Friday, April 20, 2007

It's Springtime, and EPIP is Blossoming!

It's the first day of spring 2007 in New York City that really feels like spring. The nor'easter has gone east of the East Coast. The sun is out, umbrellas and gloves are in their drawers.

In addition to flowers, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy is blossoming. Last week, we convened our 2007 national gathering of our chapter leaders (we call it our Chapter Leader Gathering, for obvious reasons).

The first day of the Gathering offered a "big picture" of philanthropic theory and practice. We heard from Robert L. Payton, Professor Emeritus of Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University... in fact, as he emphasized, the first-ever professor of Philanthropic Studies. As much as philanthropic traditions and ideas are integral to our society, they have only become a (inter-disciplinary) field of study in the last several decades. We also discussed EPIP's in-housed Philanthropology curriculum, a pilot effort to offer boundary-breaking indepth philanthropic studies specifically for emerging grantmakers.

Our second day was focused on building up skills and offering program and partnership ideas for chapter leaders to bring to their communities.

Sessions on ethics in grant making and fundraising were led by folks from The Grantmaking School and The Fund Raising School, respectively.

There were interactive trainings on Member Recruitment and Chapter Governance. A discussion on how EPIP Chapters can and do work with Regional Associations of Grantmakers featured staff from Indiana Grantmakers Alliance and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.

An important roundtable on ideas and tools for "racial justice philanthropy" featured staff from Resource Generation, and

A special series of roundtables focused on how EPIP chapters can leverage their networks to increase philanthropic investment in next generation leadership for nonprofits and social change. Chapter leaders had the chance to learn about the work of EPIP partner organizations working on these issues: Nonprofit Sector Workforce Coalition, Public Allies, Resource Generation, and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.

On day three, we focused on reflection and planning, to help chapter leaders bring their newfound ideas, skills and connections back to their local EPIP networks.

Many thanks to our host and convener, the Third Millennium Leadership and Philanthropy Initiative of the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy.

Thanks to the folks who staffed and facilitated the Gathering: Dr. Diane Johnson, Kalpana Krishnamurthy, and Jennifer Kramer-Wine.

And thanks to our sponsors and supporters: Lumina Foundation for Education, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Lilly Endowment, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and Indiana Grantmakers Alliance.

This summer we will make a report available on our website that provides more detail about the education and skills-building that took place at the Gathering.

We already know about two online outcomes:

New Voice of Philanthropy Blog
One of our chapter leaders, Trista Harris of EPIP Minnesota, was so inspired that she planted the seeds of a new blog called "New Voices of Philanthropy."

Troubling Questions on Future Leadership for Nonprofits
Jessica Stannard-Friel is one of the founders of the blog Future Leaders in Philanthropy, and she is a New York City EPIP chapter leader and a new EPIP Board of Advisors member. Taken by the next generation nonprofit leadership issues addressed during the Gathering, Jessica posted a two-part article on the site OnPhilanthropy, where she discusses the challenges facing next generation leadership in nonprofits and philanthropy.

Some photos from the Gathering:

Over 50 chapter leaders and other EPIP leaders and partner organization reps had a productive, effective, outcomes-oriented meeting. Oh yeah, and we had fun too!

At the end of the Gathering, the EPIP Board of Advisors met in-person for the first time in 2007.

As a part of the Gathering, we had a pre-conference of our Professional Development Fund Awardees. Patrick Corvington of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Tina Gridiron Smith of the Lumina Foundation for Education, talked with the awardees on a panel of senior foundation leaders of color.

Willis Bright of the Lilly Endowment, one of the Gathering's sponsors, offered thoughtful comments at our opening reception. Here EPIP's Rusty Stahl presents Willis with an EPIP-branded shoulder bag stuffed with EPIP goodies.

Photos: Mark A. Lee, Great Exposures

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