Community Conversation | Reimagining Grantmaking

The ways in which philanthropy has interpreted the concepts of risk, trust, and equity continue to drive the processes and practices that dictate what is required in order to get money to grantees and communities. Yet, as grantmakers shift to rapid-response funding in the global pandemic and the outcry for racial justice, these processes and practices have been called into question.

In the fall edition of the PEAK Grantmaking Journalwe highlight all the ways in which the conventional wisdom of “how to make grants” is being upended – and the questions being raised about why, and how, philanthropy can change its notions of what risk, trust, and equity mean in order to meet the challenges of this moment, and evolve to realize its full potential.

Review this open forum around how grants management professionals are reimagining grantmaking to meet the moment, and planning long-term for the future. We reflect back on 2020, the changes you made, and the changes you’d like to keep moving forward –- and how.

Original air date: November 17, 2020

​Satonya Fair

President & CEO

PEAK Grantmaking

Satonya Fair joined PEAK Grantmaking as the organization’s first President and CEO in August 2020.

As President and CEO, Satonya works closely with the Board and staff to articulate and implement a vision for the future of PEAK, ensuring a values-driven approach in which equity, diversity, inclusion, awareness of power dynamics in the craft of philanthropy, and a commitment to learning, sharing, and evolving, are integrated and operationalized in the organizational strategy. She is dedicated to engaging PEAK membership and building the organizational value proposition, while also cultivating strong partnerships with philanthropy-serving organizations and the broader philanthropic sector as an ambassador, thought leader, and collaborator. During her tenure, she hopes to strengthen internal infrastructure, grow and diversity PEAK’s funding base, and support an inspired and dynamic staff team while fostering inclusivity, shared values, and high performance.

Satonya brings 25+ years of experience working in nonprofit and philanthropic roles. Prior to joining PEAK, she served as Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer at The Executive Leadership Council where she developed and launched a philanthropic engagement strategy and funding pillars for the organization. Previously, she was Director of Grants Management at The Annie E. Casey Foundation where she oversaw grant operations, and served in management roles at Citi, supporting community relations and foundation giving.

Satonya earned her JD from the University of Cincinnati and her bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science from Miami University (Ohio). She is a graduate of the Career Pathways executive leadership program at the Council on Foundations (Cohort 3) and is a certified Prosci Change Management practitioner.

She is an active volunteer, including former board service with PEAK Grantmaking, the Technology Association of Grantmakers and Maryland Philanthropy Network. She enjoys family and friend time, traveling abroad, tennis, a great British detective show, baking, and her love language is organization.

Elizabeth Guthrie

Conference and Events Manager

PEAK Grantmaking

As Conference and Events Manager, Elizabeth manages the virtual and in-person convenings that bring PEAK Grantmaking’s members together for mutual learning and support.

Elizabeth brings 10 years of experience working in nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining PEAK, Elizabeth served as a Senior Advisor at Ipas, where she supported and led efforts to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights through policy advocacy and community engagement programming. At Ipas, Elizabeth discovered her love for facilitation, and specialized in developing and delivering advocacy strategy development and values clarification workshops. She believes that when people come together to discern common values and develop a plan for aligning actions with those values, powerful things are possible.

Elizabeth has a bachelor’s degree in Literature from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, a master’s degree in Theatre History from Bowling Green State University, and an MPH in Community Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

If you would like her to nerd out, ask her about the book she’s reading, theatre for social change, community health, the UN human rights treaty monitoring body system, facilitation techniques, intersectional feminism, or reproductive justice.

Elizabeth has lived in North Carolina almost her entire life, so she was raised to have very strong opinions about basketball and barbecue. Outside of work, she can be found puttering in the garden with her enormous dog or travelling with her husband.

Sara Sanders

Membership Director

PEAK Grantmaking

As PEAK Grantmaking’s membership director, Sara leads the organization’s efforts to build and grow our network of over 350 Organizations Members and our community of more than 4,000 grants management professionals, all with the goal of improving how grants get made throughout the philanthropic sector.

Sara brings 10+ years of association experience in volunteer management, membership recruitment and retention,  stakeholder engagement, and relationship building.  For more than 2 of those years, she worked as PEAK Grantmaking’s regional chapter manager, during which time she collaborated with volunteer regional chapter officers to dramatically increase engagement and build volunteers as leaders.

Sara started her career at the Department of Defense, training military voting assistance officers to help service members vote and ensuring ballots were sent on time to oversees citizens. She has also worked at the League of Women Voters and the School Nutrition Association.

Sara earned a bachelor’s degree in history and criminal justice from The George Washington University. She loves spending time with her family, is an avid sports fan and museum enthusiast, enjoys hobbies like ice skating and knitting, and can’t wait for her next travel adventure.

Grants Management Professional Competency Model

Cross-Cutting Competencies

  • Strategic Management: Promote organizational mission and goals and inspire colleagues to achieve them.

Principles for Peak Grantmaking

Learn, Share, Evolve - Contribute to building sector-wide knowledge and seek wisdom from others pursuing change and impact. 


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