A Message from Our CEOs

Welcome to Philanthropy California, and thank you for visiting our website!


Our state’s three philanthropy regional associations—Northern California Grantmakers (NCG), Southern California Grantmakers (SCG) and Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties (Catalyst) —are delighted to officially announce our joint initiative, Philanthropy California. Together, we are collaborating more closely to:

  • A stronger statewide philanthropic presence that bridges geographic and organizational boundaries and diverse interests among funders
  • A united voice for public policy issues affecting philanthropy
  • Improved opportunities for learning and collaboration
  • The ability to engage a broader range of stakeholders
  • Streamlined support for nonprofits and philanthropy

Years in the making, Philanthropy CA is an idea whose time has finally come!



The Stars Aligned and the Work Began


Over the years, our three associations have worked with one another on individual projects and programs, but the time and resources required to develop a strategic approach for statewide collaboration seemed out of reach.


When NCG and SCG brought on new CEOs within a year of each other who both had board support for a statewide alliance, the work to bring our networks together was primed to begin. 


A core group of members undertook this effort, developing a vision for statewide collaboration and a set of strategic priorities to guide our collective work.


We’ve begun implementing our plan to achieve these shared goals, guided by a steering committee comprised of the CEO’s and representative board members from all three associations with support from consultants at The Giving Practice.


What’s Next & How to Get Involved


There’s much more for Philanthropy CA to do over the long haul. We remain committed to the belief that by aligning our regional networks’ deep local expertise and connections, we can increase philanthropy’s impact in building and sustaining thriving, equitable communities; and we can be a powerful force for change on issues that affect us all, here in California and far beyond.


We invite you, our collective members, to help us move Philanthropy CA forward with your ideas and involvement. We’re interested to hear your thoughts and look forward to seeing the ways this momentum will carry all of us.


We welcome feedback to any of us individually or to the group through Philanthropy CA's Chief Administrative Officer, Karen Freeman





Chris Essel

President & CEO

Southern California Grantmakers


Dwayne Marsh
President and CEO
Northern California Grantmakers


Megan Thomas
Interim President

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