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President's Blog

2018-19 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being

Release Date: 
11/19/2018

2018-19 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being

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Statement Regarding Mass Murder in Thousand Oaks

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I can hardly believe that today brings news of another tragic mass murder by a gunman—this one in Thousand Oaks, California. My heart breaks with sadness, anger and frustration that we must face this together yet again, so soon after the horrific murders in Pittsburgh two weeks ago.

This incident hits too close to home, as it is unfolding in SCG’s geographic region, where so many of our friends and colleagues live and work. What should have been an evening of young people enjoying themselves has turned into another act of violence.

As if it bears repeating: this is madness. We keep saying that this cannot become the “new normal,” and yet, somehow it has become just that.

Newtown. San Bernardino. Orlando. Las Vegas. Parkland. Pittsburgh. Thousand Oaks.

And this is not even counting the thousands of gun-related acts of violence that shake our country every year.

There are days when we feel helpless against an ardent few who won’t even entertain the notion of common sense gun laws.

Today we mourn the loss of life in Thousand Oaks and across the country wrought by gun violence. Yet, as philanthropists and human beings, we must resolve to do better.

We at SCG are committed to providing resources for funders and connecting with members and partners close to the tragedy and those who are working against this nation’s epidemic of gun violence, so we can lift up ways for all of us to take action over the short and long term.

Sincerely,

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

 

Resources

 

We encourage all of our members and other funders to share with us any resources or recommendations for dealing with tragedies and disasters of this sort. 

 

 

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 
Audience 
Types of Support 

SCG President's Message - November

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to you for the second time this week, following my statement about the need and opportunity for unity in the face of so many horrific attacks on the fabric of our civil society (I also encourage you to read this post by Judy Belk, President and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation). My heart is still heavy, as I’m sure yours is too. And in this moment for reflection and action, I want to share a few recent moments in which our sector has inspired me with hope for the future. We have so much to do as philanthropists, and as individuals―especially if we have the privilege of voting next Tuesday, November 6. As you head to the polls next week (or fill out your ballot over the weekend), I want to share with you that SCG’s Public Policy Committee has voted to support Proposition 1 (Affordable Housing) and Proposition 2 (No Place Like Home), encouraging a “yes” vote. We join our members involved in in the passage of these two critical measures that would amplify our collective efforts on tackling affordable housing and homelessness. ​​​​​These examples do not solve the challenges before us, but they do move us forward. 

With this in mind, let me lift up these examples of the great work that our members are doing across the region and beyond:

  • On October 18, the LA84 Foundation held its 2018 Summit. This year’s theme was “Athlete Activism + Social Justice: Taking Action for Our Youth.” In keynotes, panel discussions and power talks, speakers from across the country discussed topics such as the impact athlete activists can have, physical education as a social justice issue, how to ensure sports are safe for kids and much more.
  • On October 19, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation presented SHOFCO, a grassroots movement based in Nairobi, Kenya that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums, with its 2018 Humanitarian Prize. 


Photo credit: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

 

  • On October 22, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Annenberg Foundation and over 80 Los Angeles venture capitalists and tech leaders launched PledgeLA, a first-of-its-kind partnership to promote civic engagement, diversity and inclusion across L.A.’s booming and dynamic tech sector. PledgeLA signatories are making a commitment to track civic participation and diversity data each year and make that data publicly available, as well as expand their engagement with local nonprofits that support diverse talent and reflect the civic spirit of Los Angeles.

 

  • On October 25, our member Santa Barbara Foundation celebrated 90 years of philanthropy by unveiling its new strategic priorities in support of Santa Barbara County.
     
  • On October 31, The Eisner Foundation announced the winner of its Eisner Prize for Intergenerational Excellence: Marc Freedman and Encore.org. The prize is designed to recognize excellence by an individual or nonprofit organization uniting multiple generations, especially seniors and youth, to bring about positive and lasting change in their community.
     
  • Last but not least, a big congratulations to our member, The Dodgers Foundation, and to the Dodgers team who made it to the World Series for the second year in a row. Although the team fell short in their quest for October glory, the team played valiantly and provided much-needed civic pride and diversion for the region.

 

This is just a small sampling of the incredible work our members are doing across the region and beyond. If you have news that you want to share with the SCG community, please do not hesitate to contact us.

One other quick note: this month, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) announced that its President and CEO Kathleen Enright will leave GEO at the end of this year to assume the position of President and CEO of the Council on Foundations (COF). Having co-chaired and worked closely with Kathleen on the United Philanthropy Forum’s Vision Design Group a few years ago, I can vouch for her brilliance, strong leadership and tremendous ability to collaborate with others. I want to congratulate Kathleen on her new role. I am very excited for her and for the new directions in which both GEO and COF will be going.

As always, thank you for your interest in Southern California philanthropy and the dynamic work being done across our communities.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

 

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2018 Fundamentals Program Trains 70 New Grantmakers

Welcome, New SCG Members!

Program Roundup

Coming Up

 

2018 Fundamentals Program Trains 70 New Grantmakers

 

At SCG, we believe strongly in supporting a highly-skilled, well-informed and deeply networked philanthropic community. Since the 1980’s, SCG has organized our signature program, Fundamentals of Effective Grantmaking, as a way to welcome new colleagues to the world of philanthropy and to provide seasoned professionals with a chance to hone their core grantmaking skills.

This year, over the course of four days, 70 grantmakers took part in interactive full day sessions and learned about various skills from assessing grant proposals and managing relationships with grantees to understanding financial statements and practicing ethics in grantmaking. The workshops also provided excellent opportunities for participants to expand their personal networks.

 

 

In addition to the three-day workshop, participants enjoyed a site visit opportunity to observe how Fundamentals lessons operate in the workplace. This year's site visit hosts were the Annenberg Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, W.M. Keck Foundation and Capital Group.

A huge thanks to all the peer leaders who taught at Fundamentals and to our site visit hosts this year. And a warm congratulations to the 70 members of our grantmaking community who completed the program.

 

Welcome, New SCG Members!

 

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome the following new SCG members who joined in the past quarter:

 

Our geographic reach spans eight counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Our membership includes all types of foundations, corporate grantmakers, family philanthropy and government funders, as well as consultants to philanthropy.

To get the most value out of your SCG membership, be sure to check out our member benefits and visit our members-only online directory to find and reach out to your SCG colleagues! We’re also happy to help you connect member-to-member.

 

Program Roundup

 

  • On October 10, SCG’s Education Funders Group presented Career and Technical Education 101 – The Landscape, Promising Practices, Opportunities for Philanthropy. At this program, we looked at the growing pool of living wage, middle skills jobs in fields like health care, advanced manufacturing and energy; explored the shortage of qualified workers to fill these jobs; discussed the image problem for Career and Technical Education; and talked about the renaissance in career and technical education in California as promising pathway that can equip people of all ages to pursue rewarding careers and greater economic mobility.

 

  • On October 16, SCG co-partnered with The Chronicle of Social Change and other organizations for Who Cares - Foster Parent Recruitment and Engaging Faith Communities, an event centered on the role the faith-based community can play in providing homes and support for the county’s foster children. At the program, a panel of experts explored findings from a recent report, Who Cares: A National Count of Foster Homes and Families; drilled down on the state of foster parent recruitment and retention in L.A.; and highlighted local efforts to get the faith community more involved in foster care.
     
  • On October 24, SCG and the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment presented The Crisis of Black Infant Mortality in Los Angeles. Los Angeles County is seeking to reduce the infant mortality gap between black and white babies by 30 percent over the next five years, which has been growing for the past 20 years due to a complicated mix of social, environmental and health factors, including black mothers’ chronic stress resulting from repeated experiences of racism.
     
  • On October 29, SCG, along with the Bipartisan Policy Center and our Philanthropy California partners, hosted the first in a series of three regional “Policy Salons” on Informing the National Perspective on Immigration Reform. At this salon, participants learned about how the issue of immigration is being framed at the national level; shared experiences with immigration issues at the local and regional level; gained an understanding of how California grantmakers and funders are thinking about the short- and longer-term strategies for moving immigrant rights and integration forward; and discussed how to partner to learn more about California’s attitudes toward immigrants and immigration, and develop strategies to help California be more of a leader in the national debate.

 

Coming Up

 

We hope to see you at these upcoming events:

NOV
7

Public-Private Partnerships in Tackling Poverty: A Funders’ Briefing on CalSavers, A Cross-Generational Approach

The CalSavers Program is a cross-generational approach to address poverty in California, giving almost 7 million private sector workers an opportunity to participate in a workplace retirement savings program. Join us for a discussion on where philanthropy is addressing systems change to address poverty, how partnerships will be crucial for the success of CalSavers and how funders and grantees are working together to advance this anti-poverty strategy. Read More

NOV
7

Thriving Amid Adversity in the Eastern Coachella Valley

Building on a KCET series examining Eastern Coachella Valley, produced in partnership with The California Endowment, this program will showcase activism and innovation led by local residents, organizations and elected officials who are working together to improve the quality of life and health in this region. Read More

NOV
8

SCG Health Funders Group Peer-to-Peer Meeting

This is the first meeting of our new Health Funders Peer Group. As the importance of health in our community has only continued to grow, we will use this meeting to maximize connections and facilitate collaboration. This session will provide a forum for updates on critical issues, highlights of promising programs and opportunities for collective impact. Read More

NOV
13

California Policy Forum - Advancing Equity: Saying NO to the Status Quo

A new generation of California leaders are doing things their way—and, let’s say, they’re not afraid to make waves. Join us for an open, candid discussion with three of California’s rising young changemakers as they take a deep dive on what it means to advance equity now. Read More

NOV
28

Disability, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A Cross-Sectoral Approach

Join us for a panel discussion with leaders and allies of people and communities with disabilities to explore how we can create a Los Angeles-area and beyond that will provide access and opportunity for all regardless of ability. We welcome nonprofits, funders and community advocates in framing how we strengthen our communities for people with disabilities in our region for a more equitable society. Read More

NOV
29

Public-Private Partnerships: Change Making in LA

Join Kate Anderson, Executive Director of the Center for Strategic Partnerships (CSP), in a moderated conversation with experts to discuss questions such as: what’s ahead for the CSP?; what is the strategic value of public-private collaboration in solving LA’s social issues?; can foundations lead the way in social change as a movement?; and what are the CSP’s successes to date? Read More

DEC
4

Traditions of Giving

Organized by SCG’s Family Philanthropy Advisory Council, Traditions of Giving is back by popular demand! With the holiday season fast approaching, what better time to take a step back and reflect with friends and colleagues the inspirational stories of giving. Read More

 

DEC
6

The L.A. Model: A Tour of Campus Kilpatrick

Join us to discuss effective, trauma-informed youth rehabilitation. The agenda will include a presentations about LA's ground-breaking youth diversion initiative; innovative C-3 and C-4 coalitions striving to stop jail expansion and reform LA County's charter; and other timely issues. Please RSVP by November 9th in order to attendRead More

View Full List of Upcoming Events

 
 

Statement on the Events of the Past Week

Monday, October 29, 2018

Over the past week, we have witnessed a series of tragedies across the country that have become disturbingly too common. These events include the massacre of 11 Jewish people in Pittsburgh in a house of worship; the slaying of two black customers at a grocery store in Kentucky; the delivery of pipe bombs to critics of President Donald Trump; a proposed plan by the current Administration to erase transgender people by redefining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined at birth; and the demonization of a “caravan” of refugee families from Central America on their way to legally seek asylum at our border.

We are appalled by and condemn in the strongest terms the violence and intolerance of the past week. In the face of such deeply disturbing intolerance, SCG stands against this hatred, embraces diversity and is actively working toward more just, equitable communities.

One thing that all of these events have in common is that they are part of a broader effort to sow division between Americans by “othering” certain groups, whether those groups are determined on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status.

Such divisive tactics will ultimately have the opposite effect. In this moment, just as we did last month at our 2018 Annual Conference, we can recognize Our Common Humanity and how it brings us together in unity. To demonstrate the point: 48 hours after the shooting in Pittsburgh, a Muslim-led crowdfunding campaign that endeavors to “respond to evil with good” has already raised over $125,000 to help support the short-term needs of victims and their families.

These words about responding to evil with good both comfort and empower us to work toward a better future where “othering,” intolerance and division are remnants of the past. Thank you for all the work that you do to help us realize that vision.

Sincerely,
Chris Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
 

Please visit our partners for ways you can help on these issues:

Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania

Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

Funders for LGBTQ Issues

 

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 
Geographic Location 

Resources from NALEO on Census Message Testing

Release Date: 
10/05/2018

On Wednesday, Septmeber 12, NALEO presented a webinar on effective Census message testing for English and Spanish speaking Latinos. The link to the recorded webinar and slides are below: 

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 

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SCG President's Message - October 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

While writing to you, I’m taking a moment to pause in the midst of the relentless news cycle we have been experiencing for some time now. The last couple of weeks—including last week’s painful Senate hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court—have been particularly challenging for many of us. At times like these, we have an opportunity to reflect on and re-ground ourselves in the work we find meaningful. For most of us, it’s because we care deeply about the world around us and want to make a positive impact. I know that my aspiration in this time is to see the truth of others’ lived experiences more clearly every day, so I and the team at SCG can do our part to help lead our philanthropic community forward toward real solutions.

This is why SCG’s Annual Conference last month focused on Our Common Humanity, which emphasized the intersection of racial and gender justice as well as other forms of bias and discrimination that hold people back from their true potential. (See my takeaways from the Conference below).

It’s why SCG dedicated a session at the conference to “Incorporating a Gender Justice Lens in Grantmaking,” and just last week, co-sponsored with the Akonadi Foundation, Novo Foundation and Rosenberg Foundation a convening for funders called #MeToo + Philanthropy: 1 Year Later: What's Changed/What's Possible, where experts discussed how philanthropy can rise to meet this historic moment of opportunity to create lasting change. On a related note, our colleagues at San Diego Grantmakers also recently convened a Summit on Advancing Gender Equity.

