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Mon Mar 12 2012, 9:00am–12:00pm, Vashon (San Juan Level)
Session Designer
Marianne Hughes, Interaction Institute for Social Change
Session Description
In a world as complex as ours, where problems are not well defined and the solutions are not clear, a different approach to problem solving is required. Grantmakers are more often stepping into their roles as convenors of collaborative problem solving initiatives. IISC has developed Pathway to Change™ — a collaborative problem-solving framework that helps grantmakers and others conduct stakeholder analyses to determine who needs to be engaged in the process, host conversations to create needed alignment and design roadmaps that will move their efforts forward. During this session participants will apply the Pathway to Change framework to a current work issue and learn the methods and tools needed to design and facilitate collaborative change.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Marianne Hughes, Interaction Institute for Social Change
Mon Mar 12 2012, 9:00am–12:00pm, St. Helens (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Jessica Wechter, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Session Description
In 2011, Innovation Network and GEO's Scaling What Works initiative presented this workshop with several regional associations of grantmakers across the U.S. If you missed the traveling series, now is your chance to attend!

High-performing nonprofit organizations seek and use data and feedback to continually assess and improve their work. And, behind these efforts are supportive grantmakers who embrace the role they can play in helping grantees make effective use of information. These grantmakers acknowledge that before nonprofits can expand their impact, they must understand what works. They also realize that a prerequisite to identifying what is working in their own philanthropic efforts is helping grantees learn what is working for them on the ground. Join us for a workshop on how grantmakers can support nonprofits in their efforts to evaluate, learn and grow impact. Participants will discuss evaluation readiness, culture and practice on the behalf of grantmaker and grantees, and explore approaches and tools for building evaluation capacity.
Conference Theme
Evaluation and Learning
Speakers
Johanna Morariu, Innovation Network
Ehren Reed, Innovation Network
Mon Mar 12 2012, 10:00am–11:30am, Grand I (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Jason Twiss, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Session Description
GEO is a vibrant community of approximately 370 grantmakers focused on smarter grantmaking, stronger nonprofits and better results. Where does your organization fit in? Kick off your conference experience by attending this session where participants will learn more about GEO’s philosophy, our agenda for change and how we support the work of our members. Through networking and interactive discussion, you will meet like-minded peers and share common questions and challenges you’re encountering in your work. While this session is designed with new GEO members or first-time conference attendees in mind, anyone is welcome to come to meet new colleagues and learn more about what GEO and the conference have to offer.
Conference Theme
Networking
Speakers
Jason Twiss, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
J McCray, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Mon Mar 12 2012, 10:00am–12:00pm, Fifth Avenue (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Emily Wexler, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Session Description
There is significant research on the nonprofit life-cycle, and also a growing body of evidence about key practices that enable high performing nonprofits to scale their impact. However, there is far less information regarding the role of grantmakers in supporting these nonprofits -- and existing information often contradicts how traditional philanthropy operates. As a result, GEO initiated a collaborative research effort with Taproot Foundation, Ashoka, TCC Group and Social Impact Exchange to identify the parallel practices and actionable tools that grantmakers can use to support nonprofits as they move through periods of transition in their organizational life and grow their impact. Attend this interactive session to get a sneak peak at early insights emerging from the research and engage with other attendees about how it applies to your own work. This discussion-based session is free to all conference attendees, but advanced registration is required.

We recommend that you read the first paper in Scaling What Works' Reframing the Conversation series: "What Do We Mean By Scale?" prior to the session, found here:

http://scalingwhatworks.org/resources/scaling-what-works-publications/briefing-papers-series#Topic_1_What_do_we_mean_by_scale
Conference Theme
Scaling Impact
Speakers
Meghan Duffy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Nancy Murphy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Mon Mar 12 2012, 1:00pm–3:00pm, Grand II and III (Grand Level)
Session Description
Tonight's target: a grantmaking organization that has more good intentions than good practices. Hosts Stacy and Clinton share some grantmaking do's and don'ts to keep your organization relevant, effective and stylish...
Mon Mar 12 2012, 3:30pm–5:00pm, Grand I (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Leslie Crutchfield, author of Forces for Good and Do More Than Give
Session Description
In their newest book, Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World, authors Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania and Mark Kramer offer a set of “catalytic practices” grantmakers can adopt for greater impact, including asking grantees what they need, supporting networks and advocating for policy change. Attendees at this session will learn how a variety of foundations have successfully catalyzed change and receive nuts-and-bolts advice from peer practitioners about the benefits and trade-offs inherent in taking a more catalytic approach.
