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President's Recap - February 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

We packed an incredible variety of collaborations, partnerships, and convenings into the short month of February! I'm also happy to welcome our newest members to the SCG family: the City of Los Angeles; Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project; OneLegacy Foundation; and Los Angeles Universal Preschool.

Below are just a few highlights of upcoming events and recent discussions from the past month.

Register now for our 2015 Public Policy Conference: Engaging Communities to Amplify Philanthropic Impact, featuring Austin Beutner, Publisher and CEO of The Los Angeles Times, and Hilda Solis, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and newly elected member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.



We'll learn how to use community engagement to mobilize people for systemic impact from a panel of regional and statewide experts: Nan Aron, Alliance for Justice; Efrain Escobedo, California Community Foundation; John Kim, Advancement Project, California Office; and Dr. Raphael J. Sonenshein, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs.

Participants will also explore smart collective impact strategies and innovative partnerships in a session with Cathy Cha, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; Maria Brenes, Inner City Struggle; Reverend Sam Casey, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement; Mary Anne Foo, Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance; and Marcos Vargas, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy.

In addition, a special breakout session for our corporate members is being shaped by input from SCG's Corporate Leadership Council. More details will be announced soon!

>> Click here for more on conference sessions and speakers and to register now!
>> Click here for conference sponsorship opportunities.

We recently announced Get on the Map, a new SCG initiative in partnership with the Foundation Center and our national network of regional associations to help you make more informed, data-driven funding decisions.  Together, we are building a new searchable mapping platform that quickly shows you who’s funding what and where. Many of your SCG peers are already leading the way—special thanks to the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, who just joined the campaign! Learn more and start sharing your data in three easy steps: If you have any questions, reach out to me or Karen Freeman, SCG’s Director of Operations & Strategic Initiatives.

Last week, SCG members joined a convening co-led by the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, SCG, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation on philanthropy’s role when disaster strikes. This session was a next step following our Annual Conference in November, where Mayor Garcetti pledged to work with philanthropy and ensure we're prepared to strategically respond to disasters both across the City and the region. Using examples from New York, New Jersey, and Louisiana, we explored how to shift from an emotional to a strategic response aimed at long-term recovery. We also discussed ways to prepare impoverished communities who will most be effected by disasters and build a resilient nonprofit sector to support this work. To learn more and/or get involved, contact us.

We held an informal gathering of leaders in the talent/entertainment sector to explore how SCG could serve as a leadership hub bringing together the power of talent and traditional philanthropy—many thanks to United Talent Agency for hosting! Many of SCG’s wave of new members represent this important “hometown industry,” as do several of our longtime leading members. I'm excited to announce that by popular demand, this growing group will convene quarterly to share their learnings and explore potential collaborative initiatives. Contact us if you would like to learn more about SCG members' talent philanthropy work.

Following a recent program on STEM+Arts issues, SCG members were inspired to continue learning about best practices for teacher development. The Leonetti/O'Connell Family Foundation coordinated a special day of site visits at the Culver City Unified School District to observe the Math Leadership Corps (MLC) in action. At SCG, we are always working to create action-oriented programming, and I am thrilled that our STEM series has spurred additional learning and leadership among SCG members. On a related note, registration is still open for our partner event, the 2015 STEAMConnect Conference, taking place March 5th in San Diego.

I also want to share some quick updates about other SCG events we've held in recent weeks:

  • SCG member Annie Hernandez, Executive Director of the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, facilitated an interactive program on engaging youth in family philanthropy. Special thanks to the Goldhirsh Foundation and GOOD Corps for hosting this multi-generational event!
  • At our most recent In Focus: Health Care program, SCG members explored the innovative school-based wellness center model. Click here for resources (member log in required).
  • The SCG Corporate Leadership Council met to discuss programming and opportunities for SCG’s corporate sector members in 2015. Stay tuned for next steps!
  • SCG members met with Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, for a roundtable discussion on STEM and National Service. Local funders and partners explored STEM education and public-private partnerships to support STEM initiatives.
  • In our recent program on Sustainable International Development Goals, Heather Grady, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and Edmund Cain, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, led a discussion on opportunities for philanthropy to shape the national and international development agenda. Click here for resources (member log in required).

To get the latest news about SCG and our region's philanthropy community, please be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thank you!


Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers