Planning Your Path for the Future

This meeting of the PEAK Grantmaking New York Chapter, EPIP New York, and Philanthropy New York focused on  professional development, and included two highly-interactive sessions, focused on reflecting on your current role in your organization and strategizing how best to advocate for yourself at work, while networking with other grants management colleagues from the area.  

Your Professional Evolution in Grants Management

The role and function of grants management continues to evolve in organizations across the philanthropic sector. As a grants management professional, you are performing new roles, broadening your responsibilities, and expanding your impact throughout your organization. This time of change requires you to develop new skills, communicate differently, and look ahead to the future. Participants discussed the evolution of the grants management model, the current state of grantmaking operations in your organization, and how you can reach the next level of effectiveness.  Learn to:

  • Audit your organization’s current stage in the grants management evolution model
  • Create strategies to advance your organization to the next stage in the evolution model  
  • Develop professional development plans for your career growth
  • Promote the benefits of change to your organization’s leadership 

Advocating for Yourself Activity & Discussion

Whether you’d like to enroll in a professional development course, take the lead on a new project, or change a process to make your work more efficient—how you ask is just as important as why you are asking. Knowing some basic negotiating tactics and understanding the right way to prepare for your conversation can help you better advocate for yourself and position yourself as a strategic leader in your organization. You will:

  • Learn and practice effective tactics to reframe how you advocate for yourself to achieve the best possible outcomes 
  • Understand how to use conversation as an opportunity to showcase yourself as a leader 
  • Prepare and practice an important conversation you’d like to have to advocate for yourself at work 

Presentation date: November 1, 2018

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.

Sara Sanders

Regional Chapter Manager

PEAK Grantmaking

Sara Sanders is PEAK Grantmaking’s Regional Chapter Manager and focuses on supporting regional chapter officers to lead thriving, successful organizations. Sara plans to learn the needs chapter officers, develop new tools and resources to meet those needs, and help officers share common challenges and great ideas.

Sara has ten years of experience working as a liaison in the non-profit and government sectors with a wide range of audiences. Her non-profit experience includes chapter engagement, membership recruitment and retention, volunteer leadership development, facilitating trainings, and writing handbooks and newsletters for chapter leaders.

Sara earned a bachelor’s degree in history and criminal justice from The George Washington University. She loves spending time with family, rooting for the Washington Nationals, travelling, and volunteering at the National Archives.

Ebony Wilkinson

Department Coordinator

Ford Foundation 

EPIP New York Chapter Leader

Grants Management Professional Competency Model

Cross-Cutting Competencies

  • Staff and Volunteer Development: Build the capacity of staff and volunteers to be successful in their grantmaking role.


Advocating for Yourself
Advocating for Yourself Action Plan