SCG Annual Conference on 9/26  /   Public Policy Update  /    New Era for
State & Local Climate Leadership
  /   Women's Health   /   Corporate Societal Engagement
Program Round-Up  /  Looking Ahead


Dear Colleagues,

As Independence Day approaches, I am reflecting on this week’s pivotal events in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court’s partial “travel ban” decision and the postponement of the healthcare vote will mean continued uncertainty for our country and our communities. Yet I also see unprecedented opportunity for philanthropy to step up and impact the many pressing issues facing those we serve. Now is the time for us to break down silos, think broadly about our issue areas, and connect with new partners within and outside our sector. That’s why on September 26th, at SCG's Annual Conference, we will focus on intersectionality as a driving force for funders to unlock impact together. I’m looking forward to a very timely discussion that offers us the potential for significant change in our region and beyond.

Keep reading below for speakers and exciting features at this year's conference. You can also check our News Page for the latest on SCG and philanthropy in Southern California.  


Registration is now open for our 2017 Annual Conference! Funders from across Southern California will gather on 9/26 in downtown LA for Philanthropy at a Crossroads: Finding Intersections for Greater Impact. This year, we will address systems change that goes beyond theory—speaking directly to the work you do every day to make a tangible difference in people’s lives. Here are some of the speakers who will be sharing their intersectional work.  

Opening performance by the band Quetzal.


Conversations with: Funmilola Fagbamila, Playwright, Activist, and Cal State LA Professor; 
Marisa Franco, Director and Co-Founder, Mijente; and Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize
Winning Author and USC Professor

Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsors: California Community Foundation and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation! Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities. Visit our conference site to learn more about speakers and special performances, and to register now!


Earlier this month, the California State Legislature adopted a budget containing $31 million for a foster care initiative modeled on an LA County pilot that grew out of our members’ work. The Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children & Parenting Foster Youth provision in the state budget includes funding for emergency vouchers for foster families to access child care, navigators to assist with accessing long-term child care, and training for child care providers on how to best meet the needs of abused and neglected children.

This $31 million state budget fund emerged as a result of efforts last year led by LA County with strong support from SCG. The success of this public-private partnership around this pilot program in LA County led to an informative body of data, which persuaded lawmakers to adopt a statewide program. The pilot originated from Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, W.M. Keck Foundation, and First 5 – Los Angeles. These SCG member organizations funded and implemented this pilot project, which serves as a great example of the catalytic role that philanthropy can play in informing, shaping, and adopting public policy.

In addition to supporting efforts related to foster youth, SCG joined organizations across the state to request the State Legislature and Governor Brown to increase funding for the After School Education and Safety Program. State funding had not been increased for more than a decade and with rising costs to operate these programs, many nonprofits serving youth were threatened with fiscal deficits. With so many of SCG members’ already providing grants to support these organizations, SCG joined organizations across the state to help ensure an additional $50 million in the state budget for after school programs.
Finally, our new iteration of the Public Policy Roundup went out to members yesterday. I’m so excited to see so many SCG members interested in public policy. Members can sign up for this benefit here or view the Roundup here.


In partnership with The Trust for Public Land, SCG held a lunchtime discussion on June 23rd about how to create more equitable, healthy, and climate resilient communities. Kevin de León, Senate President Pro Tem, and Tom Steyer, environmental activist and philanthropist, addressed California’s unique responsibility to lead the nation on this topic. The conversation was moderated by Mary Creasman, California Director of Government Affairs at The Trust for Public Land, and focused on the importance of investing in our climate future, spurring the economy through the creation of green jobs, and caring for the health and livelihoods of our communities.

Mary Creasman, California Director of Government Affairs, The Trust for Public Land; Kevin de León, Senate President Pro Tem; and Tom Steyer, statewide environmental activist and philanthropist.


In the current political climate, we are facing the possibility of significant funding cuts and limitations to women’s access to health care services. This month, funders came together to explore how reductions in health care impact low-income women—many of whom already struggle to access quality, affordable health care. Jessica Yellin, former Chief White House Correspondent, moderated a discussion about what’s at stake with a panel of leading experts: Susan Dunlap, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles; Debra Farmer, Westside Family Health Center; Dr. Barbara Ferrer, LA County Department of Public Health; Laura Jiménez, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice; and Surina Khan, Women’s Foundation of California. This program was co-hosted by The Atlas Family Foundation, The California Endowment, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and the Women’s Foundation of California. For resources from this convening, click here (members only). 



Earlier this month, SCG corporate members joined an interactive learning lab led by FSG about how to develop and implement effective corporate societal engagement strategies. The FSG team facilitated a series of activities around practical strategy planning tools to refine the strategic intent of CSR portfolios, articulate specific societal impact goals aligned with business priorities, and strengthen approaches to local giving. Attendees discussed questions, strategies, and opportunities for corporate giving and impact given the current political and societal context.

Corporate members explore impact models in an SCG learning lab led by FSG.


Here are some highlights from recent SCG events:


I hope to see you at these upcoming events:

Thank you for your interest in Southern California philanthropy and your continued commitment to serving our communities!

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers