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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?

FavoriteBy: Judy Mohraz, trustee, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, updated in 2018 by LearnPhilanthropy 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 shared value and 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 Read more





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Ramping Up for High-Impact Philanthropy Toolkit

FavoriteThis toolkit is for seasoned donors, donor advised fund holders, foundation trustees, and staff who are taking steps to significantly ramp up the impact of their giving. No longer content with just “making good grants” or “doing good things for the community,” you have taken a fresh look at your goals, strategies, and outcomes and decided that you could do things differently to achieve even more. We all know that setting bolder, bigger goals for impact is only step one. Implementing strategies and achieving these goals typically involves a winding path full of experiments, iterations, and obstacles. This toolkit is Read more





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Guide to Investing in Grantee Talent

FavoriteGrantmakers are only as good as the nonprofits they fund. And nonprofits are only as good as their people. Nonprofit professionals thrive when they are well supported and developed by their organizations. So, it is patently reasonable to suggest that investing in the human capacity of grantee organizations ought to be part of the job of every grantmaker. Unfortunately, funder practices tend to make invisible the needs and potential of the people who work in grantee nonprofits, and instead emphasize strategy, programs, and organizational activities. Not only does this approach mean funders are misreading the real needs of many grantees; Read more