December 10, 2015

Oh, New Mexico – With Fiery Hearts Aglow

Under a sky of azure, where balmy breezes blow, kissed by the golden sunshine, is Nuevo Mejico.
Land of the Montezuma, with fiery hearts aglow, land of the deeds historic, is Nuevo Mejico
. So reads the first stanza of our official state song. Here at TGP, we heart New Mexico! There are so many great reasons to live and work here; just a few include:[1]

#1 State to Retire Based on Weather

#1 Best Place to Own a Retirement Home

#4 for World’s Best Value Destinations

#8 Most Tax Friendly State

#10 Best Skiing Destination

To the list above, I’d add the engaging personalities of our people, the gorgeous sunsets, the amazing hot-air balloons, and the fact that you can get chile on your food at any restaurant in town. One might add that Holly Holm is from Albuquerque and we are all excited about that. I’m sure you have your own list about what is awesome in our state!

Unfortunately, New Mexico faces some serious challenges, which get our state on some of the lists of the “bottom 10.” Poor graduation rates, lagging workforce skills, pervasive poverty, inadequate child wellbeing; the list goes on.

We are privileged to work with nonprofits that combat these issues every day. It is a rare day that goes by when we don’t comment on the difference we are making, through helping nonprofits garner the financial resources necessary to fulfill their missions.

Now there are two new ideas and initiatives emerging that we can all get behind: The Grants Collective and Impact & Coffee. TGP is intimately involved in the first – it’s our brainchild! And we are on the steering team for Impact & Coffee. These great ventures are the types of things that make me excited to come to work every day!

Learn more:

The Grants Collective

Many of you may have heard Tara or me talk about The Grants Collective. It is our new nonprofit initiative that we are launching to fuel grant capability and capacity in New Mexico. We’ve written several past newsletter articles on the philanthropic divide New Mexico faces.[2] The Grants Collective will help bridge this divide by increasing national and federal investments in New Mexico nonprofits. We are building the internal structure now to deliver on three big ideas:

  1. Talent Academy: This is a six-month professional fellowship where nonprofit professionals will learn the TGP method of successful grant seeking through relevant projects and group professional development sessions.
  2. Cooperative Network: This is a peer membership network for sharing resources for high-performance grant seeking. Members will have access to cutting edge tools, templates, and technical assistance to make the grant seeking process more efficient.
  3. Impact Fund: The Impact Fund will house philanthropic funding for professional services to pursue high-stakes, cross-agency grants where collaboration is key. This includes professional services such as facilitation, management, strategic planning, evaluation, and yes, grant writing.

Through this effort, we don’t want you to just get your piece of the grants pie. We want to bake a bigger pie! With the right support, New Mexico nonprofits can be poised to compete for national and federal funding for the very programs that will help lift social burdens, boost education, and train a skilled 21st century workforce, bringing out-of-state dollars into New Mexico.

Want to learn more? We are kicking off our Facebook page and building a website. Are you interested in receiving an invitation to apply for the Talent Academy? Email and we’ll get you on the list. Stay tuned. Exciting things are well underway and we expect to make some big announcements in early 2016.

Impact & Coffee

Does New Mexico need a place for nonprofit professionals to network with each other, share big ideas, and develop community-informed solutions? You bet it does! TGP is proud to partner with SINC and the new Impact & Coffee steering team to provide just such a venue. Impact & Coffee is a mixer where nonprofit leaders, volunteers, board members, funders, and people who want to find their place in the social impact community come to have a cup of coffee, hear about new social profit ventures in a six-minute presentation format, and join in some great conversation to help each other make a positive impact in New Mexico. Based on the popular 1 Million Cups format, the focus of the event is on new, exciting developments in nonprofit programming, how the community can help solve any challenges that have arisen in planning or implementation, and to provide a forum for nonprofit professionals to make personal connections.

The first event is December 15th, 9am, at the Epicenter. Come check it out! Regularly scheduled events will follow in early 2016.

At TGP, we are optimistic that 2016 will be the year that New Mexico gets on the map for the right reasons. There is so much forward momentum in the nonprofit community, I think this is an excellent opportunity to show our stuff. Who better to do it than the inspired and passionate people who are integral parts of the nonprofit sector? Join us, contribute, learn, and grow.


Contact: Erin Hielkema, Vice-President,


[1] These great reasons were gathered from Lonely Planet, Kiplinger, Bankrate, and Sunset Magazine.

[2] See: A Closer Look at the Philanthropic Divide and its Impact on New Mexico; The Funding Landscape in New Mexico: A Post-Recession Assessment; and The Philanthropic Gap and Nonprofit Landscape in New Mexico.

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