The Wait Is Over: A Message from Philanthropy California’s CEOs
We are reminded, as we close this year, that moments of disruption, such as those we're experiencing, are also moments to advance change. Philanthropy has an invitation to be part of a movement that’s establishing a new social contract: one that champions policies to reduce the inequities laid bare by the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism.
We are meeting that invitation with our Philanthropy California alliance which loops NCG, SCG, and Catalyst of San Diego and Imperial Counties together to tackle the statewide issues as one powerful coordinated body.
Our members asked for a values-based vehicle to advance racial equity and social justice across the state. Heeding that call, we’ve created Better California, working hand-in-hand with community leaders in the Northern, Central, and Southern regions of the state. Our mission is to deploy philanthropy to use all its assets to set California on a different course; a course that is more racially just where all people can participate, prosper, and achieve their full potential.
700-members strong, and growing, we are poised to carry this momentum into the new year.
With fresh vision and open minds, we’re off to a strong start.
- Our first framework rooted in justice-values. Better California features sustained investment, long-term vision, patient capital, deep partnership, following more than leading, and nurturing an ecosystem for long-term change.
- First playbook. Our newly released playbook provides curated, practical tools, and resources to help harness the strength of philanthropy’s assets – from sharing power, grantmaking, and systems-change advocacy to impact-investing and flexible funding.
- First statewide philanthropy summit. (Also, the first in our realm to go virtual!) Timely, actionable sessions about philanthropy’s role in this historic election year. Including, an aligned path for philanthropy to strengthen democracy and civic engagement.
- First regional-endorsed ballot initiatives (NCG). We brought members together to learn about social justice ballot initiatives across the state.
- Bonus report. Philanthropy’s response to the 2020 crises.
- Philanthropy California is our alliance. Together, we had quite a year.
Better California: A Call to Action
We invite you to take a look at our just-released Better California Playbook of values-based resources to support you in creating long-term structural change to advance equity and social justice. Funders have moved quickly to decrease burdens on grantees, expedite grant awards, support general operations, seek community input into priorities, and advocate for progressive policies. We can keep this momentum going.
Together, with our communities, and over six billion in grantmaking in the state, we can amplify the power of philanthropy to advance a long-term vision of a better California for all.
Our members, and the communities they serve, are the heart of everything we do. We look forward to working with you to further activate this vision in the immediate and long-term, as we turn the page on a new year. Please send us a note; we would love to hear your ideas and dreams. What would you like to do, together?
Christine Essel, President & CEO, Southern California Grantmakers
Dwayne S. Marsh, President & CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
Megan Thomas, Interim President, Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties