November 29, 2016

Resilient Places Require Intentional Strategies

In September, the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and Neighborhood Funders Group convened 100 local, regional, and national funders for Towards a More Resilient Place: Promising Practices in Place-Based Philanthropy. Here, Angela Brown of The Hyams Foundation reflects on the variety of grantmaking approaches in the field and the importance of working with communities on long-term strategies.

By Angela Brown, The Hyams Foundation

Six weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the convening Toward A More Resilient Place: Promising Practice in Place-Based Philanthropy, hosted by the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions and the Neighborhood Funders Group. The two-day event gathered almost 100 grantmakers and community leaders to reflect on the longstanding social inequities that we see today. While the participants in the room represented a range of funding approaches, we all were committed to looking at the inequities that many communities are experiencing squarely in the eye.

Some funders were focused on community improvement, with grantmaking that recognizes and builds upon the strengths and assets of low income communities; other funders talked about how their funding was focused on a specific issue facing a community and establishing practices and policies to reverse troubling trends; still others were learning and applying ways to make their grants strategies more bottom-up, and having more community-driven funding strategies. We remarked that no matter what funding approach our respective organizations take, it is essential to call-out and put race and ethnicity openly on the table.

I so appreciated the energy and curiosity of the grantmakers attending the conference, who were of all backgrounds and identities and were willing to put race and privilege on the table. This was incredibly helpful, challenging, inspiring, and in short, beautiful. Weeks later, I still have wind under my wings from the community and the learnings that we shared over those two days.

One area on which I’ve been reflecting on is the grantmaker’s craft. We connect and build relationships with community organizations, digest and sift through data looking for emergent trends, scan the policy and economic landscape, and use all this information to allocate resources in ways that can impact longstanding issues borne out by all the disparities we see at a local level.

Additionally, while many of the major place-based initiatives show how important community models can shape federal programs, we must be willing to confront the fact that long-standing drivers of social inequities can’t and won’t be corrected by a focus on program innovation and incremental policy change alone. We must recognize that our strategies address issues that have been present for years, decades, or likely longer, so developing our strategies with the assumption that we’ll begin to see a “tangible” change in community and social indicators in a short span of two, or three or five years will not hit the mark.

It’s time to increase our ability to partner with community on a longer-term change agenda. The grantmakers attending Toward A More Resilient Place were willing to engage in this much needed conversation, setting the stage for many more to follow.

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December 10, 2018

Welcome to the new NFG website!

Thank you for visiting Neighborhood Funders Group's new website! We've completely redesigned and improved how it works to make it easier than ever for our members to use as an online resource.

We're currently in soft launch mode before we publicly announce the new site in 2019, so thanks for taking an initial sneak peek! Please excuse our digital dust as we finish testing all of the features of our new website. You can find a temporary archive of our old site at old.nfg.org.

What new features can you find on the site?

  • Search the entire website for news, events, and resources using the search bar at the top of every page
  • See where all of the members of our national network are based, right on our member map 
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If your organization is an NFG member, first check to see if your account has already been created for you. Click "Forgot Password" on the log in page and try entering your work email address to activate your account and set your password.

Let us know at support@nfg.org if you come across any issues logging in, or anywhere else on the site. Stay tuned for our official launch announcement, and thanks for visiting!

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January 22, 2019

Welcome Faron McLurkin, Sr. Program Manager of the Integrated Rural Strategies Group

Faron McLurkinFaron McLurkin has joined NFG’s staff as the Senior Program Manager for the Integrated Rural Strategies Group (IRSG), which brings together funders working to build long-term support for rural organizing infrastructure that centers values of racial justice and builds sustainable power in rural communities. 

Faron was a founding member of IRSG in his former role as Program Officer at the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock (Veatch). During his time at Veatch, Faron oversaw its New York state and Environmental Justice portfolios. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Center for Third World Organizing, one of the oldest racial justice organizations in the country, and as a national organizing director for several unions.

In his new role leading IRSG, Faron will utilize his background in political education, philanthropic grantmaking, and organizing for social change to help drive the growth and advancement of the group’s programming. His focus will include developing programming for funder audiences to promote rural organizing opportunities; creating vehicles for moving resources to support rural communities; and identifying grantmaking strategies, grantees, and partners in the field to inform this group’s work.

To learn more about IRSG and how to get involved, get in touch with Faron at faron@nfg.org
 

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