Grantmakers in the Arts, a national association of private and public funders making grants to artists and arts organizations, presents a new series of Web Conferences designed for emerging leaders in the grantmaking field and veteran grantmakers who want to revisit the information and discussions that inform their day-to-day practices. They have an assembled a team of philanthropy leaders and innovators, as well as experts in nonprofit finance and law, to address key topics of interest to grantmakers.
Each dynamic, 50-minute presentation includes audience interactive features that enable all participants to directly engage the presenters. And as an added perk, following the presentations, participants will have access to a dedicated page on the Grantmakers in the Arts website where they can pose questions, submit information, and interact with the presenters and other Web Conference participants. Continue reading
Project Streamline has released three more resources to help grantmakers streamline their practices as a part of the Guide to Streamling Series. Making Streamlining Stick, Right-Sizing the Grantmaking Process and Streamlining Online Grant Applications: A Review of Vendors, help grantmakers begin a streamlining effort, increase the net impact of their grants by right-sizing and choose online systems that truly streamline their applications. They are the latest in a series of tools and resources that already includes Grant Budgets and Financial Reporting, Online Applications and Reporting and Online Grant Applications: A Review of Vendors.
Making Streamlining Stick
While many components of the series provide technical solutions to technical problems, this guide helps grantmakers work through the changes in mindset, organizational culture and behavior that streamlining requires- the complex issues that have no ready-made answers. The guide illustrates the four basic phases of a streamlining effort and suggests activities and questions that can propel the process forward.
Right-Sizing the Grantmaking Process
Right-sizing is the concept that one size might not fit all when it comes to application and reporting. When grantmaking is right-sized, the information requirements are proportionate to the size of the grant, are appropriate to the type of grant and take into consideration prior relationships with grantees. Right-Sizing the Grantmaking Process lays out the case for right-sizing and provides concrete recommendations to funders on how to right-size their requirements.
Streamlining Online Grant Applications: A Review of Vendors
Online grant application systems can be a timesaver for all involved or they can cause grantseekers and grantmakers hours of unnecessary frustration. Project Streamline commissioned Idealware to develop a companion piece to the Guide to Streamlining Online Applications and Reportingreleased last month. It evaluates seven different vendors against Project Streamline’s Essential and Gold Standard features for online applications and reporting to help grantmakers identify the best systems to support their grantmaking.
All of the reports are available for download at www.projectstreamline.org. Project Streamline, a collaborative initiative of eight organizations including the Forum led by the Grants Managers Network, is working to improve grant application and reporting in ways that reduce costs for both grantmakers and grantseekers.
Look out for the next two resources in the series, Take a Fresh Look at Information Requirements: Due Diligence Guide and Communications Guide scheduled for release by May 15.
10 Questions or Less is a new feature here on the Forum’s Forum in which we get to know regional association staff members a little better—their work, what drives them, and more. This week, Sue Bennett, Learning Manager at Philanthropy Northwest.
1. You’ve put in a lot of work on the development of the Essential Skills and Strategies for New Grantmakers materials. Can you tell me a little about your involvement?
Credit goes mostly to those who created the ESS curriculum (Judie Donaldson, Vicki Rosenberg, Bea Boccalandro, and others). I got involved early on, but at the vastly easier stage of improving on already-existing materials. Since my professional background is in adult education, I viewed the curriculum with the lens of an adult learner and made revisions to make the program as engaging and robust as possible. Credit also goes to my amazing local trainers who walked though each page with me, adding their own flavor, perspective and experience, so that it became “ours”, specific to the Northwest. The skeleton is very good; we dressed it up to suit our region, members, and interests. We still change it a bit every time, to keep it relevant and timely, and because we are also continually learning.
2. Walk me through a typical day in the office at PNW.
There is no typical day! This week I had a program for family foundations featuring Bill Gates Sr. and Ginny Esposito (from National Center for Family Philanthropy), discussing “Legacy”. Two days later, I held our “Philanthropic Thought Leaders Speakers Series” featuring our own thought leader, Carol Lewis (PNW’s CEO) outlining what we’ve learned about giving in the Northwest from our Trends report. In between, I met with a potential member, created several zoomerang surveys, began planning for a Capacity Building Learning Circle event that will be video teleconferenced to 9 locations in 5 states, and reviewed a website tutorial that we are piloting next week. I forgot to water my plant. Oh, and I’m part-time. Continue reading
The Council on Foundations and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers jointly announced today the launch of LearnPhilanthropy.net, as a platform to spearhead wide engagement from leaders and practitioners in philanthropy around the issue of grantmaker learning and professional development.
The public portal is the latest feature in the grantmaker education initiative sparked by the Forum and Council and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative, now involving many other national and regional groups in the field of philanthropy, seeks to engage all the stakeholders of grantmaker learning in what could amount to a recreation of the grantmaker education marketplace. The initiative includes an invitational leadership Symposium on Grantmaker Education this summer as well as the public portal.
“We’re building on the good work in professional development done by many organizations in our field over the past few years. The idea is to keep working together to create a stronger, more rational, and less fragmented system for grantmaker learning than we have today — one that builds a new culture of professional development in the field and works better for the individual learners involved in philanthropy and the many groups and organizations that provide learning programs and resources to them.” — Michael Litz, President and CEO of the Forum