Join us for the NCNG 2020 Annual Meeting and Conference: People, Place, Purpose. The planning committee has been hard at work designing a fun, interactive two-day experience – created by grantmakers for grantmakers. Below you will find session descriptions. We look forward to seeing you in Winston-Salem on March 5-6.

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Thursday, March 5

Registration Opens -  9:00 am

Opening Plenary- 9:30 - 10:30 am

Introduction - People, Place, Purpose

Welcome to the 2020 Annual Meeting and Conference - People Place and Purpose. Join us for a memorable welcome with Vivette Jeffries-Logan, learn more about what’s in store for the conference, and get an update about exciting things to come for NCNG.

Day One - Morning Workshops 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Introduction to North Carolina's Philanthropic Sector
Russ Campbell, Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Stephenie McLean, Goodwill Community Foundation
This is a session designed for newcomers to NCNG and to the Annual Meeting and Conference. Russ Campbell and Stephenie McLean, both NCNG board members, will talk about North Carolina’s philanthropic sector overall, help you learn more about NCNG and the services available to you, and talk about what it’s like to work in our sector. You will also have plenty of time to meet fellow newcomers and make new friends!

Driving Big Picture Strategy through Communications
Josh Daniel, Pyramid Communications; Nora Ferrell and Laura Gerald, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust; Tracey Grayzer, Impact Alamance
Join this session to find answers, insights and practical tips from programmatic and communications leaders at the Kate. B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and Impact Alamance, two organizations supporting thriving families through systems change work and a commitment to equity and measurable outcomes. In 2018, the Trust was in the process of refreshing its strategy and its stories, including renaming programs, branding and relaunching websites, and defining its internal and external positioning. As a new foundation, Impact Alamance has used communications to develop its brand and change the conversation around some of the most pressing issues facing the community, including creating healthy environments and support for education from cradle to career. In this interactive session, we will share lessons learned and helpful practices for how communications can amplify strategy and change the conversation, as well as explore what you and others are doing to lead change.

Get to Know North Carolina's Native Communities
Randi Byrd, UNC American Indian Center
Is your organization seeking to expand its impact to reflect the state and local population? Did you know that North Carolina is home to the largest population of American Indians east of the Mississippi? This workshop will serve to broaden understanding about North Carolina’s eight unique tribes and four urban Indian organizations and will explore successful strategies for supporting sustainable community-led changes in tribal communities.

Legal Update for Foundations
Ed Chaney, Schell Bray
Join Ed Chaney of Schell Bray for a discussion of how legislative and regulatory changes may impact philanthropy, including private foundations, donor-advised funds, and public charity grantmakers. Gain a deeper understanding of both proposed and enacted legislation and how to best prepare your organization for success in light of new rules. The conversation promises to be lively and, as always, your questions and comments are welcome.

Trends in Corporate Philanthropy
Angie Brewer, PPD
The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship recently released its 2019 Community Involvement Study. The key findings: employees are the engine that powers community involvement, fewer transactions and larger gifts are becoming more common among corporate givers,  giving strategies have shifted slightly, and measurement is on the rise. Learn more about these key trends, then spend time with your corporate peers across the state to talk about where your company’s programs line up.

Lunch Plenary - 12:00 PM Noon - 1:45 PM

People, Place, Purpose - Picturing North Carolina
Thomas Allen Harris, Family Pictures USA
Family Pictures USA is a new series on PBS – and the first episode features North Carolina! In the series, producer and host Thomas Allen Harris travels across the country, meeting people whose family photos reveal our nation’s history, diversity and common values. Family photos of everyday milestones – marriage, childhood, a new car, a growing business – provide a visual portal to examining the roots, connections and parallels that help us understand our collective past and our shared future. Each episode of Family Pictures USA begins at a community photo-sharing event, where people present images long stored in photo albums or stashed away in dusty boxes. Using these pictures as a starting point, Harris engages participants in conversation, guiding them through stories of hardship, perseverance and love. During our session, we’ll talk to Thomas about his project and watch a few clips from the series. He’ll also engage in a special photo-sharing event with all participants – so plan to bring a favorite family photo!

