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Project Streamline Is Back (actually, it never went away)Contains 1 Component(s)
As many grantseekers will attest, our field is not finished thinking about how grantmakers can streamline their application and reporting practices. Publication date: June 22, 2017
Almost ten years ago, PEAK Grantmaking – formerly Grants Managers Network – began a field-wide conversation about minimizing the burdens of grantmaking application and reporting both on nonprofits and within grantmaking organizations. This effort, called Project Streamline, encouraged grantmakers to understand the costs of their processes and take practical steps to make them more sensible, straightforward and streamlined.
Practical tools, webinars, and workshop sessions followed and hundreds of funders have taken on the challenge of assessing and then streamlining their grantmaking. We will continue to work toward a world where all funders have intentional processes that make sense for staff and grantseekers alike.
JESSICA BEARMAN (Bearman Consulting) works with foundations and other mission-based organizations, focusing on organization development, facilitation, planning, and project R&D to help them become more intentional, effective, and responsive to communities.
Jessica has been the lead consultant to PEAK Grantmaking’s Project Streamline since its inception, helping grantmakers to understand and minimize the burden of their application and reporting practices.Prior to her work in philanthropy, Jessica spent nine years in the nonprofit sector, where she experienced plenty of mystifying requirements. She has a Masters in Organization Development from American University/National Training Laboratory. Jessica loves living on an organic farm in Idaho with her husband, two wild boys, forty philosophical chickens, and thousands of industrious bees.
GrantAdvisor: A TripAdvisor for Funder FeedbackContains 1 Component(s)
GrantAdvisor is like TripAdvisor—it’s a website that allows individuals (in this case, grant applicants, grantees, and others) to share their first-hand experiences with organizations (funders) and for funders to respond publicly. Publication date: June 13, 2017
GrantAdvisor is like TripAdvisor—it’s a website that allows individuals (in this case, grant applicants, grantees, and others) to share their first-hand experiences with organizations (funders) and for funders to respond publicly.
It works by collecting anonymous feedback from grantseekers and grantees. When five reviews have been submitted, the data will be shared publicly. Funders are encouraged to register with GrantAdvisor in order to receive automatic notices when reviews are posted about their organization and to be able to post responses when new reviews are submitted.
Michelle Greanias, executive director of PEAK Grantmaking, is a passionate advocate for efficient and effective grantmaking and is deeply committed to elevating the value of grantmaking practices in philanthropy. Since 2008, Michelle has led the explosive growth of PEAK Grantmaking, making it one of the largest networks in the field.
Michelle has spent most of her career in corporate philanthropy, leading grants management teams to implement efficient, effective grantmaking practices. She has also overseen program-related investments; engaged in projects to facilitate socially responsible investments in housing and community development; and managed employee giving programs.
Michelle speaks and writes regularly on effective grants management practices and has consulted with government and private sector grants programs to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their grantmaking operations.
Michelle serves on the GuideStar Advisory Council and on the National Panel for GrantAdvisor. She holds bachelor’s degrees in international relations and French/West European studies and a master’s in business administration from The American University.
Overcoming Software OverloadContains 1 Component(s)
If you often find your foundation conforming to the limitations of its software and conducting its processes in inefficient ways, then it may be time to take a step back and reassess your software strategy. Publication date: June 7, 2017
A review of the results of a survey on the most popular software solutions used across many foundations, and an exploration of tools and strategies your foundation can use to better integrate and customize that software, thus maximizing its benefits.
Director of Product Management
Joining the PEAK Grantmaking NetworkContains 1 Component(s)
Catherine Schmutz joins PEAK Grantmaking as its membership director. Publication date: June 2, 2017
PEAK Grantmaking Membership Director Catherine Schmutz on the role of the organization: "PEAK Grantmaking was founded to facilitate practice sharing, innovations, and collaboration – to help each willing individual in grantmaking strive for efficiencies, continual advancement, and effective grantmaking practices."
Let It Begin With MeContains 1 Component(s)
Thoughts on the 2017 International Day of Peace. Publication date: September 21, 2017
PEAK Grantmaking's Nikki Powell, communications and practices director, offers a few ideas on how to further peace through action, even when that action is small.
Effective Practices Director
Nikki Powell is PEAK Grantmaking’s chief communications officer. She develops and manages strategies to promote PEAK Grantmaking’s services, events, and programs. She is responsible for developing outreach campaigns to raise awareness of PEAK Grantmaking’s members and their expertise. Nikki also oversees marketing for PEAK Grantmaking events, including sponsorship and exhibitor recruitment.
Contact Nikki with questions about communications, PEAK Grantmaking’s effective practices program and partnerships, and sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities.
