Back to top

President's Blog

The Future of Art Funding: A Conversation with Vijay Gupta and James Herr

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Future of Art Funding: A Conversation with Vijay Gupta and James Herr

SCG's Back to the Future blog series is a collection of conversations with philanthropic leaders exploring the key trends that shape the contours of the future. This series aims to expand our thinking on a variety of issue areas, as well as provide funders with the insights necessary to maximize their impact. 

Art is commonly believed to be an essential facet of our culture and a key indicator of our societal well-being. But has the ubiquity of the arts caused it to be deprioritized in our current funding landscape? More and more, the arts are being left out of funding budgets, constricting their ability to be powerful tools of empathy and persuasion in our contemporary social movements. 

To explore the state and potential of art in our contemporary moment, we held a session on “Funding the Arts for Social Justice and Economic Prosperity” at our 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy. To guide our conversation, we invited James Herr, Program Officer at the Annenberg Foundation, and Vijay Gupta, Founder and Artistic Director at Street Symphony, an organization working with communities affected by homelessness and incarceration in LA County through performances, workshops, and musical artistry. Together, they explored the vital role the arts play in today’s world and how a new wave of investment could accelerate underserved communities’ participation in the creative economy. 

After the panel, we sat with James and Vijay to dig deeper into the importance of art as the lifeblood of social justice movements and key opportunities for funders looking to strengthen their impact and collaboration with artists on the ground. 

 

What is the function of art in a social justice movement?

VG: I believe that a lot of what we consider to be social justice work is instinctive for artists. In my mind, the artist is very much the modern-day shaman: we’re boundary crossers and cultural translators who are able to occupy the in-between, relational areas where we can share the stories of our hearts. Artists intuitively create spaces for cultural and human exchange.

You see this best when you’re making art in communities — especially communities that we are quick to throw away, disregard, or ignore — where the art is in the process of cultivating relationships. When I go to make music in a county jail or in Skid Row, I'm fully aware that I’m a guest in that community and that it’s not my job to fix or rehabilitate anyone. I'm there to be present with them and to sit with their stories. Listening is restorative, not only for the person telling the story, but also for the person receiving it. When we begin to understand that the stories of our hearts — the stories of communities — don't often come from a place of success, but from places of brokenness, that’s when healing begins. When we talk about the arts and social change, we're really talking about coming together to deal with our painful experiences. Art happens when we tend to the things that make us the most fragile, the most vulnerable, the most human. Our job as artists is to create conditions where exchange can happen, where these rough narratives can provoke conversations and lead us into a space of healing. 

JH: Art is the fuel that drives social justice and it does that by achieving empathy. The funding framework I often reference plugs art into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. At the very bottom you have the basic needs, which for art, I consider to be the level of voice because the first innate need of any human is to have a voice, an outlet for expression. Next, is the level of hearing because once you've found your voice, it doesn't do you any good if you can't express your needs to another person. But just because someone hears you doesn’t mean they understand what you’re trying to say, so next is the level of understanding, which simply means that others comprehend your message. Finally, you get to the top level — the level of self-actualization — which is empathy. The goal of empathy is to get someone to feel what you’re feeling, what the community is feeling — and to achieve that you must succeed at all the previous levels. For me, the goal of the artist is to guide us through all these levels until we reach that place of empathy. 

 

What are the opportunities for artists and funders to strengthen their collaboration? 

VG: I would like for us to move away from the historic, hierarchical relationship that has existed between funders and artists. Examples of this include philanthropy’s emphasis on organizations to produce an end product, to meet a set of metrics, or to adopt a traditional, top-down model. There are certain foundations that'll never work with me unless I’ve hired a full-time executive director and submitted my organization to internal restructuring. Instead of falling into this dynamic, let’s work collaboratively to reimagine the nature of capacity-building in a way that centers the artist's vision and that adapts to the needs of a developing organization. This could result in redefining how we think about the "right way to build an organization” and how we evaluate successful engagement in our communities. 

I would also say that some funders are incredibly focused on conventional ideas of success. And I say that very pointedly because success in my community almost always refers to someone leaving Skid Row. Success means that my organization doesn't have to exist anymore. That somehow the work of a funder and an artist will someday be done. And what I've learned from running a nonprofit and being an artist is that the work is never done. That is why when a funder asks for a demographic assessment or for hard metrics, it’s difficult to find a number that evaluates this success. It is challenging to numerically capture the quality of the connection we are working to build over the course of one of our engagements. This is fundamentally about the ways in which funding systems continue to be isolated and dissociated from the artistic product and from the communities they’re supposed to be engaging in. 

To lessen this distance between philanthropy and communities, I would like to see funders get more involved in the artist's process by showing up and serving in the same ways that artists are serving. For example, I’ve begun inviting funders to attend our events in Skid Row and have asked them to participate by doing things like assembling the hygiene kits that will then be donated to the community. When this happens, the fact that they give money becomes incidental to the fact that they showed up. This involvement is so meaningful to me and the communities I serve. I sincerely believe that our funders can benefit from the same thing that our audiences crave, which is real human connection. I want to create an organizational system where the funders are acknowledged for their humanity first and their capacity to give second.

 

What opportunities are available to philanthropy in arts funding?

JH: Currently, there’s a trend to fund social justice movements and organizations from the advocacy side, but not from the art side. This is one factor that has eroded a lot of today’s art funding. But you can’t separate the arts from social justice movements. My hope moving forward is that we reframe art and access to the arts as a social justice issue. 

I would also like to see more momentum around the issue of school districts not providing arts education the way they should be. The California state education code mandates that students from K-12 have arts education every single day. The reality is that less than 40% of the schools even offer it once a week. How many hundreds of thousands of students are not getting what they are legally entitled to? The reality is that this lack of access disproportionately affects students of color in underserved communities more than it does affluent white communities. Arts education then becomes a social justice issue because we’re exacerbating inequity by not giving all kids equal opportunities. We need to continue funding arts education programs in K-12 in order to provide our students with lifelong opportunities for expression.  We should also keep pushing this rock up the hill to get districts to implement arts programs. We’ve seen some success, but I think it’s time we pursued other policy options. I think funders should be leading and supporting these efforts. 

 

VG: Funders should also pay attention to policies that restrict charitable giving. This is a huge concern for us right now. Aspirationally, I'd also like us to radically reconceptualize what the arts could look like if we adopted funding models similar to the unrestricted funds we provide for venture capital investments in the tech industry. We're willing to invest $20 million on an app that might be bought by Facebook tomorrow, but we're not willing to invest that same money in artists who've been working in their community for 30 years. I'm personally very committed to pushing policy changes that will  cultivate and support these artists.

 

How can artists leverage technology in their efforts?

JH: I think social media is a place where people are finding their voice. Technology is playing an important role in giving voice to artists and voice to movements. I’m inspired by the artists who have integrated technology into their practice to amplify their message and experiences. The better you are able to use these tools to communicate, the louder your message will become. 

VG: That’s absolutely true. Every year I host a Facebook fundraiser for Street Symphony and it turns out to be one of our most fruitful fundraisers of the year. Of course, part of it is my own visibility, but the rest is the amplification I get from my fellow artists all over the country. Technology helps us decentralize the way we think about distance and allows us to build coalitions a little easier. We need to embrace technologies that allow us to create, to track, and to bolster our daily artistic practice. 

 

What aspirations do you have for the future of art funding?

JH: I would like funders to understand that the arts are not superfluous. Art is in everything we do. Art is present every single moment of the day. Everything around you right now is the end product of a creative process. We must keep providing opportunities for expression. It's an essential part of finding our voice. 

VG: I want to paint a picture of what looks like to me. Every year, Street Symphony presents a sing along of George Fredric Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” in Skid Row, where many of our performers are either currently experiencing homelessness or have experienced it previously. This experience is significant because when “Messiah” premiered in Dublin in 1742, it raised enough money to release 142 men from prison. Later, when similar concerts were held in hospitals in London, it is said that they were so successful as fundraisers that the hospitals wanted to patent this piece of music. 

What’s striking is that when it comes to funding classical music, there's actually a long history of individual patrons, like King George II, who came to “Messiah” concerts in the 1740s and helped raise funds for communities. Seeing the funder in the room weeping collectively with the musicians and community members, that’s the vital connection we should be aspiring to create. “Messiah” and all the greatest pieces of music came from the intersection of support, inspiration, and practice. I would love for funders to shift from the idea of using funding  to build a product toward seeing themselves as vital parts of the community, 


Other Back to the Future Blogs: 

"Nothing Without Us": SCG's Journey to Inclusive Design

Trends in Education Philanthropy: A Q&A with Celine Coggins

What is the Future of Work?: A Conversation with Tracie Neuhaus and Michele Prichard

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 

What is the Future of Work?: A Conversation with Tracie Neuhaus and Michele Prichard

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

What is the Future of Work?: A Conversation with Tracie Neuhaus and Michele Prichard

SCG's Back to the Future blog series is a collection of conversations with philanthropic leaders exploring the key trends that shape the contours of the future. This series aims to expand our thinking on a variety of issue areas, as well as provide funders with the insights necessary to maximize their impact. 

What is the future of work? How are governments and businesses preparing for change? What is philanthropy’s role in helping workers and society at large manage this transition with the least possible disruption, while maximizing the potential benefits? 

At SCG’s 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy, we invited Tracie Neuhaus, Senior Manager at Monitor Institute by Deloitte, and Michele Prichard, Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives at the Liberty Hill Foundation, to participate in two sessions regarding the future of our workforce. In “Great Scott! Back to the Future of Work” and “Labor, Climate Change, and a Just Transition: Building a Future for People and the Planet,” Tracie and Michele, respectively tackled the prevailing myths and trends emerging from our changing economy and the potential implications these shifts will have in exacerbating income inequality with our most vulnerable workers and communities. 

We sat with Tracie and Michele post-conference for a conversation on the shifts happening with our workforce and discussed the role philanthropy can play in spearheading innovation for an equitable future. 

 

What are the factors most likely to shape our future workforce and economy?

MP: The most high-profile changes are artificial intelligence and the urgent need for a shift to a low-carbon economy, raising the possibility that many of today’s jobs might not exist in five or ten years. We need to be prepared to address the challenges that will result from the loss of these positions. At the same time, these technological and energy resource changes will also produce new jobs that require different skill sets. To fill these roles and keep up with these rapid technological breakthroughs, we will need to focus on developing our future workers, while also continuing the reskilling of our current workforce. Lastly, the notion of a “Just Transition” will also play a significant role as we begin shifting our energy systems from a fossil fuel-based, carbon-intensive economic model, into —what we must do —a zero-carbon, 100% clean renewable energy model.

TN: I want to elaborate on Michele’s first response because it captures the central tension around artificial intelligence, specifically what is currently known as the “myth of automation.” Automation is not necessarily going to replace workers as much as it’s going to fundamentally change what work looks like for front line workers in many industries. Let’s think about how a manufacturing or construction worker’s job might change. Rather than having a routine responsibility in a factory, workers will now be responsible for interacting with advanced equipment and will need to know how to problem-solve in real-time. They will be working side-by-side with these robots to program them but also to address issues critically and creatively as they arise. Workers will need skills to become more technologically fluid in order to interact with machines instead of being replaced by them. 

Another trend affecting our workforce is the development of the “gig economy.” I think people often associate things like freelance work and independent contractors as being inherently negative byproducts of our economy. But the reality is that this is what employment looks like for many people now: some people have a small side-business, others drive for rideshare services, some rent their apartment, and many do this all while they have a full-time job. Increasingly, I think we are going to see workers piece together their gigs into an employment portfolio. . While there are negative consequences of this shift that need to be addressed, I think we need to reconsider the idea that people have just one full-time, 40-hour a week job and that’s what qualifies as a “good job.” Going forward, I think we will see a more flexible economy where everyone will begin to have a diverse portfolio of employment. 

