7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Exhibit Hall Open
7:30 am – 6:00 pm
Breakfast in Exhibit Hall
7:30 – 8:45 am
Join us for breakfast in the Exhibit Hall. Chat with exhibitors and peers over breakfast before heading into the Morning Plenary. Optional seating, by staff size in philanthropy, is available.
8:45 – 9:45 am
Break in Exhibit Hall
9:45 – 10:15 am
Site Visit: Sustainable Urban Development for All
9:45 am – 12:00 pm
Venture just north of Center City to see two organizations that work in very different ways to serve one community.
The George W. South Memorial Church of the Advocate is a landmark in the religious, social, and architectural history of the United States and a pillar in the North Philadelphia community. Dating back to 1887, the church has been a welcoming community that provides services to those in need and functions as a gathering place for spiritual enrichment, educational programs, and community organizing. The church has a long history of social justice advocacy.
Participants will speak to church and program leaders about their programs and the nuances of supporting long-term local residents in a context of urban development that often leaves them behind. The group will also have time to tour murals exploring the Bible and the Black experience housed in the sanctuary of this stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture.
Philly Urban Creators is a grassroots organization that transforms neglected landscapes into dynamic safe-spaces that foster connectivity, self-sufficiency, and innovation. From its home on Life Do Grow Farm, it uses urban agriculture, artistic expression, and celebration as tools for liberation, neighborhood stabilization, and youth development.
This site visit will include a tour of the public garden and a discussion with its young founders and directors about the challenges of running a small “hyper-grassroots” organization with a multitude of missions.
Preregistration required. Sign up for site visits will occur in the summer.
10:15 – 11:30 am
10 Tips for Filling Out Your Form 990-PF
This session is a must for anyone who prepares or signs your annual tax form. You’ll receive tax planning tips and analysis to help you identify trouble spots and ways to save your foundation money and time. Gain a better understanding of the 5% payout, federal tax laws, and ways to keep your trustees out of trouble.
-Understand the 5% payout rule and what spending qualifies.
-Learn the most common mistakes made when filling out the tax form.
-Gain confidence in your understanding of federal tax law.
A Framework for Foundation Investing in a Low-Return Environment
On the heels of a nearly unprecedented capital market bull run over the past nine years, expectations for future returns continue to fall well below the long-term historical averages. What does this mean for foundations, as they position portfolios to achieve their investment objectives while still complying with their constraints? In this session, we’ll discuss a framework that addresses asset allocation modeling and the investment policy statement, all in the context of anticipating a lower-return environment.
-Learn how you can work with your investment advisor to craft your IPS and asset allocation to better navigate a low-return environment.
Equity, Real Costs, and Impact
With limited staff and resources, how can lean funders best support equity, inclusive economies, and opportunity for all? If your grantees cannot pay their employees living wages, have staff on public assistance, and can’t make needed investments in capacity, are you really going to achieve your equity goals? To move the needle on these vital issues, it is not just about what you fund but how you fund.
-List key steps to better support impact without exploiting the sweat equity of your grantees.
-Gain a better understanding of what it really costs grantees to deliver on mission and how grant funding can unintentionally undermine equity goals.
Getting Ready for Evaluation as a Process for Continual Learning
Foundations of all sizes can position themselves to answer a key question: Are we fulfilling the outcomes we desire? The first step is getting clear about the outcomes. Learn how to ready yourself for the process and practice of evaluation, including what to ask staff and board before you begin. Find out how evaluation can help your foundation develop a culture of learning.
-Learn essential questions to ask as you think about entering into evaluation.
-Begin to define the work of your philanthropy as distinct from the work of your grantees.
-Understand what a culture of learning and inquiry looks like within a foundation.
Maximize Your Impact When Saying Goodbye
Saying goodbye to grantees is an inevitable part of philanthropy. When done well, exiting a relationship with a grantee can add value to a project and leave a grantee organization in a strong position, ensuring lasting impact beyond the end of the grant. Learn how to develop a strategic approach to ending grantee relationships. Gain strategies for promoting the continued success of a grantee beyond the end of a grant.
-Consider planning in advance when to end a grantee relationship.