SCG is working to support you to engage as fully as possible in the upcoming pivotal midterm election. (If you have not yet registered to vote for next month’s election, the deadline to do so in California is October 22.) We at SCG encourage you to learn as much as possible about the candidates and measures up and down the ballot. To that end, we recently held a Public Policy Forum with Marshall Tuck, a candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction (to which we also invited the other candidate, Tony Thurmond); and we are also co-sponsoring a program on the upcoming ballot measures on October 10.

And last but not least, it’s why our organization recently decided to observe Indigenous People’s Day, and why we recognize the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, and celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

We must hold the complexity of multiple lenses as we look at our work—gender, racial, and other factors—to honor what unites us all as human beings. With this in mind, let's turn our attention to the Annual Conference, which was a deeply meaningful opportunity for us to learn, connect, and prepare for bold action on these issues.

As always, thank you for your interest in Southern California philanthropy and the dynamic work being done across our communities.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

 

Jump To:
 

Takeaways from the SCG 2018 Annual Conference

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Expand
Public-Private Partnerships

 

Program Roundup

Coming Up

Takeaways from the SCG 2018 Annual Conference

 

Our goal for this year’s conference was to be bold and clear in examining philanthropy’s challenges and opportunities. We were inspired and affirmed to see so many of you responding with your own courage and enthusiasm. Over 650 of our colleagues from all over the Southern California region—from foundations, corporate members and family philanthropists to government grantmakers, philanthropic consultants, friends and partners of SCG—came together for a day of impact as we explored what gives us hope, powers our work and binds us all together. We were honored to be joined by an incredible variety of leaders and thinkers in sessions organized along three tracks: Advancing Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Developing Professional Skills; and Engaging in Effective Collaboration & Partnerships.

To everyone who joined us, we appreciate you coming to learn and engage. And to those of you who were unable to attend, please know that the conference was only one day in the full stream of our work in these and many other areas of interest. SCG will continue to deepen the ways in which we incorporate these crucial issues across all of our work as we move forward.

As I mentioned in my welcome remarks at the conference, the day’s frank, honest conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion are very different than the content that we offered five years ago at my first Annual Conference. I’m grateful that we in the SCG community have been able to grow so much together, in our scope, impact and courage.

While the feedback that we have received about the conference has been overwhelmingly positive, we recognize that the material presented is challenging to many of us in different ways. So whether you are clear about the necessity of this work in racial equity and inclusion through your lived experience, or you’re already steeped in the conversation, or perhaps you’re just beginning to explore these issues, SCG is here to support your work. That's why we deliberately organized the conference not only around the crucial issues of DEI, but also around professional development, as well as partnerships and collaborations.

Word cloud of how attendees described this year's conference

 

While there were so many lessons to be captured from the conference, the following are a few of the key takeaways from the day that stood out to me:

  1. “The problem of “Othering” is the problem of the 21st century. In the United States, the primary form of othering is racism.” This was the central message from john a. powell, Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society; Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion; Professor of Law, African American and Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley, just before his impactful interview with Fred Ali, President and CEO, Weingart Foundation. Professor powell noted that the way we have structured our country and the problems we face today have been animated by fear of “the other,” which we have designated by race. He also noted that philanthropy can play a leadership role in constructing a meta-narrative that bridges differences in communities and between issues such as climate change and social justice. As he jokingly put it: “I’m not saying that you should drop everything you are doing and start funding bridging work; I’m saying that you should drop everything you are doing and start funding bridging work.”
     
  2. “Achievement does not equal wellness,” said Daniel Beaty, Founder, I Dream, in a plenary session discussion with Martine Singer, President and CEO, Children's Institute, Inc. and moderator Judy Belk, President and CEO, The California Wellness Foundation. Daniel and the panel emphasized that well-intentioned funders often go after the surface needs of the most vulnerable citizens, and overlook the deep power of addressing trauma and the core identities of self-worth that trauma can create. They then discussed how trauma-informed solutions such as the arts can support philanthropic efforts in health, education, criminal justice and housing.
     
  3. We need to create and commit to a New Social Compact for America, and there are many ways to go about doing this. In this session, Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO, The California Endowment, moderated a conversation with Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and President, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United); Director, Food Labor Research Center, University of California, Berkeley; Maria S. Salinas, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; and Edgar Villanueva, Vice President of Programs and Advocacy, Schott Foundation for Public Education, about what a new American Social Compact looks like. The panelists then considered a set of core inclusive values that embrace dignity, equality, inclusion and opportunity and prosperity for all of us.

 

If you are interested in keeping the conversation about these topics going, then I encourage you to consider attending Upswell LA 2018, Independent Sector’s annual conference, which will be held this year in Los Angeles at the same venue as our conference—the InterContinental Hotel Downtown LA. As an added bonus, SCG members receive a $200 discount to Upswell by using the discount code SOCALG on the final page of the registration process.


(L) Fred Ali, Weingart Foundation and Professor john a. powell, University of California, Berkeley.
(R) Evan Spiegel, Snap Inc. and Cinny Kennard, Annenberg Foundation​​​​


(L) Beatriz Solís, The California Endowment; Ed Cain, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation;
Chris Essel, Southern California Grantmakers. (R) Daniel Beaty, I Dream


(L) Judy Belk, The California Wellness Foundation; Daniel Beaty, I Dream; Martine Singer, Children's Institute, Inc.;
(R) Maria S. Salinas, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Edgar Villanueva, Schott Foundation for Public Education;
Saru Jayaraman, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and Food Labor Research Center, University of California, Berkeley

 

You can also check out social media coverage of the conference (see the hashtag #SCGAnnualCon19), as well as our photo album. We are pleased to make available a number of resources, including videos of all the plenary sessions, on our conference resource page (member login required).

And I want to give one more special thanks to our conference Presenting Sponsors (and all others): Annenberg Foundation, California Community Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.

 

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Expand Public-Private Partnerships

 

On September 19, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl permanently establishing the newly renamed Center for Strategic Partnerships within the County of Los Angeles. The motion moves the Center to the Chief Executive’s Office, expands the Center’s scope and launches it into a Strategic Planning process to determine a new shared agenda, metrics for success and mechanisms for stakeholder input.

Launched in 2016 as an initiative of SCG and Los Angeles County, the Center for Strategic Public-Private Partnerships is a collaboration between government and philanthropy that has been located within the Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection. Since its launch, the Center has helped its partners co-invest more than $4.5 million to transform Los Angeles County’s system serving vulnerable youth and families.

I want to congratulate Center Director Kate Anderson, Associate Director Lizzie Cohen and consultant Gita Murthy Cugley on all of their hard work. I also want to thank all of the Center partners who have supported our work throughout the years, as well as Supervisor Solis and the entire Board for taking this necessary action supporting the Center. The Center has effectively brought together stakeholders from philanthropy and government to align strategies and efforts to tackle the most pressing problems experienced by children and families in the County. This model of collaboration, closely watched nationally, has demonstrated the power of thoughtful, deliberate and focused efforts to empower the most vulnerable in our communities.

This move—the first of its kind in LA County—is a testament to the innovative and collaborative spirits of the Center’s partners, public and private alike. 

 


(L to R) Mary Lou Fulton, The California Endowment; Chris Essel, Southern California Grantmakers; HIlda S. Solis, Los
Angeles County Supervisor; Aileen Adams, The Weingart Foundation; Jennifer Price-Letscher, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

 

Program Roundup

 

  • On September 13, we held the LA Arts Funders meeting focusing on how nonprofit arts organizations and Los Angeles County departments are working together on issues related to juvenile justice. 
     
  • On September 24, our Emerging Leaders Peer-to-Peer Network held one of its regular meetings. The Emerging Leaders Peer-to-Peer network is SCG's highly regarded peer-learning professional development coaching program for select emerging and mid-level career leaders from SCG member organizations. 
     
  • On September 28, SCG co-sponsored with the Akonadi Foundation, Novo Foundation and Rosenberg Foundation a convening for funders called #MeToo 1 + Philanthropy: Year Later: What's Changed/What's Possible, where a panel of experts discussed how philanthropy can rise to meet this historic moment of opportunity to create lasting change.
     
  • Also on September 28, we partnered with FSG for Being the Change: Foundations Transforming for Greater Impact. At this program, FSG presented examples of new approaches that some foundations are using to foster greater connectivity, vibrancy and engagement both internally and externally. This session built on the Being the Change research conducted by FSG, which outlines 12 ways foundations are transforming themselves for greater impact, through their staffing philosophy, structure and design, skill development and organizational culture. This program is part of our programming for our new HR/Ops/Finance peer group.
     
  • On October 1, SCG, along with The Los Angeles Food Policy Council, The California Wellness Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, hosted the Fresh Perspective: Food, Equity and Community Development Funders' Bus Tour in South Los Angeles. We explored how food can be a powerful driver of equity and community economic development. The tour featured the projects of several non-profit organizations that are bridging healthy food access and equitable economic development, from street vendors to neighborhood markets to a major distribution and growing hub. The tour also helped make the case for an increased investment of social and economic capital, specifically in South Los Angeles.
     
  • Also on October 1, SCG hosted a Public Policy Forum with Marshall Tuck, candidate for State Superintendent for Public Instruction, in an interview with Cara Esposito, Executive Director, Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation and SCG Board Member. (SCG also extended an invitation to Assembly member Tony Thurmond, the other candidate running for the seat in the election; SCG does not make political endorsements.)  Mr. Tuck spoke to our members on a number of education-related topics, including universal pre-K, increasing graduation rates and how philanthropy can partner with public education and serve as an innovation lab for improving public education.

 

Coming Up

 

We hope to see you at these upcoming events:

OCT
10

Career and Technical Education 101 – The Landscape, Promising Practices, Opportunities for Philanthropy

At this program, we will look at the growing pool of living wage, middle skills jobs in fields like health care, advanced manufacturing and energy; explore the shortage of qualified workers to fill these jobs; and talk about the renaissance in career and technical education in California as promising pathway that can equip people of all ages to pursue rewarding careers and greater economic mobility. Read More

OCT
24

The Crisis of Black Infant Mortality in Los Angeles

Los Angeles County is seeking to reduce by 30 percent over the next five years the infant mortality gap between black and white babies, which has been growing for the past 20 years due to a complicated mix of social, environmental and health factor, including black mothers’ chronic stress resulting from experiences of racism. Read More

NOV
3

Save the Date! Tongva History Walk

The Tongva History Walk will be organized by Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation - Los Angeles. Details to follow. For more information and to sign up for TRHT-LA communications, Read More

 
 

NOV
5

Digital Impact for Foundations

Join SCG and Dr. Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D., Senior Research Scholar, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) Digital Civil Society Lab, Stanford University, for an action-oriented workshop that investigates the challenges and opportunities facing foundations in the digital age and provides tools to help them use digital resources safely, ethically and effectively. Read More

View Full List of Upcoming Events

SCG President's Message - September 2018

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Our 2018 Annual Conference is less than two weeks away on Monday, September 17th. And in my mind, it really couldn’t come at a better time. If you’re at all like me, then you know how easy it is to get wrapped up in our day-to-day work and overwhelmed by the constant drumbeat of the news cycle.

In this moment, I think it is important for all of us to come together; take a step back from our work and busy lives; and reflect on some big-picture topics. Our conference theme this year is Our Common Humanity. This will be a chance for us to engage in dialogue, to think holistically and connect with others who are seeking a similar path.

Annual Conference Logo

Our goal this year is for you to leave with powerful ideas and tools to advance your work and lead real change with partners in our sector and beyond.

This conference really is a wonderful opportunity to get inspired; learn from experts and thought leaders; share your own leadership and best practices; and connect with old and new friends alike.

Conference registration closes this Friday, September 7 at noon, so please make sure to register as soon as possible to secure your spot.

 

I really hope to see you there!

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

 

Jump To:

Philanthropy California Highlights the Migrant
Experience at the Southern Border

Register Today for 2018 Fundamentals of Effective
Grantmaking

TRHT-LA Co-Organizes Events to Celebrate 200th
Birthday of Biddy Mason

Philanthropy California Advances 2020 Census Work

SCG News

Program Roundup

Coming Up

 

Philanthropy California Highlights the Migrant Experience at the Southern Border

 

Last month, Philanthropy California, our alliance with Northern California and San Diego Grantmakers, joined the International Community Foundation to present The ‘Flip Side’ of Family Separation: What Happens to Migrants and Deportees in Mexico?  Funders from several state and national organizations and I traveled to the region to attend a few days-worth of events aimed at highlighting the experience of migrants and deportees in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico through their challenging first days, months and even years.

During our time there, we met with representatives from organizations that are addressing new needs as a result of recent policies and others that have been working for years with those who have been affected by family separation long before this crisis made headlines.  

For me, the experience was both illuminating and moving. Witnessing firsthand the hardships endured by migrants and deportees only strengthened my resolve to do the right thing when it comes to immigration at our Southern border. (See my July President’s Message to see some of the actions we and others took over the summer with regard to issue of family separations at the border).

The events were livestreamed and are available here.

 

Register Today for 2018 Fundamentals of Effective Grantmaking

 

To keep pace with changes in the nonprofit sector and the growing demands on foundation resources, grantmakers must continually sharpen their skills and knowledge. SCG’s signature Fundamentals of Effective Grantmaking program is an opportunity for anyone who is new to the field to learn primary grantmaking competencies and for seasoned philanthropy professionals to revisit their core grantmaking skills.

