Virtual Dine-Around

1:30-2:00 pm – Join us 30 minutes early to get comfortable with the platform. The program will begin at 2:00 pm.

If you’ve been to a conference, you’ve likely been to a dine-around, where you gather with peers for informal learning and great conversation around a specific topic or theme. For this version, you’ll still gather around a (virtual) table in small groups on a specific topic or theme. Seating at each table is limited; at registration, you’ll select a table topic.

All foundation members are eligible to host. If you’d like to host a table, please contact Lauren Kotkin.


Applicant Experience: How We Can Best Steward Grantees – Letting grantees know what they can expect of you and what you expect of them, in terms of the timeline and reporting, for example, asking for their feedback and insight. These and other grantee stewardship practices help both steward your current grantees and cultivate new ones. Let’s share our experiences – practices, processes, technology – and also any road blocks to work through together. Hosted by Alexis Fish, Blackbaud

BIPOC Connection, Community & Belonging – This group is for individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and offers a space where you can show up as your full authentic self and be uplifted as we explore the resilience of individuals doing the difficult work of undoing institutionalized racism. Join us as we learn and build authentic and lasting solidarity together. Hosted by Afia Amobeaa-Sakyi, Exponent Philanthropy

Building Back Better? – As we think about a return to “normal,” what lessons from this difficult year will you take forward to potentially lessen grantee burden, improve procedures, and increase flexibility – all while enhancing impact? Hosted by Gianna Durso-Finley, The Charlotte. W. Newcombe Foundation

Challenge Grants: What Works? – As funders we are constantly looking for ways to support and promote our grantees in hopes of increasing their donor base. Join us to explore challenge grants. Bring your experience about what has worked well for grantees, and why. Hosted by Jessica Gilmore, Expressions of Hope Foundation

Collaborating with Other Funders – How do you look for partners to increase impact? Share ideas for starting or continuing effective collaborations, examples from your work, how you identify collaboration opportunities, lessons learned, and pitfalls to avoid. Hosted by Carolyn Siegfried, Pedrozzi Foundation

Considering the Known Unknowns: Financial Analysis During COVID – Grant applicants are making good-faith efforts to include reasonable budget projections. But what’s reasonable when so much remains unknown? Will nonprofits benefit from further emergency relief? When will in-person services resume? Exchange ideas about how to evaluate and present the financial position, capacity, and needs of applicants in a time of great uncertainty. Hosted by David Blazevich, Fleishhacker Foundation

Creative Ways to Make Impact at Small Family Foundations – Very small foundations run by donors and families can be highly resourceful and creative. Join us to share ways you use combinations of money and other resources to make greater impact. How do you use your relationships, knowledge, and voice? Hosted by Susan Koch, Dorothy Koch Family Foundation

Foundations and Nonprofits: An Imbalance of Power – How do we reduce the power imbalance between foundations and nonprofits? Join a conversation to share your approaches, processes, and procedures to lessen the power differential, and invite more open and productive relationships. Hosted by Lori Heninger, Montclair Fund for Women

From Values to Impact – Let’s talk about how our foundation values can make our work more efficient and lead to greater impact. Has your foundation started this conversation? Are you reexamining values? How do you keep the values front & center to guide your work? Hosted by Peter Klein, ALINE Wealth & The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation

Giving Beyond Grants Many in the philanthropic community stepped up to the plate last year by leveraging — and perhaps even increasing — their grantmaking activity. Whether you engaged in advocacy, community organizing, mission-aligned investing, or other strategies beyond typical grant awards, we want to hear it all. Let’s share creative ways we’ve responded to our communities’ needs beyond our philanthropic dollars. Hosted by Samantha Audia & Huldah Robertson, Glenmede

Next Gen Engagement – What do you do to engage your next gen? Bring ideas to share and questions to ask each other as we discuss bringing on board a funder’s next generation of trustees. Hosted by Marlene Corrado, William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation

Perpetuity vs Spend Down. – Is your foundation considering whether to exist in perpetuity or spend down? Join us as we each share our thoughts about and the considerations for this nuanced and often difficult decision. Hosted by John Amoroso, Lovell Foundation

Programmatic and Financial Due Diligence During the Pandemic – What creative ways are you using to learn about the work, the challenges, and the opportunities of your grantees when you can’t do in-person site visits and when financial history may not reflect the financial future of an organization? Which strategies might you carry into the future? Hosted by Havaca Ganguly, Middendorf Foundation

Time – Spending It, (Not) Wasting It, Investing It. We all know how important it is to build relationships. Now we’re in a Zoom world, with communities and organizations in great need, and as funders we are living the uncertainly along with them and juggling more aspects of work-life balance than ever. Many of us may be hearing from grantees not just asking for a grant, but for advice. How do you give advice in this time? How have you responded to grantee questions? How could we respond better and make the best use or all of our precious time? Let’s talk about how we can be supportive and share solutions. Hosted by Miki Akimoto, Bank of America Private Bank

Too Many Hats: Leading Strategic Initiatives While Managing Day-to-Day – Deadlines and competing priorities are a fact of life for lean funders. How can you move forward on strategic initiatives that have potential to transform your impact – and also manage the grant cycle and other essential daily tasks? Share ideas with peers. Hosted by Carole Shifman, Ravitz Foundation

Using Your Exponent Philanthropy Membership – Interested in learning how to make the most of your membership or just getting started as a new member? Join Brian to learn more. Hosted by Brian Bates, Exponent Philanthropy

Not sure which table you’d like to join? Choose “Float to an Available Table During the Dine-Around” during registration. If space permits, you can join a table that isn’t full during the event.

About Virtual Roundtables

These are low-key member conversations that allow you to dig in, share knowledge, and ask about each other’s experiences through small group discussions.

Our hope is that you’ll be open with your peers and able to talk through your unique challenges. And that you’ll leave with a renewed sense of community and peer connections.

This is your space to dig into topics that you are passionate about. Bring your experience to share and your questions to ask of your colleagues.

We’re using the platform Remo Conference for Virtual Roundtables; captioning is not yet available.  You’ll need to use a desktop, laptop, or phone with Chrome, Safari, or Firefox as your browser. To access the conversation, you’ll receive an email with a link before the program.

How to Use Remo Conference