In addition, I think where work happens is changing. For example, most people believe that the majority of construction work happens “on-site,” with workers living and working in that specific area. However, Deloitte’s research around the construction and manufacturing sectors shows that technological developments are actually blurring this geographic assumption. We’re seeing construction companies build modular homes off-site and then ship that home elsewhere to be erected. Alongside the rise of remote positions, we might see a change in where jobs are offered and how industries restructure themselves to adapt. 

 

What opportunities do funders have in preparing our future workforce?

MP: One opportunity funders have is to invest in research that helps us better understand the biggest economic drivers influencing the changing nature of work. The truth is we don’t have great data. 

TN: That’s an important point. Our data is outdated and we don't fully understand how jobs are changing, how work is changing, and how it's impacting different populations. We need help solving this big data piece in order to understand the bigger picture and identify who's going to be impacted most and when. 

MP: Another opportunity funders have is investing in organizations that are working to reskill the workforce through training and education programs. We need to invest in initiatives that create job pathways in historically disenfranchised communities. A great example of this work is illustrated by the great success that apprenticeship programs, such as the Utility Pre-Craft Trainee Program developed by the LA DWP and Local 11 of the IBEW,  are having. Employers are not only paying people to learn a skill, but they are also committing to employ them once they complete their education and training. Some even go a step further and ensure that these jobs are targeted to the communities that need them most, including low-income populations, geographically isolated communities, disabled veterans, formerly incarcerated individuals, and others. 

The conversations around universal basic income also presents a compelling opportunity to support our workers and other individuals who might be automated “out” of the job market in the future. This idea pre-figures the fact that today’s jobs may not exist and that there might not be enough jobs to employ the population at the level it needs for income security. To maintain economic stability and minimize the impact on our most vulnerable communities, advocates are promoting the idea of a universal basic income, along with moving the entire workforce towards a family-supporting living wage. There’s still significant work to be done on this front, but I’d encourage funders interested in these policy proposals to begin investing in research in this area and support organizations working to build momentum. 

TN: I also want to tackle this problem of employment but from an angle that is new for philanthropy. When you think about the workforce and the employment ecosystem, there are the supply side, the demand side, and how matching traditionally happens between workers and employers. Historically, philanthropy has focused on funding workforce organizations, workforce intermediaries, and the nonprofit sector to work with employers and get people hired. Many foundations believe it’s not their place to interface with employers. There’s an opportunity for philanthropy to work more directly with the private sector to shift employer behaviors and address the emerging issues in our workforce. 

An example of this dynamic emerged from Deloitte’s work with several organizations in Boston who’ve spent time interviewing employers. There was a collective sentiment that while the majority of funding understandably goes toward workforce organizations, if funders are looking for employers to behave differently, they also need to find ways to listen to and help employers and nonprofits who are working to develop innovative programs. The truth is that employers are often scrounging trying to close gaps in the system and don’t always have the capacity to invest in new programs or solutions.

MP: Do you believe this requires philanthropy to make a shift in its approach to funding?

TN: Employers need to move beyond thinking of workforce funding as charity and begin to consider how engaging different talent sources and different organizations can be good for business. The scale of the problem, particularly in California, is so vast that even if you had all these workforce organizations trying to address the problem together, it’s not enough. Employers are significant leverage points in the system and funders should consider working with them more directly to fund and seed innovative programs that will address these issues from a variety of angles.

What can funders do to prioritize the needs of low income communities, communities of color, and other populations that will be most impacted to ensure that our transition is equitable?

MP: Foremost, I believe philanthropy needs to collaborate with and fund groups that come directly from the communities they wish to support. Because community leaders hold so much knowledge and wisdom, they need to be equal partners in figuring out what their future looks like. I encourage funders to engage with advocacy organizations, unions, elected officials, and other major stakeholders to think about policies that support families and children in becoming healthy, productive members of our society. 

Additionally, many of our public systems are not working the way they’re supposed to, and philanthropy has historically come in and tried to fill in the gaps with the latest innovative ideas. Instead, I would like to see philanthropy increase its investment in programs that leverage public sector spending. Philanthropy should be strategic about how, with our limited dollars, we can leverage the influence of government purchasing power and spending to achieve much bigger systems change for our historically disenfranchised communities. 

TN:  I agree with Michele. Oftentimes, we focus on the deficits of certain communities and create programs that don’t recognize their assets and strengths. There is this pervasive idea that low-income communities don’t know how to make progress. In reality, they can be some of the most resourceful and innovative people around because they’ve had to figure out how to make ends meet and provide for their families. Instead of saying “I’ve got the answer and we’re going to do another training,” how can we uplift the great ideas that are coming from the communities themselves? We need to refocus our premise on building from the ground up by giving communities the tools they need to help themselves.

 

If you would like additional reading on the future of work, review our “Great Scott! Back to the Future of Work” presentation which debunks common myths around our changing workforce and includes Deloitte’s case-study on supporting workers in the age of automation. We also recommend The Climate Equity Network’s report “A Roadmap to an Equitable Low-Carbon Future: Four Pillars for a Just Transition.”


 

Other Back to the Future Blogs: 

"Nothing Without Us": SCG's Journey to Inclusive Design

Trends in Education Philanthropy: A Q&A with Celine Coggins

The Future of Art Funding: A Conversation with Vijay Gupta and James Herr

 

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 
Topic(s) 

Becoming an Authentic Leader: A Conversation with Christine Essel and Judy Belk

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

To celebrate the launch of evolve — a new suite of programming championing transformational leadership — Christine Essel held a conversation with Judy Belk to discuss her personal philosophy on leadership and the skills needed to be an authentic leader.

 

Judy Belk leads The California Wellness Foundation in pursuing its mission to improve the health of the people of California. In her role, she uses her vision and her voice to help Cal Wellness “level the playing field” so that everyone has access to good-paying jobs, safe neighborhoods, and quality health care services.


Christine Essel: The world is coming at us much faster than it has in the past. Things are changing through technology, through global communications, through the political landscape alongside all the divisions and views on how the world should work. So given all that, what do you see as the most significant challenges philanthropy leaders are facing today?

 

Judy Belk: The challenges we are facing today are very different than those we might have encountered 20 years ago. Our workforce is changing drastically in terms of diversity, skill sets, and career aspirations. Workers, especially millennials, increasingly want to be part of organizations that reflect their values. In philanthropy, we’re fortunate to come to work every day equipped with our mission of serving the broad community. But regardless of whether it’s the nonprofit or private sectors, our working population doesn’t want to make the decision of putting aside their views about service when choosing a career path. 

 

Christine Essel: Our sector is certainly not immune to these challenges and must embrace the future of work. In my career, I’ve always enjoyed building teams that not only perform well together but are also professionally satisfied with their work and can grow in their jobs. I’m also aware that the ways in which I can accomplish this goal are inherently changing. In your opinion, how do the rapid shifts above require leaders to adapt?

 

Judy Belk: These changes and challenges have been weighing on my mind lately. As demographics shift in our workforce, we can’t merely look at what people do. We must instead examine how people do their jobs and identify the ingredients that help them flourish. 

I’ve always been interested in the human side of organizational design. Throughout my career, I’ve worked in government, nonprofits, and corporations. I’ve consistently paid attention to leaders in those organizations — to leaders who brought out the best in me and those who, in my estimation, fell short. I asked myself why I did my best work under the guidance of certain leaders and why I was not my authentic self in other situations. These questions have taken me through a journey of contemplating my leadership role and style. I’ve drawn upon my own experiences to challenge my current thinking about ways to bring the best out of folks. 

 

Christine Essel: I appreciate you mentioning authenticity. In recent years, we have come around to the importance of building authentic brands for mission-driven organizations. However, the nonprofit sector has not been at the forefront of investing in internal culture. Do you see a shift in our field toward empowering our leaders to be more authentic at work?

 

Judy Belk: In a large corporation, there are a variety of ways that people could move up, move across, and move laterally throughout their career growth. In small nonprofit organizations, it is undeniably a struggle to get and keep the talent. I’m personally excited by the conversations among CEOs and health funders in Los Angeles and nationally around building a learning culture of motivating others. We are asking ourselves critical questions about professional development opportunities, coaching,  ways to help folks bring their full self into the organization, and what wellness means in terms of balancing work and family demands. I don’t think the philanthropy sector was thinking and pushing these ideas 10 or 20 years ago. 

 

Christine Essel: How are you embodying this culture shift at The California Wellness Foundation?

 

Judy Belk: There has been significant research guiding us to reflect upon and practice authentic leadership. One of the leaders whom I admire is Ernie Wilson, a board member of The California Wellness Foundation and founder of the USC Center for Third Space Thinking. He champions a fresh way of thinking rooted in five key competencies required for success in today’s ever-changing world: adaptability, cultural competency, empathy, intellectual curiosity, and 360-degree thinking. 

I find the Third Space thinking helpful in considering how performances develop, how we hire at Cal Wellness, and how folks are compensated. In our work, we put our values front and center while also cultivating  respect, integrity, excellence, learning, and trust. We’re building the optimal environment where team members are willing to try, to fail, and to learn from both successes and failures. We are looking to motivate individuals to use critical thinking in identifying new possibilities, and to employ creative problem solving to challenge the status quo.

 

Christine Essel: With these holistic internal practices, what are the skills that you hope to develop in leaders?

 

Judy Belk: I genuinely believe there’s very little that any of us can do without collaborating. And we can’t discuss effective collaboration without self-awareness, empathy, and humility. We must be able to recognize how our actions are making a difference and understand how our behaviors impact other team members on a day to day basis. 

It’s also important to be thoughtful and have the courage of one's convictions. It’s been a lifetime quest for me to show courage, which could be vastly different for everyone. In a team, I hope that being courageous means speaking our minds, acting in accordance with our beliefs, being willing to walk the talk, and being held accountable for our actions. 

These skills are often referred to as soft skills; I consider them essential skills. Even though we all need technical skills to do our jobs, we cannot do them well without being our authentic selves.

 

Christine Essel: You mentioned empathy as an essential skill for leaders. I cannot agree with you more as I believe we can’t be fully present and listen to others without showing compassion. What does it mean for you to show up as an empathetic leader?

 

Judy Belk: Recognizing and overcoming the blind spot about empathy has guided me through a lot of tough conversations. In the workplace, it’s often easy to focus solely on the “tip of the iceberg” – a team member’s visible behaviors that we can all observe. However, it takes empathy to consider that someone might not be able to deliver their best work because of unspoken reasons below the iceberg. In those cases, I regularly ask myself whether I haven’t been clear on setting the vision or if my team members don’t have the skills or resources to do the work. Those tough conversations might lead to difficult decisions. Ultimately, empathy allows me to address the problem and make those decisions in a respectful way.

 

Christine Essel: It seems evident that in order to be empathetic, you must have self-awareness. And to show empathy to others, you might need to show courage. How did you build up these essential skills?

 

Judy Belk: I’ve been on a journey to learn these skills as a leader. And I feel a lot of gratitude to the leaders in my life who took a chance on me. When Bob Haas, former CEO of Levi Strauss, gave me the opportunity to lead, I certainly wasn’t the most experienced. The same with Melissa Berman who gave me the opportunity to build Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors into a global philanthropic presence. Both organizations invested in training me to become a skillful leader. I appreciate those moments and spaces in my career to truly consider not only what I did at work, but how I did it and which values I was holding when I made certain decisions. 

