NFG's 2020 Virtual Convening Series

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NFG's 2020 VIRTUAL CONVENING SERIES:
40 YEARS STRONG

Since 1980, NFG has been a ‘political home’ for people in philanthropy: a place to connect, strengthen our analysis, and take action. Our virtual convening series: 40 Years Strong celebrates four decades of mobilizing philanthropy and brings funders together to explore what is possible in the current era of organized philanthropy.

This series began on with our 40 Years Strong plenary session on people, place and power and a second plenary that focused on philanthropy's responsibility to be accountable to communities of color and low-income communities. Check out the Resources tab above to view recordings, transcripts, and additional materials from these sessions!

NFG's virtual convening series is continuing with six member-led webinars taking place between September and December. Registration is now open for the entire series!

Registration for the entirety of our convening programming will be complimentary for NFG members and available to non-members for $100. This convening series is available to foundation staff and trustees, donors, philanthropic affinity group staff, and invited speakers.


 

Connect with NFG & Share Your Stories

Our celebrations of NFG’s 40th anniversary are continuing virtually as a space to draw support as we propel philanthropy to shift power and money towards justice and equity.

To help us look back on our 40 dynamic years, we are collecting stories and memories from the NFG community to share at the end of 2020. If you have a story about how NFG has supported your philanthropic leadership, how our programming has deepened your political education, or how you found co-conspirators to move more resources to racial, economic, gender, and climate justice through the NFG community, we would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form to share your story.

Thank you for being part of the NFG community.


 

Note: This convening is intended for foundation staff and trustees, donors, philanthropic affinity group staff, and invited speakers.

 
 
Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth.
 

CORE CONVENING TEAM

 

 

Convening Co-Chairs

 

Shona ChakravarttyShona Chakravartty — Hill-Snowdon Foundation

As Senior Program Officer at the Hill-Snowdon Foundation (HSF), Shona Chakravartty is responsible for leading and managing HSF’s Economic Justice grantmaking program, as well as developing and implementing learning and leveraging activities related to HSF’s economic justice interests. She was previously the co-chair of Neighborhood Funders Group's Funders for a Just Economy (formerly the Working Group on Labor & Community Partnerships), and currently serves on the board of Neighborhood Funders Group as well as on the board of the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing.

Before joining the Hill-Snowdon Foundation staff in 2006, Shona served as Program Officer for the Four Freedoms Fund, a philanthropic collaborative that made grants to enhance the capacity of local and state organizations to actively engage immigrants in the civic, social and economic life of their communities and participate in national policy and advocacy efforts. Prior to that, she was a program officer at the Jewish Fund for Justice for almost six years where she was responsible for grantmaking in the areas of Women in Poverty, Assisting New Immigrants, and Economic Justice. Shona has also worked at a variety of non-profits in New York City including the National Council of Jewish Women, Sakhi for South Asian Women, and Women and Philanthropy. She also serves on the board of Chhaya CDC in Queens, where she resides. Past board service includes the New York Women’s Foundation, South Asian Youth Action, and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants & Refugees (GCIR). Shona was born in India and holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a Master’s degree from Oxford University.

 

Mary SobeckiMary Sobecki — Needmor Fund

Mary Sobecki is the Executive Director of The Needmor Fund, a private family foundation that supports social justice work and community organizing throughout the Midwest. Prior to joining Needmor in 2004, Mary was on the staff of the Toledo Community Foundation, where she served as Senior Program Officer and later as the founding Director of the Center for Nonprofit Resources. Mary also consults with local non-profits in the areas of board development and grantsmanship. In addition, she currently serves on several non-profit boards, including Neighborhood Funders Group, the Ohio Transformation Fund, and The First Tee of Lake Erie. She is also active in Philanthropy Ohio as a member of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Prior to becoming involved in philanthropy, Mary worked for several nonprofits in Northwest Ohio, including Children’s Resource Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, and the Y.W.C.A. of Greater Toledo. Mary holds a bachelor’s degree in in Social Work from Bowling Green State University. She also has a background in stand-up and improvisational comedy.

 


 

Neighborhood Funders Group Staff

 

Adriana RochaAdriana Rocha — President

Adriana is Neighborhood Funders Group’s President and leads the next arc of the organization to mobilize its dynamic network, influence philanthropy, and connect people, place and power to support thriving communities. She is a bold, visionary leader and is responsible for external engagement, programs and membership, organizational & team management, and supports the organization’s Board of Directors and governance.

She joined NFG in May 2017 and served as Vice President of Programs for three years. In this role, she led NFG’s biennial National Convening, program team, and the development and evaluation of all new NFG programs including its Leadership Development offerings; Philanthropy Forward and Peer Coaching Circles.

