• Program Session List

    Monday, March 11, 2019
    Timeblock A
    10:45 am – 12:00 pm

    Guide to Preparing for a Systems Selection

    In this hands-on, activity-filled session, participants will learn how to prepare for selecting a new grants management system—from setting goals and completing a stakeholder analysis to gathering requirements and performing a needs assessment that evaluates and prioritizes those requirements. Foundation staff sometimes begin a systems selection by asking peers to recommend a system. While seeking others’ suggestions is a valuable step, the first steps are to determine internal needs and identify which systems can meet them.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Setting goals
    • Analyzing stakeholders
    • Assessing needs

    Presenter: Lisa M. Nespeca, Owner, ChangeVantage Consulting

    Move from Grantmaker to Changemaker

    The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment came to recognize that to move from grantmaker to changemaker it would need to support capacity building among its grantees, applicants, and potential applicants. By applying both traditional funding and non-funding investments to capacity building, the Endowment more effectively assists grantees in achieving greater impact while maximizing its investment in improving health outcomes for Wisconsin residents. Consider steps the Endowment took to ramp up capacity building—from providing grantees space, learning opportunities, and one-on-one support to integrating capacity building into the work of all Endowment staff. Understand how establishing continuous learning as a value for the Endowment, its grantees, and its partners was critical to advancing each organization’s mission and the collective efforts to improve health in Wisconsin.

    Participants will learn about:

    • One foundation’s efforts to go beyond the traditional funder role to invest in grantees and partners
    • Mechanisms to invest funding and other resources in support of capacity building among diverse community organizations and community-academic partnerships
    • Tactics to ingrain capacity building and continuous learning in the culture of a foundation

    Presenter: Tracy Wilson, Program Officer, Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment

    Participatory Grantmaking 101: Inclusive and Effective Strategic Practice

    This session highlights findings from research the Foundation Center conducted to prepare its GrantCraft guide (released in October 2018) on participatory grantmaking. Explore the “why” and the “how” of participatory grantmaking, from its benefits and its challenges to its mechanics for recruiting community members, reviewing applications, and making decisions. Hear about the practical, real-world experience of two foundations that have been using this approach for years. A cross-section of presenters will offer both a field-wide view and specific anecdotes from within PEAK Grantmaking member foundations.

    Participants will learn about:

    • The definition of participatory grantmaking
    • The mindset and practice of participatory grantmaking
    • Making the case for participatory grantmaking

    Presenter: Jen Bokoff, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Foundation Center

    The Secret to Recapturing Foundation Time and Capacity

    Do your foundation staff face overwhelming workloads? Are employees constantly working late? Are you experiencing growing responsibilities but no funding to add staff? Are you taking heat for errors? Learn how some foundation managers have cured such pain and become heroes to their staff, audit committees, and boards. One community foundation recaptured more than 60 percent of its working time and now delivers to grantees faster and more effectively. First, hear the concepts that are getting results. Then, see those skills at work in a game that demonstrates the rapid improvement possible.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Continuous process improvement and how it is transforming foundations
    • Ideas to improve their foundations

    Presenter: Lee Kuntz, Process Improvement Trainer, Innovation Process Design, LLC

    Tying Grant Practices to Foundation Values

    Building from the work of PEAK Grantmaking’s Walk the Talk project, this interactive session will review the Hewlett Foundation’s process to define a philosophy of grant practice that stems from its guiding principles. Hear questions with which the Hewlett Foundation is still grappling. Workshop your own questions around aligning foundation grantmaking practices with values.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Analyzing and codifying the relationship between a foundation’s grantmaking practices and its values
    • Questions and constraints on aligning foundation grantmaking practice and values
    • Working toward greater alignment between foundation values and practices

    Presenter: Aimee Bruederle, Grants Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

    Why Asking about the Cost of Fundraising Isn’t Enough

    How much do we spend on fundraising? This question, alone, doesn’t measure fundraising effectiveness. Organizations with low fundraising costs sometimes depend on only a few donors, which can put the organizations at risk if one of those funders ends its grant. In addition, by asking about fundraising expenses, an organization may be signaling that grantees should spend as little as possible on these critical investments. BoardSource has developed a framework for Measuring Fundraising Effectiveness—both internally and externally—that creates a more complete picture of an organization’s fundraising health. Hear about this new tool for developing holistic pictures of grantees’ fundraising effectiveness.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Fundraising strategies and how focusing solely on the cost of fundraising can increase risk
    • The Measuring Fundraising Framework and related free resources
    • Questions to ask to get necessary information, without inadvertently sending harmful messages

    Presenter: Andy Davis, Director of Education, BoardSource

    Monday, March 11, 2019
    Timeblock B
    1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

    Budget Tools as Aids in Strategic Planning

    As grantmakers, we’re in the business of giving away money. As nonprofits, we have a mandate to fulfill our mission. One of the most critical constraints to both is our grantmaking budgets. Engage in a discussion about grant budget constraints and using tools for addressing those constraints to support strategic planning, right-size initiatives, and manage staff and grantee expectations.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Budget scenario planning and using it to support organizational planning
    • Applying budget planning methods shared in the session to their own work
    • The effect of multi-year grants on projected grant budgets

    Presenter: Barbara Scace, Director of Grants Management, William Penn Foundation

    Embedding Equity Inside and Out: How to Dive In without Drowning

    Grants managers are often tasked with providing data and support for the strategies and evaluation processes popular in philanthropy at the time. Grants managers interested in equity and social change must understand where the potential for change exists in a process and how effective grants management can maximize that potential. This participatory session will explore three popular strategy and evaluation frameworks to discover how grants managers can enhance these approaches and create greater equity within their grantmaking and across their organizations.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Strategy and evaluation approaches popular in contemporary philanthropy
    • Applying their experiences to analyze equity challenges and opportunities in these approaches
    • Shifting practice to maximize the potential of these approaches

    Presenter: Angela K. Frusciante, Principal, Knowledge Designs to Change

    The Future of Donor-Advised Funds

    The growth of donor-advised funds has significantly affected charitable giving throughout the country. To some, donor-advised funds exert an outsized influence on local giving: Popular programs, like the arts, receive support while less popular ones, like prison reform, do not. Donor-advised funds are criticized for low payout rates. Yet these funds disburse approximately 20 percent of their assets annually—higher than the 5 percent rate private foundations are required to give each year. How can public charities and community foundations find a balance between their missions and the wishes of donor advisors? Find out.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Why endowments matter
    • The value of a strong mission statement or grantmaking strategy in working productively with donor advisors
    • Educating donors on community needs that may not be popular areas for giving
    • Drivers behind the push for payout rules

    Presenter: Liza Lagunoff , Director, Grants Budgeting, The New York Community Trust

    Magnifying Your Impact by Maximizing Software

    Is your organization looking to leverage software to support your mission? Is your grants management system more of a hindrance than a help? Are you pondering a new solution to more efficiently facilitate your grantmaking? Integrated online software solutions are a powerful grantmaking resource when coupled with knowledgeable users. Participate in this power-packed, user-led discussion to learn more about cloud-based software options available today. Hear a panel of your fellow PEAK Grantmaking members share their recent experiences with grants management software conversions and outline the ways their new software solution has amplified their grantmaking. Panelists will address: (1) What they wish they’d known before they moved to cloud-based software; (2) The top software features they are leveraging and the impact on their grantmaking; (3) Selection and conversion. Come with your list of frustrations with your current software, and leave with inspiration and answers from this stimulating, interactive session.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Improving grantmaking through software conversions
    • Using software efficiently to support grantmaking

    Presenter: TeQuion Brookins, Director of Operations, McGregor Fund

    Monday, March 11, 2019
    Timeblock C
    3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

    Aligning Investment Strategy and Grantmaking Operations

    Private foundations often sit on endowments, giving them security and the ability to make grants to causes aligned with their missions. However, the investment arms of foundations frequently are treated as separate units rather than as strategically aligned partners. Over the last two years, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has worked across its grants management, investment, finance, and program departments to better align its investment strategy and grantmaking operations. While the Trust has more work to do, staff have learned that integrating these functions can lead to positive impacts for grantees and the issues about which a mission-driven organization cares.

