Other Philanthropic Events

2011 Annual Meeting -Our Patchwork Nation: Exploring Communities From Numbers To Nuance


Date: 3/16/2011
Time: 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: San Francisco War Memorial Green Room

Post-Program Resources

Listen to Dante's address (with an excerpt of NCG President & CEO Colin Lacon's introduction)

NCG Members Respond to Keynote

[2011 Annual Meeting - Post-Program Member Respondents from NorCalGrant on Vimeo.]



Table of Contents

Program Description

Bay Area, Central Valley, North Coast, SoCal, Inland Empire, Sierra Nevada, Central Coast. The list of what we call our California communities goes on. They are names that evoke widely held images, impressions and beliefs that influence our strategies and actions as grantmakers. But how well do we know the communities behind these names? What can we learn with a deeper look at the numbers? With a closer read of their stories?

The 2011 NCG Annual Meeting allowed us to take a look at communities across America in all of their complexity. Keynote speaker Dante Chinni used a framework, described in his new book, Our Patchwork Nation, to allow us to see the differences, similarities, needs and perspectives of the various communities that make up America with new depth and understanding. Chinni uses a combination of statistical analysis and expert storytelling to describe the economic, political and cultural landscape of America's communities. The result is an enlightening portrait that can help us understand the layers and facets of the communities we serve.

return to top

Member Vote: 2011 Board of Directors

At the 2011 Annual Meeting, NCG members to elected the 2011 Board of Directors. Download and review the action item to learn more about the slate, and visit www.ncg.org/board to track the work of the Board throughout the year.

return to top

Keynote Speaker

Dante Chinni is the co–founder of Patchwork Nation, a project funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Centered on 12 community types, "Patchwork Nation" explores what is happening in the United States by examining different kinds of communities over time. The project has won awards for journalistic innovation and was the focus of a course Chinni taught at American University last fall.

A journalist for more than two decades, Chinni has written for Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post Magazine, The Economist and The New Republic. Although he admits to being a card–carrying member of the East Coast Media Industrial Complex, his roots are still firmly planted in the Industrial Midwest. He grew up outside Detroit and went to college at Michigan State University, where he studied journalism and history.

Listen to Dante's address (with an excerpt of NCG President & CEO Colin Lacon's introduction)

return to top

Moderated Discussion

Following Dante Chinni’s keynote address we hosted a brief panel discussion on how grantmakers understand community. We heard from NCG members Eric McDonnell, Executive Vice President of the United Way of the Bay Area and Lise Maisano, Vice President Grant Programs at the S.H. Cowell Foundation, who shared how they work to better understand the communities they serve and how they believe the "Patchwork" framework can deepen their understanding.

return to top

Our Pearl Anniversary: Celebrating 30 Years of NCG

This year's Annual Meeting had special significance for NCG as we are celebrating our 30th year as an organization, a milestone that we will honor by reflecting with members on our rich history in the field.

return to top

Related Materials

  • Agenda
  • American Foundations: Roles and Contributions
    Scholars and authors Helmut Anheier and David Hammack combine a sociological and historical approach to philanthropy’s role in American society. This comprehensive volume, the product of a three-year project supported by the Aspen Institute’s program on the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy, provides the most thorough effort ever to assess the impact and significance of the nation’s large foundations. In it, leading researchers explore how foundations have shaped—or failed to shape—each of the key fields of foundation work.
  • Member Vote: Election of 2011 Board of Directors
  • The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience
    The second volume in The Measure of America series is an easy-to-understand guide to where different groups stand today, and why. The book contains American Human Development Index ranking for all 50 states, 435 congressional districts, major metropolitan areas, racial and ethnic groups, as well as men and women. It concludes with a set of recommendations for priority actions required to improve scores on the Index across the board and to close the stark gaps that separate groups.
  • Patchwork Nation
    Explore interactive maps that help break down national data to analyze how it impacts communities. A graphic visualization tool lets visitors see data charted and graphed by county, congressional district, or state.