Conference Theme
Scaling Impact
Speakers
John Kania, FSG
Emily Tow Jackson, The Tow Foundation
David Wertheimer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Mon Mar 12 2012, 3:30pm–5:00pm, Vashon (San Juan Level)
Session Designer
Sonya Campion, Campion Foundation
Session Description
The nonprofit sector’s health and vitality requires a vibrant publicprivate partnership, but few boards truly understand and advocate for the public sector support needed to achieve their mission. The 10 – 20 million board members leading the 1.4 million nonprofits in the U.S. could do more to support the crucial public policy and advocacy needs of our sector. The Board Advocacy Project in Washington seeks to build awareness of the importance of public policy and advocacy work among board members of homelessness and affordable housing organizations. Join a dynamic, facilitated discussion on the sector’s most current advocacy issues and explore whether board advocacy should be considered a requirement of good governance.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Sonya Campion, Campion Foundation
Diana Aviv, Independent Sector
Kollin Min, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Mon Mar 12 2012, 3:30pm–5:00pm, Cascade II (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Kathy Reich, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Session Description
Foundations spend millions of dollars each year on evaluation and learning activities, yet they rarely make evaluation results public. And often foundations make decisions based on these results without consulting key stakeholders or asking for their help in interpreting evaluation findings. There is an alternate approach emerging: sharing what an organization learns while it is in the process of learning — “learning in public.” Using the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness program evaluation as an example, this session will examine the emerging practice of conducting evaluation activities in a public space — online and in real time, to maximize feedback from stakeholders and benefit not just an individual foundation’s work, but the field as a whole.
Conference Theme
Evaluation and Learning
Speakers
Jared Raynor, TCC Group
Beth Kanter, Zoetica
Kathy Reich, David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Mon Mar 12 2012, 3:30pm–5:00pm, Fifth Avenue (Grand Level)
Session Designer
David Greco, Nonprofit Finance Fund
Session Description
As philanthropy tries to respond to the massive cuts in government funding and continuing economic uncertainty, it is clear that foundations will not be able to make up the funding shortfalls. As philanthropy tries to respond to the massive cuts in government funding and continuing economic uncertainty, it is clear that foundations will not be able to make up the funding shortfalls. Consequently, the need now is to explore ways to deploy limited resources more effectively. As grantmakers look for ways to increase impact, what are some of the challenges — both culturally and operationally — that can stymie change? This session will explore some innovative ideas and real-world lessons from grantmakers who are changing their grantmaking practices and making a difference.
Conference Theme
Scaling Impact
Speakers
David Greco, Nonprofit Finance Fund
Keavy Cook, The Ford Family Foundation
Mon Mar 12 2012, 3:30pm–5:00pm, Cascade AB (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Lynda Frost, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
Session Description
Grantmakers looking to increase their impact are increasingly funding or even initiating policy work. Too often these policy initiatives are separate from services funding. Yet comprehensive interventions with a base of services funding and policy work at a number of levels provide the opportunity for foundations to not only advance their own goals, but also to build and advance the work of the larger field of organizations coalescing around a common goal. This session explores three integrated health care initiatives (from Maine, Texas, and California) that combine services funding and policy work in an effort to achieve true systems change. Participants will explore specific policy tools and techniques, assess the potential and challenges of these tools and work in small groups in applying this approach to new issue areas of interest.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Lynda Frost, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
Becky Hayes Boober, Maine Health Access Foundation
Karen Linkins, Desert Vista Consulting
Mon Mar 12 2012, 3:30pm–5:00pm, St. Helens (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Sally Gillis, Social Venture Partners Seattle
Session Description
In the fall of 2009, seven grantmakers came together to fund a study on capacity building in Washington state that explored the needs of communities, identified gaps in capacity and recommended strategies for strengthening the local nonprofit community. In order to ensure action on the recommendations, the group came together again to form the Statewide Capacity Collaborative, an effort to coordinate collective and individual capacity-building strategies focused on helping move real, systemic change for nonprofits across the state. Through conversations with both a panel of grantmakers involved in the effort as well as small group conversations, participants will gain understanding of the essential elements of a healthy nonprofit ecosystem and brainstorm ways to bring key elements back to their own community.
Conference Theme
Supporting Effectiveness
Speakers
Paul Shoemaker, Social Venture Partners Seattle
Melanie Matthews, Campion Foundation
George M. "Jock" Edwards, Sherwood Trust
Jennifer Bright, Social Market Strategies
Mon Mar 12 2012, 3:30pm–5:00pm, Cascade C (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Brenda L. Solorzano, Blue Shield of California Foundation
Session Description
In order for a nonprofit community to achieve long-term sustainability more than just money is required — leadership, self assessment, peer networks, engagement in policy activities, adaptability and a learning culture are also essential. Blue Shield of California Foundation has been working to build the long-term sustainability of community clinics and domestic violence providers in California, individually and as fields. Their approach has included providing core support grants, developing leadership programs tailored to grantee needs and providing complimentary capacity-building support. Through this session, participants will hear from foundation program staff and grantees, dig deeper into the comprehensive strategies used and the multifaceted role it has played and explore lessons in helping these two distinct fields works towards long-term sustainability.