    Participants will learn about:

    • The interrelatedness of investment and grantmaking portfolios
    • Improving grantmakers’ work through increased communication and collaboration
    • Tools to start integrating investment and grantmaking at their foundations

    Presenter: Christopher Rapcewicz, Director of Risk and Investment Operations, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

    Compliance as a Strategic Tool in Complex Grantmaking

    In complex grantmaking or grantmaking in complicated situations, compliance is a pivotal tool. In fact, used strategically, compliance can help transform the work of a foundation. This session will offer ideas for seamlessly integrating compliance tools into some of the most complex grantmaking scenarios, so foundations make more effective and deliberate grants. The session also will highlight the critical role compliance plays in grantee capacity building, grassroot movements, flexible funding, fiscal intermediaries, and complex regulatory environments. Surprised? You won’t be after this session.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Key compliance tools available to strengthen donor collaboratives and grassroot organizations
    • The compliance landscape for funding, both within and outside of the United States
    • Grantees’ governance responsibilities
    • Frameworks to inform capacity-building grantmaking

    Presenter: A. Nicole Campbell , Senior Director of Operations and Foundation Counsel, Dalio Foundation

    Facilitating Difficult Conversations in the Workplace

    Interested in taking your communication skills up a notch? This is the session for you. Participants will practice discussing difficult topics using tools that mediators employ to diffuse tension and mitigate conflict. Experience phrases that can ease tough conversations and nonverbal cues to watch when leading large meetings.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Facilitating a conversation between departments that have been experiencing tension around an issue
    • Diffusing tension in a meeting that’s getting overheated
    • Navigating a conversation involving co-workers struggling to work well together
    • Using conversation facilitation skills and mediation to resolve conflict

    Presenter: Erin Speltz, Grants Management Assistant, GHR Foundation

    Foundation Support for Nonprofit Advocacy

    Not sure how to make the case for funding advocacy? Uncertain whether you can fund grantees that lobby? Wondering whether your public or private foundation can speak out on an issue? Discover the answers to these questions and more—for public and private foundations.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Reasons for public and private foundations to support advocacy
    • Activities that constitute advocacy and public policy work
    • Various advocacy roles for foundations
    • Definitions of lobbying
    • Activities that are exceptions to the definitions of lobbying
    • Rules for private and public foundation grants to nonprofits that lobby
    • Grant agreement language that permits support for policy work
    • Permissible private and public foundation support for election-related activities

    Presenter: Natalie Roetzel Ossenfort, Director, Texas Office, Alliance for Justice

    Navigating Faith and Regulation: Compliance and Competency in Religious Grantmaking

    In 2017, 75 percent of all giving in the United States was directed to houses of worship or religious-oriented charities. According to the Giving USA Special Report on Religion, religious motivation not only serves as the basis for many philanthropic decisions but also as one of the strongest predictors of charitable giving across all non-profit subsectors. Despite religion’s important role in charitable giving, many secular foundations shy away from making grants to religious organizations due to the ambiguity around determining whether houses of worship or other religious organizations are considered charities for federal tax purposes. Explore tactics for reaching a broader and more diverse community of grantees by including religious organizations. Identify strategies for minimizing risk in faith-based giving. Hear about the experience of a leading, national faith-based grantmaker in developing due diligence for religious institutions. All, to foster better program outcomes.