She was a former NFG member while at the New York Foundation. As a member, Adriana found other foundation staff members committed to social justice and a peer network of new Program Officers, particularly other new Program Officers of Color.

Adriana brings expertise in place-based and movement-led grantmaking, organizational capacity building, and nonprofit management. Adriana served as a Program Officer at the New York Foundation and Director of Grants & Capacity Building at the Just Beginnings Collaborative. Adriana served as Practice Director for CompassPoint, a national leader in providing capacity building support to social justice leaders and organizations.

She has served on the boards of the Latino Commission on AIDS, CALNonprofits, and Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Politics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Master’s degree from Columbia University, Social Organizational Psychology Program. Adriana is from Toluca, Mexico and calls New York City home.

 

Elizabeth PhamElizabeth Pham — Senior Program Coordinator

Elizabeth provides program, financial and evaluation management support for Philanthropy Forward and the biennial National Convening while managing IT infrastructure and other operational improvement projects. She helps to ensure these programs and operations are implemented effectively while being inspired by the work of forward-thinking community and philanthropic leaders.
 
Elizabeth joined NFG in October 2018, drawn to its racial justice focus and mission to develop a philanthropic sector that is more inclusive and equitable. She has served in many roles within the nonprofit sector in the US and abroad, from streamlining program operations for the Ford Foundation to capacity building for community-based organizations in Vietnam. Elizabeth earned both a BS and MPA degrees from New York University. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.

 


 

Local Program Consultant

 

Rubie ColesRubie Coles

Rubie Coles is the Program Director of the Diverse City Fund in Washington, D.C. Before joining the Diverse City Fund staff, Rubie served as Deputy Director of the Moriah Fund in Washington, DC. She was responsible for directing and managing the foundation’s economic justice and reproductive justice grantmaking nationally and in the DC region.

Prior to joining Moriah in 1999, Rubie served as Co-Director of Women Work!, a national women’s workforce development organization. Rubie received a Master in Public Administration degree from American University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College. She is a founding member of both the Black Philanthropic Alliance and Black Benefactors. Rubie is also a former DC Fund Board of Instigators member.

 


 

Disability Capacity Builder

 

Sebastian MargaretSebastian Margaret

Sebastian Margaret is an anti-ableism and disability community educator and capacity builder. A disabled TGNC, queer, raised in Yorkshire they are informed richly by white working-class racial justice values and by coming of age in the pushback to Thatcher’s Britain. Sebastian has been kept deliciously exhausted and hopeful parenting a pair of gorgeous kids, both of whom are now far taller than they, and is passionate about the validity and glory of imperfect body/minds and our right to body sovereignty. Sebastian works to highlight the exclusion, criminalization, exploitation and oppression experienced by disabled communities; particularly those living at the forefront of disposable. They have been working to insert and reveal disability justice values in multiple justice movements, while supporting multi-issue capacity and vibrancy in disability communities for decades. You can often find Sebastian inventing fictitious names for their service dog as an act of quiet resistance to everyday ableism, while clutching tight to a good cup ‘o tea.

 


 

Logistics Consultant

Girl Friday Events 

Girl Friday Events

Girl Friday Events is a full-service event planning company providing can-do consulting and production for the nonprofit sector. We draw experience from 20+ years of professional event management at a diverse range of events from major fundraisers to intimate gatherings; multi-day conferences to outdoor extravaganzas. 

Girl Friday Events works exclusively with nonprofits because we believe that the people that power them are forces for good. We believe that sharing ideas, expertise, and even mistakes makes the field stronger, which makes our communities stronger. We work harder because we think our work is part of the solution. We know if you can do all that and still laugh more than a little you are doing it right.

The Girl Friday team includes Julie Hensley, Shelly Kim, Peggy Wei, & JC Rafferty. We’re excited to meet you in DC!

 


 

Design Consultant

Karla Flemming

Karla Flemming

Karla Flemming is a freelance graphic designer and artist who is passionate about social, economic, and environmental justice. After graduating with a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Information Science and Technology from Colorado State University, she spent three years working at Moxy Group, a women-led consulting group that partnered with social justice & philanthropic organizations on fundraising, communications, and design projects. In 2019, Karla completed Chinook Fund’s Giving Project, where she worked with a diverse group of volunteers from all income levels to strengthen her skills in fundraising, grantmaking, and community building to mobilize resources for grassroots organizations in Colorado.

Karla loves to leverage traditional and new media to inspire people to act. She has led a variety of design projects including brand development, customized websites, icon creation, infographics, brochures, books and more. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado and when not designing or continuing to educate herself about the complex state of our world, she can be found drawing, painting, or adventuring outdoors.

 

 


 

Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / National Museum of African American History and Culture / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth / National Museum of the American Indian.

