Monthly Archives: April 2011

EngAGEment Snapshot: Indiana Grantmakers Alliance

The EngAGEment Initiative partners Grantmakers in Aging with regional  associations of grantmakers and other national organizations to introduce grantmakers to the many needs of our aging population.

Guest Post by Marie Beason, Director of Professional Development and Special Initiatives, Indiana Grantmakers Alliance

During my first week of employment at Indiana Grantmakers Alliance, I found a grant application for the Grantmakers in Aging EngAGEment Initiative on my desk. Having left my previous position as a nonprofit executive director because of my 82-year-old parents’ health concerns, I was intrigued. It seemed the application and goals of the initiative were as broad and complex as the issue of aging! So I did exactly what all good grant writers do and focused on what I thought I could deliver with limited resources and a strong passion. Continue reading

Rob Collier’s Video Blog

Council of Michigan Foundations is doing some thing really interesting with their YouTube channel. President Rob Collier has recently been contributing video blogs. These are updates about what CMF is working on, what’s happening in Michigan public policy that impacts grantmakers, and opportunities for grantmaker education.

This is the kind of information you’d generally see in a President’s message  in an e-newsletter or print publication. What makes this experiment so interesting to me is that while those more traditional media convey all the same information, they don’t necessarily capture Rob’s tone the way online video does. Whether he’s addressing the grave economic situation facing his state or getting excited about an upcoming program, there’s nothing like hearing it from the man himself.

Are any other regionals using video in this way? How have your members responded? How does your CEO (or other featured staff member) feel about having their face out there? Let us know in the comments.

Two New Foundation Center Reports: Community Foundations and Corporate Foundations

The Foundation Center has released two new reports, “Key Facts on Community Foundations” (PDF) and “Key Facts on Corporate Foundations” (PDF). Findings from the 2011 editions of these reports include:

  • Corporate foundation giving remained nearly unchanged in 2010
  • 2010 saw the first consecutive-year decline in community foundation giving recorded by the Center
What have you heard from members? Does that sound about right? Let us know in the comments.

10 Questions or Less for Lindsey Greenberg

10 Questions or Less is a 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,  Lindsey Greenberg, Program and Information Manager at the Gateway Center for Giving in St. Louis, Missouri. If you would like to suggest someone for a profile through 10 Questions or Less, contact Dan Brady.

In your role as Program and Information Manager at the Gateway Center for Giving, how does the Forum network contribute to your work?

The Forum network has been a godsend! One of my first projects at the Center was to create a Common Grant Application for Missouri. Being new to this job (and to the field) the staffs from the other regional associations were amazingly helpful with this project (as well as so many others). They have spent countless hours on the phone with me walking me through best practices and what did and did not work for them when it came to CGAs. Additionally, I am responsible for researching most of the member requests that come in and the Forum network has been so responsive to every request I have sent their way.

You recently oversaw the redesign of the Gateway Center for Giving’s website? It looks great. What was that process like?

Thank you! We really appreciate the positive feedback. Once we actually committed to redoing the website the process was not as awful as we expected it to be. We worked with a local developer who seemed to really understand the unique needs of our organization. Being relatively new to my position with the Center also helped because I wasn’t “wedded” to any part of our website. I was able to come in with a fresh set of eyes and really evaluate what we needed from the site. The website management is so user friendly and has allowed it to become more of a living website rather than a static one which is what we were ultimately going for. Continue reading

Charitable Planning Desk Reference for Advisors

Donors Forum (Illinois) Associate Member Betsy Brill has announced that Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd. has developed a Charitable Planning Desk Reference for Advisors™, the first comprehensive guide for legal and financial professionals to help them address the philanthropic interests of their clients. The Desk Reference was a collaborative effort with a number of advisors, most notably Associate Member Kirk Hoopingarner of Wildman Harrold, and includes contributions from Janice Rodgers of Quarles & Brady, a Donors Forum Member, as well as other advisors.

Advisors can request a copy at

Forum Launches Redesigned Website

Last week, the Forum launched its redesigned website and improved information architecture, providing higher visibility for our most frequently accessed materials and making site itself more aesthetically pleasing.

Click on over to!

After in-depth analysis of our web traffic, Forum staff recognized the need for quicker, easier access to valued information. We compared our categorization system with those used by other infrastructure groups, including regionals, to reorganize our site to be more user-friendly. We also widened our visual real estate to be more consistent with styles across the Web.

Please join us on Thursday, April 21st at 2 PM ET for a webinar on how to navigate the Forum’s new Web site and find key information for regional associations.

If you have any questions about the site’s new look and feel or need immediate assistance in finding a resource on the website, please contact Dan Brady. We welcome your feedback as we continue to improve our site.