 

Christine Essel: In order to show up as your full self at work — to be self-aware, empathetic, courageous — what do you do to take care of yourself?

 

Judy Belk: First of all, writing is really important to me and has been a constant thread in both my personal and professional lives. I write to figure things out. I write to take care of myself.

Then, I have a strong support system. They’re primarily women who have known me for a long time and thought I was pretty cool even before I became a CEO. I trust these women who all know me well. I’ve also been fortunate in terms of love, of a life partner who keeps me sane. I always say, “Find work that you love, find a partner that you love even more.” 

In smaller ways, I take care of myself sometimes by taking short breaks and sitting in the sun. The water inspires me, and so I spend a lot of time walking on the beach. 

Most importantly, I am working on being fully present in all interactions and look for opportunities to express gratitude in both my personal and work lives.

 


UPCOMING EVOLVE EVENTS

DEC 3 | Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture 

REGISTER

JAN 16 | Human-Centered Design Thinking

REGISTER
Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 

Nothing Without Us: SCG's Journey to Inclusive Design (Back to the Future)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"Nothing Without Us": SCG's Journey to Inclusive Design 

SCG's Back to the Future blog series is a collection of conversations with philanthropic leaders exploring the key trends that shape the contours of the future. This series aims to expand our thinking on a variety of issue areas, as well as provide funders with the insights necessary to maximize their impact. 

By Dave Sheldon

 

Imagine a village where no one has a disability. One day, a villager returns to town with a disability and instead of being cast aside, they are celebrated. The entire community rejoices in their increased diversity and their newfound opportunity to learn.  

 

Candace Cable, nine-time Paralympian and Vice-Chair of the Bid Committee for LA 2028, shared this story at our full-day disability conference, “Enabling Foundations, Nonprofits, and Partners to Include People with Disabilities.” Not only did this story serve to reframe disability to our 120 attendees, but it also presented a north star for what our collective spaces could become. 

This year, the team at Southern California Grantmakers worked diligently to implement the principles of universal design and accessibility into our events, starting with our disability inclusion conference and most recently with our 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy. While we still have a long way to go, the lessons we learned have dramatically changed how we design our programs and have shown us the universal benefits of inclusive design. 

Before anything, I want to acknowledge that the ideas and strategies discussed here aren’t new — they’re just new to most foundations and nonprofits. Up until this year, SCG had barely scratched the surface on disability inclusion through a staff development workshop and a disability inclusion panel at our 2018 Annual Conference: Our Common Humanity. However, disability organizers and advocates have spent decades pioneering work around access and inclusion. They’ve worked to develop a critical, intersectional framework that interrogates the systems that create exclusionary environments, while simultaneously (re)imagining a world that accounts for everyone, from the very beginning. And this year, it became clearer that our members were ready to invest in a world without barriers.  

 

Inclusion Begins at Co-Creation

“You can ask the people around you ‘is our community accessible?’ And once you start asking those questions, you'll start noticing barriers, which hopefully will lead you to remove those barriers. Because if you don't do anything, the barriers will continue to exist until somebody removes them.” - Haben Girma on taking the first steps to universal inclusion

 

SCG had never hosted a full-day conference on disability, nor had we ever approached events through a sophisticated accessibility lens. In planning “Enabling Foundations, Nonprofits, and Partners to Include People with Disabilities,” we became aware that our first challenge was simply knowing where to start. Luckily, we had some incredible partners — including The Ford Foundation, WITH Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Mizrahi Family Charitable Fund, and Craig H. Nielsen Foundation —   who supported us from our initial planning phases until the very end. This event was possible because of them, and their unyielding belief that we could create a day that would resonate across the sector. 

Listen to People with Lived Experience

Our first (and arguably most important) lesson came early: at all phases of planning a disability learning opportunity, you need to seek out the input of disability leaders to inform and co-create the day. For too long, the narratives of people with disabilities have been told by others and decisions have been made regarding the community without consulting them. In staying true to "Nothing Without Us,” we made sure that the voices of those with lived experience had input at all stages, especially when designing the programmatic pieces for the day. It is crucial to seek critical expertise from disability rights organizations to lead these sessions and facilitate the dialogues. 

In addition, throughout the entire process, we needed to be receptive to feedback from our partners, speakers, and guests with disabilities--and be willing to course-correct our approach so that everyone could fully participate. If you need help finding experts or generating ideas for panels, visit our website to view our full disability conference agenda

Broaden Your Event Planning Scope 

Organizing a stellar, full-day disability conference will mean little if your event invitation and event space are inaccessible to potential attendees. Designing inclusive communications and event logistics requires you to go beyond general compliance by proactively incorporating accessibility strategies into your event. This, of course, means that you need to expand your scope and consult with disability advocates to see how your planning can ensure the most active and inclusive participation for all individuals, whether that means asking speakers how they prefer to speak to a room (sitting, standing, or something else), or providing sign language interpretation. 

For example, we believed it to be sufficient to include a sentence in our email communications indicating that attendees contact us if they needed additional accommodations. However, at no point did we consider that our emails and website might not be accessible to screen readers that many people use. Similarly, while we secured an American Sign Language interpreter for the day, we didn’t have a variety of microphone options to accommodate facilitators with different needs. These were all elements we didn’t account for because we didn’t realize how limited our scope was. It was essential to collaborate with our partners to not only produce a day full of rich learnings, but to ensure that our community could even attend.

If you would like more tips and resources to make your events and communications more accessible, visit our Disability Conference Resource Page

 

Looking Ahead Toward Universal Inclusion

“It’s people that create justice. Communities create justice. All of us face the choice to accept unfairness or advocate for justice.” - Haben Girma

 

We had the pleasure of interviewing Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, after her keynote address at our 2019 Annual Conference. SCG had invited Haben to be a plenary speaker weeks before hosting our full-day disability conference which proved to be exceptional timing; Haben shared invaluable sights on how to deepen our disability inclusion work.

“Inclusion is a choice,” Haben stated, “and we all make the choice to be more accessible to connect with people that are different than us. When you do that, you role model inclusion for everyone else around you and encourage your colleagues and members in your community to also invest in inclusion with people with disabilities.” 

Both of these events required us to take risks, but we were driven by the possibility of co-creating a meaningful and powerful day for so many people. We started with the fundamental question, “is our community accessible?” and acknowledged that we had a lot to learn and do. “I wasn’t born knowing how to remove barriers,” Haben continued, “but I’ve gone through a journey of learning this process of removing barriers.” 

We knew this to be true. We knew that we couldn’t wait until we felt ready-- we would never know everything, but we would learn from doing. By the time our Annual Conference came around, we had collected our insights from our full-day disability inclusion conference and applied them to our largest gathering of grantmakers to date. We’re still far from universal design, but these incremental changes are encouraging. As our partners consistently reminded us, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to planning disability-focused learning events.”

But universally inclusive events are not the end-goal. We’ve also begun to explore how to pursue disability inclusion in all facets of our strategy. How can redesign our digital accounts to be more accessible and inclusive of everyone? How can our members sharpen their grantmaking strategies to be more inclusive of disability issues and justice? How can we move away from one-off “inspirational tokenism” and better incorporate disability programming year-round? As Haben reinforced, “Anything is possible to be made accessible if the community makes an effort to remove barriers.” 

These events gave us the opportunity to reimagine our internal mindsets and strategies, to rethink how we are living into our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I continue to carry Candice’s story with me, not just for its aspirational quality, but because radical possibilities and solutions start with our imaginations of what’s possible. As Haben declared, “Stories are powerful. Stories influence the organizations we design. The products we build, and the futures we imagine for ourselves.”

 


Other Back to the Future Blogs: 

Trends in Education Philanthropy: A Q&A with Celine Coggins

The Future of Art Funding: A Conversation with Vijay Gupta and James Herr

What is the Future of Work?: A Conversation with Tracie Neuhaus and Michele Prichard

 

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 

Trends in Education Philanthropy: A Q&A with Celine Coggins (Back to the Future)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Trends in Education Philanthropy: A Q&A with Celine Coggins, Executive Director of Grantmakers for Education 

SCG's Back to the Future blog series is a collection of conversations with philanthropic leaders exploring the key trends that shape the contours of the future. This series aims to expand our thinking on a variety of issue areas, as well as provide funders with the insights necessary to maximize their impact. 

At our 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy, we welcomed Celine Coggins, founder of Teach Plus and current Executive Director of Grantmakers for Education, to lead the panel “Redefining Education Philanthropy: Trends and Implications for Future Learners.” Celine shared key headlines from Grantmakers for Education’s latest edition of “Trends in Education Philanthropy: Benchmarking 2018-19” a report tracking the shifting priorities of the education funding community over the past ten years. Alongside leaders from First 5 LA, College Future Foundation, and the California Community Foundation, Celine outlined the profound investment shifts happening at every level in education and explored the future direction of education policy. 

We sat with Celine after the panel to delve deeper into the report’s highlights and to discuss critical opportunities for education funders. 

 

What are the biggest shifts and trends happening in education philanthropy?

CC: To start, we’re seeing significant growth in post-secondary education followed by a growing interest in early childhood education. Our 2018 survey results show that 56% of surveyed funders are now funding postsecondary education, a 10% increase since 2015 and the largest increase in the topic areas we surveyed. Regarding early childhood, we found that one-third of survey respondents are funding this area and three-out-of-five of those funders expect to increase their giving in the next two years. While this only accounts for 4% of total education funding, it is the topic that is projected to see the most growth of all the areas surveyed. In effect, we’re seeing an increased interest in funding the bookends of K-12 education. Funders are more interested in preparing learners for success before kindergarten and are prioritizing postsecondary in order to prepare learners for an evolving labor force. 

Second, when you look exclusively at the K-12 space, you’ll notice a funding shift away from new school models, core academics like curriculum standards and assessments, and teacher preparation in the classroom. There is now a movement toward “the whole child” which includes wraparound supports, more family engagement, and social and emotional learning initiatives that center the “whole learner.” Although this accounts for only 3% of reported education funding, respondents identified social and emotional learning as the trend that could have the largest potential impact on education over the next five years. 

And third, there has been a tremendous loss of faith in the government, especially the federal government, in providing leadership and funding on education issues. In our 2018 survey, only 17% of respondents held a “moderately favorable” view of the policy environment at the federal level (the majority fell in the unfavorable category, a small percentage had no opinion). There are many reasons for this move away from the federal government, but what this means is that funders are now interested in focusing their grantmaking at the local level. 

 

What are three key opportunities for education funders in the next five years?

CC: The rapid growth in the post-secondary space has transformed it into a magnet for new funders. The sheer number of dollars going into it right now —  42% of total grant dollars —  is creating the potential for system-level levers to be pulled. I think that’s very promising. 

We're also seeing good research on early childhood education and the need for social and emotional learning to help students address traumas they’ve experienced and to think critically about racial injustice and bias. Although we’re seeing a high number of funders stepping into these areas, they’re entering at a fairly low-dollar threshold which isn’t enough to change the system. As more people learn about those spaces, I think there’s an opportunity for funders to work together to achieve greater impact. 

Finally, I think there's an opportunity to reflect on the field of education philanthropy as a whole. What have we learned from the last stage that has led to the kind of dramatic shifts that we've seen over the past few years? Without actually learning from these changes, we're not going to reach the level of coherence and system-level strategy that we need in order to move into the next phase.

 

What impact are education funders having in our evolving workforce?

CC: Education funders are actually really interested in this topic. Alongside postsecondary, workforce and career readiness funding also experienced significant growth in 2018. Coupled together, these two funding areas currently make up almost half of all education funding. 