 

PROGRAM COMMITTEE

 
  • Mary Sobecki (Co-Chair), Executive Director, Needmor Fund   

  • Shona Chakravartty (Co-Chair), Senior Program Officer, Hill-Snowdon Foundation  

  • Alise Marshall, Director of Strategy and New Ventures, Public Welfare Foundation

  • Amoretta Morris, Director, National Community Strategies, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

  • Cheri Wright-Jones, Regional Vice President, Allegany Franciscan Ministries

  • Chris Kabel, Senior Fellow, Opportunity Fund, Kresge Foundation

  • Cory AndersonChief Innovation Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

  • Fernando CuevasExecutive Director, Southern Partners Fund

  • Guillermo Quinteros, Program Director, Solidago Foundation

  • Hanna Mahon, President, Pink House

  • Isabel BarriosProgram Officer, Greater New Orleans Community Foundation

  • Jennifer Lockwood Shabat, President and CEO, Washington Area Women's Foundation 

  • Jerry MaldonadoProgram Director, Ford Foundation 

  • Leni Dworkis, Program Manager, Weissberg Foundation 

  • Liz Posey, Program Officer, Marguerite Casey Foundation   

  • Madye HensonPresident and CEO, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers   

  • Marco Antonio QuirogaProgram Director, Contigo Fund (Our Fund Foundation)  

  • Nicky GorenPresident and CEO, Meyer Foundation   

  • Paola DiazProgram Coordinator, The 11th Hour Project  

  • Patrice R. Green, Program Officer, Inclusive Economies, Surdna Foundation

  • Renata PeraltaProgram Officer, Open Society Foundations  

  • Rickke MananzalaVice President of Programs, Borealis Philanthropy  

  • Rubie Coles, Program Director, Diverse City Fund  

  • Sandy ChiangProgram Manager, The California Endowment    

  • Shaena JohnsonLGBTQ Racial Justice Fund Program Officer, Astraea Foundation 

  • Tynesha McHarrisProgram Officer, NoVo Foundation 

 

 

Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / National Museum of African American History and Culture / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth / National Museum of the American Indian.

PARTY COMMITTEE

 
  • Andrea Dobson, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation; Integrated Rural Strategies Group Coordinating Committee Member; Former NFG Board Member & Treasurer
  • Angela Brown, Vice President for Policy and Program, CFLeads; Former NFG Board Member
  • Anita Nager, Trustee of Jenifer Altman Foundation; Trustee of Hudson River Foundation; Former NFG Board Member
  • Anna Fink, Executive Director, Amalgamated Foundation; Philanthropy Forward Fellow; Former Funders for a Just Economy Co-Chair
  • Anna Lefer Kuhn, Executive Director, Arca Foundation; Philanthropy Forward Fellow
  • Bettye Brentley, Vice President of Finance, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda; Former NFG President
  • Bob Shull, Former Funders for a Just Economy Coordinating Committee Member & Co-Chair
  • Dave Beckwith, Former NFG Board Member; Former Funders for a Just Economy Coordinating Committee Member
  • Dennis Quirin, Executive Director, Raikes Foundation; Former NFG President
  • Frank Sanchez, Former NFG Board Member & Chair
  • Garland Yates, Former NFG Interim President
  • Henry Allen, Former Executive Director, Discount Foundation; Former NFG Board Co-Chair; Former Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships Co-Chair (now Funders for a Just Economy)
  • Karen FitzGerald, Vice President, Community Partnerships and Learning, Meyer Foundation; Former NFG Board Member
  • Kevin Ryan, Program Officer, Cities and States, Ford Foundation; Democratizing Development Program Co-Chair; Former NFG Board Member & Co-Chair
  • Laine Romero-Alston, Team Manager, Fair Work Program/International Migration Initiative, Open Society Foundations; Former Funders for a Just Economy Coordinating Committee Member & Co-Chair
  • Marjorie Fine, Board Chair, NorthStar Fund; Former NFG Member
  • Maria Mottola, Executive Director, New York Foundation; Former NFG Board Member & Co-Chair
  • Martha Toll, Executive Director, Butler Family Fund; Former NFG Board Member & Co-Chair
  • Mary Sobecki, Executive Director, Needmor Fund; NFG Board Member, NFG 2020 National Convening Co-Chair
  • Maryjo Mullan, Former NFG Board Member & Chair
  • Michael Brown, Civic Architect, Civic Commons, Seattle Foundation; Former NFG Board Member & Co-Chair
  • Molly Schultz Hafid, Associate Director, Philanthropy, TCC Group; Funders for Justice Co-Founder & Co-Chair; Former Funders for a Just Economy Co-Chair; Former NFG Board Member & Co-Chair
  • Regina McGraw, Executive Director, Wieboldt Foundation; Former NFG Board Member & Co-Chair
  • Sarah Hernandez, Program Officer, Region & Communities, McKnight Foundation; Former NFG Board Member
  • Sherece West-Scantlebury, President and CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation; Philanthropy Forward Fellow
  • Sheri Brady, Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships, The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions; Philanthropy Forward Core Team Member
  • Solomon Greene, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute; Former NFG Board Member
  • Spence Limbocker, Former NFG President
  • Sue Chinn, Coordinator, Immigration, Diversity, and Civil Rights, Unite Here; Founding Executive Director of the Discount Foundation; Former Co-Chair of Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships (now Funders for a Just Economy); Former NFG Board Member
  • Victor Quintana, Former NFG Board Member