This interactive program will introduce you to grantmaking skills and procedures and provide opportunities to interact with colleagues in our grantmaking community during a series of engaging sessions:

  • The Process of Assessing Proposals and Site Visits
  • Building Respectful Relationships with Grantees
  • Evaluation for Learning 
  • Understanding Financial Statements
  • Ethics in Grantmaking
  • Managing the Challenges of Grantmaking
  • Adopting the Networking and Mentoring Lifestyle
  • Advocacy, Public Policy and Transformation in the Civic Landscape

 

Individuals who attend the full program will receive a certificate signifying completion of the series. Register now for Fundamentals!

 

TRHT-LA Co-Organizes Events to Celebrate 200th Birthday of Biddy Mason

 

Last month, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation - Los Angeles (TRHT-LA), an initiative coordinated by SCG, and The Biddy Mason Charitable Foundation co-organized a series of events to celebrate the inspiring life of Bridget “Biddy” Mason on her 200th birthday.

Born enslaved in Mississippi on August 15th, 1818, Biddy walked to California behind her master’s wagon, where she ultimately gained her freedom, worked as a nurse and midwife, and became the first black woman to own land in Los Angeles. As Biddy’s wealth grew, so did her generosity. She was a visionary philanthropist, regularly providing food and shelter for the poor, healing the sick and visiting inmates in county jail.

Despite her wealth and prominence at the time of her death, Biddy was buried for nearly 100 years in an unmarked grave at Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights. Community members gathered at this resting place to honor Biddy Mason’s remarkable life and spirit that continues to inspire us today.

Many others attended an event at Biddy Mason Memorial Park in downtown Los Angeles a few days later. Check out photos from the event as well as this amazing story in the Los Angeles Times.



Clockwise from top left: (1) Wreath-laying ceremony; (2) Remembering Biddy Mason; (3) DJ Alima Lee; (4) Amanda Gorman

 

Philanthropy California Advances 2020 Census Work

 

Last month, SCG’s Public Policy staff and our Philanthropy California partners engaged in a number of activities related to the 2020 Census, in addition to our extensive work convening and educating members on this topic.

On August 7, Philanthropy California partners jointly submitted a letter with the League of California Community Foundations opposing the inclusion of a question about citizenship on the upcoming Census form as a part of the open comment period at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The letter included the signatures of 34 organizations, including the following SCG members: Asian Pacific Fund, California Community Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, Community Partners, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, First 5 LA, Kern Community Foundation and Liberty Hill Foundation.

On August 13, Nancy Jamison, President and CEO of San Diego Grantmakers, testified on behalf of Philanthropy California before a joint informational hearing on the 2020 Census. Additionally, SCG Public Policy Committee Member Efrain Escobedo testified before the Committee. Philanthropy focused its message on the need for the state to provide community-based organizations flexibility by providing grants instead of contracts and by focusing on hard-to-count communities in geographic areas needing additional resources. The hearing can be viewed here.

These actions are great examples of how we are investing in building relationships with state and federal policymakers in order to insert philanthropy’s voice into policymaking. In that spirit, we hope you will join us next year for Foundations on the Hill in March and/or SCG’s Philanthropy in the State Capitol in May.

 

SCG News

 

I am delighted to announce that we have hired a new Director, Statewide Technology – Phuong Pham. Phuong comes to us from Mission Investors Exchange (a member of United Philanthropy Forum) and previously worked at The Vilcek Foundation in New York City. Her first day at SCG will be September 17.

 

Program Roundup

 

  • At our Collective Impact program on August 7, Jennifer Splansky Juster, Executive Director of the Collective Impact Forum, and three local leaders of collective impact sites in Southern California unpacked the key elements of the collective impact framework and shared insights gleaned from an in-depth study of 25 collective impact sites. The collective impact framework brings people and sectors together in a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities and continuous communication, with a strong backbone team dedicated to orchestrating the work of the group.
     
  • At the August 16 program entitled A Humanitarian Crisis: The Harsh New Realities Facing Refugees and Asylum Seekers, we discussed how the systems and infrastructure that support and protect the most vulnerable immigrants and learned how this development impacts local communities in California, what leaders are doing to respond and how philanthropy can engage.
     
  • On August 24 at the New Platforms for Shaping the Latinx Narrative program at Walt Disney Studios, we partnered with Southern California Latinxs in Philanthropy, The Walt Disney Company and Hispanics in Philanthropy to present a panel of executives and storytellers who spoke about changing the narrative on Latinx culture.


Panelists at the New Platforms for Shaping the Latinx Narrative program

 

  • On August 29, SCG corporate giving members met and mingled at our 2018 Corporate Summer Reception at the Hilton Checkers Hotel. We heard from Corporate Leadership Council Chairs Mary-Elizabeth Michaels (Warner Bros. Entertainment) and Raul Bustillos (Bank of America) about upcoming priorities for the next year for our corporate members.


Corporate Leadership Council Chairs Mary-Elizabeth Michaels, Warner Bros. Entertainment,
and Raul Bustillos, Bank of America, speak at the 2018 Corporate Summer Reception​​​​​

 

Coming Up

 

We hope to see you at these upcoming events:

SEP
13

LA Arts Funders Meeting

This meeting will feature an opportunity to learn about how nonprofit arts organizations and Los Angeles County departments are working together in prevention, diversion, incarceration and reentry in juvenile justice. Read More

SEP
24

2018-2019 Emerging Leaders Peer-to-Peer Cohort

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the 2018-2019 Emerging Leaders Peer-to-Peer cohort facilitated by Angel Roberson Daniels, Executive Director of the Angell Foundation. Read More

SEP
28

Being the Change: Foundations Transforming for Greater Impact

This session will build on the Being the Change research conducted by FSG, which outlines 12 ways foundations are transforming themselves for greater impact through their staffing philosophy, structure and design, skill development and organizational culture. Read More

OCT
1

Fresh Perspective: Food, Equity and Community Development Funders' Bus Tour

This tour will feature the projects of several non-profit organizations that are bridging healthy food access and equitable economic development. The tour will also make the case for an increased investment of social and economic capital, specifically in South Los Angeles. Read More

OCT
10

Career and Technical Education 101 – The Landscape, Promising Practices, Opportunities for Philanthropy

At this program, we will look at the growing pool of living wage, middle skills jobs in fields like health care, advanced manufacturing and energy; explore the shortage of qualified workers to fill these jobs; and talk about the renaissance in career and technical education in California as promising pathway that can equip people of all ages to pursue rewarding careers and greater economic mobility. Read More

View Full List of Upcoming Events

SCG President's Message - August

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Last month, I was fortunate to attend the 2018 United Philanthropy Forum Annual Conference (#ForumCon18) in Boston with several hundred of my peers from regional associations and philanthropy-serving organizations from around the world. The Forum Conference brings together the leadership and staff of the organizations working to advance, inform and support the philanthropic sector’s impact on the crucial issues that confront us. Given all of the important developments taking place in the world today, this year’s conference felt incredibly relevant and timely, and delivered the impact at this moment when we needed it most.

What made the conference so outstanding? In my mind, it was a combination of several elements. Of course, I relished the opportunity to learn from and catch up with so many of my peers from across the country who engage in this hard work every day. In addition, the diverse group of speakers assembled at the conference was excellent. I was truly inspired by artist Titus Kaphar (watch his amazing 12-minute TED talk); educated by Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute (check out his new book, The Color of Law); and moved by the powerful presentation from Grant Oliphant, President of The Heinz Endowments (follow Grant on social media and view a transcript of his speech). In speaking about what courageous philanthropy looks like, Grant gave us too many good quotes to list, but this one in particular stuck with me: "Courageous philanthropy knows that we are not owed hope and are guaranteed no destiny other than the one we create." Truer words about our sector have not been spoken.

Finally, I was very grateful to see the Forum respond vigorously to requests by its members to talk openly and candidly about racial equity in philanthropy and across the country. This work is not just a passing trend. As a sector, we constantly need to look at ourselves in the mirror and make necessary adjustments to improve our work.

On that point, SCG staff and I who attended the Forum Conference were deeply inspired by it and are eager to shed even more light on these issues at our upcoming Annual Conference next month. I am especially excited that SCG’s Tuly Martinez, who served on this year’s Forum Conference Planning Committee, will be leading our own Annual Conference efforts. For more information about our Annual Conference, please see below.

A huge kudos to Tuly and the Forum staff for putting on such a great event. 

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

 

Jump To:

Annual Conference Early Bird Discount Ends 8/17

Help Needed on the 2020 Census

SCG News

Program Roundup

Coming Up

Register Today! Annual Conference Early Bird Discount Ends 8/17

 

Annual Conference Logo

 

SCG's 2018 Annual Conference, Our Common Humanity, is happening in just a few short weeks! Don’t forget to take advantage of our early bird registration rate as soon as possible to secure your spot. At #SCGAnnualCon18, you'll have access to an incredible variety of leaders and thinkers in sessions covering racial equity, economic inclusion, education, homelessness, trauma, implicit bias in philanthropy, inclusive grantmaking and disability, all structured around three tracks: Advancing Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Developing Professional Skills; and Engaging in Effective Collaboration & Partnerships.

The draft conference agenda is now available, with more details forthcoming in the next few weeks. We have added new topics and speakers, including:

Sara Goldrick-Rab

Bryant Marks

john powell

Robert K Ross

Edgar Villanueva

 Sara Goldrick-Rab 

Temple University; 
Wisconsin HOPE
Lab

Dr. Bryant Marks, Sr. 
National Training
Institute on Race
and Equity; 
Morehouse College

john a. powell
Haas Institute for a
Fair & Inclusive Society; University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Robert Ross

The California Endowment 

Edgar Villanueva
Schott Foundation
for Public Education

We are also excited that the conference will be taking place in a new, state-of-the-art facility at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. With wifi access and incredible views throughout, this new venue is conducive to learning, networking and being inspired for a full day. If you have not already attended an event there, you are in for a treat.

 

 

Join more than 600 of your philanthropic colleagues to hear from thought leaders and many more changemakes in our region!

Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsors: Annenberg Foundation, California Community Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. For information about sponsorship opportunities, click here.

 

Help Needed on the 2020 Census

 

Philanthropy California, our alliance with Northern California and San Diego Grantmakers, and The League of California Community Foundations have come together with an important request: sign onto our joint letter opposing the inclusion of the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that he had directed the Census Bureau to add an untested and unnecessary question to the 2020 Census form, which would ask the citizenship status of every person in America. This decision will result in a serious undercount that will negatively impact our communities and our state.

The Commerce Department has invited the public to comment on the paperwork associated with the 2020 Census. The public has until August 7 to submit comments.

This is one of the few opportunities for philanthropy to make its case that the citizenship question should be removed from the Census questionnaire. Public comment establishes an important record for the public, Congress and the courts to consider. We hope you will sign on to our letter and encourage other funders to do so as well. If you are interested in signing on, please email Karla Mercado at [email protected] no later than Friday, August 3, 2018.

If your organization has not already done so, we also strongly encourage you to submit your own letter. You can use the following sample letter for grantmakers or community foundations that you can personalize. To submit your own letter, go to Regulations.gov and click on the button that says “Comment Now.” You can upload your letter or enter your comment directly on the website. Follow the instructions to preview what you post and then accept the submission. All letters and comments must be submitted by August 7, 2018 to count. Please submit copies of your letter to Karla Mercado ([email protected]).

Thank you for your support and your commitment to ensuring a complete count.

 

SCG News

 

A few very exciting SCG-related announcements:

Connie Malloy

 

SCG is pleased to announce that Connie Malloy, Portfolio Director at The James Irvine Foundation, has been elected to our Board of Directors.

Deidre Lind

 

SCG Board member Deidre Lind has been named President and CEO of the Pfaffinger Foundation, one of the oldest private foundations in Los Angeles. Previously Deidre served as the Founding President of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles. Both Pfaffinger and the Mayor’s Fund are SCG members.

Nancy Berglass

 

Congratulations to Nancy Berglass, SCG's long-time consultant on issues pertaining to veterans, who has been appointed President of the National Veterans Intermediary, a national platform meant to impart shape, strategy and strength to the fragile veterans' ecosystem. Under Nancy's leadership, SCG's Veteran Funders Group has brought significant influence on the recent passage of an LA County Board of Supervisor's motion authorizing the LA Department of Mental Health to play a major leadership role on our local veterans’ landscape. Nancy will continue to guide SCG through our ongoing partnership with the County on this effort, as well as our programming at the intersection of grantmaking and veterans' affairs.

Karen Freeman

 

S​​​​​CG Chief Operating Officer Karen Freeman has been elected to another term on the United Philanthropy Forum Board of Directors.

 

On a very bittersweet note, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Charlotte Ahles, who i​​​​s leaving SCG as Director of Statewide Online Technology to work at a cloud solutions consulting firm. Charlotte started working as an intern at SCG over seven years ago, and diligently worked her way up to run technology for SCG and Philanthropy California. She has contributed so much to our organization – more than she will ever know; and while we are sad to lose her, we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Program Roundup

 

  • On July 12, members of the LA Arts Funders group took a private hard-hat tour of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures construction site. Opening in 2019, the Academy Museum will celebrate the art and science of movies—past, present and future. Its exhibitions and programs will convey the magic of cinema and offer a glimpse behind the screen, illuminating the creative and collaborative process of filmmaking.

Dianne Debicella, Community Partners; Nwaka Onwusa, The Grammy Museum Foundation;
Shawn Kravich, John N. Calley Foundation; Morgan Bennett, Southern California Grantmakers

  • On July 12, SCG's Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) met to discuss issues affecting our corporate giving members and plan future programs and events. We are pleased to introduce two new leaders of the CLC: Raul Bustillos, Bank of America Foundation, and Mary-Elizabeth Michaels, Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc. See below for details about our next Corporate Summer Reception on August 29. For more information about the CLC or SCG's corporate giving area, please contact Dave Sheldon.
     
