Using Data to Assess Your Grantmaking Practice

Grantmakers evaluate what and who we fund, but often forget to evaluate HOW we make grants, and whether our grantmaking practices are as effective as they can be. Practices matter. Your grantmaking practices are one of the most public – and sometimes one of the only – expressions of your organizational values that grantseekers experience.

This workshop will help you consider ways to assess those practices, using data you likely already have or can easily get.

  • Learn about the types of data that grants management systems can, and do, collect.
  • Review common questions that can be answered with data you already have.
  • Develop a plan to use data to improve practice.

Original air date: October 21, 2020

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.

Altinay Cortes

Chapter Manager

PEAK Grantmaking

As PEAK Grantmaking’s chapter manager, Altinay supports grants management professionals within PEAK’s 14 regional chapters. A trained social worker, Altinay considers herself to be a connector of people to ideas, tools, opportunities, and resources. She is passionate about fostering strong networks and communities that promote positively changing society. Throughout her career, Altinay has worked in multiple philanthropic, higher education, and social services positions serving diverse communities, especially racial and ethnic minorities and/or individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Prior to joining PEAK Grantmaking, Altinay was a consultant at Equal Measure, a philanthropic services organization. Altinay served as a core team member on the evaluation capacity-building plan for the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and the National Public Education Support Fund’s Partnership for the Future of Learning. She also served as a member of the Coordination Hub team for the National Science Foundation’s INCLUDES initiative and Equal Measure’s evaluation of the California Endowment’s Sons & Brothers initiative. Additionally, Altinay worked with the Pew Charitable Trusts on an initiative to improve college access and success for Hispanic immigrants.

Altinay earned her Master of Social Work from Fordham University and B.A. in Social Work from Rutgers University.

Altinay is an avid traveler and enjoys exploring in the U.S. and abroad. She’s also a natural organizer: Ask her about ways to organize any space! Whether in the office or at home, Altinay believes there is a place for every item. She has a deep admiration for efficient use of space and time.

Grants Management Professional Competency Model

Cross-Cutting Competencies

  • Knowledge Management: Capture and apply knowledge to promote learning and improvement.

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.

Principles for Peak Grantmaking

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


  • Register
    • Non-member - $55
    • Individual Member - $25
    • Organization Member - Free!
    • Consultant (Sole) - Free!
    • Consultant (Firm) - Free!