    Participants will learn about:

    • The IRS definition of church structure and 14 characteristics of a house of worship or religious-oriented charity
    • Practices that allow foundations to meet IRS regulations for grants to faith-based organizations
    • Tips for addressing due-diligence scenarios in religious grantmaking, e.g. group exemptions, independent congregations, and individual missionary support

    Presenter: Kaitlin Ostlie, Grants Associate, InFaith Community Foundation

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019
    Timeblock D
    11:15 am – 12:30 pm

    Building Equity: Incremental and Intentional Steps Towards Change

    “Equity” has become the buzz word of the moment. Some foundations are reconfiguring their grantmaking strategies to prioritize equity. Others are using an equity lens on all they do. The transition towards an equitable foundation is a long one that requires reflective and intentional practices. Hear the story of a grants manager and a program officer who led by example, tackling equity in one portfolio’s grantmaking.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Key steps toward equitable grantmaking
    • Potential barriers when assessing equitable grantmaking practices
    • Developing equitable grantmaking protocols

    Presenter: Nupur Chaudhury, Program Officer, New York State Health Foundation

    Bust the “Overhead” Myth; Pay True Indirect Costs

    The True Cost Project was a collaboration by five foundations to explore the sector-wide challenge of insufficient indirect cost recovery among grantees and to identify solutions for paying grantees’ “true costs.” The project team conducted original research, engaged with approximately 100 grantees, and consulted a range of financial experts. Representatives from the three participating foundations will discuss findings from their work and the strategic changes they are implementing at their institutions.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Ideas for approaches to grantmaking that cover grantees’ true costs
    • The depth and breadth of the sector’s indirect cost recovery problem
    • Why grantees and funders have misunderstandings about costs
    • Approaches to pay actual indirect costs accurately and responsibly

    Presenter: Jessica Halverson, Grants Officer, Environment, Hewlett Foundation, James Gallagher, Senior Grants Manager, Future of Work, Ford Foundation, and Arum Lansel, Program Operations Manager for Organizational Effectiveness, Packard Foundation

    Getting to Impact: A Measurement Blueprint

    Developing and delivering successful giving programs for those you support is no easy task. Today’s issues run deeper and loom larger than what is seen on the surface. In many cases, today’s problems can only be addressed through collaboration and the work of many. Giving programs that effect change require both financial resources and human capital. To attain and demonstrate the deepest impact with limited resources, implement a social impact framework. Whether you’re creating a new program or looking to improve on past successes, a social impact framework will help your organization improve its effectiveness by ensuring a direct link between your organization’s mission, giving programs, and grantee outcomes. See how a social impact framework can help your organization become more results-focused and better measure investments of time, talent, and treasure, to increase impact.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Measurement terminology
    • Social Impact logic models (AKA results frameworks)
    • Measuring all investments—grants, volunteer time, and in-kind donations

    Presenter: Michelle DiSabato, Consultant, Philanthropy-Strategy & Communications, Community Impact Consultants, Inc.

    Participatory Philanthropy: How Grants Managers Can Engage Nonprofits and Communities

    As our field grapples with issues of power dynamics, racial equity, and trust, grants managers are uniquely situated to advocate for participatory philanthropy. Grants managers can encourage foundations to engage nonprofits and communities in determining the most effective paths forward. Understand how to make the case for participatory philanthropy. Explore the importance of viewing participatory practices through a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lens. Hear from peers who have successfully promoted participatory philanthropy at their organizations. Identify opportunities to increase participation at your organization.