 

 

 

Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / National Museum of African American History and Culture / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth / National Museum of the American Indian.

NFG's 40 Years Strong virtual convening series celebrates four decades of mobilizing philanthropy and brings funders together to explore what is possible in the current era of organized philanthropy.

We are excited to announce the next sessions in our convening series — six member-led webinars taking place between September & December — which will bring funders together to find co-conspirators, boldly strategize, and shift power & money so that Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities and low-income communities thrive. These sessions are a continuation from our convening kick-off plenaries on Accountability & Philanthropy’s Role and what’s needed in this political moment to support People, Place, and Power.
 

Register today for all six upcoming sessions!

Registration is complimentary for NFG members and available to non-members for $100. This convening series is available to foundation staff and trustees, donors, philanthropic affinity group staff, and invited speakers.
 


 
 

Philanthropy is Embedded in the Paradox of Capitalism. Wednesday, October 21. 9-11am PT / 12- 2pm ET.

Philanthropy is embedded in the paradox of capitalism — benefitting from the economic system, while attempting to mitigate and ameliorate its damaging effects. In recent years, prominent thinkers like Edgar Villanueva, Rob Reich, David Callahan, and Anand Giridharadas are challenging the systems that support philanthropy. At the same time, there are larger societal trends and pressures demanding transparency and accountability across sectors, including within philanthropy.

Community-based or participatory grantmaking challenges traditional power structures by centering marginalized, often excluded, voices in grantmaking decisions. This approach centers the lived experiences and expertise of those most impacted by grant decisions. A growing number of foundations nationally have have adopted this powerful approach, which is strongly aligned to the goal of supporting community-based efforts. The practice of participatory grantmaking asserts that those with lived experience have critical expertise. This approach is gaining traction in philanthropy; Inside Philanthropy named is as the most promising sector reform in 2018.

The interactive session will begin by gauging participants’ understanding of the topic while they explore their values in philanthropy. Panelists will examine why it is critical to break down traditional funder barriers in favor of participation, transparency, accountability, and collaboration. The panel will also speak extensively about the “how” of participatory grantmaking and share several specifics and resources to equip funders to make similar changes in their own institutions. By the end of this engaging session, participants will have a strong awareness and understanding of why this approach matters, as well as how they might lead these transformations themselves.
 


 
 

We Keep Us Safe: Advancing Community-led Solutions to Neighborhood Violence. Thursday, November 5. 9-11am PT / 12-2pm ET.

Violence is the largest of all health disparities. Black people experience violent deaths at six times the rates of whites. As we seek equitable development, we must do it in partnership with neighborhood residents who live at the intersection of both intracommunal violence and police violence. The predominant investments in safety approaches have been in law enforcement and justice systems.

These strategies have been ineffective in solving the problem, while also creating new problems through mass incarceration and its impact on communities. Meanwhile, investments in community solutions for safety and violence prevention have been nowhere near what is needed to match the scale of the problem. Even as community-oriented intervention solutions are working in locales across the country, they have not gained the traction needed for widespread transformative change — from an over-reliance on criminal justice approaches to public health-oriented approaches. Philanthropy has increasingly stepped up to address the structural drivers of violence such as economic disinvestment. These long-term solutions are necessary but not sufficient. By solely focusing on them, it frames community violence as an issue that cannot be directly addressed in the short-term. In fact, long-term policy solutions should be advanced simultaneously with direct approaches that lower deaths and shootings immediately.

The session will lift up the role of local community organizers in DC and Atlanta who have successful advocated for proven, non-police-based violence intervention models, such as violence interruption, and the local and national funders who have partnered to support that work.
 


 
 

What's Land Got to Do with It? The Role Land Plays in Our Social Movements: Past, Present, and Future. Tuesday, November 17. 9-11am PT / 12-2pm ET.