-Articulate concrete strategies for effectively exiting funding relationships.
Moving From Idea to Initiative
There’s never a shortage of good ideas, but how do you move board-table vision to broad-based initiative with multiple programming and funding partners? Hear a case example from a foundation that did just that. Then practice using a seven- step process that moves from vision to the identification of a singular impact area to an initiative.
-Identify funding opportunities in which momentum and synergies already may exist.
-Using group exercises and learning tools, create action steps and determine readiness for highest impact.
Rural Philanthropy: Realizing Your Community’s Vision for Success
Smaller funders have engaged in rural philanthropy for decades. Recently, increased attention is being paid to the philanthropic practices best suited to build and sustain community dynamism in a rural context. Learn ways to engage deeply, build on community assets, and nurture creative thinking and action in your town, community, or rural region.
-Articulate fundamental principles of effective rural philanthropy that are coming to light in recent research.
-Understand the distinctions between urban philanthropic practice and rural philanthropic practice.
-Name five ways to engage more deeply in rural communities, leveraging the unique position and powers of small-staffed funders.
Why and How to Invest in Nonprofit Talent
People are the most valuable asset of any organization. Too often, the people who are the engines of our nonprofits are seen as a drain on an organization. Find out why investing in nonprofit leaders and staff is one of the best ways to leverage your resources. Get an inside look into how to structure capacity-building grants to build talent and strengthen organizational culture.
-Understand the link between healthy organizational culture and performance, and the return on investment of investing in nonprofit talent.
-Name practical, tactical tips you can implement tomorrow to better invest in talent.
Plenary Lunch and Member Meeting
12:00 – 1:30 pm
Join Exponent Philanthropy’s annual meeting and election of board members. All conference participants are invited to gather with the membership over lunch and hear from the association’s leadership.
1:45 – 3:00 pm
Effective Leadership: Lessons From the World of Improv
Building and managing your many relationships is an essential part of your work. But what is the best way to approach them? In an open and safe environment, we use improv games to reinforce practices that will strengthen your relationships. Remember, everyone participates—there are no spectators!
-Demonstrate the importance of listening and building from other people’s contributions.
-Recognize opportunities when working with others to use tools, such as the “yes, and” approach, to strengthen relationships.
Ensure your Grantees’ Organizational Strategy Includes a Revenue Strategy
How can funders have confidence that their grantees are building revenue capacities that will help them be viable over the long term and achieve sustained impact? Learn how one lean funder assisted a grantee with developing an action-oriented revenue strategy. Get a better understanding of how to guide your grantees, the role of grant structure, and how to measure impact in moving toward sustainability.
-Understand the components of a concrete framework to help grantees evolve their revenue infrastructure to grow or sustain their impact.
How Grassroots Initiatives Can Have Global Reach and Impact
This presentation brings to life proven best practices in alleviating poverty by supporting the capacity-building of individuals, communities, and institutions around the world. Case examples of funding education and girls’ empowerment programs show how knowledge generated at the grassroots level through experiential learning can contribute to broad social transformation.
-Come away with three field-tested criteria and a checklist of dos and don’ts that ensure effective investment of your philanthropic dollars in different projects or programs in the United States and internationally.
-Understand the nature of partnerships between local and global foundations that enable sustained change.
-Learn about a field-generated framework for monitoring and evaluation to measure sustained progress and positive change in the community.
Ignore the Market’s Ups and Downs! Develop Targeted Returns
As fiduciaries, foundation trustees manage portfolios with different objectives than the typical investor, and goals shouldn’t be as tied to the market. In addition, foundations may place unique restrictions on the investments they want to own. Learn how to develop a specific targeted required rate of return for the foundation’s portfolio and learn about the benefits of adopting a proactive stance to managing the portfolio.
-Understand the risks of investing in a passive portfolio.
-Identify the nuances of index funds and learn to spot misleading information.
Integrating Feminism Into Philanthropy
Are your grantees afraid to use the F-word (feminism!) for fear of not being funded? What concrete steps can we take to combat the sexism that dominates our media, culture, and society? Funders can leverage their power and resources to advance gender equity internally and externally. Learn how to integrate intersectional feminism into all aspects of your philanthropy and operations.
