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New Year Hope

New Year Hope

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I’m going to imagine that you had a lovely holiday and perhaps have come back to the office fully refreshed and filled with exciting plans for 2017. I’m happy to report we at CNJG can say this is true as well. I mentioned in my remarks at the Annual Meeting last month – it was so nice to see so many members – 2017 marks the Council’s 20th Anniversary. It was in 1997 that an active group of foundation and corporate giving professionals had the foresight to formalize what had been an engaged group of volunteer peers into a 501(c)(3) organization and hire a part-time Executive Director. The Council was born under the auspices of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, which housed us and served as the fiscal agent in those early days. The past 20 years will be a highlighted theme throughout the coming year, as will the next ten.

I spoke at the Annual Meeting of our plans for 2017, which promises to provide robust services, grantmaker education and substantive activities all centered on helping private philanthropy in New Jersey harness its full potential. As our anniversary celebrates all we’ve accomplished, aStrategic Visioning process will help us chart the course for our next 20 years. Our special learning journey on Race, Racism and the Ramifications for Philanthropy has launched and will be fully underway in February with the first of the workshops and another special field trip. The 2017 Spring Conference for the Social Sector in early June will look at all the ways in which New Jersey people, places and perspectives are changing and what that means for funders and their grantee partners. Of course, there will also be a full calendar of affinity group meetings, funder briefings, and professional development trainings along the way.

Grantmaker education is one of the central services we provide at the Council. In addition, our targeted research – another key service - enables you to benchmark your organization with others. One of the most valued benchmarks we provide to our members is our New Jersey Foundation Benefits & Salary Report (click here for the 2014 report). In the next week we will be reaching out to our member organizations that have staff to participate in and complete the 2017 Benefits Survey, so please be on the lookout.

We are excited for the year ahead at the Council. One of the great moments of the past month for me was seeing the standing room only crowd so engaged during Susan Taylor Batten’spresentation on Navigating Racial Dynamics in the Communities We Serve during the Annual Meeting Pre-Meeting Workshop in December. It affirmed for me how important, relevant and valuable our work at the Council is in helping each of you to be the best funders you can be.

With hope,

Nina Stack, President
Council of New Jersey Grantmakers