Her experience includes implementing communications strategies for nonprofits of many sizes and in many sectors, including membership associations, advocacy organizations, and leading research think tanks.
Nikki has a bachelor’s degree from Converse College (Spartanburg, S.C.) with a double major in English and politics and a minor in women’s studies. She is currently a master’s degree candidate in organizational and corporate communications at Northeastern University.
Nikki is a nomad at heart and travels whenever she can; she has visited all 50 states and is working on all seven continents. Her favorite place she’s ever visited is Istanbul. She is a member of the Junior League of Greenville (S.C.) and volunteers regularly with the Day of the Girl and Period Project organizations.
Finding Our True BalanceContains 1 Component(s)
Instead of focusing on how much time we are spending producing, accomplishing or completing, what if we focused on the energy of the experiences? Publication date: August 11, 2017
The art of true balance is about building our lives and decisions around experiences that allow us to stay in balance energetically with ourselves. Few of us do a good job of receiving as much as we give. Most of us have been taught we have to work hard, and do more than what is expected to just get by.
BridgeBuilder Challenge: Expanding Philanthropy’s OrbitContains 1 Component(s)
6 weeks. 185 countries. 660 ideas. One foundation on a global quest for radical ideas at the intersections of peace, prosperity, and planet. Publication date: July 10, 2017
GHR recently partnered with OpenIDEO to conduct the first BridgeBuilder Challenge, which will award $1 million to ideas that address urgent global challenges in radically new ways, building bridges between the areas of peace, prosperity and planet in the United States and around the world.
Director of Grants Management and Learning
Kerry Medek manages systems, tools and operations that drive high-quality, cost-effective, efficient grants management across the grant life-cycle, ensuring the capturing, analysis and communication of results in the areas of global development, education and health. This includes developing a culture of asking questions, supporting experimentation and enhancing the Foundation’s ability to tell its story of impact. Kerry also serves as special assistant to the CEO, managing work plans of the board and governance committee.
Before joining GHR, Kerry was a governance coordinator at the Minnesota State Bar Association. She also coordinated refugee programs for Catholic Charities of Tennessee. Her experience includes community and corporate relations, volunteer recruitment, grant writing, program development and financial management. Kerry is active in PEAK Grantmaking and serves as director of the national board. She earned a bachelor's degree from Austin Peay State University.
Visual Aids for Assessing Nonprofit Financial HealthContains 1 Component(s)
Grantmakers are increasingly aware of the importance of understanding the financial health of their grantees. But the due diligence required can take program officers into new territory, requiring fiscal management expertise on top of their programmatic experience. Publication date: June 19, 2017
Grantmakers are increasingly aware of the importance of understanding the financial health of their grantees. But the due diligence required can take program officers into new territory, requiring fiscal management expertise on top of their programmatic experience.
The Financial Health Analysis Tool—one among many free tools available at strongnonprofits.org— emerged from a partnership between The Wallace Foundation and FMA, a nationwide consulting firm, as a tool for nonprofit fiscal managers to help tell their organization’s financial story. But grantmakers themselves soon discovered the value of the tool as part of their due diligence efforts.
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Fiscal Management Associates (FMA)
The State of Change: An Analysis of Women and People of Color in the Philanthropic SectorContains 1 Component(s)
The Council’s report, The State of Change: An Analysis of Women and People of Color in the Philanthropic Sector, examines the demographics of the philanthropic sector, looking back over the last five and ten years, with a specific focus on the representation of women and people of color. Publication date: 2017
The Council’s report, The State of Change: An Analysis of Women and People of Color in the Philanthropic Sector, examines the demographics of the philanthropic sector, looking back over the last five and ten years, with a specific focus on the representation of women and people of color. The data has been sourced from the Council’s Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey, representing a rich set of data points from more than 1,000 grantmakers, including data on nearly ten 10,000 full-time paid professional and administrative positions.
This report raises a number of important questions about why there hasn’t been more change in the diversity of our institutions in recent years, despite the steps taken to create a more diverse and inclusive philanthropic sector. The report also includes a discussion guide designed to facilitate dialogues between foundation leaders, their board members and their staff.
Fostering Innovation in PhilanthropyContains 1 Component(s)
Innovation is a buzzword with growing resonance in the philanthropic community. But how are foundations going about adopting innovative practices? Publication date: May 2017
Innovation is a buzzword with growing resonance in the philanthropic community. But how are foundations going about adopting innovative practices?
In this guide from Putnam Consulting Group, you’ll learn:
- The definition of “innovation”
- 8 approaches to philanthropic innovation
- Key practices of innovative funders
- Recommendations to become innovative and support innovation
Putnam Consulting Group