Conference Theme
Supporting Effectiveness
Speakers
Brenda Solórzano, Blue Shield of California Foundation
Nilda Valmores, My Sister's House
Bess Bendet, Blue Shield of California Foundation
Marty Lynch, LifeLong Medical Care
Mon Mar 12 2012, 6:00pm–8:00pm, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus
Session Description
The GEO Conference Host Committee welcomes you to Seattle, as we kick off the National Conference at the new Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus — across from the Seattle Center in the heart of the city. Join us for an evening of networking, conversation and light refreshments with the Seattle Space Needle as the backdrop.

The reception will feature opening remarks from Bill Gates, Sr. and David Bley of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and live entertainment provided by Gansango Music and Dance and the world renowned Garfield High School Jazz Combo.

For those wishing to explore the Seattle Monorail system, GEO staff members will be leaving from the hotel lobby beginning at 5:30 p.m. Complimentary Monorail tickets will be available at the registration desk on Monday, March 12. Shuttle bus service is also available; with the first bus departing the Westin at 5:45 p.m. Return service to the Westin will begin at 8:15 p.m.

Don’t forget to wear your conference badge!
Only conference attendees and their pre-registered guests will be allowed to enter.
Conference Theme
Networking
Tue Mar 13 2012, 8:00am–10:00am, Grand II and II (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine How Creativity Works
Session Description
Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output? From the bestselling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative "types," Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single "gift" possessed by the lucky few. It's a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively. Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, and daydreaming productively, then he takes us out of our own heads to show how we can make our neighborhoods more vibrant, our organizations more productive, and our schools more effective.
Tue Mar 13 2012, 10:15am–11:45am, Fifth Avenue (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Ken Thompson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Session Description
As our understanding of what it means to collaboratively create large-scale social change matures, grantmakers’ approach to problem-solving must evolve. For example, grantmakers need to share power with other stakeholders rather than having direct control over goals and approaches, support an ecosystem of actors rather than individual nonprofits, and reward alignment and systemic results rather than individual efforts. Through a series of small group activities, discussion with funders participating in collective impact and findings from new research on this topic, participants will dive deep into the experience of funding collective impact, understand the tensions and challenges faced in funding these efforts and discuss ways to embrace the mindset changes needed to be an effective collective impact funder.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Fay Hanleybrown, FSG
Ken Thompson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Alina Turner, Calgary Homeless Foundation
Tue Mar 13 2012, 10:15am–11:45am, Cascade AB (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Liz London, The Bridgespan Group
Session Description
Despite the aspirations many grantmakers have of doing “big” things with their grants, in reality their dollars occupy a small share of the funds behind the largest nonprofit success stories. One of the most common and important challenges we encounter is how to have a lasting positive effect on grantees’ financial sustainability and growth despite the time-delimited nature of our direct support. Far too often, grantees exit a grantmaker’s portfolio in the same or worse financial shape as when they entered it. To get the most bang for our buck, foundations need to take grantees’ funding pursuits as seriously as their programmatic pursuits. This session will offer participants concrete guidance on how they can better support the financial sustainability of their grantees and amplify the impact of their investments during the grant period as well as in the years that follow.
Conference Theme
Supporting Effectiveness
Speakers
Susan Wolf Ditkoff, The Bridgespan Group
Peter Kim, The Bridgespan Group
Tue Mar 13 2012, 10:15am–11:45am, Grand I (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Jeff Perlstein, ZeroDivide
Session Description
Communities and organizations are using low-cost technologies to amplify their social impact and engage stakeholders in dynamic ways. In addition to these programmatic results, many organizations are making savvy use of new technologies to significantly increase their operational efficiency. ZeroDivide’s recent research shows that while funders are highly curious about the opportunities presented by new technology tools, they generally lack expertise in this realm and are unclear about effective funding strategies to support their grantees in this work. Join funder colleagues and leading topical experts in an engaging conversation to dig deeper and learn more about successful grantmaking approaches that have enhanced nonprofits’ sustainability and program delivery with appropriate technology solutions.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Laura Efurd, ZeroDivide
Jane Meseck, Microsoft
Sidney R. Hargro, Community Foundation of South Jersey
Tue Mar 13 2012, 10:15am–11:45am, Cascade II (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Jane Donahue, Deaconess Foundation
Session Description
Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about networks and the benefits of collective efforts. While the tenets of networked action are compelling, lessons are just emerging about what it takes to initiate and sustain a successful network and what role funders play in this new landscape. This session will feature the work of two thriving networks: the St. Louis Regional College Access Network, a consortium of nonprofit providers, educators, funders and businesses; and Intersect for Ability, a foundation-initiated effort that includes 11 Chicago-area nonprofits serving individuals with developmental disabilities. Deaconess and Coleman Foundations — the lead foundations in these efforts — will lead participants in an exploration of the processes and practices needed to move from the initial concept of a network to the brass tacks of aligned service delivery among nonprofit providers.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Jane Donahue, Deaconess Foundation
Clark McCain, Coleman Foundation
Allison Williams, Wyman Center
Tue Mar 13 2012, 10:15am–11:45am, Cascade C (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Thomas Jenkins, Nurse-Family Partnership
Session Description
At a certain developmental point, neither philanthropy nor government alone can succeed in taking effective programs to scale given our finite resources. By combining program implementation expertise, start-up funding, community organizing and policy work at multiple levels of government, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and its co-investors were able to enlist government support and sustainably scale the Nurse-Family Partnership program to high-need communities in the Carolinas and nationwide. Session participants will explore lessons from the NFP example and share practical ideas about the design of collaborative ventures and how funders can effectively join forces to successfully scale programs.