  • Kudos to SCG member and Moss Adams Senior Tax Manager Lauren Haverlock for facilitating a great Form 990: Beyond The Basics program last month. This presentation and discussion showed how to look at the Form 990 through the eyes of funders and supporters interested in the story of an organization’s return. And I want to send a special thank you to SCG Board Member and Moss Adams LLP Partner Melissa Harman for her continued support of these financial training programs.
     
  • At the Youth Health Outcomes through School-Based Substance Use Intervention and Prevention, we engaged funders in a discussions about their in interest in and/or strategies for improving school health services through the inclusion of substance use and mental health prevention and early intervention services. Speakers helped attendees identify effective youth engagement strategies (such as screening, brief intervention and referral for treatment) and discussed promising and best practices that can be widely disseminated.

 

Coming Up

 

We hope to see you at these upcoming events:

 

AUG
7

A Livestream Experience in Tijuana - The ‘Flip Side’ of Family Separation: What Happens to Migrants and Deportees in Mexico?

Join Philanthropy California and the International Community Foundation to hear from individuals and organizations supporting deportees and migrants in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico through their challenging first days, months and even years. Read More

AUG
16

A Humanitarian Crisis: The Harsh New Realities Facing Refugees and Asylum Seekers

At this program, we will discuss how the systems and infrastructure that support and protect the most vulnerable immigrants have been gravely damaged, and learn how this development impacts local communities in California, what leaders are doing to respond and how philanthropy can engage. Read More

AUG
15&18
 

Celebrating Biddy Mason

Join leaders from our Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation – Los Angeles program as we commemorate the 200th birthday of Bridget “Biddy” Mason, a former slave, nurse/midwife, entrepreneur, humanitarian and founder of Los Angeles's first African-American congregation. On August 15, we will lay a wreath at her headstone at Evergreen Cemetery. On August 18, we are gathering at Biddy Mason Park in downtown Los Angeles. Read More

AUG
24

Save the Date! New Platforms for Shaping the Latinx Narrative

Join Southern California Latinxs in Philanthropy, The Walt Disney Company, Hispanics in Philanthropy and Southern California Grantmakers to discuss how Hollywood can use storytelling through movies like Coco to change the narrative on Latinx culture. Read More

AUG
29

2018 Corporate Summer Reception

Join us for our annual Corporate Summer Reception at the Checkers Hotel rooftop lounge. This event is a great opportunity to catch up with peers in the corporate giving and corporate social responsibility space. Read More

AUG
30

New Research: Californians Working in Poverty and the Implications for our State

Join us to discuss the findings from the new Public Religion Research Institute's (PRRI) survey of working Californians who are struggling with poverty, led by PRRI's CEO Dr. Robert Jones. Read More

SCG President's Message - July 2018

Monday, July 9, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy the Independence Day holiday. This year, the holiday held a special meaning and importance for me. I struggled to find a narrative of what it means to love our country when there is so much injustice taking place here on a daily basis. Despite our aspirations and achievements as a country, the United States has a long history of injustices – from slavery and Jim Crow laws to modern-day xenophobia and racism. And, as generations of Americans have tried to do before us – albeit inconsistently and with mixed success – we must continue to fulfill our responsibility to stand up to injustice when we see it.

 

Ad in the Los Angeles Times

To that end, Philanthropy California, our alliance with Northern California and San Diego Grantmakers, issued a statement last month condemning the practice of separating children from their parents as a part of the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on the U.S.-Mexico border. We also joined a group of SCG members and other funders in signing on to the full page advertisement pictured here, which ran in the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, calling for the protection of families and children. While the child in this photo was fortunately not separated from her parents as thousands of others have been and still are, this image has been featured by many publications recently as a symbol of the trauma and human rights violations facing immigrant and refugee families due to current policies.

As the chorus of political pressure mounted, President Trump signed an executive order on June 20 stating that the Administration’s policy would be to keep families together. Of course, serious problems remain – including reuniting families that have been separated and figuring out how to enforce immigration laws in a fair and humane way.

To me, this series of events demonstrated a few things: first, and most importantly, it showed that raising our collective voices against policies that are contrary to our work and values does make a difference. Second, it shows the value of collaboration. As news about the horrors of family separations started spreading, we quickly assembled a large, diverse coalition of funders to speak out against the practice. In this spirit of collaboration, we also recently signed on to a statement from Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) about the inhuman separation and detention policies at the Southern border of the United States.

Last but not least, July 4th has passed, but our efforts to live up to the ideals of our country will continue. As long as inequities and injustices remain in the world, philanthropy needs to wield our collective power and influence to promote the welfare of others. The task is daunting, but the purpose is noble; and I am confident that when we work together, we in philanthropy can do our part in the long struggle to bend the moral arc of the universe towards justice.

Please continue reading below for more on SCG’s past and upcoming work. As always, thank you for being part of the Southern California philanthropy community.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

Jump To:
 

Takeaways from the SCG 2018 Family Philanthropy
Conference

Register now: SCG’s 2018 Annual Conference is
September 17

Welcome, New SCG Members!

SCG Staff News

Program Roundup

Coming Up

Takeaways from the SCG 2018 Family Philanthropy Conference

 

On June 5, over 125 SCG members joined us for our annual Family Philanthropy Conference. This year’s theme was “Pathways to Impact,” and we focused on how we as grantmakers can find new and proven paths that truly maximize our impact in the communities we serve.

The conference was the perfect opportunity for leaders in family philanthropy to connect, build relationships and learn from one another. We were delighted to hear from our keynote speakers who are leaders in this sector: Aaron Dorfman, President and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) and Farhad Ebrahimi, Founder and President of the Chorus Foundation.

 

 

Aaron Dorfman and Farhad Ebrahimi

 

 

Aaron Dorfman
President and CEO
NCRP

 

    Farhad Ebrahimi
Founder and President
   Chorus Foundation

 

At #SCGFamilyCon18, Aaron Dorfman presented NCRP’s Power Moves toolkit, a comprehensive tool developed to help funders explore three dimensions of funding: building, sharing and wielding power. Quoting director Rashad Robinson, Aaron noted that “power is the ability to change the rules.” He explained that our society would achieve full equity when one could no longer predict an advantage or disadvantage based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability. He then talked through how funders could assess themselves through the lens of the power-equity relationship, and build, share and wield power with the goal of achieving equity.

In a compelling and moving afternoon keynote address and chat with SCG Board Vice Chair Nike Irvin, Farhad Ebrahimi described his work as head of the Chorus Foundation, which works for a just transition to a regenerative economy in the United States. Farhad, a Next Gen philanthropist, spoke eloquently about how philanthropy itself is sometimes an obstacle to the work we seek to change. He noted that if we want our work to be transformational, we often must first transform ourselves. Farhad highlighted the importance of supporting multi-issue, power-building organizations among communities of color and working class communities, noting that building power from the bottom up is not just more equitable, but more authentic. He also urged funders to prioritize accountability through relationships rather than fidelity to process or loyalty to metrics.

 

 

Top left: Mitch Singer, Singer Philanthropy. Top right: Francisco Ortega, City of Los Angeles; Chris Essel, SCG; Nike Irvin, Riordan Family Foundation. Bottom left: Angela Oh, City of Los Angeles. Bottom right: SCG member; Greg Mora, Direct Relief; Nancy Berman, The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation.

As I mentioned in my message last month, SCG is very fortunate and grateful to have a vibrant community of family philanthropists in our membership, and we will continue to support them through a variety of new and existing programs.

MORE RESOURCES FOR SCG FAMILY FOUNDATIONS

 

Register now: SCG’s 2018 Annual Conference is September 17

 

Annual Conference Logo

At SCG’s 2018 Annual Conference, we’ll engage in a dialogue about what brings us together in a divided world. The theme of this year’s conference is Our Common Humanity.

The draft conference agenda is now available. The conference will be structured around three tracks: Advancing Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Developing Professional Skills and Engaging in Effective Collaboration & Partnerships. Breakout sessions will be organized within this framework.

Register by August 25 to take advantage of our early bird rate!

Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsors: Annenberg Foundation, California Community Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. For information about sponsorship opportunities, click here.
 

Welcome, New SCG Members!

 

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome the following new SCG members:

Our membership includes all types of foundations, corporate grantmakers, family philanthropy and government funders, as well as consultants. We represent the Southern California region, which includes Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Are you getting the most value out of your membership? Check out our member benefits. Visit our members-only online directory to find and reach out to your SCG colleagues! We’re also happy to help you connect member-to-member.

 

SCG Staff News

 

I am very excited to announce that I have promoted Karen Freeman to the role of Chief Operating Officer. During my tenure at SCG, Karen has been crucial to so much of our success – and I don’t want that to go unnoticed. In her new role as Chief Operating Officer (COO), in addition to her current responsibilities, Karen will focus on the internal operations of SCG. This will include working with me, and taking the lead on designing and implementing business operations to ensure organizational sustainability, establishing policies to promote culture and vision, and overseeing the overall operations of SCG. Congratulations, Karen!

We are also grateful to attract very bright and highly capable interns. Last month, we were sad to bid adieu to Sean Tan, a second year student at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs who was a key part of the SCG Public Policy team for the past nine months. Sean has been named a David Bohnett Foundation Fellow at the City of Los Angeles Mayor's Office, where he will be tasked with projects in preparation for the 2028 Olympics.

While we are sad to see Sean go, we are pleased to welcome two new Public Policy interns. Eric Schroer is entering his second year as a Master of Public Policy student at the UCLA Luskin School. Eric’s internship was made possible through the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, through UCLA's Hilton Senior Fellows Program. Gustavo Medrano joins us from the Rand Corporation, where he has been working as a bilingual survey interviewer. Gustavo's internship is generously supported by the WHH Foundation and the Goldhirsh Foundation.

Program Roundup

 

    

  • On June 12, at the Addressing Inequity through Arts Education program, we dove into the data presented in the Arts Ed Profile report and online tool; explored how key findings could inform grantmaking strategies to improve the quantity, quality and equity of arts education; and discussed the role that arts education could play in addressing a range of critical issues raised in the recently released Portrait of Los Angeles County report.
     
  • On June 19, we had A Conversation with Birger Stamperdahl, President and CEO of Give2Asia. Established in 2001, Give2Asia is a U.S.-based international nonprofit organization that connects corporations, foundations and individuals with local charitable organizations and social enterprises across Asia.
     
  • On June 22, at the Neighborhood Data for Social Change program, we partnered with the University of Southern California's Price Center for Social Innovation to introduce and demonstrate the new Neighborhood Data for Social Change (NDSC) platform, a free, publicly available online resource that illuminates the trends, challenges and opportunities facing Los Angeles County neighborhoods.
     
  • On June 27, SCG along with the California Community Foundation co-presented The Foundation: A Performance by Tony Award-Winner Sarah Jones. This was an evening of laughter, entertainment and thoughtful conversation featuring a dynamic, multi-character one-person show commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, written and performed by Tony Award-winning actress Sarah Jones.

Sarah Jones

 

Coming Up

 

We hope to see you at these upcoming events:

JUL
10

Domestic Violence Homeless Services Coalition Progress and Next Steps

Funders Together to End Homelessness – Los Angeles Network and SCG invite you to a session focused on the Domestic Violence Homeless Services Coalition (DVHSC). The vision of DVHS is to create a client-centered system of shared values and responsibilities that increases access to safe housing and supportive services for survivors of domestic violence and their families. Read More

JUL
11

The Children’s Trust: A Plan to Create Health Equity for All California Children

At this program, we will talk about The Children’s Trust, a bold new initiative to leverage the power of behavioral health supports and strategies—and the resources behind them—to achieve health equity for all children in California. Read More

JUL
16
 

Form 990: Beyond The Basics

Learn how to look at the Form 990 through the eyes of funders and supporters interested in the story of your organization’s return. We will also take a look at the tools available to assess an organization’s financial  health and impact. Read More

JUL
19

Youth Health Outcomes through School-Based Substance Use Intervention and Prevention

At this program, speakers will help attendees identify effective youth engagement strategies (such as screening, brief intervention and referral for treatment) for improving school health services. Read More

AUG
1

Funders’ Briefing: Assemblywoman Autumn Burke and Ending Child Poverty

Assemblymember Autumn Burke authored legislation last year that created the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act, which established a Task Force to make recommendations to reduce child poverty rates. This is an opportunity to engage and discuss opportunities to engage with the Task Force’s work and to lend philanthropy’s insights on the issue. Read More

AUG
7

Collective Impact: From Common Goals to Uncommon Results

The collective impact framework brings people and sectors together in a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities and continuous communication. Join us to unpack key elements of this framework and share insights gleaned from an in-depth study of 25 collective impact sites. Read More

View Full List of Upcoming Events

Philanthropy California Statement On Family Separations

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

As Philanthropy California, we join our partners in philanthropy, along with advocates and immigrant communities, in calling for an end to the practice of separating children from their parents as part of the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Our nation has long been a place of promise of safety and respite from harm.  Today, for thousands of children and their families, that promise has been replaced with peril. Separating children from their parents inflicts unnecessary trauma on children that can cause lasting harm. (See the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2017 policy statement regarding child health impact of separation). The current practices at the border are an affront to the shared values of decency, humanity, and compassion that underpin our work in philanthropy, and that we believe to be fundamental to a civil society.

This is one of those pivotal moments in history when it is important for all of us to speak up for what is right – to demand that all children and families, regardless of their immigration status, be treated with compassion, humanity, and respect.  

To learn more about the current situation and how you can respond, join us and Grantmakers Concerned for Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) for a webinar on Wednesday, June 27 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM PST. You can register for the webinar here.

