Friday, December 12, 2003

So what's new?...

New Members of the EPIP Board of Advisors. I am proud to announce that the following individuals will join EPIP's national governance body in 2004:

Rohit Burman, J.P. Morgan Global Foundations Group
Dolores Estrada, The California Endowment
Sonya Garcia, Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training
Melissa Johnson, The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro

In addition, we are excited to welcome to the Program Committee of the Board of Advisors the following:

K. Emerson Beyer, GrantCraft, A Project of the Ford Foundation
Milano Harden, Healthcare Georgia Foundation
Danielle Hicks, New Ventures in Philanthropy, A Project of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers

These individuals exemplify the diverse individuals, foundations and partner organizations that are creating the EPIP network. They are all committed to strengthening the next generation of grantmakers, and advancing effective social justice philanthropy. Congratulations to all!

Networking Highlight of the Day - The KnowledgeWorks Foundation. This Wednesday I had a great conference call with about five EPIP constituents at the KnowledgeWorks Foundation . I will just call it KWF. KWF is a "conversion foundation." Like the healthcare conversion foundations (California Wellness Foundation, Healthcare Georgia Foundation, etc.), it was created when a non-profit became a for-profit, and had to get rid of its tax exempt assets, thus creating a foundation to carry on its nonprofit mission. In the case of KWF, however, it was not a healthcare entity, but a student loan provider. So the foundation is focused on education. On top of that, it is an operating foundation - it uses its assets not to give grants, but to do research and operate programs of its own. There are not many of these kinds of foundations either. KWF is a rarity all around. The staff are generally new to the field, and working on some innovative approaches to things. One is really interested in foundations and public policy. Another is pondering how their foundation can explain itself to its community and the public. And yet another is curious about how EPIP and others define "social justice philanthropy," and why it seems like a great idea to some in the field, and an anathema to others. And they are all looking to gain stronger connections in the foundation community, and with colleagues across the Midwest.

Regional EPIP Networks. In fact, my phone call with KnowledgeWorks was part of an upcoming effort in 2004 to explore the possibilities of an EPIP regional network across the Midwest -- to help bridge EPIP constituents in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Flint, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Chicago, amongst other places. We will also be exploring such options in the Southeastern region, where we have constituents in disparate areas such as Durham, Greensboro, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Knoxville.

Workshop at COF Annual Conference 2004. For another taste of what is coming in 2004, I will tell you about an upcoming workshop. For those of you planning to attend the next Council on Foundations annual conference (in Toronto!), EPIP is working with the GrantCraft Project on a highly interactive and exciting workshop. The session is titled "The Power to be Authentic: Leadership Development at Work in Foundations." Here's our description... How do emerging grantmakers get supportive, learning experiences from their foundations? How do established leaders support, mentor and develop the staff working at their organizations? This workshop will bring together senior foundation leaders, program staff and emerging practitioners to explore the challenges of taking up their roles, and engaging in mutual support. The session will help participants, who are often caught in the middle of competing demands, to be as authentic as possible (or simply live with themselves) in negotiating the dynamics of life in their organizations. Participants will get to engage with one another with regard to these issues, and be introduced to networking resources and concrete tools.

That is all for now. Over and out,


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