    Participants will learn about:

    • The importance of participatory philanthropy and its relevance to grants management
    • Considering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion when implementing participatory grantmaking practices
    • Concrete tools and recommendations to foster authentic participatory philanthropy practices

    Presenter: Amy Shields, Program Manager, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

    The Power Equation: Equalizing Power for Win/Win Solutions

    Many of us feel our power is limited to our role on the organization chart or generation of the family tree. If we feel that our wants and needs are not as important as or are more important than those around us, we may see others as above or below us. This perspective could prompt us to say “yes” to things we really don’t want to do, forego asking for what we really want, or include/exclude others as we work towards solutions. A new frame of reference can help us view everyone’s wants and needs as equal, enabling us to see different solutions. With a new frame of reference, we can stop looking to others to fulfill our wants, take responsibility for our needs, and create solutions that empower everyone involved. Discover what makes us feel powerless and how to balance the power equation.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Limiting beliefs that keep us and others feeling powerless
    • A shared purpose for any situation
    • Understanding and honoring the desires of both grantees and grantmakers
    • New frames of reference for finding win/win solutions with others

    Presenter: Wendy Watson-Hallowell, Belief Coach, Frontier Consulting Group

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019
    Short Talks
    2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

    Communicating and Facilitating the End of Grant Funding

    There are many guidelines and best practices for starting grant programs but few for closing them out. Yet, a poor closeout process can negatively affect an organization’s relationships and reputation, hurting its future work in the field. Effectively ending a grants program requires consistent and transparent communication with grantees and stakeholders, a thoughtful process for wrapping up reporting and payments, and a steady focus on achieving a positive impact until the end. ClearWay Minnesota, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to reducing tobacco’s harm, was created with an intentional 25-year lifespan. In preparation for ClearWay Minnesota’s sunset, staff developed principles for ending grants and exiting the field. This session will provide guidance for communicating clearly as you close out funding, setting a positive but realistic tone with grantees, helping organizations you fund make plans for the future, and recognizing significant accomplishments your funding helped achieve.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Communicating early, often, and positively about the end of grant funding
    • Varying definitions of “sustainability” and activities that realistically can continue after funding ends
    • Grant closeout milestones, e.g. determining ownership of grant deliverables and celebrating accomplishments

    Presenter: Alexis Bylander, Senior Public Affairs Manager, ClearWay Minnesota

    Data’s Role in Driving Performance, Internally and Externally

    Data can drive individual, department, and grantee performance. For example, reviewing data over the lifecycle of a grant can highlight the need for training on a particular process or suggest an adjustment in grants management software. Hear how data has driven departmental, operational, and individual performance as MacArthur Foundation transitioned to a new grants management system and centralized grants management department.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Management’s perspective on data use
    • Bottlenecks in workflow
    • Using data to drive performance

    Presenter: Steve Casey, Associate Director, Grants Management, MacArthur Foundation

    From Transactional Grantmaking to Impactful Investing: An Outcomes Framework

    At a time when grantmakers seek to demonstrate the outcomes from their work, how can you shift from transactional grantmaking to impactful investing? For 15 years, the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation contributed more than $27 million to Louisiana communities. Then, the Foundation decided to take a more strategic approach to giving. Located in the state with the highest incarceration rate in the world, the foundation launched a three-year, $3 million Prison Re-entry initiative to improve outcomes for more than 17,000 individuals released each year from Louisiana’s prisons and jails. The initiative created a continuum of care for released individuals, reducing recidivism and increasing savings associated with successful reintegration. Nearly complete, the initiative has changed relationships with grantees and improved the community. This session will examine a case study on creating and implementing the Prison Re-entry initiative.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Self-evaluation for readiness to engage in transactional grantmaking
    • Creating a culture of learning and improvement, both internally and with grantees
    • Demonstrating achievement of grant and portfolio objectives

    Presenter: Tristi Charpentier, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation

    Investing in Impact: The Role of Strong Grantee Relationships

    Grantmaking is a partnership between grant recipient and funder. Yet, how are you engaging with your grantees throughout the sourcing, shaping, and management stages of a grant’s lifecycle? How can you build trust and work more effectively together to deliver shared impact? Explore the answers to these and other questions that focus on strengthening relationships with grantees.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Hidden patterns that may be hindering your grantmaking
    • Tips and tools for building stronger relationships with grantees
    • Approaches for gathering and using grantee feedback

