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SCG's New Community Building Initiative

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

SCG is taking a major step forward in our strategic work to help you learn, connect, and share with your peers for greater impact. Your engagement in this effort is critical to our shared success!

I’ve often thought that in the world of philanthropy, knowledge isn’t power—knowledge is impact. And even in our information-saturated world, we still struggle to answer crucial questions for our work as funders: Who else is working on our issues, in our communities, using our strategies? What groups, and which particular funders, are leading the way? What are our peers doing, what are they learning, and how can we leverage each other’s efforts?

We need to come together and learn from one another—in collaborative groups, one-on-one, and via technology—to share knowledge truly important in our work.

With the support of Blue Shield of California Foundation, we are moving toward such a community-building approach, helping funders to leverage relationships and technology in order to foster authentic collaboration and boost our collective impact. As Peter Long, President and CEO of BSCF notes, this effort stems from recent thoughtful conversations within our funder community:

“Last March, SCG leaders came together to discuss how we can collaborate more effectively to address the interrelated and intractable social issues at the heart of our work. This SCG-led effort will enable members to build stronger relationships, identify shared interests and help to explore and accelerate the critical work we are already doing.”

This year SCG is laying the groundwork for a long-term initiative to support a culture of collaboration among our members and within the broader philanthropic community. In a few weeks, we will launch our online membership directory where you’ll be able to easily connect with your peers. We’re also upgrading our new website to feature more information about the many affinity groups and funder work groups doing excellent work in our region. This is all part of SCG’s commitment to helping you build your relationships and collaborate with your peers.

Here’s how you can participate:

1.  Are you in an affinity group or collaborative working group? Would you like to be? Please let us know so we can facilitate connections directly and post information on our website.

2.  Get ready to tell your SCG peers about your work in our online directory. Launching in about a month, the new directory will let you specify your funding areas and professional interests so you can connect with like-minded colleagues. We’re testing it now and will share more details soon.

So many powerful collaborations are already happening in our sector. I deeply believe that personal relationships, a strong sense of community, and a culture of sharing are at the core of truly impactful philanthropy. I hope you’re as excited as I am about strengthening the tools we use to work together—in person and online—to advance the critically important work of the SCG leadership community.

Please feel free to contact me about working groups, the directory, or any other ideas. Thank you for everything you do to strengthen the SCG community.

Sincerely,

Chris Essel
President and CEO

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