Before we get too far into 2018, I want to reflect just a little on the extraordinary CNJG Annual Meeting & Holiday Luncheon that so many members attended last month. It was a real joy to see so many wonderful colleagues from every corner of the state. We were thrilled to welcome back so many friends – including former CNJG Trustees – as we celebrated the Council’s 20th Anniversary. I encourage you to take a look at the photo album of the day that we’ve posted on the CNJG website.
Nancy Cantor’s keynote on how essential diversity is to our democracy and our country’s prosperity was clearly a hit by all accounts. She shared with us her power point and her remarks, which are available on our website for members.
One of the many highlights of the Annual Meeting was the pre-meeting workshop with Abby Levine of Bolder Advocacy, an initiative of the Alliance for Justice. We videotaped Abby’s presentation, which is available on the CNJG website for those that couldn’t attend or those looking for a refresher. This 1½ hour workshop to a capacity crowd, kicked off a 3-part education series that we are offering members. The next two installments – webinars later this month and in February – will delve a bit deeper to help foundations understand how to get trustees and advisors on board for supporting advocacy and policy related work, and how to evaluate impact and success when funding policy and advocacy efforts. We heard from so many of our members last year who expressed interest in more fully understanding what they can and can’t do to support advocacy, and Bolder Advocacy is the “go-to” organization for this type of training. I encourage you to register for the two upcoming webinars. You might also want to join a webinar from our Forum colleagues to hear about national public policy updates on January 30. And for those that would like to explore government relations even more, consider joining us this March as we attend Foundations on the Hill.
I’ll close now with a message of thanks for our CNJG family - our members, our exceptional Board of Trustees, (including new members Annette Strickland, Briann Greenfield, Christine Healey, and René Déida), member volunteers, partners, and friends, and the staff that keeps things humming along. We look forward to a terrific year in service of philanthropy and its work in New Jersey.
Nina Stack, President
Council of New Jersey Grantmakers