    Presenter: Rebecca Ferguson, Senior Director, Grants Operations, Salesforce.org

    It’s Complicated: A Guide to Monitoring

    Participants will learn new techniques to monitor grantees as well as processes to make sure reviews are fair, equitable, and reasonable for an organization’s capacity. Explore affordable tools, new strategies, and best practices to ensure grantees’ success.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Policies and procedures that are easily replicated in diverse organizations
    • Structuring a grantee visit to ensure the success of both grantee and grantmaker

    Presenter: Kate Mendez, Grant Compliance and Accounting Manager, United Way of Greenville County, South Carolina

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019
    Roundtable Discussions
    3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

    Distinguishing a Charity as “Public”

    Participate in an exciting conversation about what it means to be a public charity grantmaker in 2019.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Why public charities matter.
    • Evaluating transparency at public charities

    Presenter: Liza Lagunoff, Director, Grants Management, The New York Community Trust

    Donor Advised Funds

    This roundtable offers an open discussion about donor-advised funds in a changing philanthropic landscape.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Best practices for managing donors’ expectations
    • Measuring the impact of new tax laws
    • Sharing peer-to-peer knowledge

    Presenter: Maggie Murphy, Grants Manager, The New York Community Trust

    Effective Communication in a Digital Age           

    Thanks to technology, how and when we do our jobs is changing. Work no longer occurs only at the office, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Many of us access our work email from anywhere, at any time. We commonly work with remotely located colleagues. Between video conferencing, text messaging, and messaging apps like Slack, we have more ways to communicate than ever. Without realizing it, we make decisions about communication daily: Should we reach out to colleagues over email or a messaging app? Should we respond to emails received after hours? How do we effectively engage with remote colleagues? This roundtable will raise participants’ awareness of their daily communication decisions.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Texts, chats, and messaging: When it’s appropriate to use more informal communication channels and what is appropriate to send
    • Flexible schedules and remote locations: How to communicate clearly without the benefit of face-to-face interactions
    • Maintaining work life balance: When to shut down

    Presenter: Allison Rains, Senior Grants Manager, Simons Foundation

    Let’s Talk General Operating Grants

    Take a deep dive into general operating grants. Nonprofits repeatedly request these funds. Yet many grantmakers don’t offer them, and those who do, define and approve general operating grants differently. This session will look at issues related to strategy, budget, eligibility, guidelines, applications, and evaluation for general operating grants. Speakers from a diverse set of foundations that award general operating grants will share their experiences with those grants. Participants will learn about the challenges of and current best practices for managing general operating grants.

    Participants will learn about:

    • The need for general operating grants and how nonprofit use them
    • Streamlining applications for general operating support
    • Evaluating general operating grants

    Presenter: Erin Baird, Director of Grants, Allegany Franciscan Ministries

    Private Foundation IRS Requirements

    The IRS allows foundations to maintain privileged status if they meet federal tax law requirements designed to ensure that foundations fulfill charitable purposes rather than benefit insiders. Get answers to frequently asked questions about IRS requirements, including: how to stay in compliance; how to complete the Form 990-PF; what does the 5 percent distribution rule entail; and what common mistakes can be avoided.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Sufficient 990-PF information to sign a return with confidence
    • Self-dealing transactions
    • Qualifying distributions to include in the 990-PF
    • Accounting for returned grants

    Presenter: Thomas Blaney, Partner, O’Connor Davies, and and Christopher Petermann, Partner, O’Connor Davies