This session seeks to make space and learn from frontline leaders working at the intersection of climate justice, sovereignty and land justice. The conversation will acknowledge the history and current work of the Land Justice Movement while exploring the relationships on the ground that are paving the way for future generations to advocate for transformative change as we face systemic racism and the dire realities of climate change.

The Civil Rights Movement and other struggles for racial justice never ended. Today, climate change is exacerbating the existing and growing inequities and injustices that people have always been fighting against in the name of freedom.

We will hear from leaders that are centering land amidst a myriad of challenges black and brown communities are facing – housing and food insecurity, joblessness, disaster capitalism — all at once, every single day. We do not always have the opportunity to talk about land as the connection between these issues; both as a mechanism to enslave and oppress people but also used to build and support civilizations and thriving communities.

Leaders from intersecting social movements will share how they build daily infrastructure that allows folks to invest in their own communities while supporting sustainable power building efforts. This work looks very different depending upon the entry point and we hope to attract folks from a diverse spectrum of interests to engage and connect to address climate justice, sovereignty and land justice.
 


 
 

Get It Together: How the Amplify Fund Supports Black-led Power Building and Organizing. Wednesday, December 2. 12:30-2:30pm PT / 3:30-5:30pm ET.

For 40 years NFG has been bringing funders who believe in the power of people to transform communities together to exchange ideas and build relationships. Since 2018 we have honed in on our core purpose of moving more money to grassroots organizations in partnership with 11 NFG members through our first pooled grantmaking fund, the Amplify Fund. Driven by the belief that community power is the key driver of just and equitable development, Amplify makes flexible general operating support grants in 8 places across the US and today directly supports more than 45 grantees, the majority of which are Black-led organizations. Racial justice grounds Amplify’s grantmaking strategy and our values, behavior and practices. Together we actively learn and reflect to make sure we are truly creating an internal racial justice (anti-racist) culture that supports our external racial justice goals. We are striving to work in a way that pushes philanthropy to be more aligned with what Black-led movements know it will take to win.

Please join us for an interactive Zoom session to learn more about Amplify’s funding model, including organizing to realize a vision for racial justice philanthropy, where power is shared, roles are clear, funding is flexible, and funders are organizers too! You will hear directly from a member of Amplify’s staff and Steering Committee as well as a local strategy advisor and many grantees too.
 


 
 

Movement Responses to Technology: Mapping Opportunities to Confront Surveillance & Criminalization. Tuesday, December 8. 9-11am PT / 12-2pm ET.

Funders increasingly have an analysis of how criminalization is affecting communities of color and how grassroots organizers are challenging it. What’s often missing in philanthropic analysis, however, is the role that technology is playing in deepening criminalization via new tactics of surveillance, policing and control. From the development of “digital prisons,” with electronic monitors expanding the reach of the carceral state, to tech companies colluding with ICE to expand surveillance and enable detention and deportation of migrant communities, to the FOSTA-SESTA laws that deploy internet censorship to make working conditions for sex workers more precarious, technology is is propelling and extending the mass criminalization of our communities.

Social justice movements are fighting back. They are exposing these systems of surveillance and policing via #NoDigital Prisons and #NoTechforICE, while defending and protecting their communities through physical and digital security strategies. Yet this work often falls through the cracks in philanthropy, with neither social justice nor technology-focused funders having a full analysis of how this system is working and what the points of intervention are. There is a pressing need for more resources for grassroots organizers to confront the repressive use of technology against their communities and movements. Centering the voices of organizers leading this work, this session will highlight the solutions they are putting forward and engage participants in discussion about how issues of technology and criminalization intersect with their funding strategies.
 



 

PAST SESSIONS:

Youth of Color Taking the Lead: Collaborative Leadership and the Path to Power. Thursday, September 10. 9-11am PT / 12-2pm ET.

Speakers:

Young people have been at the forefront of movements for liberation throughout history, advancing critical issues like climate change, reproductive rights, immigration, criminal justice, and election protection and voter engagement. Yet, only 5% of foundation funding goes to communities of color centered work, and even less than that to youth — especially youth of color — and for organizing approaches. Shifting the philanthropic landscape requires funders to expand their thinking about grantmaking and the leadership of youth of color.

This session provided an inside look at local and state infrastructures, leadership development, state and national collaborations, and shared leadership models propelled by young people of color to build a multi-racial democracy and transform American politics. Additionally, participants explored findings by the Youth Engagement Fund on how youth of color-focused groups use issue-based organizing to engage members and new & infrequent voters; how the youth civic engagement coalition is creating a shared space for messaging, alignment, and coordination; the impact of early investment received in preparation for 2020; and the plans to catalyze on the energy of the political moment in 2020 and for long-term power building.


 
 

NFG's 2020 Virtual Convening Series: 40 Years Strong Kickoff Week. June 29 - July 1.

