We hope that — at one of the most critical junctions in the United States in decades — you are tapping into your reservoirs of joy, strength, and nourishment: whether that’s friends and family, rest, food, music, art, plants, pets, or philanthropic community.

As we all continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, its economic strain, and related and deepening racial inequities, we also hold the news of Walter Wallace Jr.’s murder by police in West Philadelphia. The media, movement leaders, and policy experts are monitoring evolving threats to democracy in next week’s elections. We are experiencing escalating threats of violence at the polls and voter intimidation.

Philanthropy has a stake in ensuring that people can organize, build power, and transform their lives and communities — in this current moment and for the long-term. Because the oppressive systems and structures that perpetuate racial, economic, gender, and climate injustice do not exist only in election cycles.

Neighborhood Funders Group is a place for meaning-making in philanthropy. There is much work ahead to ensure that philanthropy is taking risks worthy of the courage of our communities. Over the next several weeks, NFG is offering a variety of ways to connect, strategize together, and create action plans:

  • NFG’s 40 Years Strong virtual convening series continues with sessions on November 5, November 17, December 2, and December 8. Topics include: advancing community-led solutions to neighborhood violence, the role of land in our social movements, supporting Black-led power building and organizing, and technologies for an abolitionist future.
  • We’re continuing our Member Connection Calls on November 12 and November 19 at 12pm PT / 3pm ET. These 75-minute calls are informal spaces where you can drop in and be in community with new or familiar NFG friends and colleagues. Join for one or both calls to share what’s on your mind and co-conspire with the NFG community on what is critically necessary for philanthropy after the election.
  • On November 18, NFG’s Integrated Rural Strategies Group, in partnership with the Heartland Fund, is hosting the third and final session in their Meeting the Moment webinar series — Pivoting Forward: a post-election deep dive on rural and small-city America as we head into 2021.

As you mark your calendar for these opportunities to be in community with the NFG network, we are also excited to announce shifts for our team:

Faron McLurkin, Vice President of Programs. Lindsay Ryder, Senior Program Manager of Integrated Rural Strategies Group. Courtney Banayad, Director of Membership and Communications.

  • Faron McLurkin (he/him) is an NFG-member-turned-staff and has led our Integrated Rural Strategies Group since January 2019. He is now our Vice President of Programs and will be leading our programming that organizes funders to shift power and money in philanthropy to justice and equity.
  • Lindsay Ryder (she/her) joined NFG staff in June 2017 and has worked closely with our growing community of grantmaker members as our Senior Membership Manager. She has pivoted into the Senior Program Manager role for our Integrated Rural Strategies Group, working with funders to build power and equity in rural communities.
  • Courtney Banayad (she/her) became NFG’s Director of Development and Communications in July 2019 and has moved into a new role as our Director of Membership and Communications. To help commemorate NFG’s 40th Anniversary, she is gathering stories and memories about how NFG has supported your philanthropic leadership & how our programming has deepened your political education. To share your story, schedule a 30-min call with Courtney.

NFG is here to work beside you and support each other as we make our way through the election and beyond. You’ll be hearing more from us next week. And in the meantime, see below for additional resources & events from NFG, our members, and partner organizations — including this list of civic engagement and election resources from our friends at Borealis Philanthropy.

The NFG team