Tying Grantmaking Practices to Values

To transform the practice of philanthropy into the practice of principled grantmaking, we worked with our members to develop five Principles for Peak Grantmaking — Tie Practices to Values; Narrow the Power Gap; Drive Equity; Learn, Share, Evolve; and Steward Responsively.

In this webinar,  we introduce our first Principle: Tie Practices to Values. Grantmaking practices are often the lens through which grantseekers experience grantmakers’ values. Practices bound inextricably to an organization’s values can lay the foundation for trusting relationships, met expectations, and true partnerships –– as well as better, more sustainable outcomes.

We explore our learning strategy for our members, highlight a member doing this work well, and share resources we have available. 

Original air date: October 31, 2019

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.

Arlene Wilson-Grant

Grants Manager

Disability Rights Fund & Disability Rights Advocacy Fund

Arlene Wilson-Grant is the grants manager for the Disability Rights Fund and Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. Prior to joining the Funds in 2012, Arlene served as the grants specialist with the Skoll Foundation, where she served as the key liaison between grantees, program, and finance staff for three philanthropic entities. She joined the Skoll Foundation from the Public Health Institute, where she managed federal and state contracts with for-profit companies, community-based organizations, and government entities. Prior to that, she spent nearly seven years as a program officer at the Sacramento Region Community Foundation where she helped donors identify effective funding strategies and developed and implemented regional grantmaking programs. Arlene participates in PEAK Grantmaking and is a founding member of the Human Rights Funders Network's Grants Operations Coordinating Committee. Arlene received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.

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.