October 29, 2020

Strategize with NFG in the lead up to the election & beyond: NFG's October 2020 Newsletter

We hope that — at one of the most critical junctions in the United States in decades — you are tapping into your reservoirs of joy, strength, and nourishment: whether that’s friends and family, rest, food, music, art, plants, pets, or philanthropic community.

As we all continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, its economic strain, and related and deepening racial inequities, we also hold the news of Walter Wallace Jr.’s murder by police in West Philadelphia. The media, movement leaders, and policy experts are monitoring evolving threats to democracy in next week’s elections. We are experiencing escalating threats of violence at the polls and voter intimidation.

Philanthropy has a stake in ensuring that people can organize, build power, and transform their lives and communities — in this current moment and for the long-term. Because the oppressive systems and structures that perpetuate racial, economic, gender, and climate injustice do not exist only in election cycles.

Neighborhood Funders Group is a place for meaning-making in philanthropy. There is much work ahead to ensure that philanthropy is taking risks worthy of the courage of our communities. Over the next several weeks, NFG is offering a variety of ways to connect, strategize together, and create action plans:

  • NFG’s 40 Years Strong virtual convening series continues with sessions on November 5, November 17, December 2, and December 8. Topics include: advancing community-led solutions to neighborhood violence, the role of land in our social movements, supporting Black-led power building and organizing, and technologies for an abolitionist future.
  • We’re continuing our Member Connection Calls on November 12 and November 19 at 12pm PT / 3pm ET. These 75-minute calls are informal spaces where you can drop in and be in community with new or familiar NFG friends and colleagues. Join for one or both calls to share what’s on your mind and co-conspire with the NFG community on what is critically necessary for philanthropy after the election.
  • On November 18, NFG’s Integrated Rural Strategies Group, in partnership with the Heartland Fund, is hosting the third and final session in their Meeting the Moment webinar series — Pivoting Forward: a post-election deep dive on rural and small-city America as we head into 2021.

As you mark your calendar for these opportunities to be in community with the NFG network, we are also excited to announce shifts for our team:

Faron McLurkin, Vice President of Programs. Lindsay Ryder, Senior Program Manager of Integrated Rural Strategies Group. Courtney Banayad, Director of Membership and Communications.

  • Faron McLurkin (he/him) is an NFG-member-turned-staff and has led our Integrated Rural Strategies Group since January 2019. He is now our Vice President of Programs and will be leading our programming that organizes funders to shift power and money in philanthropy to justice and equity.
  • Lindsay Ryder (she/her) joined NFG staff in June 2017 and has worked closely with our growing community of grantmaker members as our Senior Membership Manager. She has pivoted into the Senior Program Manager role for our Integrated Rural Strategies Group, working with funders to build power and equity in rural communities.
  • Courtney Banayad (she/her) became NFG’s Director of Development and Communications in July 2019 and has moved into a new role as our Director of Membership and Communications. To help commemorate NFG’s 40th Anniversary, she is gathering stories and memories about how NFG has supported your philanthropic leadership & how our programming has deepened your political education. To share your story, schedule a 30-min call with Courtney.

NFG is here to work beside you and support each other as we make our way through the election and beyond. You’ll be hearing more from us next week. And in the meantime, see below for additional resources & events from NFG, our members, and partner organizations — including this list of civic engagement and election resources from our friends at Borealis Philanthropy.

The NFG team

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April 27, 2021

Building rural power for racial, economic, gender, & climate justice: NFG's April 2021 Newsletter

At Neighborhood Funders Group, we know that local grassroots organizing is key to Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities building power to influence decision-making about the places where they live, work, learn, and play. It’s how we can make sure our communities have access to clean water, stable housing, and economies that sustain people and planet. Power building is also how we will achieve community safety models that do not perpetuate violence against and criminalize Indigenous women and girls, migrants, those living in poverty, and Black and Brown people living in rural communities.