One reason for this trend is that the Corporate Social Responsibility arms of many private enterprises are looking at the current labor force and saying, "this workforce is not adequate to the kind of technical challenges of the job that I'm looking to fill." Take for example, IBM’s Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) training model which grew out of these insufficiencies. Their Pathways model starts at high school and continues into college to help equip individuals with the right skills to enter their workforce. We’re beginning to see a lot of push in this high school to college pathway. 

 

What are some key ways you’ve seen education funders collaborate with their stakeholders?

CC: The short answer is that there are two ways: one is by learning and one is by doing. I think oftentimes we try to jump to the doing without conducting a deep analysis of what we know or how we’re working together. What are the constraints that exist within our own philanthropic organization? What are the things that our trustees care about and struggle with? There’s an opportunity to talk across differences and to learn how to learn about these topics together. Those are the type of conversations that often don’t happen when we jump too quickly into action. In regards to the doing, I think there are many opportunities for funders to collaborate and take action, including figuring out how to share power, how to listen to communities, and how to ensure that grantmaking gets done in a way that really resonates with the communities they’re working in. I really love the efforts around uplifting student’s voices in the K-12 space and figuring out how we can reach a place of having authentic voices in the conversation.

 

As we move into the next decade, what are your hopes for philanthropists in the education sectors?

CC: As a sector, we do very little with the science of learning. When we train educators, we do very little with brain development: how learning happens, how bias forms, and how trauma impacts learning. I would hope that we push for educators to be trained in those things. I would hope that philanthropy becomes a standard-bearer in saying, "Education is a field that has a scientific basis, and we need to make sure that this scientific framework is being incorporated in every school, for every kid."

 

If you would like to explore these trends in greater detail, visit Grantmakers for Education’s website and access their full report.

 


Other Back to the Future Blogs: 

"Nothing Without Us": SCG's Journey to Inclusive Design

The Future of Art Funding: A Conversation with Vijay Gupta and James Herr

What is the Future of Work?: A Conversation with Tracie Neuhaus and Michele Prichard

 

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 
Funding Area 

SCG's President's Message - September 2019

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Dear SCG Community, 

Predicting the future is a daunting task, but I got a glimpse of it at SCG's 2019 Annual Conference, Foresight Philanthropy. Over 700 changemakers came together that day to collectively imagine what a better, more equitable California could look like. I’m happy to say that our future has the potential to be innovative, inclusive, and truly limitless. 

The ideas we exchanged were vast, plentiful, and deeply impactful. Using our three conference pillars, I would like to share my key takeaways with all of you. 

ADVANCE EQUITY, DIVERSITY, & INCLUSION:
We have the power to create a future that is truly inclusive and accessible to everyone. Our current systems have been formed by historic inequities designed to benefit specific populations and exclude others. Keynote speaker Dr. Bryant Marks reminded us of the importance of challenging our accepted histories in order to create a future free of historic biases, while Haben Girma reinforced that systemic barriers won't disappear on their own. We need to actively work to remove the barriers that prevent inclusion; only then can we imagine equitable solutions for the complex problems affecting redistricting, our workforce, and the education sector. An equitable future requires us to convene a diverse set of experiences in order to broaden our collective imagination and expand the horizon of what’s possible. 

DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL SKILLS:
From impact investing to community-driven philanthropy, our sessions provided our attendees ample opportunities to build their professional and future-focused skill sets. I continue to reflect on Trista Harris’ teachings on integrating futurism into our work by taking a small action like dedicating 5% of your weekly work-time to thinking about the future, to doing something as grand as building a 50 year vision for your organization. It was a reminder that we have the potential to be limitless, curious, and courageous. 

ENGAGING IN EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION & PARTNERSHIPS:
Foresight Philanthropy was a product of and testament to thoughtful, cross-sector collaboration. Leaders from many fields came together to discuss the latest work and opportunities in the fields of arts & social justice, mass incarceration, climate change, and more. The power of this convergence was demonstrated during our closing plenary which showcased the partnership between Third Sector, Ballmer Group, and the LA County Department of Mental Health. This groundbreaking initiative is working to engineer outcomes-oriented service delivery across DMH funding streams and LA County health & human services agencies. Together, they are modeling the power of a cross-sector collaboration to impact the life outcomes for thousands of Angelenos. It's increasingly clear that catalyzing systems change requires new, unexplored forms of collaboration. 

But that’s only scratching the surface of our time together. Below, you will find a compilation of all of our Foresight Philanthropy videos, pictures, and resources from the day. In the coming weeks, we will also be sharing our "Back to the Future" series that will further explore key conference topics and accelerate our development as philanthropic futurists. 

Thank you again to everyone who attended our largest convening to date. I cannot express how excited I am for the future the SCG network is building. 

 

Christine Essel

President & CEO, Southern California Grantmakers


FORESIGHT PHILANTHROPY MEDIA

From inspiring speakers to dynamic performances, Foresight Philanthropy was full of vibrant energy from start to finish! We're happy to announce that SCG members have exclusive access to all of our videos from the conference. Relive the day by watching videos of our morning performance, opening keynote, and all of our plenaries below. 

WATCH VIDEOS

You can also view all of our conference photos by checking out the Foresight Philanthropy photo album on Facebook! 

VIEW PHOTO ALBUM

FORESIGHT PHILANTHROPY RESOURCES

With 15 breakout sessions and 4 keynote plenaries, our 2019 Annual Conference was home to a plethora of readings, toolkits, and supplementary learning resources. We have compiled a Foresight Philanthropy Resource Page in order to house all of these resources and continue the exchange of knowledge. 

VIEW RESOURCE PAGE

"I AM A VOTER" CAMPAIGN

At Foresight Philanthropy, we had the opportunity to partner with "I am a voter," a nonpartisan campaign that aims to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement. By unifying Americans around the central truth that democracy works best when we all participate, they hope to increase voter participation among young and diverse Americans (18-35) in the 2020 Presidential election and beyond. 

GET INVOLVED
Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 

SCG President's Message - August 2019

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Dear SCG Community,

 

With SCG's 2019 Annual Conference less than two weeks away, I would like to take this opportunity to share some reflections on our conference theme, Foresight Philanthropy.

The future, with its constellation of knowns and unknowns, inevitably rushes upon us all. But grantmakers need only look at our most vulnerable communities to see how often it arrives with disproportionate force. While each of our organizations work individually on bold plans for tomorrow, millions of Californians have little choice but to focus on the immediacy of today — the uncertainties of how they’ll get food on their tables, secure safe places to sleep, or address an unexpected health challenge.

As a sector, we must fully embrace this urgency as our own. It is at the very core of our work, our families, our common humanity. Knowing this, we must then ask: how can we truly see and support the community wisdom, the cross-sector partnerships, and the deep healing needed for powerful changes that will best sustain California in the decades ahead? 

Foresight Philanthropy will offer us the opportunity to learn from changemakers who are preparing our country for a host of demographic, economic, and environmental shifts. It invites each of us to look ahead and envision a just and equitable future.

For years, futurism — the study of trends to anticipate and plan for events yet to come — has been an effective practice left largely to government agencies and to titans of industry. But, in our present climate of rapidly advancing technology, dynamic population shifts, and a widening wealth gap, an unavoidable truth has emerged: the decisions philanthropy makes today will have compounding, long-term impacts on the communities we serve. To address that reality, we’ll need to lift our collective gaze well beyond the next funding cycle and innovate alongside the leaders of tomorrow. 

Whether you are attending Foresight Philanthropy or not, I hope that you will follow the conversations we are having via Twitter #SCGAnnualCon19. The experts speaking at this conference are renowned for examining the trends that shape the contours of the future. Across a wide breadth of topics — future of work, gender justice and racial equities, universal design, education, climate change, and more — their voices have enlightened CEOs, championed innovation, and proven indispensable within their communities. On September 9, they will share their valuable insights with us. 

As they do, we will undoubtedly confront some challenging truths. Preparing for the future invariably means unpacking the misconceptions of the past — and creating a more equitable tomorrow will no doubt force us to confront biases we hold unconsciously today.

Amidst such moments of self-reflection, it’s worth remembering the study of futurism offers up no fixed future. Rather, it presents us with a set of choices in the present that can help us prepare for a wide variety of outcomes. The more clearly we see the paths ahead, the better we can choose those that bend towards justice, doing our part to bring it closer for all.

In short, our future is, as it has always been, ours for the making. I hope that our virtual and in-person conversations with speakers and peers alike will spark exciting ideas and collaborations that bring our desired future nearer to reality. Thank you again for being part of the SCG community and for adding your vision and voice to the future we are creating together — for the SCG community, the philanthropy sector, and our impact on the issues that matter most.

I look forward to seeing you at Foresight Philanthropy or hearing from you online via our live conference reporting on Twitter #SCGAnnualCon19.

 

Best Regards,

Christine Essel

President & CEO, Southern California Grantmakers

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 

SCG President's Message - July 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019

Recapping our 2019 Family Philanthropy Conference & Philanthropy California Updates 

Dear SCG Family, 

 

Last month, our SCG family foundation community came together for our Family Foundation Conference, Unpacking Power Dynamics with Cultural Humility. This gathering was one of largest yet, and it epitomized philanthropy's power to achieve significant community impact while being grounded in empathy and humility. 

The topics we discussed were challenging and timely. We talked candidly about our collective privilege and what it means to share and build power with our community partners to create a more equitable future. I am grateful to all of our members who approach their work with curiosity and self-reflection. You can review key themes from the conference here

I am proud that every aspect of this conference was driven and shaped by the SCG Family Philanthropy Advisory Council. I saw our members leave the conference equipped with fresh perspectives, renewed empathy, and a deeper humility. I am eager to continue these conversations at the SCG 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy, where we will reimagine and work toward a more equitable future.

 

Christine Essel
President & CEO, Southern California Grantmakers

 


Register for our 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy

Creating a More Equitable Future

SCG’s 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy, is the gateway for funders to sharpen your grantmaking strategies, invigorate cross-sector collaborations, and get ready to be more dynamic changemakers by using the tools of futurism. Join over 600 colleagues for a day filled with interactive plenaries, inspiring keynote speakers, and skill-building workshops designed to embolden us to become philanthropic futurists. Members whose office is located outside LA County may use the discount code AC2019Travel to receive a $75 discount in recognition of your travel.

REGISTER

 


Philanthropy California Updates 

Nation's First Gender Justice Fund Launches $10 Million Collaborative to Change Culture and Advance Gender Justice

We are what we speak! From #MeToo to unconstitutional attacks on abortion, the fight for gender justice is happening now. Philanthropy California is proud to partner with the Women's Foundation of California and other leaders to launch a new $10M Culture Change Fund. A first of its kind, the Culture Change Fund is launching to address how the nation understands gender justice and to promote culture change as a key solution to systemic problems. Philanthropy California will co-lead the Gender Justice Network with the Women's Foundation, and will provide gender justice-focused programming and educational opportunities to its members. Learn more about the Culture Change Fund below. 

LEARN MORE

 

Siz Strategies to Increase Disaster Resiliency in California

California Volunteers has released a report outlining six investment strategies to amplify whole community emergency preparedness. channel private-sector, nonprofit, community-based, and faith-based resources to spur cross-sector coordination, and bolster the capacity of local communities to strengthen resilience. 

VIEW REPORT 

 

Philanthropy California has stepped up to lead one of the six strategies, fostering community-based disaster preparedness, response, and recovery by developing more coordinated and proactive plans and processes for funding. Stay tuned for a disaster relief summit hosted by Philanthropy California later this year! The gathering will bring together statewide funders to clarify the variety of roles funders can play in developing equitable disaster response and recovery grantmaking strategies. 