Conference Theme
Scaling Impact
Speakers
Woody McCutchen, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
Tina Markanda, The Duke Endowment
Thomas R. Jenkins, Jr., Nurse-Family Partnership
Tue Mar 13 2012, 10:15am–11:45am, Vashon (San Juan Level)
Session Designer
Jessica Bearman, Bearman Consulting
Session Description
Foundations and government funding agencies are increasingly interested in funding comprehensive community initiatives or place-based work – and measuring its impact. But how do you evaluate such complex efforts in ways that are meaningful for communities and funders alike? GEO has convened a year-long community of practice, bringing together private foundations and federal grantmakers and evaluators, to tackle this question. During this lively session, members of this group will share the top challenges inherent in evaluating place-based grantmaking - and discuss practical strategies that have worked to engage communities and colleagues, share data and results, and embrace the complexity of real world efforts. They will also reflect on the benefits and challenges of taking part in a cross-sector learning community.
Conference Theme
Evaluation and Learning
Speakers
Jessica Bearman, Bearman Consulting
Sarah Zevin, U.S. Department of Education
Marie Colombo, The Skillman Foundation
Tue Mar 13 2012, 10:15am–11:45am, St. Helens (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Rhonnel Sotelo, Stuart Foundation
Session Description
The idea that grantmakers can learn and improve by listening to the ultimate stakeholders of our work sounds simple and is hardly radical. But, there are very few examples of funders rigorously collecting feedback from the intended beneficiaries of their grantmaking in order to inform their thinking about funding strategies — and how they might be improved. Research by the Center for Effective Philanthropy has shown that funders who collect beneficiary feedback report that they have a better understanding of how their strategies are actually working and a more accurate understanding of their grantmaking’s impact compared to funders who don’t collect such feedback. During this interactive session, participants will explore two diverse approaches for incorporating beneficiary perspectives and spend time in debating the applicability and lessons learned from both of these efforts for their own work.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Valerie Threlfall, Center for Effective Philanthropy
Stephany Bryan, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
Tue Mar 13 2012, 12:00pm–1:15pm, Grand II and III (Grand Level)
Session Description
Grab a lunch and site with colleagues to continue your conference conversations.

After lunch, get your signed copy of "KaBOOM! How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play" by Darell Hammond.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about Social Media and how to engage with the conference through social media venues, visit our Social Media Help Desk in the Grand Foyer.
Conference Theme
Networking
Tue Mar 13 2012, 1:20pm–1:45pm, Cascade II (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Jeff Bradach, The Bridgespan Group
Session Description
What’s wrong with this picture: we have a growing body of knowledge about what works – to help first time teen-age mothers and their children lead better lives, to help homeless people get off the streets for good, to achieve significant increases in academic performance among the most disadvantaged kids. And yet the number of people in need of these solutions is growing faster than the number who can take advantage of them. This situation is made all the more dire by the massive cuts in government spending that are upon us. If proven programs are to reach the growing number of people who need them at a time when resources are increasingly constrained, we will need to abandon our 20th century mindsets about funding and scale, and build a true constituency for what works.
Speakers
Jeff Bradach, The Bridgespan Group
Tue Mar 13 2012, 1:20pm–1:45pm, Grand I (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Andy Goodman, The Goodman Center
Session Description
Sometimes your brain functions like a computer, taking in information, carefully evaluating it, and objectively arriving at a decision. But other times it works more like a filter, with emotions and stories dictating which facts will be let in and which will be ignored. When you want to influence the decision-making of a particular audience, it’s worth knowing how they will respond — computer or filter — and Andy Goodman will review some fascinating brain science research that will help you know what to expect the next time you reach out.