Day one Afternoon Workshops - 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

Helping Communities Heal - Disaster, Relief, Recovery & Resilience Philanthropy
Calvin Allen, Rural Forward: Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation; Kasey Ginsberg, Golden LEAF; Leslie Ann Jackson, North Carolina Community Foundation; Ashley Oster, E4E Relief
How can grantmakers prepare for and respond to disasters - natural and otherwise - in North Carolina? What can you do to engage in relief, recovery and resilience funding? And how can you bring an equitable approach to supporting communities’ rebuilding efforts? Hear lessons learned from the experts at the North Carolina Community Foundation, GoldenLEAF, E4E Relief and Rural Forward NC.

Navigating Implicit Bias
Mary Kendrick, Other Voices
Everyone has bias. It’s in our DNA—we are all wired to have certain likes, dislikes and preferences. How does this impact the workplace? The good news is that you can train your unconscious and there are simple ways of mitigating implicit bias. This session focuses on the implicit attitudes or stereotypes that shape how we engage with others and make decisions in the workplace. We will explore the foundations of unconscious bias and the potential negative impact it can have on team dynamics, productivity and overall organizational effectiveness. You will also get tools and tips to use to battle bias in your work practices and to help your grantees.

Learning From (and Sharing With!) National Foundations
Rhett Mabry, The Duke Endowment; Woody McCutchen, Blue Meridian Partners
Building relationships is challenging - even philanthropic ones. They are established over time and require a commitment to aligning priorities. Yet they must allow space for flexibility, rest on mutual trust, and value the shared principle that places the desired outcome above the contributions of individual philanthropic organizations. This session will focus on key lessons learned that informed the partnership between a regional funder and a national foundation, and that led to a major initiative that aims to transform a local community in North Carolina. Participants will learn about cross-cutting themes that are applicable across foundation types, areas of interests and grants budgets.

It's a Matter of Trust - Exploring Trust-Based Philanthropy
Phil Li, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; Brenda Solorzano, Headwaters Foundation
This session will provide an overview of trust-based philanthropy (TBP), which is a grantmaking approach that intentionally creates opportunities for honest dialogue, authentic learning and equitable relationships between funders and grantees. Two funders at varying stages of incorporating trust-based practices into their grantmaking will share their experiences implementing the framework in their own contexts, how it has shifted the way they do their work and how they view their roles in creating a healthier, thriving nonprofit sector and a vibrant civil society.

For Foundation Board Members - Understanding Good Governance
Colleen Campbell Bozard, ccbozard consulting
Join your fellow board members from across the state to talk about the important roles of foundation trustees. Colleen Campbell Bozard will walk participants through what “good governance” means for foundations and share what it takes to move from “good” to excellent. This session will cover strong board/staff partnerships, how to help the board become more mission driven, developing a culture of inquiry and strategic thinking, the importance of outcomes in monitoring mission impact, sustainability and board rejuvenation. This will also be an opportunity to meet other foundation board members from across North Carolina.

Day one Late Afternoon Workshops 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Lifting Communities through Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development
Joe Kapp, National Center for Resource Development; Thom Ruhe, NC IDEA; Brad Ward, Council on Foundations
Economic prosperity for individuals and communities is fueled by innovation and entrepreneurship.  But how can philanthropy encourage, support, and spur an environment where innovation is cultivated and leads to prosperity and jobs – even in rural areas?  In this session, participants will learn how communities of every size are successfully creating the mindset, leadership, and culture for spurring innovation and business development…and how philanthropy can specifically help lift communities to places of opportunity for all.  Hear from a panel of local and national experts and come prepared to ask questions!

