Advanced Intensive Grantmaking

This course is targeted to philanthropists, foundation staff and trustees, and individual funders with at least five years of experience. It includes an in-depth analysis of the cutting edge issues in the grantmaking field, such as outcome models, impact philanthropy, advocacy, alternative and inter-sector approaches, and more. The curriculum is modified each time based on emerging developments in the field.

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Bolder Giving Workbook

How do you figure out how much to give? Whether you wrestle with this question yourself or are helping other givers, the Bolder Giving Workbook offers unique perspectives and step-by-step guidance. Enjoy articles, exercises, and stories from amazing givers.

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Center for Community Foundation Excellence Series

These courses help community foundation staff, board members and volunteers master the unique aspects of the community foundation field in short order. You’ll learn about effective practices, get helpful tools and information and have the opportunity to network with others in the field. Comprehensive and engaging, these courses are an efficient and affordable way to increase your knowledge of the field, to help you work more effectively.

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CFLeads Executive Leadership Institute

The Executive Leadership Institute is a year-long learning opportunity focusing exclusively on community leadership for community foundation CEOs and community foundation Vice Presidents (VPs). As local needs grow, community foundations are stepping up and using their many assets to work with residents and partners across sectors to tackle tough issues. They are taking on a community leadership role. ELI reflects a growing recognition in the field that the practice of community leadership requires specific skills and strategies.

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Climbing the career mountain with well designed side projects

This webinar will provide you with tools for choosing, designing and making the most of side projects. You will learn frameworks to consider possibilities from new angles, hear examples of how side projects can help lead to a fulfilling and exciting career, and be guided through a brief workshop for you to process your own work and projects – no matter where you are in your career.

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CMF/JCP Grantmaking Series

This practitioner-led learning series of webinars and workshops, offered by the Council of Michigan Foundations and the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, teaches the techniques of effective grantmaking to both new and seasoned foundation professionals. The sessions are highly practical, academically rigorous, and designed to be as accessible and affordable as possible. Participants who complete the series will receive a Certificate of Completion.

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Developing Your Career Narrative

This webinar focused on developing your career narrative for expanding your network, finding jobs, and applying to graduate school. A career narrative or story is critical in building trust as you pursue career transitions. This webinar helped participants understand why they need a career narrative and the five key elements of a career narrative.

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Expert Q & A: How Can a Young Professional Prepare for Advancement?

By: Karen McNeil-Miller, former president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Identify a potential role/level you would like to attain and seek out several people who already have those roles.  Find out the competencies/behaviors/skills needed to be effective in the role currently and in the future Be intentional in your career to seek roles along the way that can offer you an opportunity to develop those skills and competencies. Join EPIP (Emerging Professionals in Philanthropy) Volunteer inside and outside your organization to develop your skills Look for internal developmental assignments such as task forces, workgroups, committees, etc. Network with the people Read more

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Expert Q & A: How can African-American philanthropy professionals network more effectively?

By: Karen McNeil-Miller, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation Find/Create a network of other African-Americans as one of the many professional/social/personal networks you seek to form. Join and become an active member of ABFE (Association for Black Foundation Executives) Intentionally seek out and request one-on-one conversations with: Several experienced African-American executives to provide perspective; Executive Director of ABFE; Prominent African-American philanthropists in your town. Don’t allow yourself to be viewed as solely responsible to represent and be sensitive to the minority perspective in your foundation.

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Expert Q & A: What can someone new to grantmaking, but joining a foundation in mid-career, do to accelerate his or her learning curve in this new field?

By: Judy Mohraz, trustee, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust 1.   Start by getting a handle on the soul of philanthropy, as well as the work of philanthropy.  Read the key works, for example: Mark Constantine’s Wit and Wisdom: Unleashing the Philanthropic Imagination; Joel Fleishman’s book, The Foundation:  A Great American Secret; Harvard Business Review articles on strategy written by Mark Kramer, Michael Porter, and others. 2.  Get some exposure, if you don’t already have it (and if you do, don’t let it lapse…) to non-profits and the pressure they live under every day.  Know the basic mechanics of good governance, in a non-profit context, and the Read more

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Expert Q & A: What can someone working at a corporation in an area unrelated to corporate philanthropy do to orient himself or herself when joining the corporate citizenship team?

