Saturday Schedule


Registration Open
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.

Morning Plenary
What Equitable Funding Really Means
8:45 am – 9:45 am

Using a racial equity approach to giving is not new. What is new is how this lens has been elevated and amplified in recent years, with more funders and organizations encouraging the use of a racial equity lens in giving. Through film and conversation, explore why more funders are taking an intentional racial equity approach and hear from a peer about their journey in applying a racial equity lens to their work. We’ll review definitions, share insights into the institutional impact of policies, and present the context for this work.
Speaker: Speakers: Tango Barham Moore, J.D., Reidsville Area Foundation; Rahsaan Harris, The Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media; Anthony Simmons, ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities

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.

Speakers: Alex Epstein, Co-Executive Director, Urban Creators; Jeaninne Kayembe, Co-Executive Director, Urban Creators; Rev. Dr. Renee McKenzie-Hayward, Vicar, George W. South Memorial Church of the Advocate

This site visit is now FULL.

Accessibility Information:

Please note that half of this site visit takes place on a farm with uneven terrain. Please contact if you have any questions about accessibility.

Morning Sessions
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. This session is supported by Moss Adams LLP.

Speaker: Wendy Campos, Moss Adams LLP

Learning objectives:
     -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. This session is supported by Ellwood Associates.

Speakers: Daniel R. George, CFA, Ellwood Associates; Daniel E. Simon, CFA, CAIA, Ellwood Associates

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speaker: David Greco, Social Sector Partners

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speakers: Anna-Nanine S. Pond, Anna Pond Consulting; Liz Sak, Cricket Island Foundation

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speaker: Mollie Bunis, Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd.

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speakers: John C. Amoroso, The David and Lura Lovell Foundation; Christina M. Rossetti, MSW, Rossetti Consulting Group

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speaker: Allen J. Smart, RuralwoRx and PhilanthropywoRx

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Transitioning from Awarding Grants to Making Investments

If we adopt an investment mindset when we approach our grantmaking, how would our methods change? Would we be able to shift from a grant-by-grant perspective to a holistic approach to solving root problems? Could we inspire more collaboration and strengthen and grow public–private partnerships with a more realistic understanding of the capacity needed to achieve these goals? This session will explore how we can shift our mindset from awarding grants to making investments, help the organizations we fund focus on solving root social problems, and leverage the power of collaborative partnerships to ensure we see returns on our grant investments.

Speaker: Annie Rhodes, Blackbaud

Learning objectives:
     -Explore the benefits of an “investment approach” to philanthropy.
     -Learn ways to inspire collaboration among others who share your goals.

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.

Speaker: Gali Cooks, Leading Edge

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Afternoon Sessions
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!

Speaker: Melvin Kim, J.R. Albert Foundation

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speakers: Brian Joseph, RevJen Group; Kim Tanner, Jenesis Group

Learning objective:
     -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.

Speakers: Mahnaz Javid, Mona Foundation; Zanele Sibanda, Mona Foundation

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speaker: Peter J. Klein, CFA®,CRPS®,CAP®, Klein Wealth Management/Hightower Advisors

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speaker: Nicole Baran, The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speakers: Jeffrey M. Glebocki, Strategy + Action/Philanthropy; Beth Gosch, The Western New York Foundation; Paul Sanders, Oldham Little Church Foundation; Frances P. Sykes, Pascale-Sykes Foundation

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speaker: John Tyler, Esq., Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Learning objectives:
     -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.

Speakers: Susan Laidlaw, Fidelity Charitable; Whitney Muse McKnight, The Muse Family Foundation

Learning objectives:
     -Understand the key benefits and uses of DAFs.
     -Explore how families, individuals, and foundations use DAFs.

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

How do you identify game changers within your funding areas to spark the change you want to see? Listen to a conversation among social entrepreneurs in an interview with Jim Bildner of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. The foundation has been identifying risk takers who have potential to catalyze systemic change since 2002.

Speakers: Jim Bildner, Draper Richard Kaplan Foundation; James Burgess, OpenBiome and Finch Therapeutics Group; Mark Edwards, Upstream USA; Haile Johnston, The Common Market; Premal Shah, Kiva

In partnership with Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation  

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration

Learn about a multifaceted Philadelphia effort to “build stronger communities—one park, library, and recreation center at a time” and how those invested joined forces in an unprecedented public–private partnership to move projects and communities forward together.

Speakers: Michael DiBerardinis, City of Philadelphia; David Gould, Rebuild, City of Philadelphia; Sidney Hargro, Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia; Shawn McCaney, William Penn Foundation; Kristi Poling, The Barra Foundation

In partnership with The William Penn Foundation 

Using Data to Strengthen Civic Engagement

We hear a lot about big data, artificial intelligence, and technology these days, but how can we use them for social impact? And how does one even start? Come hear lightning talks from nonprofits that are using data science to predict ways their services will be needed, delivered, and used. Leave with actionable steps you can take to begin your own data science journey as a funder.

Speakers: Robert Cheetham, Azavea; Katie Ingersoll, DataArts; Jake Porway, DataKind;, Mevan Samarasinghe, Elsevier Health

In partnership with Rita Allen Foundation

Free Choice
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:

  • Salon: Summon the Courage to Be Daring; Speaker: Andy Carroll, Exponent Philanthropy
  • Foundant Technologies Users’ Group
  • 2018 Next Gen Fellows Book Club Reserved for current fellows only
  • Reception for Community Foundation Staff & Board
  • Meet & Greet for Investment Group
  • Connect & Learn About Exponent Member Committees

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 FundamentalsAssumes participants have limited or no prior knowledge of or experience with the subject

201 ApplicationFocused on building on or enhancing participants’ existing knowledge of a subject through analysis, practice implementation, and/or deeper learning

301 Thought LeadershipEngages participants’ experience/expertise in strategic, innovative, and/or complex subjects