Writing on grantmaking that has that caught our eyes
- Satonya Fair, who became President and CEO of the amazing grantmakers network PEAK grantmaking one year ago wrote a very personal piece on getting the job, and what she plans to do with it. She is especially interesting on how PEAK evolved from "our founders – grants assistants and managers who stepped up as the “accidental technologists” and “finance whisperers” of philanthropy." One of the central ideas in our book Modern Grantmaking is that regular grantmakers who aren't called Gates or Buffet have the power to make meaningful changes to grantmaking, and PEAK is one of the very best examples of this.
- Trend watch. Over the last half decade there's been a discernible movement away from the golden moment of 'strategic philanthropy' and towards more unrestricted, trust-based models. In this review of Megan E Tompkins-Stange's book Policy Patrons from back in 2016 you see a book produced at a fascinating moment of transition. The review is a chance to watch as the pendulum is in mid-swing between one era of grantmaking thought and the next.
- That isn't the only transitional moment piece, either. Most striking is the decision by one of the authors of the well known 'strategic philanthropy' book Money Well Spent to publish an article eight years post publication with the blunt (and it must be said, pretty rare for an author) title 'Why I Regret Pushing Strategic Philanthropy'. That article is paywalled, but in this 2018 book review of the 2nd edition of 'Money Well Spent' you can see some of what provoked the change of heart. There's no doubt that personal reflection and learning played a role, but it's also significant that the mea culpa came after the grantmaker/author crossed the table and became a grantseeker themselves. It's amazing how the world looks so very, very different on the other side, and how much more important humility seems to be. This is part of the reason that we argue that it is usually a good idea for most funding institutions to employ at least a few people who know what it is like to be grantseekers themselves.
Join us as we talk Modern Grantmaking with the amazing Fozia Irfan
On 15th September 2021, we are being hosted by the Directory of Social Change for an event where we will have the great pleasure of discussing Modern Grantmaking with Fozia Irfan OBE FRSA.
Fozia is a leader in UK grantmaking, having founded the groundbreaking Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coalition of foundations, while running and growing a leading community foundation at the same time. Now she is Director of Children and Young People at BBC Children in Need, and we’re incredibly lucky to have her joining us - there will not be a dull moment.
To join us, please register here.
New philanthropy books that are out soon
Coming in the next few months are two books from academics in two different university centres of philanthropic study and excellence. It looks like they're going to have two quite different takes, too:
- In Defence of Philanthropy by Dr Beth Breeze at The University of Kent which looks like it's going to be a firm rebuttal to best-selling philanthro-sceptic books like this and this.
- How We Give Now by Dr Lucy Bernholz. A professor at Stanford PACS, Lucy has written a 'philanthropic guide for the rest of us', which includes analysis on what's new and different about philanthropy in an era when ATMs often encourage you to 'add a buck for charity', and where our data may have a philanthropic value too.
Join us for our first Readers' Roundtable
From September we will be running free Modern Grantmaking online roundtable discussions approximately every two weeks. Each session will be about a different chapter from our book, and will give participants a chance to share reactions, ask questions and debate ideas within the book that they really do, or really don’t agree with. We will keep running the discussion groups until we get to the final chapter, early next year.
While they are inevitably taking place online, these sessions won’t be another webinar where all you do is listen. There will be a real and deep discussion, and we’ll be working on the assumption that everyone has read the chapter in question before they turn up.
The first roundtable will be on the Introduction plus Chapter 1, and will be held on September 16th at 4PM UK time (08.00AM PDT, 11AM EDT, 5PM CET). Duration will be one hour.
Sign up here - places will be limited to make it a real discussion!
And remember it won’t make sense if you haven’t read the relevant bits, so get your copy here.
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