READ MORE

 

Interested in learning more about philanthropy’s role in disaster relief? Attend Reimagining Philanthropy’s Role in Building Resilient Communities: Addressing Extreme Natural Events Head On to learn the science behind California disasters and resilience investments, the role philanthropy, and how members can engage in these issues now and in the future.

REGISTER

 

Citizenship Question Will Not Be Included in the 2020 Census: Our Fight for an Accurate Count Continues

The Administration is no longer pursuing the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 Census after The Supreme Court of the United States blocked the citizenship question from being added to the questionnaire. While this decision is an important victory for fairness, justice, and democracy, there is still significant work ahead to ensure a fair and accurate count of all Californians – and the future of our state. 

READ OUR STATEMENT

 

If you are interested in creating fair and transparent district boundaries that serve the best interests of the people of California you can apply to be a part of the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission.

APPLY

 


SCG News

Announcing Our 2019-2021 Senior Peer-to-Peer Network!

SCG is delighted to announce that we have selected our candidates for the 2019-2021 Senior Peer-to-Peer Network! This exciting peer-learning professional development program will be led by Judy Belk, President and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation, and will bring together senior-level program staff from SCG member organizations. The group will explore topics related to philanthropic leadership development, collaborative philanthropic impact, philanthropy trends, and each member’s professional and personal goals. We will be sharing more updates on cohort members and their work in the coming months! For now, meet our cohort: 

 

Naomi Strongin - Senior Program Officer, The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles

Phylene Wiggins - Vice President, Programs & Grants, Ventura County Community Foundation

Vanessa Silberman - Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives, Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation

Jennifer Lieberstein - Senior Program Advisor, The Atlas Family Foundation

Sara Montrose - Program Officer, Weingart Foundation

Jolene Fassbinder - Program Officer, Archstone Foundation

Talia Gibas - Professional Development Programs Manager, Los Angeles County

Erin Westphal - Program Officer, The SCAN Foundation

Rafael Gonzalez - Director of Community Relations, First 5 LA

Rebecca Newman - Program Officer, The Rose Hills Foundation

Sheri Dunn Berry - Director of Programs, Community Partners

Chaitali Gala - Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

Ellen Young - Vice President, Irvine Health Foundation

James Alva - Senior VP & Market Manager, Citi Community Development

Sarah Belnick - Program Director, ECMC Foundation

 

Videos: 50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage & Tongva Tribe Walking Tour

In April, Truth Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles hosted a Tongva History Walk of Downtown Los Angeles and took part in the 50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Both events reaffirmed our commitment to holding space for truth-telling and healing, filled our hearts with humility, and left us with much to reflect upon: in order to heal, grow, and make progress, our society must have greater awareness of our history. Watch two beautiful videos chronicling the Tongva History Walk and Manzanar Pilgrimage.

WATCH VIDEOS 

 


In Case You Missed It

July Family Philanthropy Newsletter SCG'S quarterly newsletter highlighting original content created by family foundations, community news, and resources. 

June Public Policy Roundup SCG'S monthly newsletter featuring the latest on public policy issues and legislative spotlights. 

June Corporate Brief SCG'S monthly newsletter on corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy news, events, and peer profiles.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 

SCG President's Message - May 2019

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
This month, SCG'S President & CEO Chis Essel has offered our staff her platform to share key takeaways from our 2019 Public Policy Conference, learnings and resources from recent Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation - Los Angeles programs, member news, and more.
 

 

Post-Policy Conference Takeaways and SCG’s Newly Expanded Public Policy Agenda

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

Key Takeaways for Funders from the 2019 Public Policy Conference, Conference California: The Road Ahead

 

As we reflect on last month’s Public Policy Conference, it’s clearer than ever that philanthropy has a significant role to play in public policy. With over 300 funders and community leaders in attendance, the conference illustrated that advocacy is a critical tool in the philanthropic toolbox and that public-private partnerships are among our most promising vehicles for change.

Below are just a few key takeaways for funders from the day’s dynamic conversations (be sure to visit this resource page for more valuable insights from each session):

  • Across various state budget initiatives, a common theme is the recognition that children and families do not face isolated challenges or live in silos. Addressing deep poverty requires a multitude of simultaneous, coordinated investments—amongst which philanthropy’s direct monetary contribution can only create a relatively small impact. Therefore, funders might want to consider using policy, advocacy and communications campaigns to scale systems change efforts.
  • California has three interconnected crises: homelessness, housing affordability and healthcare access. Put simply, it’s difficult to access healthcare if you do not have a place to live. Philanthropy can: (1) Get involved in tax laws/state budgets, which have the single biggest impact on the lives of people in poverty; (2) Change the narrative: Housing is a systemic issue, not an individual one; (3) Elevate the voices of people most impacted by building power through community organizing networks; and, (4) Advance budgetary and legislative change through our own advocacy and by supporting active voting at the ballot box, including for equitable implementation of laws.
  • Philanthropy has a role to play in redistricting reform—ensuring that the rules of the game are fair and that politicians have to serve voters. To learn more about redistricting, read a blog post by Connie Malloy Portfolio Director of the James Irvine Foundation and join a Redistricting 101 webinar on May 28, co-presented by SCG and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrant and Refugees.
  • The “north star” for justice reinvestments for young people in Los Angeles is for no children to remain in the county youth prison system. In order to reach this goal, a larger coalition of partners will be needed.
  • While many of us are trained to create structural systems change by focusing on policies and practices, transformative systems change requires working on “hidden” conditions that are holding a problem in place. Funders need to recognize and address relationships, power dynamics, events, patterns/trends and deeply held beliefs.
  • To alleviate race and gender wealth gaps, funders can broaden the reach of private-public partnerships. For example, LIFT-LA focuses on financial literacy and education, helping families overcome burdensome debt and build pathways to access and gain wealth. Funders can also support robust public policies to address cash-based need and debt alleviation, e.g., expanding the California Earned Income Tax Credit or children’s savings accounts.
 

An Exciting Next Step for SCG’s Policy Work

 

Since the creation of our public policy agenda, SCG has worked with members to lay out key areas of focus for our advocacy work. Earlier this year, SCG’s Public Policy Committee took a bold step by articulating an informed position and strategy recommendation on each of our priority issues. We have long recognized that philanthropy’s immense intellectual capital must be shared to support community-led solutions and drive evidence-based public policy, and this agenda now anchors us to further deepen our public policy engagement. It spells out our perspective on key issue areas that underpin and drive our advocacy. Reviewed on an annual basis by our Public Policy Committee, the agenda guides the SCG team as we identify opportunities where philanthropy’s voice can positively shape outcomes.

 

Our next major effort in the policy realm is Philanthropy in the State Capitol, coming up on May 21 and 22. We are thrilled that 30 of your colleagues will be among our delegation in Sacramento, joining another 10 funders from across the state through Philanthropy California. We will continue to share updates and outcomes from this event, as well as ongoing public policy efforts. If you have any questions or would like to become more involved in this work, contact Seyron Foo, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations.

 


 

Honoring and Confronting Our Past to Pave Ways for Racial Healing

Adele Lee, Director, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation - Los Angeles

In April, Truth Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles hosted a Tongva History Walk of Downtown Los Angeles and took part in the 50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Both events filled our hearts with humility and left us with much to reflect upon: in order to heal, grow, and make progress, our society must have greater awareness of our history.

Presented in collaboration with local Tongva leaders Cindi Alvitre, Julia Bogany, Desiree Martinez, and Craig Torres, the Tongva History Walk attempted to re-envision the landscape of Downtown Los Angeles as Yaanga—the village where Tongva and Gabrieleno communities lived prior to contact with European settlers and missionaries in the late 1700s. Throughout the program, participants got a glimpse into indigenous worldviews that highlight our current relationships with water and nature, public spaces, oral histories, land, and ancestry. As the Tongva leaders fought through a cacophony of traffic and city noises in order to guide us through the Yaanga Plaque, Placita Olvera, Union Station, and other unacknowledged sites, we were poignantly reminded of the indigenous communities who are constantly struggling to be seen and heard.

 

For half a century, over 1,000 people from all walks of life have traveled from locations far and wide to Manzanar, the first of the American concentration camps in which more than 120,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents were unjustly incarcerated during World War II. Partnering with Vigilant Love during the 50th Manzanar Pilgrimage, our TRHT-LA community was joined by a multi-ethnic and inter-spiritual delegation of Muslim Americans, Japanese Americans and many others. Standing in the sweltering desert heat at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada with an alliance of diverse Americans who have come together in solidarity, we believed more strongly than ever that during this time of deep division, love is stronger than hate. Today, we must not only share the truth about past wrongs created by individual and systemic racism, but also celebrate the beauty of what it means to show up for one another and to see one’s self in each other.

 

 

Meet SCG's New Members

Armanino Foundation (San Ramon, CA)

Assist charitable organizations that create a positive impact on the lives of people in our communities

Arts Council for Long Beach (Long Beach, CA)

Foster creativity and culture, enliven communities and enable a thriving creative economy 

Golden State Opportunity Foundation (Los Angeles, CA)

Spread awareness of the Federal and California Earned Income Tax Credit (CAL EITC), as well as other public benefits, and promotes free tax preparation services 

Hope and Heal Fund (Washington, D.C.)

Harness the collective power of individuals, communities, government, and philanthropy in order to ensure homes and communities in California are safe and free from gun death, injury, and trauma

LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment (Los Angeles, CA)

To invest in and promote innovations that advance the lifelong health and well-being of LA County children, age 0-5 

Manufacturers Bank (Los Angeles, CA)

To support the communities they serve by working closely with non-profit organizations to help them achieve their purpose

WITH Foundation (Palo Alto, CA)

To promote the establishment of comprehensive healthcare for adults with developmental disabilities that is designed to address their unique and fundamental needs 

 


 

Member and Community News

Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey

Council on Foundations

Since 1980, the Council's Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey has provided the sector with the most comprehensive data on staff composition and compensation in the U.S. Survey participants receive a copy of the full and board compensation reports in October.

 

John W. Mack Movement Building Fellows Pilot Program

Application Deadline: June 17, 2019

The Weingart Foundation is excited to launch a pilot fellowship designed to strengthen the pipeline of next-generation social justice and racial equity leaders in Los Angeles County. 

 

Turning Thoughts and Prayers into Action: Religious Pluralism in the Era of Hate

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation launches an initiative to connect local and national funders whose work touches religious pluralism with a cross-section of local community leaders, content and experts.

 

White Nationalism: Count it, Condemn it, Confront it

Nathan Cummings Foundation

The Nathan Cummings Foundation speaks out against white nationalism and calls on the field of philanthropy to come together to #deactivatehate.

 

 


 

In Case You Missed It

April Public Policy Roundup - SCG's monthly newsletter featuring the latest on public policy issues and legislative spotlights.

April Corporate Brief - SCG's monthly newsletter on corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy news, events, and peer profiles.

Family Philanthropy Newsletter - SCG's quarterly newsletter highlighting original content created by family foundations, community news, and resources.

 

 

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 

SCG President's Message - April 2019

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

On the heels of last month’s Foundations on the Hill event in Washington, DC and heading into next week’s sold-out SCG Public Policy Conference and next month’s Philanthropy in the State Capitol delegation, I am feeling very energized about our sector’s power to catalyze positive impact at scale through policy. In healthcare, education, homelessness and a multitude of other social issues, public policy affects so much of what we seek to achieve through our grantmaking—even if we’re not directly engaging in what’s often called “systems change.”