NFG's virtual convening series kicked off in June and July with hundreds of people joining us for two plenaries, gatherings of the Philanthropy Forward Fellowship cohorts and Amplify Fund steering committee, a happy hour to celebrate the Discount Foundation Legacy Award winners (featuring DJ Carmen Spindiego!), and strategy sessions hosted by NFG's Democratizing Development Program and Integrated Rural Strategies Group.



  

SPEAKERS:

 

Alejandra Ruiz — Executive Director, Youth Engagement Fund

Alejandra RuizOver the past year, YEF engaged in thoughtful organizational and leadership development processes to meet the demand of the socio-political moment. Going into 2020, YEF is guided by the leadership of new Executive Director, Alejandra Ruiz who has been involved in the movement for social justice for 15 years since she first shared her story as an undocumented student turned new youth voter. Alejandra comes to the Youth Engagement fund with experience in grassroots organizing at the local and national levels, and expertise in navigating the world of philanthropy, especially with funder and donor partners invested in youth leadership and civic engagement. Her approach to leadership is informed by a racial justice and intersectionality lens formed by her development as a youth leader of color in the progressive movement in the United States.

A native of Colombia, Alejandra migrated to the United States at the age of seven with her mother and younger brother. She was raised in Jackson Heights, Queens and became an immigrant rights advocate as an undocumented high school student. As the Executive Director of the Youth Engagement Fund, Alejandra aims to expand and strengthen funding resources and capacity building to the youth civic engagement sector to increase civic participation among marginalized and youth of color in the United States.

Prior to joining the Youth Engagement Fund, Alejandra was the Director of Donor Organizing and Advising for the Movement Voter Project (MVP) where she engaged donors to support groups advancing work at the intersection of grassroots organizing and electoral politics. Previously, Alejandra served as the Development Director of United We Dream (UWD), the nation’s largest immigrant youth-led network. During her time at UWD, Alejandra was instrumental in developing strategies to build relationships and infrastructure for long term organizational sustainability, and supported local groups in advancing their fundraising plans. She also coaches youth on fundraising, career and workforce development.

Alejandra has worked as an education organizer at Make the Road New York, served with AmeriCorps VISTA, was a leader of the New York State Youth Leadership Council, and is a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. She holds a B.S. in Urban & Regional Studies, a B.A. in Spanish Area Studies and concentrations in Inequality Studies, Latino Studies and Latin American Studies from Cornell University.
 

Montserrat Arredondo — Executive Director, One Arizona

Montserrat ArredondoWithout a lot of fanfare, Montse has been one of the most important driving forces getting people of color registered and to the polls. Because of her year-round work, Arizona is a deciding state for the Senate and the White House in 2020. She became politically engaged in 2010 when the state passed Senate Bill 1070, the immigration enforcement law nicknamed “show me your papers,” because it allowed law enforcement officers to detain or arrest anyone without a warrant if they were suspected to be undocumented immigrants. It was the impact of this law on her community that gave her the push to fight for an Arizona that is better for future generations so people can thrive. 

Nearly ten years later, Montse’s work includes immigrant rights, registering voters, increasing the minimum wage and building political power for communities so that they can determine their own future. She is the executive director of One Arizona, a coalition of community groups which focus on Latino civic engagement. The organization has set an impressive goal in 2020 to coordinate 250,000 new voter registrations throughout the state between January and October and to facilitate the biggest voter turnout in Arizona history.
 

Tiffany Dena Loftin — Director, NAACP Youth + College Division

Tiffany Dena LoftinTiffany Dena Loftin serves as the National Director for the Youth and College Division at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Her mission is to train, organize and uplift young Black leaders everywhere who fight for the racial, social, and economic equity of all people. There are over 340 middle, high school, and college autonomous chapters under her leadership who constantly recruit new members that organize local and national campaigns like ending mass incarceration, ending gun and police violence, school safety, college affordability, and protecting and increasing democracy. 

Ms. Loftin has a five-year background in national labor union organizing working at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA), and the American Federation of Labor-Council of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). As a labor civil rights organizer, she created the labor unions only national curriculum that helps workers understand better how race and inequality are part of every collective bargaining fight. She helped create coalitions with community organizations like Black Lives Matter, Dream Defenders, and United We Dream. Under her leadership she coordinated a national commission of 30 national presidents and vice presidents to meet with local community leaders to address the issues of police brutality, health care, and racism in the union.  

Tiffany’s first job out of college was President of the United States Student Association where she coordinated a college affordability campaign to break contracts between the Department of Education and student loan profiters like Sallie Mae. She worked with seven statewide student associations and coordinated a national electoral campaign which registered over 150,000 young voters in the 2012 presidential election. 