Speakers
Andy Goodman, The Goodman Center
Tue Mar 13 2012, 1:20pm–1:45pm, Fifth Avenue (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Shirley Sagawa, sagawa/jospin
Session Description
While we struggle to address complex social problems at a time of economic challenge, a critical and cost-effective part of the solution is poised and ready, argues Shirley Sagawa in her new book, The American Way to Change. Volunteering is on the rise, and there is every reason to believe that more people would serve if only they were asked. Unfortunately, service — by volunteers and national service participants — is often left out of the public problem solving tool box. It is time to get serious about solving the problems that are holding us back as a nation by making it possible for ordinary citizens to play a part. Sagawa will offer suggestions of how we can manage this important labor force effectively and what grantmakers can do to help leverage the true potential of volunteers.
Speakers
Shirley Sagawa, Sagawa/Jospin
Tue Mar 13 2012, 2:00pm–2:25pm, Cascade II (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Short Talk: Innovations for Scaling Impact: What Have We Learned and Where Do We Go Now?
Session Description
Going to scale is a priority of stakeholders across public and private sectors around the world. It is an increasing focus of grantmakers in the U.S. and abroad. Have we learned anything about scale over the past
several years? What good practices beyond program replication or organizational growth have emerged to scale impact? Sanjeev Khagram will argue that the time is ripe for foundations to catalyze a field-wide
collaborative research, development and continuous improvement system that can drive innovations for scaling impact.
Speakers
Sanjeev Khagram, Innovations for Scaling Impact
Tue Mar 13 2012, 2:00pm–2:25pm, Grand I (Grand Level)
Session Designer
John Berdes, Craft3
Session Description
In a time when most traditional financial institutions are restricting their lending practices, Enterprise Cascadia manages a loan portfolio of $140 million, and these loans primarily go to individuals and organizations that would not be eligible for a loan from a bank. The community development financial institution has a loan delinquency rate of less than 2.5 percent results unheard of in today’s recession. By embracing risk in lending, Enterprise Cascadia has been able to provide much-needed financing to businesses and nonprofits that in turn help the CDFI advance its mission to create economic equity and a healthy environment in rural and urban communities in Oregon and Washington. John Berdes, president and CEO, will share the organization’s philosophy behind lending, how they assess impact, and what grantmakers can learn from this model.
Speakers
John Berdes, Shorebank Enterprise Cascadia
Tue Mar 13 2012, 2:00pm–2:25pm, Fifth Avenue (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Katherine Fulton, Monitor Institute
Session Description
Foundations and their grantee partners are facing huge challenges every day. Wicked social and environmental problems are constantly changing and seemingly intractable. In order to make progress, social change makers can — and need to — act in ways that are larger than themselves. This means building resilient networks in addition to strong organizations. In this session, Katherine Fulton will describe the changing context in which we are working and explore ways grantmakers can grow impact by tapping the power of networks.
Speakers
Katherine Fulton, Monitor Institute
Tue Mar 13 2012, 2:40pm–3:00pm, Cascade II (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Mary Jean Ryan, Community Center for Education Results
Session Description
In 2010, Mary Jean Ryan founded the Community Center for Education Results, which is staffing the regional collective impact initiative called The Road Map Project. The Project is aimed at getting dramatic improvement in student achievement – cradle through college/career in South Seattle and South King County. As the work has advanced over the past two years — and as interest in the notion of “collective impact” has grown in the field—Ryan has noticed the many different important roles a grantmaker can play in this type of approach. Hear Ryan’s perspective on the power that funders have in catalyzing collective approaches and why, now more than ever, grantmakers need to be bold and embrace new ways of working.
Speakers
Mary Jean Ryan, Community Center for Education Results
Tue Mar 13 2012, 2:40pm–3:00pm, Grand I (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Eugene Eric Kim, Groupaya
Session Description
Foundations gave about $40 billion to U.S. charitable organizations in 2010, a non-trivial amount to be sure, but only 13 percent of charitable giving overall and an even smaller percentage of funds needed to solve our most difficult problem. If we really care about maximizing our impact, then we need to shift our mindsets from foundations as "funders" to foundations as "changemakers." What strengths are we underleveraging or, worse, impeding? How can we realistically shift our mindsets and behaviors so that we can make a bigger impact on the world?
Speakers
Eugene Eric Kim, Groupaya
Tue Mar 13 2012, 2:40pm–3:00pm, Fifth Avenue (Grand Level)
Session Designer
William C. Bell, Casey Family Programs
Session Description
As an operating foundation, Casey Family Programs provides direct services to children and families, systems improvement consultation and research, and educates policymakers on the needs of children and families in the foster care system. To facilitate its work, the foundation, among other things, recognizes the need for improvements in federal child welfare finance. Through its work with jurisdictions in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and federal agencies, the foundation has had made some significant achievements advancing its public policy agenda. Dr. William C. Bell, president and CEO of Casey Family Programs, will share stories of the foundation's success and offer suggestions for grantmakers working to advance policy agendas.
