Join us for the 2019 Annual Meeting and Conference: Imagining Tomorrow. 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 6-7.


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Wednesday, March 6

Wednesday Workshops - DAy one  9:00 am - 11:30 am

Community Foundations
Part I: The Importance and Impact of Giving Circles
Giving circles have become an established philanthropic force for donors of all wealth levels and backgrounds over the past decade. New reports show that donors say they give more, give more strategically, and are more knowledgeable about nonprofit organizations and problems in their communities when they participate in giving circles. In this session for community foundations, we will explore giving circles as a vital piece of the philanthropic puzzle, and learn more about their rise in popularity, implications for the way community foundations currently “do business,” and what we as foundation staff can do to support and attract more collective giving.

Part II: Round Table Discussions
In this session, you’ll have time to talk with your community foundation colleagues about the topics most important to you, including human resources, grantmaking, strategic initiatives, equity and inclusion, development, working with donors and more! Come prepared to share and network with your peers from across the state.

Corporate Foundations ///
Corporate funders, this extended workshop is for you! This three-in-one session will feature a presentation on “What the C-Suite Wants to See from Social Responsibility Efforts,” a conversation about employee engagement and skills-based volunteering, and time to share and network with one another. This session was planned by your peers in corporate philanthropy - join in to build your network of colleagues that wear as many different hats as you do!

Education Funders ///
Education Funders - we’ve created this three-session-in-one Wednesday Workshop just for you! You’ll hear from the Friday Institute about the study they have completed about the Leandro Commission, and learn about the Schools That Lead and Networked Improvement Communities that were launched this fall. There will also be time to share your work and lift up opportunities to collaborate with your funding peers.

Health Funders Roundtable ///
Join your health funding colleagues to kick off your NCNG Annual Meeting and Conference experience. You’ll hear from Dana Weston, President and CEO of UNC Rockingham Health Care System, about the challenges facing rural communities, and hear from leaders in our state about social determinants of health. There will also be plenty of time to network and share with your
peers about your work in health grantmaking.

Site Visits 101 /// Joy Vermillion Heinsohn
Back by popular demand! We’re headed on a field trip. Join Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s assistant director, Joy Vermillion Heinsohn, on a mock site visit to a local nonprofit. Learn how to manage site visit expectations, what questions to ask, what tone to set, how to handle different types of derailments during a site visit conversation and what to be sure to take away from the experience. The session will be held at a nearby nonprofit organization. This will be a fun, skills based, interactive pre-conference session. **Please note that registration for this session is
limited to 20 participants.

Opening Lunch and Plenary - day one  12:00 Noon - 1:45 PM

Remembering Yesterday /// Dr. Karl Campbell, Appalachian State University; Lorenzo “Logie” Meachum, Piedmont Blues Preservation Society
North Carolina’s first professional grantmaking organization, The Winston-Salem Foundation, was founded 100 years ago. What was North Carolina like when the philanthropic sector was just beginning to take shape? What has happened since then to get us where we are today? Dr. Karl Campbell, Associate Professor in the Department of History at Appalachian State University, will walk us through the ways history has shaped our state and our work. We’ll also hear from Lorenzo “Logie” Meachum, a blues singer and storyteller who will help us bring some of that history to life.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions - Day One  2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

Audit Analysis for Grantmaking /// Renee Macon, The Cannon Foundation
This session will explore what an organization’s audit reveals about its financial stability. Learn how the auditor’s opinion, notes on financial statements, and key financial ratios provide vital information needed to facilitate your organization’s grantmaking decisions. Additionally, information in the audit will be compared to that in the tax Form 990. Using a worksheet and case study provided, you will calculate key financial ratios, such as the Current Days of Cash on Hand, Debt to Equity, and Program Expense Ratios, and understand their implications for an organization’s survival. This session will be useful for new and experienced foundation personnel.

Classrooms, Climate and Cancer: Understanding the Intersection
of Pollution and Privilege /// Debra David, Concerned Citizens of Richmond County; Allie Garrett, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation; Joseph Owle, Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Eastern Band of Cherokee; Indians Danna Smith, Dogwood Alliance

Investing in work around environmental justice may seem like a strange choice for a health or education grantmaker, but this intersectional issue has ramifications for funders well beyond the environmental arena. Foundations concerned with education, health, equity, and rural communities will learn more about what environmental justice is, and how it impacts the issues they care about. You’ll hear from nonprofit and community leaders on the ground and get an update on the new Department of Environmental Quality advisory board that will assist in achieving and maintaining the fair and equal treatment of North Carolinians with respect to environmental policies – regardless of their race, religion, or where they live. Join us for this important discussion.