With nearly 1 of every 5 people in the U.S. living in a rural area, the trajectory of rural America is tied to the entire country’s future regarding democracy, healthcare, workers’ rights, food systems, climate change, immigration, and more. We have seen the influence and impact that rural communities have in designing and implementing progressive policy solutions that benefit all communities, regardless of their zip code. And yet, rural communities receive a sliver of philanthropic resources, with very little of this funding going to support community organizing and power building work — particularly that led by and serving Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities in rural areas.

NFG launched the Integrated Rural Strategies Group (IRSG) four years ago in partnership with funders who needed a space to learn, connect, strategize, and move resources in support of multiracial community power building in rural places. As part of our commitment to building power in place, IRSG partnered with Engage New York to commission a landscape scan of the community organizing infrastructure in New York State. Rural organizers in New York contributed to the recent passage of statewide policies, which provide critical support and solutions to BIPOC and low-income communities — in both rural and urban places. These successes were accomplished in the face of significant challenges — challenges that can be addressed if philanthropy recognized and fully resourced the power and potential of rural communities.

The community organizers and advocates interviewed for the scan have called for funders to support transformative movements to build rural power, instead of transactional models that perpetuate the status quo. The scan offers three overarching recommendations for grantmakers to take action and resource multiracial rural organizing infrastructure.

read the report!

We invite you to take a look at the report and at our launch event on May 20, explore with us how your foundation can invest in a future for rural communities and the rest of the country that is grounded in a multiracial democracy, sustainable agroecology and economies, decriminalization, and the abolition of the prison industrial complex. This new stage for IRSG's work parallels an exciting era for investments in rural communities coming from the federal level. Connect with me and IRSG funder members and sign up for IRSG’s newsletter to learn more about how your grantmaking can support rural communities to build power and thrive.

In solidarity,

Lindsay Ryder
Senior Program Manager
Integrated Rural Strategies Group

Domenico Romero
IRSG Co-Chair
Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock

Allistair Mallillan
IRSG Co-Chair
Common Counsel Foundation

May 4, 2021

Introducing Philanthropy Foward: Cohort 3


We are excited to announce the launch of Philanthropy Forward's Cohort 3 in partnership with The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions!

Philanthropy Forward is a CEO fellowship community for visionary leaders who center racial and gender justice and community power building to disrupt and transform the future of philanthropy. This fellowship brings together CEOs of foundations who are supporting racial & gender justice and community power building to make deeper change at the individual, organizational, and philanthropic field levels.

  • ALEYAMMA MATHEW, she/her — Collective Future Fund
  • AMORETTA MORRIS, she/her — Borealis Philanthropy
  • ANA CONNER, they/she — Third Wave Fund
  • CARLA FREDERICKS, she/her — The Christensen Fund
  • CRAIG DRINKARD, he/him — Victoria Foundation
  • JENNIFER CHING, she/her — North Star Fund
  • JOHN BROTHERS, he/him — T. Rowe Price Foundation
  • KIYOMI FUJIKAWA, she/her — Third Wave Fund
  • LISA OWENS, she/her — Hyams Foundation
  • MOLLY SCHULTZ HAFID, she/her — Butler Family Fund
  • NICK DONOHUE, he/him — Nellie Mae Education Foundation
  • NICOLE PITTMAN, she/her — Just Beginnings Collaborative
  • PHILIP LI, he/him — Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
  • RAJASVINI BHANSALI, she/they — Solidaire Network & Solidaire Action Fund
  • RINI BANERJEE, she/her — Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
  • TANUJA DEHNE, she/her — Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
  • YANIQUE REDWOOD, she/her — Consumer Health Foundation

learn more about each Fellow!

With a framework focused on liberated gatekeeping, accountability practices, and strategic risk taking, Philanthropy Forward is a dedicated space for leaders to organize together and boldly advance the transformed future of the sector. This growing fellowship of visionary CEOs from progressive philanthropic institutions is aligning to to disrupt and transform the future of philanthropy.

Philanthropy Forward is a joint initiative started in 2018 by Neighborhood Funders Group and The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. Learn more about the fellowship here.