Thursday, August 11, 2005

Snapshot of recent work, to bring you up-to-date...

Long time, no post. Sorry this blog has been stale for a season - I am shopping to cook up some spicy new ingredients to make your mouth water! But I thought I would start with some meat and potatoes, to work up an appetite. So here is a healthy (but not too filling) portion of news on what Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy has been up to.

1. The Professional Development Fund! In late 2004, the Mott Foundation provided a grant to create our Professional Development Fund, which provides diverse emerging foundation professionals in our membership partial funding to get to funder conferences and trainings of their choice. To date, we have sent four members to a conference of Grantmakers for Education, a 3-day course on reviewing proposals put on by The Grantmaking School, and the Institute for New Grantmakers put on by the Council on Foundations. We just closed our 3rd round of applications, and by the end of the calendar year, we will have sent a total of 11 people to a variety of conferences!

2. Philanthropology! We continued to roll-out pilot versions of our Philanthropology workshops...

In March, consultant Omisade Burney-Scott and myself were in Durham and Greensboro, North Carolina to facilitate two well-attended Philanthropology "201" workshops on "paradoxes in philanthropy." One was for an audience of foundation professionals, the other on undergraduate and graduate students in the Triangle Area. These events kicked-off our efforts to expand our presence and activities in North Carolina, and Omisade has been working to build local partnerships toward that end.

During April, the Los Angeles EPIP group held a 201 workshop on "Bringing Culture, Color and Community to Philanthropy: Innovative Cases of Social Justice Philanthropy in Los Angeles." This panel discussion focused on innovative models of giving and fundraising in Los AngelesÂ’ Korean, Mexican and African American communities.

In May, Omisade and I headed to Atlanta, where we lead a similar workshop for constituents in the big ATL. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Southeastern Network of African Americans in Philanthropy (SNAAP, which I readily admit is a much catchier acronym than EPIP), and hosted in an amazing loft space at the Georgia Justice Project. We were aided in planning by Milano Harden, a consultant and former foundation staffer locally. Milano later joined our staff team as a consultant, and has been following-up on the workshop to get an EPIP chapter started in Atlanta.

NYC EPIP held 3 Philanthropology workshops in late spring! The first, a 101 series session, focused on the various forms and types of foundations. The 201 session looked at paradoxes in philanthropy, with a focus on funding women's human rights.

The third NYC workshop was our first attempt at a 301 session on "transforming philanthropy." This was a joint effort between the chapter and the national office, and was co-sponsored by Resource Generation. It brought together about a dozen young wealthy donors and a dozen young foundation professionals to share their perspectives on giving, raising, and being asked for $. Not small talk, really. But by the end of the session, everyone was speaking frankly and honestly! We will continue to partner with Resource Generation to put on more dialogue sessions like this across the country.

This fall, Bay Area EPIP will hold their 2nd annual Philanthropology 201 session!

3. Chapter Leader Gathering! In April, EPIP held our first Chapter Leader Gathering, which brought together 30 folks from our chapter steering committees, start-up chapter efforts, and Board and staff.

It was a watershed moment for everyone! While representatives from each chapter site have been meeting monthly by phone for more than a year, they had never met in person -- the buzz, energy, relationships and fun we had were only possible in person.

We were lucky to have great facilitators in Jose Montano and Sally Lew, and the logistical skills of our consultant Jennifer Kramer-Wine. And guest sponsors included GrantCraft, The Grantmaking School, Resource Generation, and the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (cleverly acronymed "GIFT" -- again, definitely more catchy than EPIP). A report on the Gathering is forthcoming, and we are planning to make this happen annually - the next one will take place in May in Pittsburgh, PA.

4. Chapter Capacity! More recently, we hired Elizabeth Cuccaro, a former Foundation Center researcher, as our first NYC EPIP Chapter Organizer. Working out the national office through a grant from the New York Community Trust, Elizabeth is supporting the chapter's steering committee, mentoring committee and program committee. This has helped to establish a partnership with the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers (lovingly referred to as NYRAG) to expand the chapter's successful Mentoring Program.

So that is the latest from your Friendly Neighborhood EPIP... Ok, that doesn't really slide off the tongue, but I am trying to make our weird little acronym work... I hope this update at least quenches your thirst for the moment. Someone please post comments! And I am going to work on making my next posts full of evenarteryrterry-clogging goodness.


1 comment:

Phil Anthropoid said...

Hey, Rusty. It's good to see your blog spring back to life. You should opine or something.