    Process, What Process? Cat-Herding for Grants Managers

    In medium to large foundations, individual personalities as well as small team quirks can force a single grantmaking process into many directions. Some staff want more comprehensive materials from an applicant. Others want a one-paragraph narrative. Some staff need explicit deadlines with a checklist of requirements, while others need only the date and the basic material to send a grant recommendation to the board. In this interactive session, participants will work with staff from medium to large foundations to identify common challenges in managing a grantmaking process for the unique needs of many colleagues. Topics will be crowdsourced in the session, but may include uncovering workarounds devised by staff, deciding how much leeway to give individuals or teams, designing technology training for different skill levels, and managing expectations around the degree of flexibility.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Defining the mandatory “can’t ever change” parts of your foundation’s grantmaking process
    • Deciding how much flexibility is appropriate for your foundation
    • Practicing problem-solving on challenges that don’t fit your standard operating model
    • Communicating changes to staff

    Presenter: Jessica Richards, Program Officer, William Penn Foundation

    Reducing Risk and Communicating about Compliance: Using Intermediaries in Grantmaking

    This session will focus on grant making through intermediaries. From key terminology (“fiscal sponsor” vs ”fiscal agent”) to benefits and best practices for communicating with intermediaries, participants will discuss managing the relationship with stakeholders during the grantmaking process and the effect of intermediaries on systems and technology related to grants management.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Key terminology related to working with intermediaries
    • Benefits and best practices for working with intermediaries
    • Managing grantee relationships, adapting processes and technologies when working with intermediaries

    Presenter: Krista Batey, Director of Grantmaking and Compliance, Arabella Advisors

    The Roles We Lead: What Next?

    This workshop will help participants understand the complex suite of roles they assume as grant management professionals, the challenges that come with certain roles, and the reflective practices they can apply to grow and be most effective across their organizations. The session will include an exploration of several frameworks that can increase reflective capacity and lead to better action. This is highly interactive work. Practitioners will share their own reflective practices, with some facilitative help. Participants will “test drive” the usefulness of each new framework against their own experiences.

    Participants will learn about:

    • “Role decks” that identify roles essential to a position and its context
    • Growth opportunities and risks in living these roles
    • New approaches for moving into roles identified for growth and influence within a foundation

    Presenter: Leslie Silverman, Partner, Philanthropy Northwest

    Strategies to Improve Diversity and Inclusion on Nonprofit Staffs and Boards

    Tactics used to increase inclusion and representation within nonprofit organizations and the challenges to shifting the organization’s culture.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Effective strategies to improve staff and board recruiting
    • Best practices for selecting the strongest candidates
    • Building effective and inclusive organizations

    Presenter: Ashley Navarre, Grants Manager, BCM

    Streamlining Your Grants Process

    Over the course of a year, Maddie’s Fund transitioned to a new grants management system (from client-server to cloud-based), which then led the organization to go paperless and implement electronic (ACH) grant payments. The following year, Maddie’s Fund launched a grantee portal with online applications, cutting application processing time in half. Hear how the Maddie’s Fund team accomplished all this and with ease.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Going paperless
    • Moving checks to electronic ACH grant payments
    • Making grants systems work for you and not the other way around

    Presenter: Shelly Thompson, Director of Grants,              Maddie’s Fund

    Supporting Your Grantees’ Financial Resilience

    Financially resilient organizations successfully navigate current challenges and maximize opportunities for the long-term. Critically, those organizations have a comprehensive understanding of their financial health and share their financial story with key stakeholders. Explore the concept of financial resilience for nonprofits, define the key values and practices characteristic to financially resilient organizations, and examine strategies for supporting grantees in achieving greater financial resilience.

    Participants will learn about:

    • How a culture of inclusion, transparency, and team-based decision-making contributes to organizational resilience
    • The importance of multi-year planning, scenario planning, and ongoing financial performance management
    • Critical roles a balanced revenue mix and appropriate capital structure play in ensuring long-term financial resilience
    • Crafting grants that supports the financial resilience of grantees

    Presenter: Hilda Polanco, Founder & CEO, FMA

    Systems Implementation

    This roundtable will answer questions and spur discussion about common systems implementation issues.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Best practices for addressing systems implementation pain points
    • Systems installation war stories and solutions

    Presenter: Lisa Nespeca, Owner, ChangeVantage Consulting

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019
    Timeblock E
    9:00 am – 10:15 am

    Assessing Grantee Financial Health

    Funders approach the task of assessing grantee financial health in a multitude of ways. Depending on the staffing and structure of a foundation, financial due diligence can be a task undertaken by grants managers, finance staff, program officers, or a team that crosses functional areas. In this session, a panel of funders will discuss different models of assessing grantee financial health.