By: Ann Cramer, director, Americas, IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs 1.   Get a basic orientation of your own corporate culture, values, and direction – corporate philanthropy and citizenship today is a lot different than employee engagement (volunteerism) with “tee shirts and balloons,” or even community relations and contributions.  Use local corporate donor groups as well as the Council on Foundations and United Philanthropy Forum affiliates to learn with and from colleagues. 2.  Read some of the really key/basic works.  For example: Rosabeth Moss Kanter”s “From Spare Change to Real Change;” The work of Michael Porter, Mark Kramer, John Kania on  foundation strategy, collective impact, shared value; Read more

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Giving Toolkit: Inspire More

No matter how much money or how little money you personally have to give, you can increase your impact a thousand-fold by inspiring the giving of others. (Look at Bill Gates! Even he felt that his best contribution would be to encourage his peers to give, and so he started a 50% Giving Pledge for his fellow billionaires.) We’ll help you explore a variety of ways to inspire the giving of others.

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Interview with Paula Jancso Fabiani

At the beginning of September, Paula Jancso Fabiani took over from Marcos Kisil as president of Brazil’s Institute for the Development of Social Investment (IDIS). She talks to Caroline about an advocacy role for IDIS, developing a culture of giving in Brazil, the role of tax incentives, the credibility of NGOs, and the role of women in the country’s non-profit sector. Below, Marcos Kisil talks about the early days of IDIS, the challenges ahead and the leadership transition.

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Leadership Development in the Social Sector: A Framework for Supporting Strategic Investments

While much of the research on leadership and leadership development has historically studied private sector settings, recent work has begun to build knowledge about leaders in public and community settings. New models of leadership, including collective leadership, are being developed and implemented by foundations. A framework for identifying the level of intervention (individual, team, organization, network, or system) and the level of impact (individual, team, organization, community, or field of policy and practice) is proposed as a tool for more strategic investing in leadership development.

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Master Juggler Executive Institute

Executive leaders at small-staffed foundations play a unique role in philanthropy. You are committed to serving your foundation, your board, and your community. You make it a priority to leverage the most from your time and money. And you often put others first, not always getting around to investing in yourself and your professional development. With you in mind, we developed the Master Juggler Executive Institute, a carefully crafted 6-month program for those in the most senior staff role at their foundations.  

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Measuring a Leader

Together with human resource professionals, EPIP created the following list of skills vital to EPIP member leadership development. Learn more about: Strategic and Analytical Skills Leadership and Management Skills Communication Skills Decision-Making Skills Innovation and Problem Solving Skills Social Justice and Racial Analysis Skills Influencing and Fundraising Skills  

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Philanthropic Paths: An Exploratory Study of the Career Pathways of Professionals of Color in Philanthropy

This study conducted by Forward Change provides a holistic, in-depth picture of the career experiences of 43 philanthropic professionals of color ranging from Program Officers to CEOs working in a diverse array of foundations. The study surfaced a set of potentially common points of entry, career pathways and obstacles of professionals of color in philanthropy, as well as the factors that helped shape those pathways.

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Philanthropology

This curriculum provides EPIP members with an in-depth, critical study of philanthropy and social change. This professional development opportunity is designed to compliment trainings offered by our colleague organizations in the field.

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Philanthropy Curriculum

Our online Philanthropy Curriculum guides you through Why Give, Finding Your Passion and Evaluating an Organization.

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Program for Philanthropy and Fundraising

The George H. Heyman, Jr. Program for Philanthropy and Fundraising at NYU’s School of Professional Studies offers courses and intensive study options for fundraisers and grantmakers, professional development, and conferences and events designed to provide information on the latest industry trends and developments.

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Programming on a Blank Slate: A Case on grantmaking in rural poverty

This case study tells the story of one grant maker’s experience in starting a new grantmaking program from scratch — no prior grantees, no established procedures, and no set objectives. Highlights: Taking up a new job in a new field; Identifying key issues to address; Narrowing the field & making your first decisions.

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Public or Private? The Empowered Choice

This article in More than Money, discusses how the choices we make about being public or private donors depend on the intricate web of factors that define our own lives. For some, the “right” choice is to be blatantly “out”; for others, it is to be intensely private; for still others, it’s a middle ground – more open in some contexts, more private in others. The key is to choose in an empowered way-with deliberate and aware intention, so that other people’s opinions, your own fears and emotions, societal pressure, or circumstances beyond your control are not making your decisions Read more

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Reflection on Practice Video: Starting as a New Grantmaker

This video looks at a variety of issues commonly faced by new program officers as they take up their role — from finding promising ideas to support, to understanding the dynamics of good grantee/grantor relations, to helping grantees collaborate effectively with others.

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Reflection on Practice Video: The Grantmaker’s Role

In this video, Ford Foundation former president Susan Berresford shares her perspective on grant making and issues grant makers commonly face as they take up the role.

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Roles@Work: Are you playing with a full deck?

This tool includes a card deck with 29 job roles that are typically expected of grantmakers, and includes a brief explanation of what they are. Use the cards to jumpstart a conversation among colleagues about topics like how you weigh different roles, what you do too much of or not enough of, how you orient newcomers, or how you talk about the grantmaker’s role with board members and leaders.