Getting Wholehearted /// Rosie Molinary, Author
For many in philanthropy, requests on your time can be overwhelming with multiple nonprofit board service requests, community events, and leadership opportunities coming from all directions. In this 90-minute workshop, participants will learn why saying “no” to non-ideal opportunities is an essential self-acceptance and self-care practice. You will discover a powerful way to discern their boundaries through The Wholehearted Continuum, assess your own commitments and work through what changes you may need to make to live more wholeheartedly. Author Rosie Molinary will review empowering ways to say “no” to too many commitments while positively maintaining your relationships. **This session will run 15 minutes later than others in this time slot

Putting the “Scholar” in “Scholarship” /// Sarah Battersby, Triangle Community Foundation; Maria Peralta Porras, Student, Guilford College
Scholarships are a vital tool in the philanthropic toolbox - one used by many different types of foundations. If you offer scholarships as a part of your grantmaking portfolio, this session is for you. Learn what simple steps to take to help your work make a greater impact for low-income students. You’ll hear about the steps taken by the Triangle Community Foundation staff to improve evaluation, and the experience for students, donors and community members. You’ll also have a chance to hear from a local scholarship recipient about her experience. Come prepared to share your ideas and discuss challenges with your peers across the state.

Late Afternoon Concurrent Sessions - Day One  3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Building Resiliency through Trauma-Informed Programs and Practices /// Dr. Kelly Graves, Kellin Foundation & North Carolina A&T State University
This program is designed to introduce the concepts and implementation of trauma-informed care as a strategy for building resiliency among vulnerable populations exposed to trauma and toxic stress. Research and clinical evidence shows that trauma-informed approaches should include an understanding of trauma and its impact on learning and development. This interactive session will review the ACE study findings to provide a foundation for understanding why addressing trauma exposure is essential to overall health, both physical and mental. Participants will leave the session with tangible tips and tools for identifying components of a trauma-informed approach.

Integrating Communications /// Shannon Ritchie, Nectar Strategies
Often times, determining ways in which we plan to communicate new and exciting grantmaking strategies, the good work of our grantees, and other impactful efforts that our foundations are doing, is an afterthought. This means efforts to demonstrate success, replicate them, or even join in to support them, are diluted and not as effective. During this session, we are inviting foundation leadership, communications staff, and program staff to come together for a collaborative and interactive conversation to think about what a foundation can look like, and how you can powerfully advance your mission, when you strategically integrate communications and external engagement into your organization’s DNA. We’ll share essential practices to support your team in clearly defining goals and objectives; creating tailored messages and tactics to reach people who you need to learn about your work; and working towards shifts in thought leadership around the issues you care about. This session, facilitated by Shannon Ritchie of Nectar Strategies, will give you time and space to begin working together to cultivate more intentional, supportive, and coordinated communication and engagement efforts.

Legal Update for Foundations /// Edward 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 presentation will revisit the major changes to tax law from 2017 and how they have been implemented (or not), as well as any more recent legislation and IRS guidance. The conversation promises to be lively and, as always, your questions and comments are welcome.

Maximum Mission Impact: A Discussion on Place-Based Funding ///    
Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF; Tracey Grayzer, Impact Alamance; Meka Sales, The Duke Endowment; Susan Schwartz,Cemala Foundation

The first thing anyone will tell you about collaboration is, “It is really hard.” But collaboration can be a key strategy in helping funders increase their impact and leverage their resources. Join this session to explore how place-based funders and regional funders can collaborate to make progress on various issues at the community level. Panelists will discuss lessons learned, the importance of trust, overcoming challenges, the balance of give and take, and how to keep this important work moving forward.

Leveling Up Your DEI Game/// Alexandra McArthur, Taproot Foundation & National Disability Institute
People with disabilities are an estimated fourth of the US population, yet too often they are not an explicit part of our inclusion efforts. By intentionally including people with disabilities in our statements of diversity, staff, data collection, and funding priorities, we can increase our impact and better serve our communities. New to philanthropy for disability? Join this interactive session, where we will discuss the importance of including disability in your existing diversity efforts, identify shared struggles and gaps in this work, and co-create solutions. You’ll leave with easy next steps to include disabilities in your existing portfolio - and partners to support you along the way.

