Answers To Your Questions.


Areas of expertise include but are not limited to board of directors, communication, compensation, diversity, evaluation, executive coaching, facilitation, family dynamics, foundation management, governance, grant initiative management, information technology, international due diligence, leadership transition and succession planning, new foundation development, next generation issues, partnerships and collaborations, program development, public policy, research, strategic planning, and technology.

Yes, NNCG offers membership to foundations at various levels of engagement. To learn more about foundation membership, download this form.

  • Private and family foundations, grantmakers with public charity status (including community foundations, public charity foundations, and focus funders that target grantmaking to specific ethnic, gender, LGBT, and other constituencies), public sector grantmakers, corporate giving programs, faith-based grantmakers, operating foundations.
  • Grantmaker associations, affinity groups and funder networks, donor-advised funds, funder collaboratives, giving circles, and venture philanthropy and social enterprise.
  • Major individual or family philanthropists

Any legitimate program expertise qualifies (such as those listed in the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities).

In a Firm Membership, up to five Member Representatives (employees, partners or associates) may be named to enjoy NNCG member benefits as part of the regular $1,395 membership fee for firms. Each will be listed as a Full or Associate Member Representative, depending upon individual consulting experience level. Vetting is required for Full Member Representatives.

New!  We now offer a Full Firm All-Access Membership! 

This level is meant for larger firms that want all staff members or consultants to have full access to NNCG’s programs and resources. 

  • Individual practitioners, firms, and institutions.
  • Nonprofit organizations are eligible, if philanthropy-related consulting services are provided under contractual arrangements, not by grant support. Nonprofit organizations may be Friends of NNCG.

Recognizing the existence of complementary professionals and their associations, NNCG does not address the specialized, technical needs of the accounting, legal, financial, investment or trust advisory fields. However, advisory institutions that also perform a significant level of philanthropy consulting services in NNCG areas of expertise as well as individual members of such institutions are eligible to join NNCG. References for Full Membership must pertain specifically to philanthropy consulting services provided.

Full Membership and Vetting

The rigorous membership criteria and the vetting process permit NNCG to be a trustworthy resource to grantmakers, build legitimacy in the field, and set a standard of quality that grantmakers can rely on.

Vetting is not required for Associate or Foundation members. An Associate Member may apply to change his or her status to Full Member at anytime, however they must convert to Full Members at 3 years by providing five grantmaker clients who will serve as references. 

Substantial experience as a consultant is required to be a Full Member. Full Membership signals that a member possesses a depth of experience providing consulting services to meet the needs of many different clients. Both skill as a consultant as well as knowledge of philanthropy are recognized by Full Member status.

A firm that joins as a Full Member or All-Access Member must provide five references. 

All these options count for your 5 references: 

  • 5 separate clients or different projects for same client (e.g. separate departments at a large foundation or federal agency),
  • Reference by existing NNCG member because you’ve been a partner/subcontractor
  • Project for a Philanthropy Serving Organization

We would also welcome a conversation our Membership Taskforce to discuss eligibility.

No. The entire vetting process is handled confidentially and discreetly by NNCG. Neither clients’ names nor the references provided are shared in any way.


Colleagues are welcome to participate in selected events, subject to non-member fees and requirements. However, most direct benefits and opportunities are open to members only. 

*NEW* – Full Access Firms are memberships that include all staff.