7:00 am – 2:00 pm
7:30 – 8:45 am
Have breakfast at your leisure this morning. Chat with new friends you met during the week, catch up with colleagues you haven’t seen in a while, or compare notes with fellow participants.
Early Morning Sessions
8:45 – 10:00 am
Behavioral Finance: What’s Your Investor Personality?
Do you act or react when making investment decisions? Explore the behavioral biases that influence you as investors, and consider the magnification of these biases when decisions are made by committee. Learn how to recognize and identify investment biases and translate that awareness into rationale decision making.
-Determine your investor biases and recognize how and when they influence your decisions.
-Learn how to separate emotion from the investment decision-making process.
Philanthro-Ethics: Developing Your Self-Awareness as a Funder
What we fund says a lot about our priorities. How we fund says a lot about our character. The way we conduct relationships with our boards, grantees, and colleagues, and how we use our power as funders reflect our ethics. Develop your “conscious use of self” and fine-tune your ethical antennae.
-Develop your “conscious use of self” with all stakeholders, especially your grantees, to enhance your effectiveness.
-Distinguish between questions in the realm of ethics from those in the realm of law.
-Determine the legitimate reach of your influence with grantees, and areas of possible overreach.
Raising Your Policy Awareness
While your grantees are busy focusing on their missions, external policy issues may be creating barriers to their capacity to deliver outcomes. Raising your own awareness about local, state, and federal policies that impact a charitable nonprofit’s operations is a key way that funders can contribute to their grantees’ success—without a grant. Through a lively discussion of case studies and policy trends affecting all tax-exempt organizations, you will leave better informed about policy issues that impact your grantees’ capacity, the significance of helping build your grantees’ capacity for advocacy, and ways your foundation can advocate for your grantees’ missions.
-See the connections between your grantees’ missions and major policy issues, such as state budgets, the Census, tax laws, and fundraising regulations.
-Identify resources that funders can share with grantees to help raise their awareness about policy issues that impact their missions.
-Get comfortable with your own foundation’s role as an advocate for your grantees’ missions.
Ready, Set, Engage! Crafting Interactive Learning Agendas
Need to engage new family members, reinvigorate a culture of learning, or unify your board around collective learning to deepen their expertise in an issue area? Build an interactive learning agenda! Consider generational differences, the seven styles of learning, and your board’s personality. Learn how to build a realistic plan and time line to empower and inspire.
-Get inspired knowing that engaging the broader family in learning can be fun—and can lead to greater unity—by introducing the idea of the learning agenda, the “curated learning experience.”
-Be introduced to ways to assess your foundation’s personality, learning style, and learning needs.
-Explore a variety of tools and ideas to enliven a learning agenda—from game show formats to book clubs—and create a mock learning agenda for your foundation.
Technology for Better Grantmaking
Strategic use of technology is essential for effective grantmaking and easier than ever to implement. This session provides a bird’s-eye view of the many technology platforms that funders of all sizes can use to streamline their work, build relationships, and organize information for learning and decision making.
-Review different types of technology available to funders—grantmaking, communications, administration, and more—that help simplify and enhance the funding process.
-Hear practical tips and lessons learned from a funder who radically improved grantmaking through straightforward technology changes.
Turning Today’s News Into Tomorrow’s Grants
Can small-staffed foundations address the most pressing problems of the day, despite our limited resources? Our answer: Yes! Hear from grantmakers who have found unique funding niches within trending, newsworthy issue areas. Get guidance and inspiration on how to be responsive to emerging needs by transforming headlines into funding opportunities.
-Name three steps that grantmakers need to take to most effectively focus their funding on a new (or newly urgent) issue.
When Troubling Financials Lead to Creative Grantmaking
You read a grant request and feel hopeful when the nonprofit’s programs, leadership, and results click with your objectives. Excitement soon becomes disappointment when financial and organizational due diligence reveal troubling signs. In this hands-on workshop, discuss whether to steer clear or proceed with caution, and explore creative funding approaches that strengthen otherwise promising organizations.
-Consider when weaknesses in an organization might be an opportunity for strong giving.
-Discuss ways to work closely with a prospective grantee and think creatively about structuring effective grants.
10:00 – 10:30 am
Late Morning Sessions
10:30 – 11:45 am
Engage the Right Talent at the Right Time to Maximize Grantmaking Impact
Hear how one funder uses and deploys a SWAT team—independent specialists—to accelerate and increase funding impact. A panel shares how the funder sets clear, measurable goals for grantees, deploys the right people to support all elements of the engagement model, and how the resulting outcomes deliver tangible impact. Leave with tips on how to create a SWAT team of your own.
-Develop a strategy for building a network of independent specialists that aligns with your grantmaking.
-Understand a framework for setting clear, aligned, and measurable expectations that guide the grantee relationship and deployment of specialists.
Gender Norms: Understanding Their Impact on Your Giving
Studies show that challenging harmful feminine and masculine norms are an overlooked key to effective grantmaking. Yet gender norms are ignored or disconnected from race and class. Join this open discussion of key terms and ideas behind gender-informed giving and learn how lean funders are leading the way in this emerging area.
-Restate terms, concepts, and findings on gender-informed funding.
-List concrete ideas from other small funders and lean grantmakers.
Let It Go: Streamline Your Application and Reporting
Nonprofit organizations spend thousands of precious dollars applying for grants and fulfilling foundations’ requirements. By streamlining, small funders have the power to reduce the burden on grantseekers and grantees, and make more resources available for mission activities. Discover ways to streamline while getting the information you need, and learn how streamlining can enhance your relationships with grantees and build trust.
-Get inspiration and confidence from the experience of a small-staffed foundation that has instituted streamlining and received positive feedback from grantees.
-Name ten ways to streamline grant application and reporting practices.
-Leave with ideas to champion streamlining to a foundation board or ways to continue this work.
Moving Ahead With Advocacy and Policy: A Hands-On Workshop
Are you working on an issue and can see how advocacy might be the logical next step—the thing that’s needed to make wider-scale change? This session, designed for those who intend to fund or get involved in policy, offers strategy, coaching, and inspiration to move ahead—either as a catalyst or a member of an advocacy coalition.
-Get ideas for next steps in advancing your chosen issue from the policy perspective by finding out what is needed: for example, research and data, relationship building among citizens or key organizations, convening, public awareness, or something else.
-Get started on a plan to assess whether your foundation or philanthropy can fill one or more of the needs, or whether you can play another type of support or funding role.
Unique Giving Strategies to Spark Economic Development
Helping communities become self-sustaining through strategic economic development can lead to improved housing, infrastructure, commerce, and employment opportunities. Learn how to apply this approach to solve root cause issues and break the chains of dependency through assistance to individuals, businesses, and entire communities.
-Recognize how to select communities and businesses for assistance, and how to collaborate with stakeholders.
-Understand the legal freedoms in the kinds of assistance that foundations can render.
Closing Luncheon Plenary
12:00 – 1:30 pm
Tap your feet to the sounds of Musicopia Drumlines, an award-winning, after-school music programs informed by the best practices and structure of the world-renowned El Sistema programs in Venezuela. These talented middle and high school percussionists will set the beat for the closing plenary.
Following, we’ll have lunch and hear from a keynote speaker. Don’t leave Philadelphia without sharing what you’ve learned with colleagues during this final plenary gathering.
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