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

Thursday, March 7

Morning Concurrent Sessions – Day Two  8:30 am - 9:45 Am

A Session for Small Foundations: Management, Operations,
Priorities /// Sponsored by Foundant

Small foundations can be nimble, adaptable, and proficient in many different arenas. But it can be challenging to tackle big issues with a small staff, while also ensuring compliance with a host of human resources and IRS regulations. This session will showcase the expertise of small foundations within our network. Small foundation staff will host roundtable discussions on topics that are most relevant to those of us trying to maximize impact from within smaller organizations. (For the purpose of this session, we define a “small” foundation as one with 5 or fewer staff members. However, anyone is welcome to attend!)
Achieving Equity Through Better Grantmaking Practice /// Melissa Sines, PEAK Grantmaking
Grantmakers occupy a powerful space between power and privilege in the social change sector. As such, they have a unique opportunity –  and responsibility – to work proactively toward equity and inclusivity. Increasingly, grantmaking institutions are challenging themselves to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk, when it comes to equity. Drawing from PEAK Grantmaking’s research on grantmaker values, demographic data, and grantmaking practice, this workshop will dive into implementing more equitable practices.

Join PEAK Grantmaking as we get specific about the types of grantmaking practices that support – or hinder – equity. During this session, we’ll work through a design-thinking exercise to help us answer the question: If we were to design the grantmaking process to support grantseekers and grantees and contribute to a more just and equitable world, what would that look like?

Better Meetings /// Meredith Emmett and Heather Yandow, Third Space Studios
We all spend countless hours in meetings. A good meeting can energize a team, catalyze action, and strengthen relationships. A bad meeting can do the exact opposite, causing confusion, frustration, and loss of morale. In this session, learn the five meeting mistakes and how to avoid them, explore tools and tips you can use to move from ideas to decisions, and discover how to make meetings more interactive and inclusive. This 90-minute workshop, led by veteran meeting facilitators, is for anyone who wants meetings to be better.  **This session will run 15 minutes longer than others in this time slot.

Brunch Plenary Session - Day Two  10:00 am - 11:15 am

Imagining Tomorrow /// Dr. Jim Johnson, Kenan-Flagler School of Business, UNC-Chapel Hill & Urban Investment Strategies Center; Rosalia Torres-Weiner, Artist, Activist, Community Leader, Red Calaca Studio
As organized philanthropy in North Carolina completes its first 100 years, we now turn our gaze toward the century to come. What changes will the decades ahead bring to our state, and how will those changes impact the people and places grantmakers strive to serve? Jim Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, will help us understand what the future may hold and the implications for philanthropy.

We’ll also hear from Rosalia Torres-Weiner, an inspiring artist and activist from Charlotte, NC.

Day 2 Concurrent Sessions: 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Opportunities and Threats Along the Philanthropic Investments Arc /// Greg Payne, BelleJAR Foundation; H. Walker Sanders, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro; Dennis Stearns, Stearns Financial
The arc of philanthropic investments is wide and ranges from traditional investing and grantmaking, to socially conscious investing, to ESG (environmental, social, governance) and true impact investing. This session will describe the changing investment landscape, special considerations and due diligence related to various strategies, and opportunities and threats along the investment continuum. Hear a nationally recognized expert on financial planning and investing and how investment managers might respond to future investing weather patterns.  NCNG-member panelists will share their experiences and lessons learned from different investment strategies they have employed. This session should be beneficial to foundation staff and board members who have an interest in learning more about the ever-changing investment arena and creative ways to better work your assets and leverage impact.

The Culture of Capacity /// Gladys Hairston, John Rex Endowment;
Kristen Scott Kennedy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

A 2017 survey from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations found that 86 percent of staffed foundations in the U.S. provide some type of capacity building support to nonprofits through investments in areas such as leadership development, fundraising capacity, evaluation capacity, or technology. But how can we as grantmakers ensure that this support is truly meeting the needs of our nonprofit partners? What does it take to build the kinds of trusting, authentic relationships that make this work possible? This session explores how foundation culture can either help or hinder your ability to provide the kind of capacity building support that nonprofits need. Participants will learn frameworks and tools for evolving organizational structures and supporting their colleagues to become deeper and more effective capacity builders.

What Gives? Breaking Through Management-Staff Disconnects to Enhance Effectiveness and Advance Equity  /// Tamir Novotny, Emerging Practioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)
How can foundation executives better engage their early- and mid-career staff to enhance organizational learning and advance their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? We’ll explore how early- and mid-career practitioners experience their institutions and how that differs from what executives might perceive. This workshop presents recent research and creates space to identify opportunities for foundations to better live their values and increase their effectiveness at the same time.

Closing Networking Lunch 12:45 PM - 2:00 pm

You may have noticed that the timing of the plenary session looks different this year. By hosting our keynote speaker during 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 as you continue “Imagining Tomorrow” for North Carolina.