Sincerely, 

Christine Essel
President & CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
    Nancy Jamison
    President & CEO
    San Diego Grantmakers    

Ellen LaPointe
President & CEO
Northern California Grantmakers    

 

 

June 25, 1018
Philanthropy CA Statement on the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune Ad

The following is a statement by Philanthropy California regarding an ad placed by Philanthropy CA and other philanthropic organizations in the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune on June 24, 2018:

The picture of a crying child that we and others have featured over the past week depicts the trauma and human rights violations facing immigrant and refugee families at the U.S. border due to current policies. While this child was fortunately not separated from her parents as thousands of others have been and still are, we stand by our shared commitment to protecting families and protecting human rights.

 

 

 

Additional Resources

The following is a non-exhaustive list of resources regarding the federal government's immigration policies separating families of immigrants.

 

 

JOIN AN EVENT NEAR YOU!

Host an event in your community or join your neighbors to support immigrant families on June 30. You can learn more here.

 

ENGAGE

Show your support on social media with the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #KeepFamiliesTogether.

 

SCG President's Message - June 2018

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As we move into June, I want to recognize that this month is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Please join me in honoring the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which many consider the tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States, and recognizing the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals have had on history locally, nationally and internationally.

Civic engagement is so important – and today (Tuesday, June 5th) is an opportunity for all of us to get out there and vote in California’s statewide primary election! I hope all of us will be wearing our “I Voted” stickers by the end of the day.

Today SCG is also proudly hosting our annual Family Philanthropy Conference, entitled Pathways to Impact. At the conference, a record number of participants will examine how we as grantmakers can look at innovative pathways and maximize our resources to really make a difference.

 

 

This year, we are joined by two outstanding keynote speakers who are leaders in this sector: Aaron Dorfman, President and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) and Farhad Ebrahimi, Founder and President of the Chorus Foundation.
 

Aaron Dorfman                                                            Farhad Ebrahimi
  Aaron Dorfman                                                                 Farhad Ebrahimi
                         President and CEO                                                          Founder and President                      
                             NCRP                                                                         Chorus Foundation                  

I want to take a moment to recognize SCG’s commitment to family philanthropy. SCG has a deep-rooted interest in family philanthropy that began early in our organization’s formation―three of our four founding members were family foundations―so family philanthropy is very much in our DNA.

SCG is very lucky to have a vibrant community of family philanthropists in our membership. We will continue to support them through our existing signature programs, including our Family Foundation Information Exchange (FFIX) groups, multiple family-related programs throughout the year such as today’s conference and the Traditions of Giving event in the fall, and through our partnership with the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP), by which we provide our members access to NCFP’s online resources and monthly webinars. And we are planning to introduce a number of new family philanthropy-related benefits, including a forthcoming quarterly newsletter and a revamped online portal that will enhance the community even more.

Thank you for allowing me a moment to celebrate our long and rich history of working together with family philanthropies. We at SCG are grateful to have you as members―especially those of you who have been with us for so many years now. And we look forward to continuing to work with you to build and evolve together.

 

Jump To:

Philanthropy in Sacramento Day

Early Bird Registration Now Open for
SCG's 2018 Annual Conference!

Applications Open for SCG’s 2018-2019 Emerging
Leaders Peer-to-Peer Network

Program Roundup

Coming Up

SCG Staff News

Philanthropy in Sacramento Day

 

Delegation to Sacramento

 

On May 22, Philanthropy California, our alliance with Northern California and San Diego Grantmakers, convened over 20 funders from across the state for our annual Philanthropy in Sacramento Day. This was a special event bringing together our state’s elected officials with leaders of our sector. It was our opportunity to share the work of philanthropy so that our state’s policymakers could take the best practices developed from our members’ grantmaking and scale them up to improve the lives of millions of Californians.

This year, our group focused heavily on educating policymakers about the 2020 Census, particularly the unique challenges that will require additional resources to help ensure the participation of hard-to-count populations. Our visits were well-timed, as the Legislature worked to iron out differences between Senate and Assembly versions of the budget; and although the budget is not yet final, I am pleased to report that the Assembly Committee on Budget is proposing an additional $113 million for the 2020 Census, including $95 million for Community Based Organization (CBO) outreach, $12 million for Los Angeles County and $6 million for Santa Clara County.

Southern California Grantmakers’ delegation included Alba Bautista from First 5 Los Angeles, Chelsea Mason from the Eisner Foundation, Stephanie Green from the Women’s Foundation of California and Tara Westman from The California Endowment.

 

Early Bird Registration Now Open for SCG's 2018 Annual Conference!

 

Annual Conference Logo

We are greatly looking forward to this year's Annual Conference, which will take place on Monday, September 17 at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The theme of the conference is Our Common Humanity and we’ll engage in a dialogue about what brings us together in a divided world.


#SCGAnnualCon18 already features a number of exciting speakers, including our keynote speaker, john a. powell, the Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society and the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion Professor of Law, African American and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Join over 600 colleagues from our diverse philanthropic community of private, public, family, individual and corporate change-makers for this dynamic and inspiring day.

Register by August 25 to take advantage of our early bird rate! Or become a sponsor for complimentary tickets and other benefits!

 

Applications Open for SCG’s 2018-2019 Emerging Leaders Peer-to-Peer Network

 

Applications are now open for SCG's 2018-2019 Emerging Leaders Peer-to-Peer network, our highly regarded peer-learning professional development coaching program for select emerging and mid-level career leaders from SCG member organizations. Successful applicants selected for the program will have the opportunity to engage closely with philanthropic colleagues to discuss and reflect on topics related to leadership development, organizational dynamics, collaborative philanthropic impact, philanthropy trends and each member’s professional and personal goals.

Similar to our longtime Senior Peer-to-Peer program, this peer learning group will utilize a coaching model that will enable members to create and implement a personal development plan, as well as to expand networks and alliances for professional growth.

The deadline to submit the application is June 15. Learn more and apply.

 

Program Roundup

 

Attendees in front of a muralAttendee in front of a mural
Attendees at The People's HomeAttendees at The People's Home
 

  • Last month, Philanthropy California and the Nonprofit Finance Fund led a session on “Learning from and Applying a Full Cost Approach” at the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations’ Conference. Nearly 70 participants learned about the Full Cost Project, which understands that funding is changing funding practices for nonprofits that diminish their effectiveness and vitality. We shared tools for applying the full cost approach to grantmaking in order to better support and strengthen nonprofits. 
     
  • SCG partnered with the United State of Women (USOW) for its 2018 Summit, a powerful gathering of women and allies from across the country who know their energy and power will break the barriers that stand between women and full equality. In fact, SCG Director of Programs and Conferences Tuly Martinez and several SCG members were on the planning committee for the summit, which featured a conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama. Congratulations to USOW on a great summit!

Michelle Obama and Tracee Ellis Ross
Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Actress and Activist Tracee Ellis Ross

 

Coming Up

 

We hope to see you at these upcoming events:

 

JUN
 12

Addressing Inequity through Arts Education: A Funders Briefing on the LA County Arts Education Profile

In partnership with the LA County Arts Ed Collective Funders Council, join us to discuss the role that arts education can play in addressing a range of critical issues raised in the recently released Portrait of Los Angeles County report. Read More

JUN
19

A Conversation with Give2Asia’s Birger Stamperdahl and Xiao Rong

Interested in philanthropy in China or elsewhere in Asia? Join us to hear from Give2Asia's leadership about their work connecting corporations, foundations and individuals with local charitable organizations and social enterprises across Asia. Read More

 

JUN
20

Exploring Organizational Capacity and Health: A Guide to Assessment Tools

For this webinar, participants will go through a database of over 90 assessment tools and review this memo to better understand the landscape of organizational assessments. Read More

 

JUN
27

The Foundation: A Performance by Tony Award-Winner Sarah Jones

Join SCG and the California Community Foundation for an evening of laughter, entertainment and thoughtful conversation with the Los Angeles philanthropic community. Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Foundation is a dynamic, multi-character one-person show. Read More

 

JUN
28

Educating the Next Generation of Environmental Stewards in Southern California

At this program, we will discuss the state of environmental education in Southern California. Participants will have an opportunity to connect and learn from other funders supporting this work in the region. Read More

SCG Staff News

 

A number of staff-related news and accolades to share:

 

Amanda Byrd, Vice President of Membership and Communications, has been selected and is currently participating in Leadership LA through the Southern California Leadership Network. As a fellow, she is spending one day a month this year engaging in a combination of classroom discussion and experiential learning on crucial topics, such as education, workforce development, transportation, healthcare, the environment, civic engagement and personal leadership development.

 

 

 

Seyron Foo, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, has been selected as one of the Independent Sector’s 2018 American Express NGen Fellows. This national honor will provide Seyron an opportunity to strengthen his capacity for future impact, provide professional and leadership development, networking and peer support and connections with established sector leaders. Independent Sector is a national membership organization that brings together nonprofits, foundations and corporations to advance the common good.

 

 

Tuly MartinezTuly Martinez, Director of Programs and Conferences, has been selected by the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) as one of the 40 Inspiring Leaders who will be honored on June 14th during CNM’s 40th Anniversary Celebration! CNM reached out to nonprofit colleagues throughout Southern California to ask for nominations of inspiring leaders in executive, governance and emerging leadership positions. The judges were looking for examples of effective leadership, measurable results and inspiration in their organizations or community. The judges then had the difficult task of narrowing down hundreds of nominations to just 40 and Tuly was selected!

 

 

Annabelle RosboroughAnd finally, it is with great sadness that I announce the departure of Annabelle Rosborough, Senior Manager, Programs. Annabelle joined SCG in 2012 as a Project Assistant. In 2013, she was promoted to a Program Associate and soon after became a Program Manager. In 2016 she was again promoted to Senior Program Manager. I want to express our deepest gratitude to Annabelle. She joined our team at a critical juncture and time of change. She has made significant contributions and taken us to the next level in multiple areas—especially in veterans’ issues, homelessness, nonprofit capacity building, criminal justice, disaster relief and our work with the corporate sector. We wish Annabelle the very best, we thank her for her service, and we remain committed to continuing her work in these areas. Please do not hesitate to contact Dave Sheldon with any questions.

As always, thank you for being part of the Southern California philanthropy community.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
@Christine_Essel

 

SCG President's Message - May 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

With our esteemed President and CEO Chris Essel connecting with global leaders at the International Women’s Forum Cornerstone Conference this week, she has offered the SCG staff her monthly platform. We are excited to share the most powerful learnings from our recent 2018 Public Policy Conference with you, and to update you on several other important SCG news and events.

 

Jump To:

Takeaways from the 2018 Public Policy Conference

Family Philanthropy Conference: Pathways to Impact

Philanthropy in Sacramento Day

Register Today for SCG’s 2018 Annual
Conference

Sign Up for SCG’s Corporate Giving Brief

SCG Members Only: Update Your SCG Individual Profile

Coming Up

SCG Staff News

Takeaways from the 2018 Public Policy Conference

Tuly Martinez, Director, Programs and Conferences
Seyron Foo, Director, Public Policy and Government Relations

On April 23, SCG hosted over 300 leaders from our sector at our annual Public Policy Conference at the Center for Healthy Communities. This year’s theme was California Counts, and had a special focus on the 2020 Census, supporting full federal and state funding for a fair and accurate count, as well as on higher education policy changes. At the conference, the SCG community came together with leaders from across our region, our state and our country to examine new and urgent questions.

In a day full of great speakers, news and information, it is difficult to distill only a few takeaways. Still, we wanted to share key learnings from the conference, as captured on our conference hashtag, #SCGPolicyCon18:

  • The Census is crucial for determining funding and representation for California, and the time for foundations to engage on it is now! Chris Hoene of the California Budget & Policy Center added that over $35 billion is at stake for California with the 2020 Census. California is also at risk of losing political representation, which prompted one of our speakers, Ditas Katague, Director, Census 2020 California Complete Count, to say: “The Census is the foundation of our democracy.”

    We at Southern California Grantmakers are excited to announce that we are partnering with the California Community Foundation to launch the Southern California 2020 Census Funder Group. If you're interested, please contact Karla Mercado, Manager, Public Policy and Philanthropy California.
     

  • We need to elevate the voices of the historically unheard via voting reforms and an accurate Census count. Talking about voter suppression laws in other states, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who was a keynote speaker at the conference, said: “Making it difficult for people to vote is undemocratic, unpatriotic and un-American.” Secretary Padilla went on to say that California has become a nationwide model for improving and modernizing the voter experience, making it more inclusive and improving civic engagement. Nonprofit VOTE has put together toolkits for voter engagement strategies for private and community foundations. You can view the reports on our website.
     
  • We must ensure that California’s students of color and low-income students are making progress toward a college degree. On this point, California State University Chancellor Timothy White said: “it will be much more expensive to fail than to succeed” in terms of outcomes for students. The Chancellor’s Graduation Initiative 2025 will push system-wide changes to close the opportunity and achievement gaps with implications for workforce development as the state’s largest source of skilled workers. Peter Taylor, President, ECMC Foundation, and Michele Siqueiros, President, Campaign for College, gave us a great guide on what philanthropic leaders can do to move the needle forward on advancing diversity and equity in higher education leadership and student outcomes in California.
     
  • Youth organizers are leading the way. On a final note, we loved this post from the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation: People say millennials want things ‘right now,’ as if it’s a bad thing. We need young people to continue to be impatient, because they use that frustration to push for real change.” Please check out this blog post talking about the “Innovative Civic and Voter Engagement Methods for a New Generation” session, led by Connie Malloy, Portfolio Director, James Irvine Foundation.

 

What were your takeaways from the conference? Send them to us or share them with #SCGPolicyCon18.

