Philanthropy Lessons: A Project in Wisdom, Power, and Possibility


Philanthropy Lessons LogoLast week we shared The Power Dynamic – just one of the Philanthropy Lessons videos in Exponent Philanthropy’s new series. But we wanted to revisit the entire series this week for a couple of reasons.

First, they’re a fantastic resource for both grantmaking and grantseeking organizations and we hope they continue to be shared widely. Second, we wanted to give kudos to all of the Foundant clients and friends who appeared in the videos to lend their expertise in one way or another.

So, a big #FoundantShoutOut to:

Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation

Unlike business, in philanthropy we give away all the secrets we can and hopefully have others share their secrets so that everybody can do a better job. It’s not competitive in the sense of ‘if we win, you lose.’ So we’re trying to help everybody win.

~Alan Fox – Co-Founder

It [youth philanthropy] really does give us an opportunity to help to shift some of those conversations in the field and some of the changes that we would like to make as far as power dynamics, and how do we break down so many of those silos we’ve built in the field. And the young people don’t see those “magic walls” that we’ve created.

~Annie Hernandez – Executive Director

You tell each other your experiences and what you liked and what you didn’t like. And you talk about “what could we accomplish together, what could we change that we wouldn’t change by ourselves that we also enjoy.” When you find what you both enjoy that really makes it so that you can work together.

~Liam Fox – Junior Board Member

Tarsadia Foundation

I believe it’s important to discuss and see how we can help each other. So collaborating can be many different levels… knowledge, learning, funding, and coming together as a collective.

~Shirish Dayal – Executive Director

The Needmor Fund

What matters, I think, is how you manage it [The Power Differential]. I think awareness is the first step – knowing that it’s there and then consciously making the effort or taking the steps necessary to minimize what could be the adverse effects of such a difference. And I think you do that through developing relationships with your grantees, being in conversation with them.

~Mary Sobecki – Associate Director

Let’s make it meaningful, let’s make it authentic, let’s make it a real conversation about what’s worked and what hasn’t. And hopefully it’ll benefit the organization as much as, if not more than it will us.

~Mary Sobecki – Associate Director

Allegany Franciscan Ministries

Our relationships with our grant partners at the organizations we’re funding, it’s more than a transaction, it’s an emotional connection because part of what they’re doing is serving people on the ground. So we want to make sure that part of what we’re doing is serving those organizations and the needs of those organizations. Not just capacity wise as a brick and mortar building, but as the staff needs, the board needs, and the executive director needs.

~Jessica Gonzalez – Program Officer

Before you tell me the numbers, before you tell me the people you served or your outcomes – I want to know the lessons you’ve learned and the challenges you faced.

~Miguel Milanes – Vice President

We enjoyed watching these videos and hearing the unique stories and experiences of a wide variety of grantmakers and grantseekers. We hope you enjoy them too!

Share your thoughts with @Foundant and @ExponentPhil using #MyPhilLesson.

We’d also like to give a shout out to the other participating organizations who contributed their value to this education series:

Sammy Politziner – Arbor Brothers

Sylia Obagi – Roy & Patricia Disney Family Foundation

Amber Mace – California Council on Science and Technology

Lisa Parker – Lawrence Welk Family Foundation

Suzanne Skees – Skees Family Foundation

Rajasvini Bhansali – International Development Exchange

Susan Kaufman – Clearbrook

Clark McCain and Michael W. Hennessy – The Coleman Foundation

Irene Phelps and Sharmila Rao Thakker – The Siragusa Foundation

George Goehl – National People’s Action

Michelle Christie – No Limits for Deaf Children

Joelle Allen – Peacock Foundation

Father Dave Kelly – Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation

Gretchen Beesing – Catalyst Miami


About the Author

Foundant Technologies

For more than a decade, Foundant Technologies has specialized exclusively in making philanthropy easier and more impactful through intuitive technology solutions. All of our cloud-based solutions focus on grantmaker, grantseeker, scholarship provider and community foundation needs with the goal to make day-to-day tasks streamlined and help maximize the impact of the philanthropic community.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Foundant Technologies
Previous Article
Outcomes: Making Future Grantmaking Better
Outcomes: Making Future Grantmaking Better

Defining success in grantmaking has been a topic of discussion in nonprofit circles for many years. Recentl...

Next Article
Philanthropy Lessons: The Power Dynamic
Philanthropy Lessons: The Power Dynamic

Philanthropy Lessons: produced by Exponent Philanthropy to share words of wisdom from the industry’s most i...


Thank you for subscribing!
Error - something went wrong!