Announcing New Professional Development Opportunities for Grantmakers

Monday, October 9, 2017

Redesigned Learning Series for Both New + Experienced Grantmakers

Registration is now open for our most popular professional development program for new grantmakers. Grantmakers Institute provides a comprehensive look at the critical elements involved in the practice of responsible grantmaking. A foundational series for newer grantmakers, it explores the core skills of grantmaking including proposal review, site visits, relationship management, and ethical considerations. It also includes foundational-level workshops on advocacy, nonprofit finance, and evaluation. Register here for Grantmakers Institute 2018.

Forefront is pleased to announce our new Grantmaker Pro learning series. Formerly known as the Peer Network for New Grantmakers, Grantmaker Pro is an ongoing professional development series curated by and for grantmaking professionals. This new series will provide advanced trainings in advocacy, finance, evaluation, and other topics of interest to both newer and more experienced grantmakers. 

Welcoming both new and experienced staff and trustees from Forefront Grantmaking Member institutions, Grantmaker Pro provides opportunities to learn with and from colleagues about the core skills of grantmaking in a supportive and challenging environment. Get inspired, renew your passion for your mission, and build the skills you need to do your best work with Grantmaker Pro. Browse the full year of Grantmaker Pro workshops here.

Get the latest trends in philanthropy, move your learning from theory to practice, grow your network, and engage with your colleagues through our new professional development opportunities for grantmakers!


Whys and Whats of Evaluation for Grantmakers

October 31, 9am-11am

As a grantmaker, you understand that you should be evaluating your work and supporting your grantees in evaluating theirs. But it might not be crystal clear to you, your colleagues, or your board why it’s worthwhile to invest in evaluation, what that investment will allow you do, or how to know if you’re being thorough enough in your efforts. This friendly peer discussion led by Rebekah Levin and Marianne Philbin will explore why evaluation matters, how to identify what’s right-sized for your foundation, and what you can do with the information you collect.


Grantmaker Pro Lunchbox: Let’s Talk About Success 

November 29, 11:30am - 1:00pm

We are often asked to evaluate the success of our programs, but how do we think about the success of ourselves? Join us for Grantmaker Pro’s first Lunchbox discussion on the topic of SUCCESS! Success has become synonymous with financial wealth, influence and status. Even in the nonprofit sector, we are often faced with the question of whether to pursue position or purpose. But can we define success in another way — one that welcomes a broader range of accomplishment?


Poverty, Abundance, and Delusional Altruism (Webinar)

November 10, 10am-11am

This provocative session will explain how many philanthropists and grantmaking foundations are “delusional” in their altruism, unknowingly operating with a poverty mentality that hinders talent, stalls creativity, and hijacks opportunity for systemic change. By contrast, an abundance approach to charitable giving allows philanthropists to give confidently for maximum impact and dramatic return.


Foundations and Election-Related Activities (Webinar)

November 3, 1pm-2pm

Mid-term elections are right around the corner, and your grantees may be gearing up accordingly. Prepare yourself to safely fund election-related activities during this intermediate-level webinar for grantmakers. During this session, we will:

  • Review the federal tax rules governing public and private foundation support for election-related activities
  • Explain the types of activities in which foundations may be involved, such as issue advocacy, voter guides, voting records, and candidate debates and forums
  • Discuss ballot measures and examine the special rules for private foundations and voter registration drives


Lead Right Now

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 9:00am to Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 12:00pm

This hands-on series of five workshops introduce the principles and competencies of adaptive leadership by engaging participants with their own, real-life leadership challenges. We believe leadership is an activity, not a position. We believe anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere.  We believe that more people exercising leadership is not only possible, but that it’s necessary if we are to make progress on the challenges we face in our communities and in our work. These workshops will help you learn and practice a set of skills to transform the way you exercise leadership.


Culturally Responsive Evaluation

May 16, 2018, 9:00am-noon

Evaluation is often a passive process. A professional comes in, collects data, provides a report on outputs or outcomes, and leaves. However, this is not the full picture, or potential, of evaluation – the evaluation process and collected data are tools to help make actual change, and the purpose of evaluation is to ultimately contribute to the greater good. In this session, we’ll explore the practice of Culturally Responsive Evaluation (CRE), which is defined by its inclusive, asset-focused practices, and begin to examine how we can apply CRE in our own organizations.


Linking Money to Mission: Understanding Nonprofit Financial Health

(Day 4 of Grantmakers Institute)

March 7, 2018, 9:00am – 2:00pm

This session will provide an understanding of the key elements of nonprofit financial sustainability and how best to integrate financial analysis with your grantmaking practice. Using examples, we’ll review nonprofit statements of activities and financial position and explore how these statements can be used together to inform grantmaking. We will also review the fundamental concepts and structure of nonprofit audited financial statements, discuss techniques for interpreting this data and incorporating it into decision making; and explore how to set goals that help maintain financial health.


Find these and other accessible, affordable workshops to help you grow and connect as a social impact professional. Browse our catalog here. 

Plan ahead! Registration is open now for all workshops this upcoming year.