Personally, I saw this vividly at last month’s program presented by our Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles (TRHT-LA) initiative. Together with many SCG members, we visited an extraordinary exhibit called Undesign the Redline where we learned firsthand about the connection between intentional and structural racism and the racially segregated housing policies of the 1930s that have led to many of today’s political and social issues. (See more below).

As we in philanthropy aspire to create change in the communities we serve, we have more to give than just financial resources. In March, more than 20 returning and new members joined our Philanthropy California delegation representing our statewide alliance with Northern California and San Diego Grantmakers at the annual Foundations on the Hill event in Washington DC, where they met with members of Congress to share philanthropy’s unique expertise and perspective. We are also working diligently with Philanthropy California and many other partners to fight for a fair and accurate count in the upcoming 2020 Census, including submitting our first-ever amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court. You’ll find more detail below on how you can stay informed and get involved.

We look forward to learning from and connecting with over 350 of you at next Monday’s Public Policy Conference. Inspired by the theme “California: The Road Ahead,” we worked with your philanthropic peers to design a conference agenda and assemble a diverse group of experts and leaders to guide us through a day of interactive and thought-provoking conversations. The fact that the conference sells out and attendance levels set new records every year is evidence that public policy is now integral to the work of the philanthropic sector. 

 


#SCGPolicyCon19 is finally here next Monday. We look forward to connecting with peers and
gaining powerful ideas and insights to advance our work and lead meaningful change

 

Finally, whether you are a public policy novice or an experienced pro, we invite you to join us next month in Sacramento for our annual Philanthropy in the State Capitol event. From May 21-22, our members will meet with state policymakers to share our unique perspective on the issues we fund, educate legislators and the administration about philanthropy’s role in civil society, and build relationships with fellow policy-oriented funders and policymakers. (And for those of you who just can’t get enough, don’t forget to sign up for our Public Policy Roundup newsletter!)

Of course, even though these opportunities for policy impact are front-of-mind right now, there’s always more going on here at SCG in our topic-focused programs, professional development, and peer groups. Please read on for updates across the full scope of our work.

From all of us at SCG, thank you for your interest in Southern California philanthropy and your continued commitment to serving our communities.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
@Christine_Essel

 

Philanthropy California Goes to Washington, DC for 2019 Foundations on the Hill

Last month, SCG members joined our Philanthropy California delegation in Washington, DC for the annual Foundations on the Hill gathering. Over the course of two jam-packed days, our delegation met with and educated over 30 lawmakers from both political parties on several topics of importance to our sector, including the 2020 Census, disaster resiliency, early childhood development, and issues related to veterans and people with disabilities.

   

At the 2019 Foundations on the Hill, Philanthropy California delegation met with the offices of (counterclockwise)
Representative Kevin McCarthy; Representative Adam Schiff; and Representative Alan Lowenthal, among others

 

These meetings are more than just ceremonial and yield tangible results. Last year, for instance, our delegation was part of the wave of education and advocacy that helped prevent attempts to repeal the Johnson Amendment as a part of an omnibus spending bill, and provided key insights that informed Committee oversight hearings on the 2020 Census.

 

Philanthropy California Takes Action on 2020 Census

This past Monday, April 1 was an important milestone: exactly one year left until the official start of the 2020 Census. SCG marked the date by joining with Philanthropy California in issuing this statement about the critical importance of the upcoming Census and what actions funders can take to help ensure a full and fair count.

That same day, Philanthropy California jointly led the submission of an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief that was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the citizenship question on the Census, which would undoubtedly discourage participation in the Census. Together with The Bauman Foundation and Funders' Committee for Civic Participation, Philanthropy California coordinated 30 private foundations, community foundations, and philanthropy serving organizations across the country as co-signers. I should note that it is highly unusual for philanthropy to file an amicus brief. We chose to do so because undercounting hurts philanthropy’s ability to have reliable data to drive our assessments, tailor solutions, make data-driven investments and identify outcomes and measure progress in achieving our goals, and ultimately, our mission.

The time for funders to act on the Census is growing short, and the stakes are high. We are working with so many of you to help ensure a fair and accurate count of all Californians because Census data also informs how more than $76 billion for federal programs is allocated and how political districts are drawn in the state. Going forward, Philanthropy California is convening funders interested in the Census in Oakland on April 9 to learn about state and funders’ investments to-date, on-the-ground outreach efforts, and how to get connected to this statewide movement. And on April 16, we at SCG will make the case about the importance of a fair Census count to our corporate members.

 

Learning from the Past in Our Undesign the Redline Program

On March 18, SCG and TRHT-LA, in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners and Designing the WE, hosted a private, docent-led tour and panel discussion of Undesign the Redline—a one-of-a-kind interactive exhibit exploring the history of race, class and U.S. housing policy, and how this legacy of inequity and exclusion continues to shape our communities.

The docents and panelists did a wonderful job of explaining redlining and engaging us in a spirited discussion about how to consider equity in our grantmaking strategies. For me, a central lesson from this program was that we must explicitly and directly address equity—specifically racial equity—if we want to effectively address political and social problems in our society. Otherwise we will perpetuate the very systems and structures that originally created these conditions and that continue today.

While the exhibit has moved on from Los Angeles, I encourage everyone to learn more about redlining by visiting the Undesign the Redline site or by reading The Color of Law, an excellent book by Richard Rothstein that several SCG staff members and I have read.

 

 

     

Undesign the Redline docents (L to R) Mary Lee, PolicyLink (former) and Braden Crooks, Designing the WE

 

(L to R): Mary Lee, PolicyLink (former); Beatriz Solís, The California Endowment; Fred Ali, Weingart Foundation; Jacqueline Waggoner, Enterprise Community Partners; Braden Crooks, Designing the WE

 

Welcome Debbie McKeon to the Philanthropy California Family

 Next week, Debbie McKeon will start her role as President and CEO of San Diego Grantmakers.

As Executive Vice President and COO of the Council of Michigan Foundations for over six years, Debbie brings a wealth of experience in public policy that will serve SDG and the Philanthropy California alliance well.

We at SCG and Philanthropy California are excited to welcome Debbie to California and look forward to working closely with her as she takes the helm of the excellent team at SDG.

 

 

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles Releases New Video About 2019 National Day of Racial Healing

In January, our TRHT-LA team observed the 2019 National Day of Racial Healing with a multi-day series of programs grounded in truth-telling, movement, dialogues, workshops and musical performances. Whether or not you were able to attend one of these events, I encourage you to check out this outstanding video chronicling the week’s events.

Check out this great new video about the 2019 National Day of Racial Healing from our TRHT-LA team.

 

SCG News

I am pleased to welcome a new staff member to the growing SCG team and recognize another staff member on a well-deserved accolade.

 Alexis Smart is the new Associate, Membership and Grants at SCG.  Alexis supports our membership team with grants, conference sponsorships, member renewals, and new member development and engagement. Welcome, Alexis!

 

 SCG’s Director, Public Policy and Government Relations Seyron Foo has been selected to participate in the American Express Leadership Academy Global Alumni Summit, which brings together 80 emerging social purpose leaders with representatives from the American Express Leadership Academy partners for continued professional development, relationship-building and collaboration. Congratulation, Seyron!

 

Program Roundup

At the recent LA Arts Funders Meeting at the Center Theatre Group (CTG) on March 14, we took a behind-the-scenes look at the CTG’s Block Party initiative, an investment in the LA County theater ecosystem through the sharing of audiences, ideas and resources.

On March 19, we hosted Dr. Lucy Bernholz from Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) Digital Civil Society Lab at Digital Impact for Grantmakers, an action-oriented workshop uniquely designed for grantmakers to examine, build and improve their organizations’ digital data governance practices and policies. One of the key takeaways from Dr. Bernholz: “If an organization can’t protect data, it shouldn’t collect it!”

At the March 20 meeting of the Foundation Aging Network, we explored the Master Plan for Aging for California. SCG member The SCAN Foundation and the West Foundation have been working with gubernatorial candidates and now the new administration around this issue. 

Finally, on March 26, presenters from the Southern California Capacity Building Collaborative showed funders how they could help address the targeted capacity building needs of Southern California nonprofits by building a regional collaborative that will focus on nonprofit sustainability in an innovative new way.

 

Coming Up

We hope to see you at these upcoming events:

View Full List of Upcoming Events

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
News type 
Geographic Location 

SCG President's Message - March 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

The month of February was short but action-packed – in the world around us and at SCG. Just in the last few weeks, the President declared a national emergency along the US-Mexico border, the Supreme Court announced it will decide whether the Census will include a citizenship question, and over a dozen leaders have already declared their candidacy for the 2020 presidential race.

Meanwhile, here in the SCG community, we are taking action too. As you’ll read below, in February more than 400 people in the broader SCG network learned to see our implicit biases more clearly. Many of us, myself included, are preparing to join a Philanthropy California delegation of over 20 staff members and philanthropy leaders representing our statewide alliance with Northern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers at next week’s Foundations on the Hill trip to Washington, DC. We are planning to meet with more than 30 legislators and agencies to share philanthropy’s unique voice on the issues that matter most in our work. And the entire SCG team is working hard to bring you a robust Public Policy Conference on April 8th focusing on how our new Governor and new policymakers in Washington—and all of these constant news headlines—might affect your philanthropic agenda.
 
In fact, we recently announced the Public Policy Conference’s opening plenary session, “The Whole Child - From Cradle to Career: A Generational Opportunity to Lift California’s Most Impoverished Children and Families” – as well as other sessions on the California budget, homelessness, opportunity zones, justice reinvestment for young people and more.This conference will sell out, so please be sure to register now to join us for a day of candid conversations about our sector's role in strengthening our communities.

 

Join us at #SCGPolicyCon19 to connect with peers and gain powerful ideas and insights to advance your work and lead meaningful change

Please keep reading below or check out our website or social media accounts for ways to get involved in these and other SCG programs. And please know that we at SCG want to be of value to you in your important work – so please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or suggestions. We’re here for you!

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

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers
@Christine_Essel

Hundreds Trained on the Importance of Addressing Implicit Bias in Our Work

Following last year’s Annual Conference, at which leading expert Dr. Bryant T. Marks, Sr. led a breakout session on implicit bias in philanthropy, we heard from many of you asking us to go deeper into the topic to help you in your work. In January and February, SCG and our Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles (TRHT-LA) team took the next step in answering this call by hosting a series of deep-dive implicit bias trainings conducted by Dr. Marks for our partners in nonprofit, philanthropy and government, as well as with our own staff. Collectively, Dr. Marks trained over 400 people in our region about the importance of recognizing and addressing implicit bias in their work!

As Dr. Marks pointed out (see these resources from his training at our Annual Conference), we all have biases, but the impact of our biases on others depends on the roles we play in society. For our sector, implicit biases affect the priorities set and supported by funders and grantmaking organizations. (For more on this topic, see this op-ed in The NonProfit Times that I wrote back in December). Recognizing and reducing these biases that lurk in all of us at the personal and organizational level is a crucial step toward helping our sector do our work better.

I personally want to thank Dr. Marks and those who attended the workshops for taking the time to dig into what can be a difficult subject for many. I know that I gained tremendous insights from our staff time with Dr. Marks, and the response from so many of our members and partners to his trainings has been superb. So if you missed this round of trainings, stay tuned for future opportunities!

 

Panelists Seek to Strengthen the Safety Net at Title X Program

On February 21, we hosted a powerful and informative program entitled Weakening the Safety Net: A Close Look at Title X. As many of you know, Title X provides critical federal funding for family planning and women’s reproductive health. In California, the Title X program serves more than one million people; in SCG’s eight county service area, more than 450,000 people receive Title X services.

