Strengthening Philanthropy through Strategic People Practices – Presenter Guide

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Background on the Presentation

In 2013, during its centennial year, the Rockefeller Foundation launched a dialogue on people and talent within philanthropy, bringing together twenty leaders from 16 countries around the world for a symposium at the Bellagio Center entitled “Talent Management for Innovative and Impactful Philanthropy in the 21st Century.” The event’s agenda explored a range of issues, including what skills, experiences, and attributes are most needed in philanthropy today and how an investment in people can contribute greatly to organizational success.

Since the Bellagio symposium, participants have remained committed to exploring the issues that the convening raised and to developing new resources to foster strategic talent management within global philanthropy. Participants in this ongoing work include colleagues from the Ford Foundation (USA), the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (USA), Kenya Community Development Fund (Kenya), Fundación Merced (Mexico), the Rockefeller Foundation (USA), TrustAfrica (Senegal), Winnipeg Community Foundation (Canada), Yad Hanadiv (Israel), Ze Shan Foundation (China), and others.

Resources that have thus far been created include an edition of Alliance magazine focused on people and talent in philanthropy (Fall 2014), a guide to staff exchanges and secondments, and a presentation aimed at orientating and training colleagues within the philanthropic sector on strategic talent management.

How to Use the Presentation

This presentation is intended to serve as the basis for an orientation or training on strategic people practice, such as a webinar, workshop, seminar, or other learning event. It has been constructed with flexibility to allow its use in different contexts:

  • As a stand-alone introduction to strategic people practice, needing no additional content;
  • As the starting point for a more elaborate learning program, the presentation serving as a base upon which additional content is built.

The presentation may be conducted in English or translated into another language.

Each slide in the presentation comprises two elements:

  • The slides themselves: straightforward, easy to interpret slides cover the basics of strategic people practice, animated in order to pace the conversation;
  • Notes: each slide is accompanied by extensive notes to help guide a presenter in delivering the material.

The slide notes comprise three parts:

  1. Potential question/exercise: This section offers suggestions for small-group or all-participant work to delve into the topic of the slide, for when the presenter views this as valuable and when there is time to do so.
  2. Potential presenter talking points. This section presents the thinking behind the slide. These talking points are intended as a guide or starting point, and it is not necessary for them to be strictly followed. While they may be used as written, it is suggested that a presenter draft their own remarks based on their own experience, participant’s knowledge and appreciation of the topic, the local context, the goals of the convening, and other important factors.
  3.  Purpose of the slide. This is a basic statement on what the slide is intended to accomplish.

The narrative on strategic people practices in the presentation is structured as follows:

  1. Introductions
  2. The case for strategic people practice
  3. Elements of strategic people practice:
    a. Attract
    b. Engage
    c. Develop
    d. Retain
  4. Implementing strategic people practice.

A convening of this session may include all of the above elements, presented using all of the current 19 slides. However, at the presenter’s discretion it may also be edited, cut down or added to, based on the goals of the session, the audience and their understanding of the topic, and/or other important factors.

Assistance in Using the Presentation

The creators of this presentation stand ready to offer advice and support to individuals interested in utilizing it in a learning environment. To request assistance and for information on additional activities and resources on strategic people practice, please contact John Harvey at

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