 

 

Chancellor White

 
 

Dr. Timothy White, California State University

Michele Siqueiros, The Campaign for College Opportunity; Peter J. Taylor, ECMC Foundation
 

 
 

 
 

Chris Hoene, California Budget & Policy Center; Ashley Swearengin, Central Valley Community Foundation; Ditas Katague, Census 2020 California Complete Count, State of California

The Honorable Alex Padilla, California Secretary
of State; Val Zavala, KCET (former)

 

SCG is proud to support our members as they pursue effective strategies and strong collaborations to do the work they aspire to do. To those who attended this year’s sold-out conference: thank you for your participation, and we hope you had an informative and productive experience. We would also like to once again thank our conference partner, the California Budget & Policy Center, and our member-led Conference Advisor group, as well as our sponsors and speakers.

 

Family Philanthropy Conference: Pathways to Impact

Kameron Green, Senior Manager, Programs
Jan Kern, Family Foundation Consultant

Family foundations have always played a key role in philanthropy, with their focus on strong grantee and community relationships and ability to respond nimbly. Now, family philanthropy is poised to both broaden and deepen its impact as the number of family foundations continues to grow. The question is, how can we make the most of our unique strengths and opportunities?

This year’s Family Philanthropy Conference, Pathways to Impact, looks at how we as grantmakers can think outside the box, look at innovative pathways and maximize our resources to really make a difference.

This year, we are joined by Farhad Ebrahimi, Founder and President of the Chorus Foundation, and Trista Harris, President of the Minnesota Council on Foundations.
 

 

Farhad Ebrahimi

 

Trista Harris

 

Farhad Ebrahimi
Founder and President,
Chorus Foundation

 

Trista Harris
President,Minnesota
Council on Foundations

This conference is focused on SCG members in the family philanthropy sector, but is open to any SCG member or eligible nonmember with an interest in these topics. Register today to be inspired and energized!
 

Philanthropy in Sacramento Day

​​​​​Seyron Foo, Director, Public Policy and Government Relations
Karla Mercado, Manager, Public Policy and Philanthropy California

We strongly encourage our members interested in using their public policy skills to attend the annual Philanthropy in Sacramento Day, which for the first time this year includes a half day briefing to prepare you for the next day’s full slate of meeting with policymakers.

Presented by Philanthropy California, our alliance with Northern California and San Diego Grantmakers, Philanthropy in Sacramento Day is a special event bringing together our state’s elected officials with leaders of our sector. It’s our opportunity to share the work of philanthropy so that our state’s policymakers can take the best practices developed from your grantmaking and scale it up to improve the lives of millions of Californians. This year, we will also place a special focus on the 2020 Census preparation efforts. Our time in Sacramento will include opportunities to:

  • Educate legislators and the administration about philanthropy’s role in civil society, the importance of 2020 Census and best practices on issues that you fund
  • Develop and cultivate relationships with fellow policy-oriented peers and policymakers
  • Encourage legislators to view foundations as thought partners. 

We are also thrilled to offer a half-day briefing and welcome reception for all participants on Monday, May 21. The briefing will cover emerging issues affecting philanthropy and communities across California and will provide an opportunity for interactive discussions with leading policy experts. Finally, you can connect with fellow participants at the Welcome Reception immediately following the briefing. Register today for this exciting event!
 

Register Today for SCG’s 2018 Annual Conference

Annual Conference Logo

Tuly Martinez, Director, Programs and Conferences

We are pleased to announce that registration for SCG’s 2018 Annual Conference is now open! This year, our focus is on Our Common Humanity.

The country is more divided politically and culturally than ever before and there are a dizzying number of conversations - often times conflicting - taking place over multiple channels and platforms. Yet, there is one thing that binds us together: Our Common Humanity. All of us have some basic, innate features that unify us and ultimately give us hope for the future. The philanthropic sector can draw on this common humanity in order to effect positive change in our communities and around the world.

At #SCGAnnualCon18, we’ll engage in a dialogue about what brings us together in a divided world. This year, we will convene in a unique meeting space that is conducive to these conversations: the Intercontinental Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Join over 600 colleagues from our diverse philanthropic community of private, public, family, individual and corporate change-makers for this dynamic and inspiring day. Register today - we hope to see you there​​​!
 

Sign Up for SCG’s Corporate Giving Brief

Annabelle Rosborough, Senior Manager, Programs

We are pleased to announce that as an added membership benefit, all SCG members are eligible to receive our Corporate Giving. This curated biweekly email contains newsworthy and relevant articles highlighting trends in the corporate giving sector and profiling individuals and organizations.

We encourage our members to sign up for the brief as well as submit news that you think would be of interest to fellow SCG corporate giving members.
 

SCG Members Only: Update Your SCG Individual Profile

Morgan Bennett, Manager, Member Engagement

Did you know that as a part of your organization’s membership with Southern California Grantmakers, you have a personal profile? The information in your profile helps us provide you with the most relevant programs, services and information.

Please take a quick 5 minutes to log in and update your SCG profile.

Your User Name is usually your work email address.
If you forgot your password, you can reset it now.

The more you tell us about yourself, the more we can support your important work. And all you have to do is check a few boxes.
To make this more fun, on May 15, we will randomly choose three people who have updated their profiles to receive either a free ticket to our Annual Conference or a $100 donation to the nonprofit of their choice.

Please feel free to contact us with questions. Thank you in advance for helping us help you make the most of your SCG membership.

 

Coming Up

SCG Programs Team

We hope to see you at these upcoming events:

 

MAY
5-6

The United State of Women (USOW) 2018 Summit

SCG is a proud partner of the USOW's 2018 Summit. USOW is a national organization for any woman who sees that we need a different America for all women to survive and thrive, and wants to work collectively to achieve it. Read More

MAY
10

Green Investment without Displacement along the Los Angeles River

At this program, we will bring together leaders who have worked in coalition with other organizations on a broad set of issues related to the efforts to restore the Los Angeles River, including anti-displacement strategies and community development. Read More

MAY
18

Examining the Needs of Youth Involved in Both the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems

Liberty Hill and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundations invite you to a discussion on dually involved youth―youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems―with LA County officials, funders and other key stakeholders. Read More

MAY
24

Walking the Talk: Putting Values-Based Grantmaking into Practice

At this workshop, we’ll discuss PEAK Grantmaking’s research into values-based grantmaking and provide participants with skills to initiate conversations with colleagues and organizational leaders around aligning grantmaking practice with values. Read More

SCG Staff News

 

Yolanda Gipson

 

 Yolanda Gipson

SCG Leadership

We are pleased to announce that Yolanda Gipson has joined SCG as Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. Yolanda has over 15 years of administrative experience, most recently as the executive assistant to Maria Contreras Sweet, former Administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Obama and founder of ProAmerica Bank. Please join us in welcoming Yolanda to the SCG family.

From all of us at SCG, thank you for reading and for your continued membership!

 

 

SCG President's Message - April 2018

Monday, April 2, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

It’s April, and there is something special in the spring air. Around this time of year, we focus the spotlight on the public policy efforts of SCG and our members. It is truly wonderful to see our staff and members engaging in public policy like never before on a variety of important issues.

Before I go any further, I would be remiss if I didn’t also celebrate the tremendous renewed sense of civic engagement that is being led by youth, as demonstrated by the March for Our Lives events on March 24. What an inspiring day! If we were impressed last month with the grit that those students demonstrated after the tragedy at their school, then we should be even more encouraged by their determination to effect change—including registering thousands of young people to vote—at the marches and in the coming months. I believe we are witnessing something remarkable—which is even truer given the age and advanced wisdom and leadership that these students are exhibiting.

The marches across the country segue nicely into our own efforts to bring about positive change—especially in our sector—through SCG’s public policy initiatives. Over the past few years, SCG has built a robust public policy program; and this was readily apparent by our showing last month at the United Philanthropy Forum’s annual Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) gathering in Washington, D.C. This year, I was thrilled to attend FOTH with an impressive delegation of members from Philanthropy California, our alliance with Northern California and San Diego Grantmakers, for meetings with Congress about key issues of importance to foundations and philanthropy.


Philanthropy California delegation with (clockwise from top left): Representative Tony Cardenas;
Representative Jimmy Gomez; Senator Dianne Feinstein; Senator Kamala Harris

Our delegation met over a few days with more than 30 lawmakers to focus on three important issues to our sector: halting attempts to repeal the Johnson Amendment, the long-standing federal law that prohibits foundations and nonprofit organizations from engaging in partisan campaign activities; helping secure additional funding for the 2020 Census to ensure a fair and accurate count in California and nationwide; and raising concerns about placing a question related to citizenship on the Census, which would plummet participation and starve California of its fair share of federal resources.
 
I’m proud that our members were part of the wave of countless other organizations that succeeded together in accomplishing both of our goals: preventing attempts to repeal the Johnson Amendment as a part of the omnibus spending bill signed into law last month, and securing $1.344 billion of additional funding for the 2020 Census over the previous year, which was more than was requested by the Trump Administration. We also raised our concerns about the citizenship question, and we will continue to actively engage in educating policymakers in this decision’s harmful effects. For more information on the Census, contact Karla Mercado, SCG Manager, Public Policy and Philanthropy California.
 
We still have so much more public policy work ahead of us. Read more below about our upcoming Public Policy Conference and Philanthropy in Sacramento Day, and if you are a member, you can always sign up for our monthly Public Policy Roundup here.

 

Jump To:

Philanthropy in Sacramento Day

Welcome SCG's New Members

embRACE LA: 100 Dinners on Race

Program Round Up

Coming Up

SCG Staff News

Policy Conference Is Almost Sold Out!

SCG's 2018 Public Policy Conference on Monday, April 23 is almost sold out!

Join us for an in-depth look at the latest policy analysis and research on key issues impacting philanthropy. This year's conference will focus on the critical importance of full federal and state funding for the 2020 Census, and on fast-moving changes in higher education policy, among other topics.

 

 

We are excited to partner once again with the California Budget & Policy Center and are looking forward to hearing from many distinguished speakers, including The Honorable Alex Padilla, California’s Secretary of State; Dr. Timothy White, Chancellor of California State University and Ashley Swearengin, President and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation and former Mayor of Fresno.

It’s not too late to register. We hope to see you there for a day of thought-provoking conversations about our sector's role in advocacy efforts that strengthen our communities. 

Philanthropy in Sacramento Day

Philanthropy California’s annual Philanthropy in Sacramento Day (May 22, 2018) is a special event bringing together our state’s elected officials with leaders of our sector. Members from across our three regional associations gather together to walk the halls of the state capitol, bringing attention to the most pressing issues affecting our communities, including the 2020 Census, child welfare, health and immigration. Philanthropy in Sacramento is a unique opportunity to meet directly with legislators and administration officials, and connect with fellow policy-oriented peers.

 

 

This year, we are also excited to offer a half-day briefing and welcome reception for all participants the day before, May 21. The briefing will cover emerging issues affecting philanthropy and communities across California and will provide an opportunity for interactive discussions with leading policy experts.

Agenda

May 21                                                                                          May 22                              
Half-Day Policy Briefing: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm                              Legislative Visits: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Welcome Reception: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm                                     (Hotel and Location Information to follow)

Welcome SCG’s Newest Members

I am happy to welcome SCG’s newest members from this quarter. Please click on their links to learn more about them in our Member Directory.

embRACE LA: 100 Dinners on Race

On April 16-20, 1000 Angelenos will gather in 100 homes and spaces across the city for thoughtful dinner dialogues through embRACE LA, an initiative aimed at unifying Angelenos and empowering communities through a citywide conversation about race and racism. Dinners are free and all residents of Los Angeles are welcome to apply by April 1st. Click here to sign up

Learn more about embRACE LA's multidimensional approach to changing narratives, building relationships and advancing public policy solutions.

 
Program Round Up
  • On March 2, we held a lively conversation with Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab about innovative ways to make higher education more accessible and affordable. We will continue to lift up this conversation through our College Access Funders Group and at our Annual Conference.
  • On March 6, Nonprofit Finance Fund led a training about the Full Cost Project geared toward foundation trustees and board members.
  • On March 7, the SCG International Funders Group hosted an inspiring conversation with Nancy Aossey, President and CEO of the International Medical Corps, to learn more about their approach to building local capacity in forgotten crises around the globe.
  • On March 20, participants learned about RACE COUNTS, a new initiative and comprehensive online tracking tool that ranks all 58 California counties on issues of race in seven key areas.

 

Coming Up

I hope to see you at these upcoming events.

 

APR
10

Biggest Changes in the Financial Sector (Orange County Session)

Join us to discuss how recent changes to generally accepted accounting principles and the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect the philanthropic sector.
Read More

APR
11

Profit + Purpose: Does Your Portfolio Align With Your Values?

At this program, our panel will discuss how individuals, 401 K plans, foundations and endowments can use the power of their investments to create change.
Read More

MAY
5-6

The United State of Women 2018 Summit

SCG is proud to partner with the United State of Women. This year, former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama will be one of many featured speakers. 
Read More

JUN
5

SCG Family Philanthropy Conference

Our annual Family Philanthropy Conference is fast approaching. Save the date for this must-attend event for the family philanthropy community.
Read More

SCG Staff News

Finally, I'd like to welcome our newest staff member, Brenda Estrada, who started this month. As the Associate, Finance and Operations, Brenda is responsible for all accounting functions and provides administrative support to our Vice President, Operations and Government Relations.

Thank you for reading. As always, I'm interested in your ideas and feedback on SCG’s work. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions. Onwards!

 

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
@Christine_Essel

SCG President's Message - March 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018
THIS MONTH:

 

California's Call for Inclusion

Coming Up

Highlights of the Federal Spending Agreement

SCG Staff News

Program Round Up

 

Dear Colleagues,

I have to be honest. Starting another President’s Message with reflections on yet another horrible tragedy is exhausting and disheartening. So instead, I’m going to focus on something that gives me hope: the emerging generation of youth activists who are speaking out on the issues that matter to them and our collective future. Out of this tragedy, we are seeing the beginning of a civic-engagement movement that is lasting more than just one news cycle.