Skills for Navigating Challenging but Critical Conversations
Michael Robinson, National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad
How do we increase our own personal capacity to sit in discomfort? How do we practice listening? How can we increase our skills in having difficult conversations at the office, in community or even at home? We all experience difficult situations and can benefit from effectively navigating challenging but critical conversations. Join us in this session to learn and practice skills related to holding civil discourse “when emotion runs high."

Nonprofit Legislative Update
David Heinan, North Carolina Center for Nonprofits
When the North Carolina General Assembly returns to Raleigh for its 2020 short session later this spring, legislators could consider a wide variety of policy issues that would affect the work of nonprofits, foundations, and the communities they serve. Many nonprofits and their clients have much at stake in major policy discussions on issues like Medicaid expansion, investment in public education, and nonpartisan redistricting. Lower profile legislation like potential changes to nonprofit reporting requirements, charitable solicitation laws, and sales tax policy could also have major implications for the operations of many nonprofits and foundations. Join David Heinen from the N.C. Center for Nonprofits to unpack it all!

Deep Dive - Disaster Philanthropy for Corporate Funders
Ashley Oster E4E Relief
Join Ashley Oster from E4E Relief for this follow-up session specifically for corporate funders. In this deep-dive, you’ll learn about the social impact of disaster relief funding and how supporting your employees in times of disaster is a CSR & HR partnership with a common goal.

Dormant Donor-Advised Funds No More!
Robin Barefoot and Laurel Shulman, Triangle Community Foundation
Does your community foundation have donor-advised funds that have not been actively granting? Do you have a fund activity policy but no accountability process (yet)? Community foundations achieve their mission primarily through active grantmaking from component funds yet, sometimes a proactive approach is required for all funds to stay active. Join this session to learn the story of Triangle Community Foundation’s journey to create and institute a fund activity policy that was a key tool in reengaging donor-advised fundholders. We will share our moments of success, learning opportunities and the mechanisms we developed over this multi-year process. Attendees are encouraged to review their fund activity policy and come to the session ready to share their experiences!

Reception - Benton Convention Center 5:00 - 6:30 PM

Sponsored by Clearview Fiduciary Alliance

Friday, March 6

day two - Morning Workshops 8:30 am - 9:45 Am

A Top 10 List of Essential Ingredients for Successful Collaborations
Marcy Green, Impact Alamance; Annie Martinie, Danville Regional Foundation; Tim Schwantes, Healthy Places by Design
Local foundations play a key role in advancing the wellbeing of a community. One of the best ways to do that is through intentional and formal collaboratives. Philanthropy’s investment in building such cross-sector structures helps capitalize on other existing assets and knowledge, build ongoing capacity and partnerships, and validate or refine the foundation’s direction. Impact Alamance and Danville Regional Foundation, with support from Healthy Places by Design, have been supporting health-focused collaboratives within their communities since 2015. They will share a list of “ingredients” they have implemented, along with lessons learned from their respective collaborative initiatives. This session will offer practical tools you can take back to your community to start or strengthen a sustainable collaborative, provide an opportunity to consider first or next steps needed within your community, and will allow time to brainstorm and get advice from your peers.

Partnering for Excellence - A Collaborative Pathway to Address Child Trauma and Strengthen Families
Jenny Cooper, Donna Fayko, Rowan County; Katie Rosanbalm, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University
Imagine a different kind of child welfare system – a coordinated system with highly skilled practitioners that focus on the early identification of child and family needs and provides wrap-around supportive services to reduce child maltreatment and increase child and family well-being. A system that employs innovation and reimagines optimal outcomes! Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence redesigns the local child welfare and behavioral health system by changing the way social services, managed care organizations and private providers and the wider community understand the need for accessible, appropriate health services for children, youth and families who have experienced potentially traumatic events. This pathway incorporates evidence-based practices and develops cross sector approaches that strengthen children, youth and families within community. 