The timing of this program was not coincidental. SCG’s public policy team works with our member to track relevant rules and regulations, which led us to identify that the federal government was contemplating a major shift that would dramatically weaken the safety net that many of our funders are trying to create for families, especially for underserved communities and people of color. Make no mistake: this is an issue of equity.

And indeed, a mere day after the program, on February 22, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a “gag rule” that would bar organizations that provide abortion referrals from receiving Title X funding, a step that could strip millions of dollars from California’s federally qualified health centers.

Panelists and SCG staff and Board members meet to talk about the threats to Title X funding in California

In response to the proposed rule, Essential Access Health—whose President and CEO, Julie Rabinovitz, was a panelist at our program—sued the Administration over the regulations and issued the following statement.

“The regulations posted … by the Trump administration represent some of the most extreme policy shifts in the history of the Title X family planning program. These changes counter clinical best practices and established medical ethics standards… If implemented, the regulations could devastate California’s Title X provider network and result in increased wait times and delays in patient access to time-sensitive care throughout the state.

Please be sure to visit our Title X program resources page, where you will find a map of Title X recipients in California, Essential Access Health’s Strategic Plan, and a knowledge capture from the program.

 

SCG News

Some of you have recently noticed that SCG is growing. As I’ve shared before, we are indeed reorganizing and expanding so we can deepen and strengthen our work and value in the ways that our members and partners are seeking. I am very excited to introduce you to several new members of the SCG team.

 

 

Monica Banks

Monica Banks is the new Associate, Professional Development/Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation - Los Angeles (TRHT-LA). She will provide administrative and clerical support to both the programs and TRHT team. 

Katy Pelissier

Katy Pelissier is the new Manager, Programs & Conferences. Katy will be responsible for developing and implementing programs and conferences at SCG, and supporting peer networking and collaboration.

 

Tegan Joseph Mosugu

Tegan Joseph Mosugu is the new Manager, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles. Tegan will assist with the development and implementation of TRHT-LA programs and events and will serve as the primary contact of all programmatic, logistical and administrative aspects of TRHT-LA.

 Anna Song

Anna Song is the new Assistant, Public Policy and Government Relations. In this role, Anna will support the SCG Public Policy and Government Relations team with research, advocacy and government relations projects.

 

Program Roundup

At the program entitled A New Governor, Legislature and Congress: Implications for Southern California’s Environment on February 22, we discussed how existing and new policies under the leadership of California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, will impact climate change, water related issues, public lands and ecosystem protection and air quality.

Panelists and attendees have a spirited discussion about California’s environment under Governor Newsom

As a part of our Not-for-Profit Education Series, we presented a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Update on February 25. At this meeting, Rick Cole, Supervising Project Manager for the FASB, provided key insights into relevant and current topics for not-for-profits, including an overview of the new standards’ key elements, a deeper dive into the upcoming standards on revenue recognition, not-for-profit grants, contracts and financial reporting accounting standards; the standards’ implementation issues; and practical examples for implementation of the new standards

On February 28, we presented with the generous support of the David Bohnett Foundation an LGBTQ Professionals Network Reception with Immigration Equality Executive Director Aaron Morris. A few days prior to the event, Immigration Equality scored a legal victory for its clients when a federal judge ruled that the child of a same-sex bi-national couple was a citizen since birth, rejecting the position taken by the U.S. Department of State that disenfranchised the child.

Left to right: Dave Sheldon, SCG; Mitch Singer, Singer Philanthropy; Aaron Morris, Immigration Equality; Paul Moore, David Bohnett Foundation; Kameron Green, SCG; Seyron Foo, SCG

 

Coming Up

We hope to see you at these upcoming events:

View Full List of Upcoming Events

SCG President's Message - February 2019

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

With January already behind us and February now bringing us into Black History Month and the Lunar New Year, I'm hoping that your 2019 is off to a good start. From where I sit, it’s already clear that this will not be a time for business-as-usual for our sector, or indeed for anyone. Here at SCG, in the past month alone, our Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles team hosted a week of events centered around the 2019 National Day of Racial Healing. We also announced that through our Philanthropy California alliance, we are collaborating with the Women’s Foundation of California to take on gender-based discrimination and violence. And we began a training series on Implicit Bias for our partners in nonprofit, government, and philanthropy—including a full-day retreat for our own SCG staff. I’m grateful to so many of you for joining us at these events, and in this work. Together, we are part of a national movement in philanthropy for racial justice and equity, as you can see in this video from our friends at the United Philanthropy Forum.

I’m also thrilled to tell you that SCG is investing in our ability to support your work. We are adding several new staff, whom you’ll meet in the article below. This brings our team to 21 full-time employees, so we can do even more to bring you exceptional programs and events, a compelling voice on public policy, impactful cross-sector collaborations, and valuable communications products.

Our SCG team is here to help you make the most of your membership this year to propel your own work and amplify your impact. Please reach out if you’d like to brainstorm how you or your team can get involved (remember, SCG membership is organizational!). I hope you’ll come learn the latest at our programs and conferences; share your expertise and your questions in a peer group; take action on a policy initiative to scale change on your issues; or forward an SCG email or tag a friend on one of our social media posts to share news and resources. That’s the power of the SCG community: when you add your leadership to the mix, you multiply your impact. Your participation makes everyone’s work better, stronger, and more effective.

As always, keep reading below for upcoming opportunities and to catch up on recent developments. Last but not least, I want to wish you a peaceful and productive 2019. Let’s do this… together!

Warmly,
Christine Essel
President & CEO, Southern California Grantmakers

PS – Here are a few important save-the-dates for this year:

 

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles Marks 2019 National Day of Racial Healing with a Series of Events

Following the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, which my Northern California Grantmakers counterpart Ellen LaPointe and her organization commemorated with some very moving articles, and leading into Black History Month, we observed the 2019 National Day of Racial Healing. This day is a call for intergenerational healing, a celebration of our common humanity and a commitment to action to create a more just and equitable world.

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles (TRHT-LA), which is coordinated by SCG, marked the event with the theme Hand in Hand and a multi-day series of programs grounded in truth-telling, movement, dialogues, workshops, and musical performances. Some of the highlights included:

  • A Liberation through Capoeira workshop that explored the Afro-Brazilian cultural practice developed by enslaved Africans in Brazil as a tool for liberation, self-determination, expression and survival;
  • A Blanket Exercise that took participants through an interactive process to learn about the oppression and colonization of Native peoples and lands;
  • A powerful concert by Los Angeles artist Georgia Anne Muldrow whose revolutionary sound provided inspiration and restoration through music;
  • A workshop about plant interventions that helped participants revisit their relationships with plants, plant medicine and ancestral healing practices;
  • Multiple racial healing dialogues throughout Southern California that encouraged participants to talk about race and racism; and
  • A livestream experience curated by award-winning director Ava Duvernay

 


A few of many treasured moments from the National Day of Racial Healing events put on by TRHT-LA
 

I was personally inspired both by the breadth of programs that our team put on and by their ability to catalyze social change through cultural and healing arts. While our region—and our whole country—still have a long way to go to confront our dark history and current reality of racial segregation and hierarchy, being in community at TRHT-LA events allows us to be at the heart of racial healing.

 

Join us for the 2019 Public Policy Conference and Foundations on the Hill!

SCG has two outstanding opportunities where you can learn, connect and take action to advance your work through public policy.

From March 11-13, join our Philanthropy California delegation for the 2019 Foundations on the Hill (FOTH), a two-day event that brings together hundreds of foundation leaders from across the country to Washington, DC to meet with members of Congress and other policymakers to discuss issues of critical importance to philanthropy. FOTH is our opportunity to share the work of philanthropy so that policymakers can take the best practices developed from your grantmaking and scale it up to improve the lives of millions who call our country home. With new Members of Congress joining the California delegation, it is especially important that we build strong relationships with our policymakers that can have profound impact on grantmaking and issues we care about.

 

   
Join us in Washington DC in March to lift up philanthropy’s voice with key policymakers

 

I am also pleased to announce that registration is now open for SCG’s 2019 Public Policy Conference, which will take place on April 8. This conference is the preeminent convening in our region that brings together hundreds of your peers from the philanthropic and civic sectors to take an in-depth look at the latest policy analysis and research and to prepare for and address key issues affecting our work. Presented in partnership with the California Budget & Policy Center, this year's conference will hone in on the changing public policy landscape in an environment led by a new Governor and the wave of other new policymakers in Sacramento and Washington.

 

 
Join us at #SCGPolicyCon19 to connect with peers and gain powerful ideas and insights to advance your work and lead meaningful change

 

Many thanks to Bank of America as our Presenting Sponsor, and to all of our sponsors. Please contact Amanda Byrd for info on sponsorship opportunities.

 

Welcome New Members

Below are SCG’s newest members from the last quarter. Please click on their links to learn more about them in our Member Directory.

I want to welcome our new members and thank all of our members for their continued support, leadership and willingness to collaborate. I encourage new and long-standing members alike to reach out and connect with one another—via one or more of our peer groups or otherwise—to see how best to work together and deepen our impact. 

 

 

SCG News

SCG is growing to meet the needs of our members and the work ahead for our sector. I am so excited to welcome several new members to our already outstanding staff.

 Jacqueline Carrillo

Jacqueline Carrillo is the new Coordinator, Programs and Conferences. Jacqueline supports the Programs and Conferences team by developing and implementing high quality programs and conferences. She is also responsible for providing infrastructure and logistical coordination.

 Crystal Hand

Crystal Hand is the new Associate, Statewide Technology at SCG. Crystal will support the development, implementation and management of online technology for SCG and Philanthropy California.

 Jan Kern

Jan Kern, our long time consultant and former SCG employee, re-joined our staff in December as Senior Philanthropy Advisor. Jan will be working with our Family Philanthropy members, facilitating our Health Funders Group meetings and supporting other collaborations and projects.

Jessica LeTarte

Jessica LeTarte is the new Coordinator, Collaboration and Community Building. Jessica will bring a wealth of experience in focusing on the inner workings of an office, including procedures and processes, interpersonal communications and conference planning, as well as a deep commitment to teambuilding, racial equity and organizational culture.

 

Program Roundup

At our first LA Arts Funders Meeting held this year on January 10, we dove into a new set of thematic case studies on distributed leadership commissioned by the Hewlett Foundation Performing Arts Program that explore how some organizations are addressing an era of rapid generational, technological, economic and demographic change by evolving their leadership practices to involve staff at all levels.

On January 11 and 14, we hosted our nonprofit partners in two separate workshops about Addressing Implicit Bias in Nonprofit Organizations. Dr. Bryant T. Marks, Sr., a national expert on implicit bias, engaged attendees in a deep-dive workshop into how implicit bias shows up in ourselves and in nonprofit organizations, and how they can change their personal and organizational behaviors and practices. In addition to these workshops for nonprofit organizations, SCG is offering additional workshops this month for funders and our partners in government.

On January 16, a panel of experts joined us for the program What Will our Next Governor Do for California’s Young Children and their Families? A large group of over 70 members were excited to hear how Governor Gavin Newsom would deliver on campaign promises to expand high-quality early education programs, establish universal preschool and improve child care programs for the youngest children given California’s strong economy and budget surplus.