Speakers
William C. Bell, Casey Family Programs
Wed Mar 14 2012, 9:00am–10:30am, St. Helens (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Denise San Antonio Zeman, Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio
Session Description
In response to requests from local nonprofits for help in learning how to approach collaboration, a group of 18 grantmakers in Cleveland pooled their resources to develop and implement a three-phase project to strengthen human service offerings in their area. In the end, eight nonprofits strategically restructured their operations into four, and a network of consultants was formed to support collaboration efforts. Drawing on the insights of a diverse panel of organizations involved in the collaboration and the conclusions of a written case study, participants will explore what works in supporting nonprofit strategic restructuring from the perspective of funders, nonprofits and consultants.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Denise San Antonio Zeman, Saint Luke's Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio
Linda Dooley Johanek, Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center
Amy Main Morgenstern, Main Stream Enterprises, Inc.
Deborah Vesy, Deaconess Community Foundation
Wed Mar 14 2012, 9:00am–10:30am, Vashon (San Juan Level)
Session Designer
Tanya Beer, Center for Evaluation Innovation
Session Description
Many grantmakers are trying to incorporate strategic learning into their grantmaking, particularly philanthropists who recognize that complex problems require dynamic and transformative solutions. Strategic learning promises that lessons that emerge from evaluation and other data sources will be timely, actionable, and forward-looking, and that strategists will gain insights that help them make their next move in a way that increases their likelihood of success. As a concept, strategic learning is an easy sell. But as a real-life practice, it is much messier and more complicated. Through a fast-paced, innovative storytelling format, 10 presenters, including grantees, program staff and evaluators, will focus their experiences into usable kernels of wisdom and unexpected insights.
Conference Theme
Evaluation and Learning
Speakers
Phillip Chung, The Colorado Trust
Julia Coffman, Center for Evaluation Innovation
Efrain Gutierrez, FSG
Sanjeev Khagram, Innovations for Scaling Impact
Sarah Stachowiak, Organizational Research Services
William Bacon, The Duke Endowment
Tanya Beer, Center for Evaluation Innovation
Gigi Barsoum, Barsoum Policy Consulting
Jennifer Lamson, Good Food Strategies
Ehren Reed, Innovation Network
Wed Mar 14 2012, 9:00am–10:30am, Cascade AB (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
John Summers, Fiscal Management Associates, LLC
Session Description
Capacity-building grants often focus only at the organizational staff level, without much attention to the institutional and external environments in which staff operate and which fundamentally affects whether capacity gains in fact lead to organizational sustainability and mission success. This session will explore the efforts of the Wallace Foundation’s Strengthening Financial Management initiative in Chicago to work at both the micro (staff and institutional) and macro (government policy, regulatory environment) levels to address the challenges nonprofits face in their financial and business management. Participants will delve into the successes and challenges of integrating micro- and macro-level approaches and consider ways to promote the sustainability of the organizations they support.
Conference Theme
Supporting Effectiveness
Speakers
Nancy Devine, The Wallace Foundation
Valerie Lies, Donors Forum
Hilda Polanco, Fiscal Management Associates, LLC
Wed Mar 14 2012, 9:00am–10:30am, Cascade II (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Peter Berliner, PRI Makers Network
Session Description
Moving established organizations from traditional philanthropy into new ways of doing business can be exciting and challenging. Grantmaking investments made in the pursuit of both financial and social returns can provide broader impact than grantmaking alone, but there is no one way to do this type of investing. Through this moderated discussion, battle-tested foundation leaders will share their successes, failures and adventures in building mission investing programs. Hear about how they decided to use investment strategies to accomplish philanthropic objectives, addressed tough issues such as resource allocation and risk, and managed the challenge of engaging their trustees, staff, and other key constituents in their journey.
Conference Theme
Supporting Effectiveness
Speakers
Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation
Richard Woo, The Russell Family Foundation
Mr Peter Berliner, PRI Makers Network
Wed Mar 14 2012, 9:00am–10:30am, Fifth Avenue (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Leslye Louie, Civic Ventures
Session Description
One option for taking great ideas to scale is a network approach, where a nonprofit develops a strong program model and high-quality open-sourced tools that support program creation and operation, financial models, partnerships and evaluation, and then engages partners to replicate the program and adapt it for their communities’ unique needs. Drawing on the experiences of the Civic Ventures Encore Fellowships Network, which has expanded to six states in less than 18 months using a network approach, this interactive panel session will delve into the network model for scaling up and the different roles grantmakers can play.