Using Art to Inspire Communities
Wendy Hickey, ArtPop
How can we take unused or underutilized spaces and activate them for good? Wendy Hickey, Founder and Executive Director of ArtPop will talk about her work empowering diverse artists and bringing art into community through non-traditional platforms. ArtPop provides exposure for artists and communities alike by leveraging unused space on billboards, buses, and newsstands. Join this session to learn how thinking outside the box can nurture talent and transform communities.

Shifting Power and Resources through Participatory Grantmaking
Jen Bokoff, Candid
Are you interested in participatory grantmaking but don’t know where to start? Are you curious about giving the communities you serve decision-making power? This session highlights findings from Candid’s October 2018 GrantCraft publication “Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources through Participatory Grantmaking,” and guides participants through key questions related to this approach’s frameworks and ethos. Explore the “why” and the “how” of participatory grantmaking, from its benefits and its challenges to its mechanics for recruiting community members, reviewing applications, and making decisions. This session will offer space for learning from an expert as well as interactive discussion.

Closing Plenary

People, Place, Purpose - The Learning Journey

Chera Reid, The Kresge Foundation
Philanthropy at its best is a promising (and challenging) blend of art and science – a long-term commitment that requires vision, strategy, recalibration, humility and perseverance. As we work to create better lives for all North Carolinians, how can we ensure we’re having the impact and influence we seek? How do we capitalize on our successes and learn from our failures? And how do we conduct our work in a way that lifts up the people and places most in need? Chera Reid, director of strategic learning, research and evaluation at The Kresge Foundation, will talk about the importance of learning, why equity matters in this pursuit and how foundations, regardless of size, can embrace a culture of learning.

Day two Networking Brunches - 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

There is no better time to catch up with peers than over brunch!

Learning Communities for Corporate Foundations, Education Funders, Health Funders and Community Foundations will break out for these extra-long concurrent networking sessions.


Corporate Funders - Corporate foundations and community relations offices have a unique position in their company and in the philanthropic landscape in North Carolina (and by “unique” we mean you might be the only person in your company doing this important work!). A network of colleagues is an important way to gather new ideas, share best practices, and get support. This session will provide corporate funding peers an opportunity to learn from each other through a facilitated discussion. Plus, we’ll gather information for NCNG to further develop learning opportunities for corporate funders in our state.

Community Foundation - Community Foundations Learning Community
This will be an opportunity unlike any other to take a whirlwind tour of North Carolina’s most innovative and exciting practices from your community foundation peers. You’ll hear from your friends from all across the state and walk out with new plenty of new ideas and lots of enthusiasm for the important work of community foundations.

Health Funders - There is a lot of change happening in the health landscape in North Carolina. Join your peers to dive in to some of the most pressing issues facing our state.

Education Funders - Corporate foundations and community relations offices have a unique position in their company and in the philanthropic landscape in North Carolina (and by “unique” we mean you might be the only person in your company doing this important work!). A network of colleagues is an important way to gather new ideas, share best practices, and get support. This session will provide corporate funding peers an opportunity to learn from each other through a facilitated discussion. Plus, we’ll gather information for NCNG to further develop learning opportunities for corporate funders in our state.

Optional Networking Lunch 1:00 PM - 2:00 pm

By hosting our keynote speaker after brunch, we are able to set aside the lunch hour as an opportunity for you to schedule time with a fellow grantmaker you would otherwise try to catch up with after the conference. Use this time to dine with a colleague and discuss ways you might work together or share with one another.

Small Foundation Roundtable Conversations 1:00 PM - 2:00 pm

Before you head home, join your colleagues from other small foundations for a light lunch and roundtable discussion. Led by peer experts, you’ll have a chance to dig into topics like managing small teams, building a strong working board of directors, technology platforms, and more topics relevant to small shops. Be sure to indicate that you plan to attend this session and email the NCNG team if you have any particular topics you’d like to discuss – or lead!
RSVP required for this session, please register in advance.