    Participants will learn about:

    • The benefits and drawbacks of various models for assessing grantee financial health
    • Strengthening the partnership between grants managers and program officers by working together to understand grantees’ financial health
    • The impact of different approaches to financial due diligence on relationships with grantees

    Presenter: Hilda Polanco, Founder & CEO, FMA

    Deal Makers and Deal Breakers: Undercovering Patterns in Our Openness

    Grapple with the challenge of becoming more open to grantseekers, grantees, community members, and the people you aim to help. Using tools invented by and for grantmakers, participants will assess the explicit ways we welcome and exclude grantseekers. Then, using a serious game, participants will examine implicit cultural norms that can make our organizations more open to some types of grantseekers than others. These tools, processes, and insights were developed by a cohort of Iowa grantmakers who have been working for a year to improve openness practices. The results of their work led Iowa funders to redesign their grant applications, one-to-one communication strategies, site visits, websites, and grant processes. The session is not designed to make the case for openness or provide a simple case study. Instead, participants will experience tools for helping grantmakers increase their empathy and adapt more effectively to change.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Open grantmaker practices, systems, and communication
    • Values, culture, and norms that may make organizations more or less welcoming to grantseekers
    • Grantseeker personas and their potential to change the way organizations design their work

    Presenter: Stacy Van Gorp, Executive Director, McElroy Trust

    Grants Management System SpeedGeeking

    For the first time at a PEAK Conference—SpeedGeeking. If you’re seeking to move to a new grants management system (GMS) or interested in creative ideas for enhancing your current GMS, this fast-paced session is for you. Your peers will demonstrate, in no longer than 10-minute segments, why they’re satisfied with their grants management systems. They’ll share unique GMS customizations and explain third-party GMS apps that have transformed their organizations’ operations. They’ll showcase many of the most popular and a few of the not-so-well-known GMS systems and third-party apps.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Highly popular GMS technologies
    • Unique ways to customize a grants management system
    • Third-party apps that complement GMS capabilities
    • Benefits peers are finding from their grants management systems

    Presenter: Ursula Stewart, Grants Manager, New York State Health Foundation

    Rapid-Response Grantmaking: Creating Nimble Processes to Support Urgent Movements

    Given the current political climate, many foundations see the movements they support and their grantees faced with rapidly shifting conditions and emerging threats. These foundations recognize that the times call for less red tape and more flexible ways to move funds to quickly address urgent needs. Hear from foundation representatives who view rapid-response grantmaking as essential to supporting grantees and have mastered the logistics of moving grants expeditiously. Hear, too, about challenges and lessons learned from moving funds quickly, including how to vet new grantees, craft an application process that is thorough but not burdensome, provide technical assistance to emerging grassroots organizations, and mitigate risk.

    Participants will learn about:

    • Why rapid-response grantmaking is a powerful tool for grantmakers to better support grantees
    • Different processes for moving grants rapidly, while conducting due diligence and managing risk
    • Countering or avoiding common pitfalls in rapid-response grantmaking

    Presenter: Kyrstin Thorson Rogers, Grants Manager, Proteus Fund


    Please note: The schedule is subject to change.  Please check back regularly.

    Cancellations requests received by February 15, 2019, will receive a full refund. After February 15, 2019, no refunds will be granted. In the event that you need to cancel your conference registration or transfer it to a colleague, please contact the PEAK Grantmaking conference team. (info@peakgrantmaking.org)