Conference Theme
Scaling Impact
Speakers
Melissa Schoen, California Health Care Foundation
Brian Eule, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Leslye Louie, Civic Ventures
Wed Mar 14 2012, 9:00am–10:30am, Grand I (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Anastasia Stathopoulos, REDF
Session Description
Undertaking collaborative, cross-sector problem-solving is an increasingly popular approach to expanding impact. Federal funding from the Social Innovation Fund, paired with private grantmakers’ support, is supporting the replication of New York’s successful Center for Employment Opportunities program in other parts of the country. Through an engaging “fish bowl” format, participants will hear and discuss the history and progress of this case example and how it is focusing on funding results, and will explore the ways in which government, grantmakers, intermediaries and nonprofits can work together to solve a problem in the communities they serve.
Conference Theme
Scaling Impact
Speakers
Carla Javits, REDF
Mindy Tarlow, Center for Employment Opportunities
Charles "Chuck" Harris, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
Wed Mar 14 2012, 9:00am–10:30am, Cascade C (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Kit Gillem, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
Session Description
An array of organizations across the country provide consulting, training, peer exchange and coaching services to help nonprofits enhance their management and governance. But how can capacity builders enhance their own organizational performance and ensure the delivery of high quality services? Funders can play a key role in supporting these capacity builders strengthen the effectiveness of the assistance they provide. Hear insights from two seasoned grantmakers about their recent efforts to enhance the capacity-building ecosystems in their regions and explore with your peers how to build quality, sustainable business models for capacity-building service providers.
Conference Theme
Supporting Effectiveness
Speakers
Fred L. Ali, Weingart Foundation
Christopher "Kit" Gillem, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
Paul Connolly, TCC Group
Wed Mar 14 2012, 11:00am–12:30pm, Grand I (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Hallie Preskill, FSG
Session Description
Leading grantmakers have been pushing the field to adopt more catalytic and systems-focused approaches to grantmaking. While this transformation is beginning to take hold — as evidenced by an increasing number of funders engaging in advocacy and policy work, cross-sector collaboration and systems change — the sector’s approach to evaluation is not keeping pace. It seems funders are still struggling to find an evaluation approach that is well suited for social innovation in complex environments. In this session, participants will engage in learning, reflection and dialogue about “developmental evaluation,” the experiences of grantmakers who are implementing the approach in their work, and the ways in which it could add value to their current evaluation portfolio.
Conference Theme
Evaluation and Learning
Speakers
Hallie Preskill, FSG
Mayur Patel, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Wed Mar 14 2012, 11:00am–12:30pm, Vashon (San Juan Level)
Session Designer
David Landers, Philanthropy Northwest
Session Description
Community foundations – particularly those serving communities in rural areas – play a distinct and important role in supporting a healthy community. Whether small or large, staff or unstaffed, community foundations address local challenges by embodying their area’s virtues and marshaling resources. During the past year, nine community foundations in Washington state have been part of a new effort reframing how a funder can approach capacity building. Philanthropy Northwest’s Community Foundation Initiative provided funding and technical assistance to a variety of community foundations for executing local strategies that ultimately built the capacity of a community, not a single nonprofit. The Community Foundation Initiative builds on The Giving Practice report, An Assessment of Capacity Building in Washington State, and a collaborative effort of seven Philanthropy Northwest member organizations committed to building Washington’s nonprofit sector in light of the economic downturn. Join us to discuss what community foundations are learning about capacity building, some of the unique opportunities and challenges found in rural areas, and how community foundations can be partners with private and public funders in capacity building efforts.
Conference Theme
Supporting Effectiveness
Speakers
Barbara Dingfield, The Giving Practice
Norma Schuiteman, The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound
Marie Sauter, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Lawson Knight, Blue Mountain Community Foundation
Wed Mar 14 2012, 11:00am–12:30pm, Cascade AB (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Marilyn Darling, Fourth Quadrant Partners
Session Description
Being a learning organization is not easy, but it does not need to be as complicated as we make it. We make learning complicated by seeing it as something separate or something that takes precious time away from the task at hand. By adopting a set of tools and a philosophy about leading, we can serve our supervision, leadership, learning and self-evaluation abilities equally well. Hear from one nonprofit leader who sees her responsibility for leadership and learning as two sides of the same coin, and engage in a conversation with your peers about how to bring your leadership and learning agendas closer together and help your grantees do the same.