-Identify strategies to encourage nonprofits to feel confident in outlining their feminist goals and programming.
-List new feminist grant categories, such as Feminist Studies in Community Colleges, Reproductive Rights, and Legal Advocacy for Immigrant Women, and list ways to integrate gender equity into current grant categories, such as economic security and environmental justice.
-List low or no-cost strategies to implement gender equity goals in your own organizations and in your giving.
Perpetuity or Spend-Down: Not a Binary Decision
The traditional binary frame of perpetuity versus spend-down is a limited perspective. This session considers gradations on that spectrum in an inquiry fundamental to every foundation. Hear about field research on trends and from peers about their deliberations on the issue. Small group exercises guide you in exploring your journey as you consider this key question.
-Understand what current research has to say about foundations’ decision making on perpetuity versus spend-down.
-Use practical tools and ideas on how to shape and guide your own internal exploration of this key question.
Self-Dealing and Conflicts of Interest
Self-dealing is prohibited; conflicts of interest can be managed. But the intricacies of the two can be confusing. In this session, learn clear, easy-to-follow steps to help you recognize each so you can act accordingly.
-Identify when a situation is self-dealing or a conflict of interest.
-Know the process for a conflicts of interest policy.
-Recite the three questions to ask in self-dealing.
The Essentials of Donor Advised Funds
Donor advised funds, or DAFs, are the fastest-growing charitable giving vehicle in the United States. Learn how simple, flexible, and tax-efficient DAFs can be, and how to use them to amplify your philanthropic impact.
-Understand the key benefits and uses of DAFs.
-Explore how families, individuals, and foundations use DAFs.
The Local Impact Investment Opportunity
Of all Exponent Philanthropy members, 83% say giving locally is a priority. But what about your investments? What if you could keep more of your investment dollars local? For example, funders can invest in community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, and social enterprises in their communities. Learn about these and other real-life examples from Philadelphia that you can apply to your own community.
-Learn to identify and evaluate local investment opportunities in your community, such as CDFIs and social enterprises, and gain insights about the tools that can help.
-Break down the hurdles that lean funders often face in beginning to invest locally and learn from those who have surmounted them.
Break in Exhibit Hall
3:00 – 3:30 pm
The Big Idea: Catalyzing Change
3:30 – 4:45 pm
Catalyzing change requires you to think big and take risks. How do you scale-up the change you want to see in your community? You can reach out to other entities and develop relationships, and then lead everyone forward together. You can advance the voices of inspiring leaders who are actively engaged in seeking out and scaling-up solutions. You can fund data collection that, in turn, can be used in the social sector to motivate and engage the populace toward community change.
This afternoon, choose from among three Big Idea conversations. Each takes a look at efforts to create systemic change through one lens being powered or leveraged by lean funders:
Investing in Game Changers
In partnership with Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
Harnessing the Power of Collaboration
In partnership with The William Penn Foundation
Using Data to Strengthen Civic Engagement
In partnership with Rita Allen Foundation
5:00 – 6:00 pm
Take time to refresh before the evening event or select from a number of activities in this late afternoon hour, some of which require preregistration. Options include a salon conversation “Summon the Courage to Be Daring,” a users’ group with Foundant Technologies, and a book club conversation for current Next Gen Fellows.
Host Night Reception at FringeArts
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Join us at FringeArts, Philadelphia’s home base for contemporary performance and progressive, world-class art. We’ll be in a historic 1903 former pumping station beneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, just steps from the recently renovated Race Street Pier. Be entranced by jugglers, aerialists, and a stilt walker from the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, plus fire dancers from Lux Arati. Enjoy food and drink from La Peg, FringeArt’s dining partner and a popular dining destination on the waterfront in the same location.
Note about 2018 National Conference sessions: Sessions are designated as 101, 201, or 301. Here’s what to expect from each:
101 Fundamentals—Assumes participants have limited or no prior knowledge of or experience with the subject
201 Application—Focused on building on or enhancing participants’ existing knowledge of a subject through analysis, practice implementation, and/or deeper learning
301 Thought Leadership—Engages participants’ experience/expertise in strategic, innovative, and/or complex subjects