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Story Library

In Bolder Giving’s story library, you can browse over 180 stories of extraordinary givers — people who have given at least 20%, and often 50% or even 90% of their income (for three years or more), assets, or business profits — and who embody our “risk more, inspire more” qualities. We are all influenced more by what is “normal” among our peers; without even noticing it, we judge what is possible by what we see around us. Browsing stories of Bold Givers opens our mind and heart to new possibilities. Who are you curious about? People similar to you? People Read more

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TEDx and TED Talks About Learning

By: Megan Murphy, former project manager at LearnPhilanthropy  Here at LearnPhilanthropy, we are interested in how you learn as much as providing resources to help you learn. We believe it is important to think about our own learning styles. Having information on different styles and techniques can help us overcome frustration and be more intentional about focusing effort toward learning. Below are some of our favorite TEDx and TED Talks about learning how to learn. Learning How to Learn: Barbara Oakley talks about learning how to use focused energy to learn something new with the Pomodoro Technique. The First 20 Read more

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The Grantmaking School Courses

Designed and led by leaders in the field, our program helps professionals bridge research, knowledge, and good practice. Courses are available for your whole staff or individuals, and we offer standard curricula as well as customized learning experiences. Our standard courses are listed below — view our calendar for upcoming courses, or contact us to customize a course for your organization. Advanced Proposal Analysis intentionally focuses on the essential skills of proposal review, recommendations, project management, and other core competency areas. We strongly believe that mastering this work is the key to excellence in grantmaking. Financial Analysis in Grantmaking provides grantmakers with the necessary knowledge and Read more

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Top 10 Lessons Learned in Grantmaking – Webinar

Presented by: Caroline Altman Smith and Helen Davis Johnson of the Kresge Foundation Philanthropy can be a complex field. Whether you’re starting your career, transitioning into a new role, or simply want a refresher, let us be your guide. This free, 30-minute webinar will introduce you to essential topics every philanthropic professional should know and give you three strategies for getting more informed about and connected to the field. Listen to the webinar or download the slides. *Please note that the webinar recording starts a few minutes into the presentation.

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Top Blogs for Grantmakers

LearnPhilanthropy staff collected a few resources to help grantmakers develop their skills. Below are links to blogs about philanthropy that can enhance your learning and jump start your own collection of blogs. White Courtesy Telephone’s posts include perspectives on learning, education and training in the field of philanthropy. Philantopic is a blog of Opinion and Commentary from The Philanthropy News Digest Lucy Bernholz’s blog Philanthropy 2173: The Business of Giving shares her opinions about the long-term vision of philanthropy. The Center for Effective Philanthropy Blog offers better data, better decisions, better philanthropy. Philanthropy411 Kris Putnam-Walkerly is a philanthropy expert and consultant. Inside Philanthropy Blog is Read more

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Top Readings and Resources on Learning From Failure

Over the past several years, there has been discussion in the world of philanthropy about failure. Here is a collection of ideas about failure – whether you learn more from it than success, how you learn from it, how organizations look at it, and the importance of failure in achieving eventual success. These different viewpoints on failure and learning come from both the field of philanthropy and from other sectors. Following Up on Failure – from The Chronicle of Philanthropy regarding learning from failure Failing Forward – posted on both Lucy Bernholz’s Philanthropy 2173 and Alliance Magazine’s blog Exploring Failure – Stanford Social Innovation Review Embracing Failure at Read more

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Top Resources for Philanthropists with Few or No Staff

By: Exponent Philanthropy  Across the country, tens of thousands of foundations, giving circle members, donor advised fund holders, and individual donors are intentionally keeping their operations lean and their ears to the ground. These “lean” funders seek to nimbly maneuver their dollars, skills, and influence to achieve the most good. At Exponent Philanthropy, we’re dedicated to serving funders who choose to give big with few or no staff. We’re pleased to share the following top resources from our shop and trusted colleague organizations. Get up to speed If you are new to philanthropy or in need of a refresher, turn Read more

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WiserGiving Style Quiz

The WiserGiving® Style Quiz presents different ways to impact seven social issues.

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WiserGiving Wizard

This quiz will condense expertise from leading philanthropic, legal, and wealth advisors into valuable insights for you. In just seven questions, the Wizard matches your charitable, financial, and personal goals with the right charitable giving vehicles.  

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Your Toolkit for Successful Evaluations

This resource was designed and assembled by the Macro evaluation team as a “starter kit” to promote the integration of effective evaluation into grantmaker education programs. This core set of tools includes general tips for conducting successful evaluations, guidance and examples for defining and understanding a program’s logic, how-to instructions for designing participant questionnaires, and an annotated guide to existing evaluation resources to support good practice.

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