Conference Theme
Evaluation and Learning
Speakers
Marilyn Darling, Fourth Quadrant Partners
Becky James-Hatter, Big Brothers Big Sisters Eastern Missouri
Wed Mar 14 2012, 11:00am–12:30pm, St. Helens (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Lynn M. Fick-Cooper, Center for Creative Leadership
Session Description
For philanthropic and nonprofit organizations to solve current problems, realize new opportunities and grow their impact, leaders must collaborate to think and act beyond current “group boundaries.” Where disparate groups intersect, there is significant potential to create a nexus that unleashes possibilities and inspires results. But, it is not easy to lead outside our “box” on the organizational chart, across the lines of stakeholder interests or beyond the borders of the groups we represent. In this session, grantmakers will examine and apply a model of six boundary-spanning practices used by emerging leaders in community health organizations across the country.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Lynn M. Fick-Cooper, Center for Creative Leadership
Sallie Petrucci George, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Wed Mar 14 2012, 11:00am–12:30pm, Cascade II (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Liz Darling, OneStar Foundation
Session Description
Recently, there have been a variety of efforts to improve the collaboration between government and the nonprofit sector, often with the support of grantmakers. For example, a new law makes Texas’ OneStar Foundation chair of an interagency coordinating group of 24 state agencies to reduce barriers to effective contracting with nonprofits, work across agencies to create more consistent funding applications, implement joint agency monitoring and shared reporting, partner with nonprofit networks to increase service delivery and to better understand the full cost of doing business in the nonprofit sector. Speakers include a perspective from state government, a successful state-wide public-private partnership, a thought leader on the role that overhead and capacity-building play in advancing outcomes and a social entrepreneur who brings nonprofits, philanthropy, government and business together to create social impact. Come learn more about the ways grantmakers can help bring government and nonprofits together around common goals.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Andrew Wolk, Root Cause
Bryan Law, Texas House Committee on Public Health
Ann Goggins Gregory, The Bridgespan Group
Liz Darling, OneStar Foundation
Wed Mar 14 2012, 11:00am–12:30pm, Fifth Avenue (Grand Level)
Session Designer
Jennifer Pawlowski, Taproot Foundation
Session Description
With over 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S., it’s important to understand what makes some stand apart and what can we learn from them. Recent research by Taproot Foundation has identified that seven core practices are keys to scaling impact in high performing nonprofits, including effectively using volunteers, innovating, developing staff and board, advocating and evaluating. Participants will explore research findings, hear from a nonprofit executive about his/her experience in using these levers to transform his/her organization, and strategize how to adopt grantmaking practices that build the skills, shift the mindsets and develop the nonprofit leaders to manage the organizational transformation needed to successfully scale.
Conference Theme
Scaling Impact
Speakers
Aaron Hurst, Taproot Foundation
Matthew Klein, Blue Ridge Foundation New York
Mike O'Brien, iMentor
Wed Mar 14 2012, 11:00am–12:30pm, Cascade C (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer
Lee Draper, Draper Consulting Group
Session Description
Efforts to incorporate community stakeholders in a grantmakers’ work are rare. However, nonprofit leaders and board chairs can be strong assets in the design and implementation of grantmaker programs and initiatives, making our work more effective and impactful. Their participation can provide valuable professional development for individuals and positively impact their organizations and communities.
In this session, you will learn about a model that enables nonprofit directors and board chairs to play a meaningful role in program design, mentoring nonprofit leaders, advising grantmakers and facilitating training sessions. Participants will discuss engagement methods, online tools and how to trouble-shoot the common concerns around involving nonprofit leaders in the development of grantmaker programs.
Conference Theme
Collaborative Problem Solving
Speakers
Sylia Obagi, Annenberg Foundation
Thyonne Gordon, CoachArt
Diane Brigham, Ryman Arts
Michelle Torgerson, Draper Consulting Group
Wed Mar 14 2012, 1:00pm–2:00pm, Grand II and III (Grand Level)
Session Description
Recently the spotlight has shone on a number of organizations who have effectively grown their impact through a variety of ways. Whether we are calling it scaling impact, networks, movement building or collaborative problem-solving, the big idea is essentially the same — we can achieve more working together than acting alone. And no matter what model of growing impact you subscribe to, there are some universal truths about what funders can do to best support nonprofits. This candid conversation with Darell Hammond, founder of KaBOOM!, will unpack some of the ways grantmakers both help and hinder efforts to grow impact. Grantmakers will share their commitments to changes in practice that will better support nonprofits’ ability to grow impact.
Sat Mar 31 2012, 8:30am–10:00am, Grand II and III (Grand Level)
Date & Time TBD
Session Designer
Liz London, The Bridgespan Group
Session Description
Despite the aspirations many grantmakers have of doing “big” things with their grants, in reality their dollars occupy a small share of the funds behind the largest nonprofit success stories. One of the most common and important challenges we encounter is how to have a lasting positive effect on grantees’ financial sustainability and growth despite the time-delimited nature of our direct support. Far too often, grantees exit a grantmaker’s portfolio in the same or worse financial shape as when they entered it. To get the most bang for our buck, foundations need to take grantees’ funding pursuits as seriously as their programmatic pursuits. This session will offer participants concrete guidance on how they can better support the financial sustainability of their grantees and amplify the impact of their investments during the grant period as well as in the years that follow.
Conference Theme
Funding Outcomes
Speakers
Ms. Jacquelyn Hadley, The Bridgespan Group
Mr. Peter Kim, The Bridgespan Group