SCG President's 2018 End of Year Message: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Monday, December 10, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

This past year has been extraordinary—and extraordinarily difficult. There is so much going on in our region, country and around the world that I hardly know where to begin. The mass murder in Thousand Oaks and too many others around the nation. The state’s worst wildfires in Southern and Northern California. A humanitarian crisis at the border, racism and racial inequity, sexual harassment and assault. On a more positive note, the midterm elections in November, with their massive voter turnout and influx of newly elected women and people of color, has revealed vividly how our polarized country is beginning to work through these major political, social, and cultural issues.
 
And just when the pace of current events shows no signs of slowing down, this past year saw our organization and our members soar to new highs in our work—at precisely the time when our efforts were most needed. In 2018, we collectively took on incredibly thorny topics including immigration, healthcare, homelessness, education and the environment, among many others. SCG aspires to be the place where funders come together to make sense of these and other crucial issues of our day, look for short- and long-term solutions and co-create the future. Please know that as these disasters and crises become “the new abnormal,” we at SCG and our Philanthropy California alliance are doing everything we can to support our members and funders to address and respond to them.
 
As we move into 2019, I hope you’ll join me looking back at our work to assess the impact of what we accomplished together – and at our roadmap for how the SCG community can continue our efforts to live up to the challenges and opportunities of this moment. Please take a moment to check out highlights of our lessons learned and future plans, which I’m sharing via our website using the three-track framework that we developed at our 2018 Annual Conference:

 

Engaging in Effective Collaboration
& Partnerships

Advancing Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Developing Professional Skills

During the past few years of my tenure at SCG—and in the last year in particular—we have grown so much together, in our scope and impact and courage. Looking ahead to 2019 and beyond, we’re reorganizing and expanding so we can deepen and strengthen our work and value in the ways that our members and partners are seeking:

  • Providing issue-based programming utilizing an intersectional approach
  • Designing professional development programming that helps funders take bold action for equitable outcomes
  • Pursuing robust, nimble action on our policy positions
  • Convening and facilitating collaborations and partnerships
  • Investing in our own sustainability and capacity to lead as an organization with equity at the center of our work

Over the next few months, we are adding new people across the organization, which gives us the capacity to elevate many of our excellent current staff, as you can see from their new titles.

We are very excited about this next step of our evolution; and we hope you are, too.

As we close out this year and look ahead to next year, I want to acknowledge and thank SCG’s incredible staff, board and especially our members. I am humbled and honored to lead an organization that collaborates to tackle the issues that matter most. I’m looking forward to continuing our work together in 2019.


Season's Greetings from SCG

In the meantime, the SCG team and I wish you a happy holiday season and a peaceful New Year.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

 


Jump to:

Engaging in Effective Collaboration & Partnerships

Lifting Philanthropy's Voice

2020 Census

Center for Strategic Partnerships

Advancing Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

SCG 2018 Annual Conference: Our Common Humanity

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation - Los Angeles

Developing Professional Skills

Peer Group Learning and Collaboration

Full Cost Project


Engaging in Effective Collaboration & Partnerships

 

Lifting Philanthropy’s Voice

     

Philanthropy California stood strong on issues such as family separations and public charge

 

Philanthropy California delegation on the State Assembly Floor for Philanthropy in Sacramento Day

 

WHAT:

  • SCG and Philanthropy California, our alliance with Northern California and San Diego California Grantmakers representing more than 600 members, led multiple efforts that leveraged philanthropy's voice at the local, state and federal levels
  • In June, Philanthropy California members became part of a wave of civic outrage about the Administration’s misguided “zero tolerance” policy on the U.S.-Mexico border
  • In November, we took “support” positions on Propositions 1 (affordable housing bond) and 2 (mental health housing bond) in the midterm election
  • Over the past few months, we have co-lead a #ProtectFamilies campaign, which includes, among other things, organizing and joining over 25 other signers on a full-page ad opposing new public charge regulations

IMPACT:

  • Our work helped win victories on the Administration’s family separation policy and the two November ballot measures above
  • More funders are raising their voices and driving the change they want to see by funding these important issues; and even more are telling us that they are starting to move in that direction.

WHAT’S NEXT:

SEE ALSO:

2020 Census

Philanthropy California delegation meets with Senator Dianne Feinstein to discuss 2020 Census

 

WHAT:

  • As highlighted by our 2018 Public Policy Conference, we convened a number of regional and statewide meetings throughout the year geared toward educating our members and others about the crucial importance of adequately funding a fair and accurate 2020 Census in which everyone counts
  • SCG and Philanthropy California are members of the Census 2020 Statewide Funders Initiative, which is charged with tackling Census issues in the state
  • In March, we met with members of Congress and other federal agencies to raise 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. We also encouraged our members to submit public comment to the US Department of Commerce on the citizenship question.
  • In May, our Philanthropy California delegation sat down with leaders in Sacramento to discussed the need for full funding for Census efforts in the state

IMPACT:

  • As a result of our delegation’s timely discussions with key policymakers, we successfully helped to secure $90 million in the California budget, more than doubling the governor’s proposed funding for the Census
  • Over 30 funders signed on to our public comment opposing the citizenship question on the Census
  • Our members are gaining a wider understanding of how the Census will affect everything they care about

WHAT’S NEXT:

  • We are planning many more meetings about the Census, including three statewide convenings in partnership with The California Endowment, and a meeting specifically for our corporate members
  • We will also continue our advocacy efforts to ensure a fair and accurate count

SEE ALSO:

Center for Strategic Partnerships

(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, after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to establish the Center for Strategic Partnerships within the County

 

WHAT:

  • Launched in 2016 as an initiative of SCG and Los Angeles County in which SCG continues to provide counsel and fiscal agent support, the newly-renamed Center for Strategic Partnerships is a nationally-recognized collaboration between government and philanthropy that has effectively brought together stakeholders to align strategies and efforts to tackle some of the most pressing problems experienced by families in the County. Since its launch, the Center has helped its partners co-invest more than $4.5 million to transform the County’s system serving vulnerable youth and families
  • In September, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion permanently establishing the Center within the County, moving it to the Chief Executive’s Office and expanding its scope

IMPACT:

  • The Board’s decision to make the Center permanent positions it for much broader impact on issues beyond child welfare
  • This model of collaboration between philanthropy and government has demonstrated the power of thoughtful, deliberate and focused efforts to empower the most vulnerable in our communities

WHAT’S NEXT:

  • Early next year, the Center will complete a Strategic Planning process, setting forth a new shared agenda, metrics for success and mechanisms for stakeholder input

Advancing Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

SCG 2018 Annual Conference: Our Common Humanity

 


Artist Daniel Beaty on how philanthropy can use a trauma-informed lens to support real healing in communities: “Achievement does not equal wellness”

 

Professor john a. powell: “Othering is the problem of the 21st century… in the United States, the primary form of othering is racism.”

 

WHAT:

  • SCG’s programming over the past several years has increasingly focused on how systemic racial, gender and other inequities create and perpetuate the issues that philanthropy hopes to solve
  • In September, this focus culminated in bringing 650 philanthropy and community leaders together in downtown Los Angeles for our 2018 Annual Conference centered around Our Common Humanity, where we looked at what gives us hope, powers our work, and binds us all together

IMPACT:

  • Over 85% of respondents “agree or strongly agree” that the conference’s candid peer conversations and learning from leaders and experts provided them with new information and perspective
     

    Word cloud of how attendees described this year's conference

WHAT’S NEXT:

  • SCG is planning more and deeper programming on equity and inclusion, including multiple implicit bias trainings for our staff and members
  • SCG staff and Board will continue our internal efforts to strengthen our ability to hold this crucial and challenging work

SEE ALSO:

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles

Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman at TRHT event celebrating the inspiring life of Biddy Mason on her 200th birthday. Biddy Mason was a former slave who became a wealthy landowner, a noted philanthropist and a key founder of the first African American Church in Los Angeles.

 

WHAT:

  • Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation - LA initiative is a partnership of philanthropy, nonprofits, government, business and other community partners coordinated by SCG
  • TRHT-LA convened partners in an ongoing process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change that addresses the historic and contemporary effects of racism in the LA area
  • With California Conference for Equality and Justice, TRHT-LA launched its first Racial Equity and Healing Justice (REHJ) Facilitator Training, a four-month program to prepare community members to facilitate challenging yet necessary conversations on race and racism in Southern California. The first cohort of REHJ Facilitators-In-Training is comprised of advocates from the Greater Los Angeles area to San Diego and includes folks of different racial, ethnic and gender identities as well as sexual orientations, ages, careers and more.
  • TRHT-LA also organized several events and trainings throughout the year

IMPACT:

  • With our partners, TRHT-LA has begun the long-term work to use the power of truth to shine light on examples of Los Angeles’s troubled racial past and present
  • In November, REHJ Facilitators-In-Training began their journey in San Juan Capistrano for a Retreat, community building and engaging in challenging dialogues around racism and other forms of oppression.
  • This training cohort is being lifted up as a national model from which 13 other TRHT regions can learn

WHAT’S NEXT:

  • TRHT-LA and our partners are planning a full week of events commemorating National Day of Racial Healing beginning on January 22, 2019
  • Over the next few months, REHJ Facilitator-In-Training will continue to participate in additional modules to learn about restorative justice, racial dialogue, and facilitation practice. As part of their training, Facilitators-In-Training will plan and hold healing circles for various communities on the topic of racial equity, creating space for community members to dialogue about their experiences and share their stories.
  • Additional events and trainings throughout the year

SEE ALSO:


Developing Professional Skills

Peer Group Learning and Collaboration

 
2018 Fundamentals of Effective Grantmaking program

 

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

 

WHAT:

IMPACT:

  • Our members come away from our training programs better-informed, better-connected with their peers and readier to take coordinated collective action
  • Supporting professionals in infrastructure roles benefits all organizations—regardless of funding area—and the sector as a whole
  • Among other things, our peer groups help members take a holistic, intersectional approach to examining and addressing inequity in their work

WHAT’S NEXT:

  • In addition to our flagship professional development programs, we will continue to serve as a hub of leadership and innovation and provide cutting-edge programming aimed at improving the work of the individual, organization and sector

SEE ALSO:

Full Cost Project

 

WHAT:

  • Together with Philanthropy California and the Nonprofit Finance Fund, we embarked on Phase 2 of the Full Cost Project, which supports a funding model that honestly assesses the full cost for organizations to deliver on their missions and to be sustainable over time
  • We brought together education, advocacy and skill-building with the goal to increase the number of funders that provide full cost funding and to build the skills and capacity of all those engaged in grantmaking

IMPACT:

  • Through our Full Cost Project events throughout the year, we helped bring important grantmaking best practices into the mainstream for funders and the nonprofits that provide essential services to communities across the country
  • By exploring power imbalances between nonprofits and funders, the trainings helped participants recognize the challenges nonprofits face. Participants gained practical skills and knowledge to apply full cost concepts. The Full Cost Project supported positive shifts between funder and grantee interactions but power imbalances still restrict transparent conversations. Several funders are revisiting how to apply a full cost approach to their grant practices

WHAT’S NEXT:

  • The Full Cost Project will enter Phase 3, which we envision will include toolkits and deeper dives (including online opportunities) into the full cost approach and implementation. These offerings will serve funders, nonprofits and the sector as a whole well into the future

 

 

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

Sorry, it looks like you do not have permission to view this page. Please log in to your SCG account. If you believe you have received this message in error, please contact us at (213) 680-8866 or [email protected].

Enter your e-mail address.
Enter the password that accompanies your e-mail.

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 2018

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

 

Jump To:
 

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 

Sorry, it looks like you do not have permission to view this page. Please log in to your SCG account. If you believe you have received this message in error, please contact us at (213) 680-8866 or [email protected].

Enter your e-mail address.
Enter the password that accompanies your e-mail.

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