Have you seen this incredibly moving speech by one of the students from Parkland? This remark, in particular, resonated with me:

"Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because...it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see."

Students across the country are appearing at rallies and on news programs. They have announced plans for a massive rally against gun violence in Washington, D.C. on March 24, with smaller rallies and protests in cities around the U.S.
 


(Image source: YouTube)

To be clear: youth activists have been around for a long time and they have always made their mark on the conversations of the day. In fact, 50 years ago this month, Chicano student activists walked out of their classrooms to demand a better education right here in East Los Angeles. That youth activism sits within a history of important moments that have shaped our nation. But there is something about this particular youth movement that seems different. Maybe it is because we are living in a time when civility seems to be missing from our civic spaces. Where it feels like the “adults” in the room tend to call each other names, point fingers and avoid dealing with the hard issues, leaving a leadership gap bigger than in years past. Seeing students like these stand up to fill that gap gives me hope. I look forward to finding ways to support our next generation to stand up, speak out and fight for our collective future.

This connects so closely to Bill and Melinda Gates’ recently released annual letter for their foundation, in which they make the case for optimism despite all of the doom and gloom in the world. And sure enough, one of the reasons they “see a world that’s getting better” is that they are meeting “brave and brilliant individuals all over the world who are imagining new ways to transform their communities.” I believe that student activists across the country can indeed transform our communities.

Of course I am proud of the work each of you individually and all of us together are doing to tackle a wide range of problems. But I am really excited about what the next generation will bring to the table.

Please continue reading below for updates and news from our membership. You can also check our News Page for the latest on SCG and philanthropy in Southern California.

CALIFORNIA’S CALL FOR INCLUSION: WHY PHILANTHROPY SHOULD ENGAGE IN THE 2020 CENSUS

 

 

Last month I was proud to co-author a statement on behalf of Philanthropy California, an alliance of Northern California, Southern California and San Diego Grantmakers, about the upcoming 2020 Census. Together we affirmed our shared belief that “We all count. We all deserve to be counted.” Our statement goes on as follows:

“The California of today is heralded by many as a shining star of our times. We are the 6th largest economy in the world. We are home to 10 million immigrants, the largest immigrant community of any state. While experts predict that the US will become a “majority-minority” country in 2044, California already is.

It is also true that California is facing profound challenges. We have a higher poverty rate than the U.S. average. We rank 41st in the nation in public spending per K-12 student on education. There are stark racial disparities from the criminal justice system to representation in the C-suite. And housing costs have made the dream of home ownership unattainable for a large percentage of the population.”

If we are to tackle these challenges effectively, California must receive its fair share of Federal resources and political representation. We risk losing more than $2.5 billion annually in federal funds and even a Congressional seat if there is an undercount. As such, all of us need to do whatever it takes to ensure a fully inclusive 2020 Census. Read the full statement.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FEDERAL SPENDING AGREEMENT
In February, Congress reached an agreement on a federal spending plan. Our Public Policy team put together a brief summary of the agreement.

The agreement would lift spending caps on defense and non-defense spending, put off a raising of the debt ceiling to March 2019 (after this year’s November elections), put the annual deficit over $1.2 trillion and push the nation’s debt over $20 trillion. The following chart summarizes some of the major reductions in spending in the agreement in interest areas of SCG’s members.

Non-Defense Discretionary Funding Increases Under Bipartisal Deal
Yet Remains Below 2010 Level


Note: All amounts exclude funding for disasters, emergencies, program integrity and Overseas Contigency Operations (OPO)
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of Data from the Congressional Budget Office, Office of Management and Budget and announced agreement for 2018 and 2019.

You can view the entire summary here. Members can also sign up anytime for our monthly public policy roundup here.
 
PROGRAM ROUNDUP
  • At the “Where Trauma Meets Ethics” program on February 12, Los Angeles County Director of Mental Health Dr. Jon Sherin and other special guests discussed the complexities of Moral Injury and addressed the important role philanthropy can play in understanding and addressing trauma across a spectrum of experiences and populations.
  • On February 13, SCG partnered with the Building Movement Project to discuss the findings from its recently released Race to Lead report which explores the nonprofit racial leadership gap in California. Even in California, we have a lot of work to do. To view the report, please click here.


Race to Lead Panel (l-r): Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, Co-Director, Building Movement Project; Mari Riddle, Executive Director, Grand Performances; Alberto Retana, President & CEO, Community Coalition; Kafi Blumenfield, Trustee, The James Irvine Foundation and Tides; Wendy Chang, Director, Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation

 

COMING UP

 

 

SCG STAFF NEWS

Before I close, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to my longtime assistant and colleague Cheryl Thomas, who is leaving SCG to move closer to her family. Cheryl has been my right-hand woman for more than two decades across several roles, and I have been so fortunate to partner with her for all this time. Please join me in wishing her the very best in her new adventures!

As always, thank you for being on this journey with us, and please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

 

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
@Christine_Essel

California’s Call for Inclusion: Why Philanthropy Should Engage in Census 2020

Thursday, February 8, 2018

California has long been home to a special kind of American Dream. People from all walks of life come to our state to find opportunity and prosperity. Since we were granted statehood in 1850 after the Mexican-American War, when the population was just less than 100,000, we have grown to the most populous state in the nation, with nearly 39 million residents.

The California of today is heralded by many as a shining star of our times. We are the 6th largest economy in the world. We are home to 10 million immigrants, the largest immigrant community of any state. While experts predict that the US will become a “majority-minority” country in 2044, California already is.

It is also true that California is facing profound challenges. We have a higher poverty rate than the US average. We rank 41st in the nation in public spending per K-12 student on education. There are stark racial disparities from the criminal justice system to representation in the C-suite. And housing costs have made the dream of home ownership unattainable for a large percentage of the population.

Even as we see both sides of the coin about the state of affairs here, one notion binds us together. It is the belief that we all have a place here. We all count. We all deserve to be counted.

This belief matters because on April 1, 2020, the Census will attempt to count every single person in the country. Unfortunately, we know from both history and how the present Census operations are unfolding that not everyone will be counted. An undercount bodes poorly for California. 

An accurate 2020 Census is important to California for a number of reasons. First, an undercount places California at risk of losing billions of dollars in federal funding. In 2015, California received $76 billion dollars in funding for federal assistance programs from housing to education to public entitlements like Medicare based on decennial Census-derived statistics. Second, California is at risk to lose political representation – the state could lose a seat in Congress if there is an undercount. Third, we risk the ability to understand the social, racial, and economic inequities facing our state if the very data we rely on is inaccurate.

We already know some of the greatest challenges to a fair and accurate Census count in California. There are numerous “hard-to-count” communities that live in our state. These communities include low-income residents, people of color, immigrants with limited English proficiency, and very young children. Additionally, there are various national policy challenges facing the Census, ranging from insufficient and delayed federal funding to the national climate of fear being stoked in Washington, D.C. and around the country against immigrants, Muslims, and others.

History has shown us that philanthropy in California can make a difference in addressing these challenges. In 2010, the collective investment from philanthropy of nearly $10 million dollars far exceeded the state of California’s $3 million dollar allocation. Philanthropy’s investment was specifically aimed at increasing the participation of hard-to-count communities.

It worked. While the state overall experienced a lower participation rate between 2010 and 2000, there was a much smaller decline in the hard-to-count communities according to published reports. In some areas of the state, the participation rate of hard-to-count communities experienced an increase in their participation rate from 2010 to 2000.

Because of what is at stake, Philanthropy California, an alliance of Northern California, Southern California and San Diego Grantmakers, is going to be engaging in the Census for the next three years in ways that make sense for their memberships. This will include sharing information, creating educational programs, supporting regional collaborations, and convening diverse stakeholders. We are also partnering with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) to ensure that there is effective and strategic coordination. This year, Philanthropy California will also engage in public policy advocacy efforts on the Census from the state budget to more local/regional action. Lastly, we are working with our national partners, Funders Committee for Civic Participation and Democracy Funders, who have been mobilizing efforts to activate our sector since 2016.

We know that virtually no foundation has a standing Census program. But we also know that virtually all foundations working in California depend on Census data and will be adversely impacted by an inaccurate 2020 Census count. We encourage you to join the efforts that are already under way. There are various opportunities both this year and next to engage, and we hope the conversations can start now.

Together, we can make California an even more inclusive home for all.

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Geographic Location 

President's Message - February 2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
THIS MONTH:

 

TRHT-LA and the National Day of Racial Healing

Program Round Up

Register Now for SCG's 2018 Public Policy Conference on 4/23

Coming Up

SCG Staff News

 

Dear Colleagues,

The first month of 2018 is behind us, and oh, what a month it was; so please bear with me in my slightly longer-than-normal message. Whether it was mudslides in California, the contentious debate about immigration and the government shutdown or the growing chorus of #MeToo and Time’s Up, not a day goes by that major events don’t capture the headlines and launch us into renewed challenges to which philanthropy traditionally responds.

Now more than ever, we are having tough but needed conversations on issues of equity, power and privilege. At the recent Women’s Marches worldwide, entertainment awards shows, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events (especially since this year marked the 50th anniversary of his assassination) and now as we are in the midst of Black History Month, many of us are feeling a greater sense of urgency to address the laws and behaviors that have led to systemic racial and gender inequities. 

More and more clearly, SCG recognizes that inequities based on these and other identities are fundamental drivers of many of the challenges that funders are trying to solve. In recent years, we have started to address these topics through our ongoing programming and conferences and through our growing public policy education and advocacy efforts. Increasingly, as we did at our 2017 Annual Conference, we have shared our stage with speakers who take on equity and racial justice in their work as grantmakers, community leaders, government officials, researchers and artists.

As you will read below, on January 16 SCG co-led a cross-sector collaborative of partners to commemorate the National Day of Racial Healing as a part of our partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for our Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) work in Los Angeles. Not only was this an inspiring and impactful day that engaged people in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect for one another, but this kind of work is helping us to learn about many of the issues underlying the work of philanthropy and to see how we can leverage what we’re learning to increase the value of the programs and support we offer to our members.

This growing focus on equity is clearly important to our members. Last year, we worked with the Center for Effective Philanthropy to conduct our first member survey in many years. As a member-driven organization, it was very compelling for us to see that 87% of respondents thought “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” should be one of SCG's highest priorities for our work over the next three years—the highest of any other choice.

As we move into 2018 and beyond, I want you to know that SCG is deeply committed to the crucial work of equity—within our own organization and across our programming, policy initiatives and partnerships. We won’t change the breadth of our programming—but across everything we do, we’ll be more aware of how our work is intertwined with questions of equity and social justice.

For SCG, this is about systems and policies, not politics. We will continue to lift up a variety of political viewpoints and grantmaking approaches in our community and to offer a wide range of opportunities for learning, connections and action. Using our equity lens simply means that we will think about whose voices and perspectives we are hearing internally and externally—or not hearing—as we consider what topics to cover, speakers to invite, policy positions to support, people to hire, venues and vendors to select, words and images to use in our communications and so on.

Across the political and ideological spectrum, grantmakers share a deep commitment to improving people’s lives. That’s where we can come together. We don’t believe that there is a one-size-fits-all requirement that funders should universally become “systems change” grantmakers or policy advocates. Each of us has a part to play in our own way, from doing crucial safety-net grantmaking to investing millions in long-term community organizing.

As we begin the year together, this feels like the right time for me to share these thoughts on SCG’s journey with you, knowing that our vision of the path ahead will continue to change as we learn together. In fact, learning and inclusion are two of SCG’s core organizational values. We hope that as we include our members in this work and learn to apply our equity lens, we will gain more clarity on what each of us at SCG can do individually, organizationally, within our membership and beyond to achieve our mission of creating meaningful change for our communities. As always, I strongly encourage our members to share with me your thoughts, learning and resources on issues of equity.

 

TRHT-LA AND THE NATIONAL DAY OF RACIAL HEALING

In 2017, we were honored to be selected by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation as the lead partner for a broad cross-sector collaborative that will bring a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) framework to a multi-year initiative here in Los Angeles.

I am so pleased to introduce the new Director of the TRHT-LA work and the newest member of the SCG team, Sonny Abegaze


Sonny Abegaze, SCG
 

Our TRHT-LA team helped coordinate events and resources for the National Day of Racial Healing, which took place on January 16. If you missed it, fear not. We created a recap of the day here (including Community Circles and an official proclamation issued by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors), captured photo highlights and created a list of things you can do individually and organizationally to advance equity and help heal Southern California that can be used year-round.
 

(left) Participants at a Community Circle during the National Day of Racial Healing; (center) Keving Fong, facilitator of the Community Circle, along with participants; (right) Christine Essel, SCG; Pamela Perry, Days of Dialogue; Adele Lee, SCG; Dave Sheldon, SCG; The Reverend Alvin Herring, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Robin Toma, LA County; Francisco Ortega, City of LA; Nike Irvin, The Riordan Foundation

 

REGISTER NOW FOR SCG'S 2018 PUBLIC POLICY CONFERENCE ON 4/23

Registration is now open for SCG’s 2018 Public Policy Conference. We will once again partner with the California Budget & Policy Center and are thrilled to announced keynote presentations by:

 

 

 

The Honorable Alex Padilla
California Secretary
of State

 

Ashley Swearengin
President and CEO, Central
Valley Community Foundation

 

Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor of the California State University

The Conference is the perfect opportunity to connect with public officials and grantmaker colleagues to explore relevant public policy issues impacting our region. This year’s theme of “California Counts” will engage participants in a discussion about the impact of the 2020 Census, higher education policy changes and the implications of the new federal tax law on California.
 
We hope you will join us on April 23rd. Register now before the Conference sells out.
 

 

SCG STAFF NEWS

I am pleased to announce that several of our wonderful staff members have been promoted in recognition of their growing responsibilities and contributions to the SCG team.

