Managing Responsive Grantmaking During the COVID-19 Crisis (Community Conversation #3)

During this third conversation about how COVID-19 is affecting grantmaking, learn about streamlining grantmaking practices around applications and reporting to narrow the power gap between grantmakers and grantseekers.  

Janet Camarena, PEAK board member and director of Candid learning, shared a scan of how grantmakers are reducing grantee applicant and reporting burden with examples drawn from GlassPockets' foundations that commit to working in open and transparent ways. She also shared what Candid is hearing from its grantseeker audience about how application and request for proposal (RFPs) processes can be improved.  

During a portion of the program that was not recorded, participants discussed changes they are implementing and considered ways we can elevate streamlined practices in the sector now and moving forward. 

Original air date: April 30, 2020

​Janet Camarena

Director of Candid Learning


Janet Camarena serves as the director of Candid learning, working to champion greater foundation transparency and build a movement for greater openness in the field of philanthropy. A key part of her role is to provide leadership for, which she led an inter-departmental team to found and create in 2010. Glasspockets provides a variety of tools and features designed to encourage philanthropic openness.  Prior to her current role, Janet served as director of Foundation Center’s regional office in San Francisco, where she led a regional team in delivering outreach and capacity building services throughout the Western U.S. Janet completed her undergraduate work at Mills College and received a Master’s degree in Library Science from San Jose State University. She serves on the boards of PEAK Grantmaking, the Alameda County Library Foundation, and Community Initiatives, a fiscal sponsorship provider.

Melissa Sines

Programs and Knowledge Director

PEAK Grantmaking

Melissa leads PEAK Grantmaking’s work to identify effective, efficient, and equitable philanthropic practices and advocate for their adoption by grantmakers.

Prior to joining PEAK Grantmaking, Melissa was the education and accreditation director at Maryland Nonprofits and the Standards for Excellence Institute, where she oversaw nonprofit accreditation and the association’s learning community.

Melissa is currently a board member at the Maryland Center for Economic Policy. She also serves as co-chair for the United Philanthropy Forum's Program Committee and on the Funder's Planning Committee for the Frederick County Nonprofit Summit. She has served on committees for Independent Sector, the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, the Frederick Giving Project, and numerous other nonprofits in her local community.

Melissa is a self-professed nonprofit dork and accidental techie. She is passionate about organizing people and projects to promote social justice.

Grants Management Professional Competency Model

Cross-Cutting Competencies

  • Communications: Listen to others and communicate effectively.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in grantmaking practices.

Lifecycle of a Grant Competencies

  • Planning and Pre-Grant: Apply the grantmaker values, mission, and goals to ensure alignment of application process and guidelines.
  • Planning and Pre-Grant: Design and implement the review process to support an informed grant decision.
  • Award and Monitoring: Establish mutual expectations between the grantmaker and grantee to support success.
  • Award and Monitoring: Monitor grantee activity to support grantee success and determine compliance with grant agreement.
    Post-Grant: Review grantmaking to determine success in meeting goals and objectives.