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SCG President's Recap - August 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Summer is officially coming to a close and SCG is gearing up for an action-packed fall calendar! Here are just a few of our members' exciting recent efforts and engaging conversations, as well as some of our biggest upcoming events.

Please join me in welcoming our newest members to the SCG family: The Carol Shuster Polakoff Family Foundation, and Grant Thornton LLP. With tremendous growth over the past year and a half, we now have more than 270 member organizations—our highest membership level ever!

Registration is now open for our 2015 Annual Conference! This year, we will focus on Closing the Opportunity Gap: How Philanthropy Can Make the Difference. Taking place on Wednesday, October 28, the conference will feature national and local leaders tackling some of our society's biggest inequality challenges, from affordable housing and education to criminal justice and poverty. Join us to explore how lasting impact on these issues can emerge from collaboration, innovative funding practices, and many other bold and proven strategies.

The conference will bring together our diverse philanthropic community to learn, connect, and take action. We’ll also have plenty of opportunities for networking, including a special gathering for corporate funders. Ultimately, this conference is designed to inspire new conversations about what grantmakers of all stripes can do to give Southern California communities a renewed chance to thrive. Click here to register now.

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors: Annenberg Foundation, California Community Foundation, and the Santa Barbara Foundation. Visit the SCG website for a complete list of sponsors, sponsorship opportunities, and session descriptions.

In August, the SCG community gathered for our annual Music Under the Stars celebration, where we honored longtime SCG member Shirley Fredricks, Vice President and Trustee of the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation.

Left to right: Shirley Fredricks, Jan McElwee, and Harriet Glickman.

This delightful evening featured several moving speeches from Shirley's family, friends, and colleagues, followed by a rousing performance at the Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles by the bluegrass band Whiskey Shivers. We had a tremendous turnout for the event, no doubt because Shirley is so beloved within the SCG community! Our sincere thanks to Liz Levitt Hirsch for her enthusiastic partnership and continued generosity in sponsoring Music Under the Stars. Click here to view the event photo album.

Corporate giving and corporate foundation members enjoyed a gorgeous summer evening of food, drinks, and networking in the heart of downtown Los Angeles at our SCG Summer Corporate Reception. With nearly 60 corporate members in the SCG leadership community, this annual gathering is a popular tradition and an important opportunity for this sector to build professional relationships that lay the groundwork for shared learning and action. Many thanks to our Corporate Leadership Council for their guidance on everything from this reception to our upcoming corporate breakout at the Annual Conference to Deloitte’s pro-bono mapping initiative for corporate education-related investments in the region!

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

  • SCG and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy partnered for a public speaking workshop to help funders build communication skills and deliver impactful presentations for their boards, grantees, and colleagues.
  • SCG, The California Wellness Foundation, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy presented a program exploring critical issues for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in LA County.
  • SCG members gathered for an update on community clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, moderated by SCG member Bridget Hogan Cole, Executive Director, Institute for High Quality Care.
  • We hosted a special conversation with L.A.'s Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana on the status of the city budget and philanthropy initiatives that overlap with the City’s agenda such as veterans and homelessness issues.
  • SCG, Time Warner Cable, and Deloitte hosted an eye-opening conversation on building cyber resiliency and reducing risk with a focus on data privacy and information security for foundations, companies, grantees, stakeholders, and employees.
  • Funders joined a convening to kick off Exponent Philanthropy’s Local Engagement Group, designed to build meaningful relationships and create a culture of learning among small or no-staff foundations.
  • SCG, the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation presented a tour of LA’s Emergency Operations Center, followed by a dialogue on philanthropy’s role in supporting local nonprofits and community organizations when disaster strikes.California State
  • Senator Ricardo Lara met with SCG members to discuss the Health for All Act—a major part of efforts to provide health care coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status—and the impact on unaccompanied minors in need of health care services.

And finally, I encourage you to follow SCG on Twitter @socalgrantmaker and on Facebook for many more updates and philanthropy resources. Thank you, as always, for your support of SCG and Southern California communities.


Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

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