 

 

 

 

 

Charlotte Ahles
Director, Statewide
Online Technology

 

Rachel Doria
Senior Associate, Membership & Grants

 

Adele Lee
Senior Manager,
Strategic Initiatives

 

Karla Mercado
Manager, Public Policy & Philanthropy California

PROGRAM ROUNDUP

Here are some additional highlights of SCG events held in the past few weeks:

 

John Kobara, California Community Foundation; Dave Oppenheim, State Controller’s Office; State Controller Betty Yee; Christine Essel, SCG; Jamie Merisotis, Lumina Foundation; Allison Holmes, Annenberg Foundation

COMING UP
  • Feb. 12: Join SCG, LA County Director of Mental Health Dr. Jon Sherin and other special guests to discuss Where Trauma Meets Ethics: Exploring Moral Injury as a Compelling Issue for Public Health. Moral Injury is a concept coined to describe the impact of war on service members required to engage in behaviors that betray their values, which can also be an instructive framework for the public as we work to reintegrate people traumatized by a range of circumstances as healthy and productive citizens.
  • Feb. 13: We are partnering with the Building Movement Project to discuss the findings from its recently-released Race to Lead report that explores the nonprofit racial leadership gap in California.
  • Mar. 12-14: SCG members are invited to join this year's California delegation to Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) in Washington, D.C. FOTH is the one time each year when philanthropy speaks with a strong, collective voice on Capitol Hill.
  • Apr. 30 – May 2: Join us at the soon-to-sell-out Grantmakers for Effective Organizations 2018 National Conference in San Francisco. SCG members receive a discount and can register before other non-GEO members on February 13. Also, SCG and our Philanthropy California partners will be hosting a reception at the conference.

 

More than ever, I am so grateful to each of you for your leadership during this crucial time in our grantmaking community and in our society. It’s an honor to work alongside you as we all seek to heal what divides us and build the most effective solutions together.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
@Christine_Essel

 

2017 Year in Review

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

To say that 2017 has been a tumultuous year would be an understatement. This year we saw a deep and widening polarization in our country’s politics, tragic natural and man-made disasters beyond our wildest imaginations, and countless other social, economic, and environmental events take place on a daily basis. Propelled by the fast-moving, large-scale developments here at home and around the world, the Southern California philanthropy sector is undergoing a transformation that will have ripple effects for years to come. 

With so much doom and gloom in the headlines, it would be easy to throw up our collective hands and give up on the important work that means so much to all of us. Yet, we have found that there is also plenty of good news to go around, whether it is the Olympics being awarded to our region or California leading the charge on the Paris Climate Agreement and other fronts internationally. We have also found that through all of this turbulence, our members have demonstrated a renewed resilience by committing even more deeply to the hard work ahead. We are seeing high profile leaders in our community speak out against unfair policies and other injustices.
 

Check out the SCG 2017 Year in Review

We at SCG are humbled and honored to have all of you as members. And my staff and I remained steadfastly committed to our mission of championing effective philanthropy and advancing collaborative efforts that create meaningful change for our communities.

It is no easy feat to advance this mission, and it is yet another understatement to say that we were busy in 2017. Whether we were putting on one of our 150+ high-quality programs or conferences; walking the halls of Capitol Hill advocating for better public policy on the vital issues of the day; or connecting you with peers and partners and sharing cutting edge information, we at SCG are focused on making an impact for our members and for the region.

There is far too much work to cover in one email, so we put together a brief whirlwind tour of the year to give you a better sense of our work in 2017. I hope you will take two minutes to check it out.

To give you just a small sampling of our accomplishments in 2017:

  • In January, we launched Philanthropy California, our partnership with Northern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers that brings together the deep local expertise and connections of our three regional networks to increase our impact on statewide and national issues that affect us all; and we are already seeing significant progress.
  • In April, we convened our largest ever Public Policy Conference to help our members navigate the currents of state and federal public policy; this was followed in September by our largest Annual Conference, where we looked at overlapping issues and identities that impact the well-being of community members we serve.
  • In November, we released a groundbreaking report chronicling the first year of one of our flagship initiatives, the Center for Strategic Public-Private Partnerships (CSPPP), which is a collaboration between government and philanthropy (including many of our members) housed in the Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection.
  • Also in November, we helped launch along with our partners Measure of America and 15 leading member organizations The Portrait of Los Angeles County, a comprehensive data analysis of well-being in the county using the human development framework and index.

And we are not even close to slowing down. In fact, 2018 looks to be even busier than this year. We are engaging with many of you in the crucial national debate and the hard work related to creating equity. In 2017, SCG deepened our efforts to address equity—especially racial equity—as a key factor in effective grantmaking and a thriving society. This work will continue in 2018 across our programs, policy work, operations, and new initiatives like our Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation - LA collaboration. Another one of our top priorities is to support full federal and state funding for a fair and accurate count in the 2020 Census. We will bring the 2020 Census to the center of public policy conversations, inviting you to learn more about what is at stake. Finally, please be sure to save the dates for our three 2018 conferences:

  • Public Policy Conference (4/23/18)
  • Family Philanthropy Conference (6/5/18)
  • Annual Conference (9/17/18)  

Just as we are gearing up for 2018, I urge all of you to continue having those tough conversations and keep driving the change—all of the change—that is so critically needed. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions for yourselves and your organizations. Your individual and collective vision and leadership—not just in the region, but globally—is needed now more than ever to tackle the challenges lying ahead of us.
 
I will say it again: it is an honor and a privilege for me to lead Southern California Grantmakers and for us to learn, connect, and take action with you on so many important topics. Thank you for your membership and for the work that you do. We look forward to working with you in 2018 and beyond.

Wishing the best to you and yours this holiday season.

Onward!

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
@Christine_Essel 

SCG 2017 Year in Review

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Update on Tax Reform

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to share with all of SCG’s membership a “special edition” of our Public Policy Roundup given the importance of federal tax legislation on our sector. In fact, the Congressional conference committee held its first (and only) public hearing today on tax legislation passed by the House and Senate, and a tentative deal has been reached by Senate and House leaders. Below we provide a high-level summary of the impacts of the proposed tax legislation, which SCG has been monitoring since the beginning of the year.

Internal Revenue Service rules permit foundations—both public and private—to lobby on the tax legislation as it falls under the “self-defense” exemption. If, after reading this message, you feel compelled to act, and you have questions about next steps, please feel free to contact Seyron Foo, SCG’s Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, at (213) 680-8866 ext. 221 or [email protected].

If you are interested in additional public policy conversations, we encourage you to sign up for our robust monthly Public Policy Roundup, a benefit of SCG membership. SCG members, please log in to see the latest Round Up.
 

Jump to:  Where Are We On Tax Reform?  / How Does Tax Reform Affect Philanthropy’s Work?
What Is Philanthropy’s Position on Tax Reform? / Are There Other Items of Interest?

 

WHERE ARE WE ON TAX REFORM?

The tax bill discussions have moved into the conference committee because the House and Senate passed different versions of the tax reform bill. You can view the Tax Policy Center and Tax Foundation comparisons of current law, the Senate bill, and the House legislation here and here, respectively.

We learned today that Senate and House leaders have a conceptual agreement related to lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, lowering the top income tax income credit to 37 percent, retaining most of the benefit mortgage deduction, and retaining income tax deduction for the State and Local Tax (SALT) for up to $10,000. It is unclear where the estate tax repeal stands. The House version repeals the estate tax in its entirety in 2024, while the Senate version sunsets the doubling of the estate exemption to $11.2 million ($22.4 million for couples).

The Johnson Amendment, a provision in the U.S. tax code that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates, is also a point of difference—and one on which Philanthropy California—an alliance of Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers, and San Diego Grantmakers—has been active. The House included a provision in its version that would weaken the Johnson Amendment, eroding nonprofit nonpartisanship (for more, see below).

The timeline for a final agreement to emerge remains uncertain, though it is likely that the vote will occur next week. However, as we have witnessed with most high-profile legislation this year, timelines are ever-shifting in the Capitol.

The funding of government operations could be a potential hiccup to the above timeline. Last week, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to keep the government “open” for two more weeks, setting themselves up for a pre-Christmas discussion on another Continuing Resolution. Issues that remain unresolved—with some votes on tax reform being tied to these outcomes—include a solution to the President’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and stabilization of the health insurance markets.

HOW DOES TAX REFORM AFFECT PHILANTHROPY’S WORK?

The outcome of the tax reform bill could affect philanthropy in the following ways:

  • Reduces charitable giving: Proposed changes to the tax code, specifically the increase in the standard deduction, would reduce giving by $14-$27 billion, according to studies by the Tax Policy Center and American Enterprise Institute, among others. This amounts to almost 7 percent of annual giving in 2016.
     
  • Initiates cuts to social services: Tax reform will add at least $1 trillion to the national debt, according to Congress’s nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation’s (JCT) analysis, inclusive of the projected economic growth spurred by the tax cuts. The Congressional Budget Office, another Congressional nonpartisan office, estimates $1.5 trillion in deficits over the next ten years. Consequently, under existing Congressional rules to control deficits known as “pay-as-you-go” (Paygo, in DC jargon), automatic cuts would occur if Congress does not offset the deficit with outlined cuts or revenue increases. This includes $25 billion in cuts to Medicare and $1.7 billion for programs related to foster care, Meals on Wheels, and other social services. A complete list of automatic cuts can be found here
     
  • Repeals Johnson Amendment, exposing nonprofits to politicking: The House version of the tax bill contains a partial repeal of the Johnson Amendment. The House’s proposed change would also make political donations—for the first time ever—tax-deductible when funneled through charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations.  
     
  • Establishes a flat excise tax for private foundations: The House bill would establish a flat rate of 1.4 percent on the net investment income of private foundations. The Senate does not make changes to the private foundation excise tax. Currently, private foundations must grapple with a two-tiered tax rate – one at 2 percent and another at 1 percent, depending on the foundation’s grantmaking in a given year relative to the average payout from the previous five years.

 

WHAT IS PHILANTHROPY’S POSITION ON TAX REFORM?

SCG has been working through our partners on tax reform, particularly related to the Johnson Amendment. Since our March trip to Washington, DC as a part of Foundations on the Hill, we have been consistent in our message that the repeal of the Johnson Amendment would have would have harmful effects to the sector.

Additionally, SCG has been working through our partners, including the United Philanthropy Forum, on the larger tax reform efforts on the “universal charitable deduction” to offset the changes to the tax code. The Council on Foundations and Independent Sector have also been actively involved in Washington. The universal charitable deduction is an above-the-line deduction on charitable giving regardless of whether an individual elects to take a standard deduction or to itemize. We see a potential effort to bring this forward again given Congress’s renewed focus on potential changes to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other social safety net programs in 2018.
 

ARE THERE OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST?

The tax proposals touch every aspect of the work you, our members, do in your mission to make the world a better place. Here are a few more items of potential interest, relevant to our work in Southern California:

  • Affordable Housing: The House proposal eliminates tax-exempt bonds, known as private-activity bonds, and the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). Affordable housing developers frequently use both tools to finance the construction of affordable housing. A report by Novogradac estimated a loss of 1 million rental units as a result of the proposal.

    In California, private activity bonds accounted for $17.7 billion for affordable and senior housing, $19.3 billion for hospitals and healthcare, $4.1 billion colleges and universities, $700 million for museums and cultural institutions, and $2.6 billion for K-12 schools since 2008, according to State Treasurer John Chiang.

    LIHTC accounts for an estimated $250 million, the largest source of funding for low-income housing in California. LIHTC has financed nearly 3 million rental units nationwide.
     

  • Deduction for Natural Disasters: The House plan eliminates the deduction for losses incurred during a national disaster, including the wildfires affecting Southern California. Interestingly, the House bill provides an exemption for the victims of the recent hurricanes affecting the Gulf Coast.
     
  • State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction: Existing federal law allows for the deduction of tax payments to state and local governments for those who itemize. More than six million Californians used this deduction to the benefit of $112.5 billion. Today’s tentative agreement would limit the state and local tax deduction to a maximum of $10,000 for both real estate and income. Limit of this deduction would increase tax payments for some Californians.

SCG will continue to work with our national partners on this crucial legislation affecting our tax sector. Since last week, we have been calling Members of the House of Representative in Southern California to voice our concerns about the weakening of the Johnson Amendment. Given where conversations related to tax reform are heading on the Hill and where we believe SCG can most strategically exert influence, we have focused our advocacy energies on this issue.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Tax reform will profoundly affect our work, and I look forward to our continued partnership in advancing philanthropy’s work.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
@Christine_Essel

 

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Southern California Fires: What You Can Do

Friday, December 8, 2017

Dear colleagues,

This week, Southern California has been ravaged by a series of powerful wildfires. Fueled by dry conditions and the Santa Ana winds, these fires have caused widespread damage in multiple counties in our region, including Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, and San Diego. Today, the federal government approved a disaster declaration for California.

We at Southern California Grantmakers are wishing for the best for those that have been affected by the fires. Many organizations are responding to the fires, causing a stress on the regional nonprofit infrastructure. During this time period and into the future, we are committed to doing everything we can to support our members and the communities they serve. To that end, we have created a Southern California Wildfires resources page that lists regional funds that have been set up to help with short, medium, and long-term response and recovery efforts for the fire-affected communities. We will continue to add relevant information to this page as it becomes available.

In addition, we are discussing setting up a funder briefing call to go over how people can support response and recovery efforts; please stay tuned for more information soon.
 

At SCG, we see our role in these disasters as helping to share information on what is needed now; inform best practices in emergency relief and disaster recovery philanthropy; vet and publicize trusted funds for relief and recovery; advise on how best to meet short and long-term needs; and connect our members with government officials and other key stakeholders.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or if you want us to share any resources with our audiences.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
@Christine_Essel

 

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