Ms. Loftin has been nationally recognized, appearing on TV One, Fox News, ABC, People’s World, NBC, National Public Radio, and Al Jazeera. A passionate organizer for the liberation of communities of color. In 2015, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans in Higher Education.
 

Michelle Wilson — Senior Program Manager, Women Engaged

Michelle WilsonMichelle is a native of Kansas City, Missouri with a passion for social justice and human rights. She was the first woman appointed as Chairwoman of the Kansas City Youth Commission, where she led a team to develop policies to positively impact youth. She ventured to Little Rock, Arkansas where she attended Philander Smith College. She co-founded the first Gay-Straight Alliance at a Historically Black College in the state of Arkansas and worked closely with the Human Rights Campaign to advocate for LGBTQ+ people of color. While in Arkansas, she was appointed to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice. She was also a board member of Women Lead Arkansas, an organization geared toward inclusiveness of women in the political engagement.

Michelle coordinated and managed over 28 programs which covered a range of issues in her position with the Social Justice Institute of Philander Smith College. In 2013, Michelle received her BA at Philander Smith College and is completing her MA at Clark Atlanta University in Political Science. Michelle’s passion and work for equal rights makes her ideally suited to contribute to fulfilling the mission of Women Engaged.
 

 

Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth.

NFG's 40 Years Strong virtual convening series series began on with our 40 Years Strong plenary session on people, place and power. Our second plenary focused on philanthropy's responsibility to be accountable to communities of color and low-income communities.

You can find links to our plenary videos and transcripts below — watch for the first time, watch again, and please share widely! Catch highlights and quotes shared by participants in our Twitter moment recaps for each plenary

 

40 Years Strong: People, Place & Power Plenary

Transcript | Twitter Recap

NFG kicked off our 2020 virtual convening series on June 30 with our 40 Years Strong plenary session that incorporated videos, speakers, and a live Q&A. Hear from NFG’s convening co-chairs and board members, Mary Sobecki and Shona Chakravartty, and NFG’s new President, Adriana Rocha, as we celebrate four decades of mobilizing philanthropy and explore what is possible in the current era of organized philanthropy. We featured philanthropic and movement leaders who lifted up what is needed in this political moment to support people, place and power.

Speakers:

  • Shona Chakravartty (Convening Co-Chair) Senior Program Officer, Hill-Snowdon Foundation
  • Mary Sobecki (Convening Co-Chair) Executive Director, The Needmor Fund
  • Adriana Rocha (Facilitator) President, Neighborhood Funders Group
  • Kevin Ryan (MC) Program Officer, Cities and States, Ford Foundation
  • Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson (Speaker) Co-Executive Director, Highlander Research and Education Center
  • Mary Hooks (Speaker) Co-Director, Southerners on New Ground
  • Gladys Washington (Speaker) Former Deputy Director, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
 

Accountability & Philanthropy's Role Plenary

View Transcript | Twitter Recap

NFG continued our 2020 virtual convening series on July 1 with a plenary session on Accountability and Philanthropy’s Role. Hear from grantmakers whose institutions are modeling how we must rethink systems and grantmaking strategies to be accountable to Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities and low-income communities. We shared how and why philanthropy must be bold and show up differently for frontline communities that are rising up against state violence, continuing to grapple with the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, and working to dismantle oppressive systems to transform our communities & world.

Speakers:

  • Alison Corwin (NFG Board Chair) Senior Program Officer, Sustainable Environments, Surdna Foundation
  • Amoretta Morris (NFG Board Member) Director, National Community Strategies, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Manuela Arciniegas (MC) Director, Andrus Family Fund
  • Dimple Abichandani (Speaker) Executive Director, General Service Foundation
  • Julia Beatty (Speaker) Program Officer, Black-Led Movement Fund, Borealis Philanthropy
  • Anna Fink (Speaker) Executive Director, Amalgamated Foundation
  • Jerry Maldonado (Speaker) Director, Cities and States, Ford Foundation
  • Renata Peralta (Speaker) Program Officer for the Open Places Initiative, Open Society Foundations

Resources:

 

Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth.

SPONSORS 

As we celebrate 40 years of NFG’s work in organizing and mobilizing philanthropy, our dynamic community of grantmakers and grassroots leaders is what makes us strong. Thank you to the following funders who are sponsoring NFG’s 40 Years Strong virtual convening series!  

If you have any sponsorship questions or need additional information, please reach out to Lindsay Ryder, Senior Membership Manager, at lindsay@nfg.org.

 

Thank You Sponsors!

