A Framework for Delivering Education Programs in Your Regional Association: Ten Principles and Practices


The Forum’s Grantmaker Education Task Force, chaired by Lucille DiDomenico of the Conference of Southwest Foundations and Vicki Rosenberg of the Council of Michigan Foundations, is excited to share with you its culminating document, “A Framework for Delivering Education Programs in Your Regional Association: Ten Principles and Practices” (PDF).

This Framework represents a synthesis of recommendations made by more than 60 practitioners and thought leaders in the field. It describes ten principles and corresponding practices that contribute to a grantmaking organization’s effectiveness and that can be used to strengthen philanthropy education across the sector.  It is meant to serve as a touchstone for reflecting on our individual and collective educational work and as a catalyst for explorations of how we can best serve current members, attract new ones, and contribute to strengthening philanthropic practice in our role as educators and knowledge brokers.

Our goal is to establish the Framework as the standard organizing structure for grantmaker education within the Forum network and to serve as a mechanism for network-wide conversations, experimentation, and initiatives that contribute to a more effective philanthropic sector.  We realize, however, that this cannot be accomplished if the Framework is viewed as a static document.  In order to make it a useful tool that will continue to develop and adapt to changes in the field, we seek your active participation in the following:

  • Framework Wiki:  In next week’s Forum Bits we will introduce you to the Grantmaker Education Framework Wiki, an interactive tool that will allow you to provide comments on the principles and practices and add examples from your own educational programming.
  • Network Conference Call: On Thursday, May 13 at 3:00 ET there will be a conference call to review the Framework and discuss how it can be used to plan your educational programming.  RA staff can register here.
  • Forum Conference Session:  At the Forum’s Annual Conference this July in Chicago, there will be a session about the Framework that will feature examples of its implementation and ideas for future use.

The Framework was completed as part of a Forum initiative to build regional association capacity to provide grantmaker education, funded by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.  Although we are wrapping up this project, the Framework serves as a foundation for a new grantmaker education initiative sparked by the Forum and Council on Foundations and now involving many other leaders in the field.  Later this week we will announce the launch of LearnPhilanthropy.net, a platform to spearhead wide engagement from leaders and practitioners in philanthropy around the issue of grantmaker learning and professional development.  The initiative also includes an invitational leadership Symposium on Grantmaker Education this summer.

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