Help Us Shape Donor Learning Tools

When I started in philanthropy many years ago, one of my tasks at my regional association job was to create educational programming for grantmakers. In the late 1990s, staff began to feel like they were on a programming treadmill — creating one session after another — since our members had no shortage of good ideas.

In a quest to balance essential building blocks with emerging trends, we decided to focus our professional development work in two areas: a skill-building track and content-rich sessions. Staff worked with a program committee of grantmakers to develop a “hard skills” curriculum of workshops spread out over 18 months. Meanwhile, to address more timely issues, any three regional association members could co-sponsor a briefing on an area of mutual concern. Being closer to the action, they would structure the content and secure the speakers with support from regional staff.

This flashback is on my mind as I embark on my new role at the Foundation Center. GrantCraft is largely known as a series of publications that give funders a chance to sit at a virtual roundtable with experienced peers from different types of foundations. These guides offer up “shop talk” – the hallway conversations that get squeezed in between formal meetings and the practical wisdom that’s too often hidden from view.

Given the changing landscape and growing globalization of the donor community, how can GrantCraft best serve an increasingly diverse constituency?

How can GrantCraft complement and enhance what is offered by regional associations, affinity groups, and other philanthropy networks?

With the addition of new organizational players in the field and rapid changes in technology, how might GrantCraft best serve your needs? Rosien and I welcome your thoughts.