  • Surdna Foundation
  • Amalgamated Charitable Foundation
  • Needmor Fund
  • Raikes Foundation
  • The Workers Lab
  • Hill-Snowdon Foundation
  • Colorado Health Foundation
  • Four Freedoms Fund
  • Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation
  • Democracy Fund
  • Scherman Foundation
  • Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
  • The California Wellness Foundation
  • Allegany Franciscan Ministries
  • Chorus Foundation
  • Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
  • Common Counsel Foundation
  • Fund for Democratic Communities
  • Pink House Foundation
  • Borealis Philanthropy
  • Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • New York Foundation
  • Ceres Trust
  • Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock
  • The Kresge Foundation 
  • Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
  • The California Endowment
 

Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth.

ACCESS, ACCOMMODATIONS, AND DISABILITY STATEMENT OF INTENT

In organizing NFG's 2020 National Convening, we held strongly to the goal to create a space where Disabled/chronically ill and Deaf folks shouldn’t need to pass as being able-bodied, healthy or from hearing culture, in order to be present or to participate fully. We arrived at this goal knowing that Disability surrounds us all, is in many ways what is most familiar to us; bodies and minds with differences, chronic illness and Deafness. Ableism lives and breathes at the hub of racism, poverty, displacement, violence, incarceration, state control and more; we chose to begin the work of re-centering Disability into our analysis and anti -ableism into our practice.

We are determined in our attempt to create a gathering informed by the truth that we all lose when Disabled/ill voices and politics are not present. We are clear that the embedding of Disability politics and anti-ableism as issues of racial, economic, Trans and gender justice requires time, exposure, political will and persistence - this is our beginning.

We have a long way to go, yet wanted to start here and now with Homecoming seeking to be a place where passing was not required for credibility, and participation or value is not dependent upon assimilation.

We are excited to extend this invitation to join us as we lean into Disability and build intentionally towards anti-ableism as a core value and implemented principle of action.

For questions or clarification please contact registration@girlfridayevents.com.

 

 

Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth.

To register for this event, please log in to your account or create an account. For any registration issues, contact support@nfg.org.

NFG's 2020 National Convening: 40 Years Strong is continuing throughout 2020 as we celebrate four decades of mobilizing philanthropy and bring funders together to explore what is possible in the current era of organized philanthropy.

Our convening series features six member-led webinars taking place between September and December and will bring funders together to find co-conspirators, boldly strategize, and shift power & money so that Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities and low-income communities thrive.
 
Whether you’re participating in one session or all six, registration for our convening programming is complimentary for NFG members and available to non-members for $100. If you aren't an NFG member yet, join us! This convening series is available to foundation staff and trustees, donors, philanthropic affinity group staff, and invited speakers.
 

CONVENING WEBINAR SESSIONS:

All sessions take place from 9-11am PT / 12-2pm ET unless otherwise noted. Zoom links to join will be emailed to registrants one week and one day prior to each session. Please complete your registration before the day of the first session you wish to attend to ensure you will receive the Zoom links in time to join. 

 

 

Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth.

 

 

 

NFG's 2020 VIRTUAL CONVENING SERIES:
40 YEARS STRONG

Since 1980, NFG has been a ‘political home’ for people in philanthropy: a place to connect, strengthen our analysis, and take action. Our virtual convening series: 40 Years Strong celebrates four decades of mobilizing philanthropy and brings funders together to explore what is possible in the current era of organized philanthropy.

This series began on with our 40 Years Strong plenary session on people, place and power and a second plenary that focused on philanthropy's responsibility to be accountable to communities of color and low-income communities. Check out the Resources tab above to view recordings, transcripts, and additional materials from these sessions!

NFG's virtual convening series is continuing with six member-led webinars taking place between September and December. Registration is now open for the entire series!

Registration for the entirety of our convening programming will be complimentary for NFG members and available to non-members for $100. This convening series is available to foundation staff and trustees, donors, philanthropic affinity group staff, and invited speakers.


 

Connect with NFG & Share Your Stories

Our celebrations of NFG’s 40th anniversary are continuing virtually as a space to draw support as we propel philanthropy to shift power and money towards justice and equity.

To help us look back on our 40 dynamic years, we are collecting stories and memories from the NFG community to share at the end of 2020. If you have a story about how NFG has supported your philanthropic leadership, how our programming has deepened your political education, or how you found co-conspirators to move more resources to racial, economic, gender, and climate justice through the NFG community, we would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form to share your story.

Thank you for being part of the NFG community.


 

Note: This convening is intended for foundation staff and trustees, donors, philanthropic affinity group staff, and invited speakers.

 
 
Pictured above in slideshow: Amoretta Morris (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Monica Cordova (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing), Eric Braxton (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing) / Aaron Tanaka (Center for Economic Democracy), Julia Beatty (Borealis Philanthropy) / Reema Ahmad (Movement Voter Project), Leslie Ramyk (Conant Family Foundation) / Fannie McBeth.