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. Dine-arounds are going virtual and just in time for Thanksgiving. You’ll still gather around a (virtual) table in small groups on a specific topic or theme — though food is on your own!

Seating at each table is limited and some tables are already full. At registration, you’ll select a table topic. Foundations members are welcome to host a table. Please contact Lauren Kotkin for more information.


  • Adapting & Resiliency Through the Pandemic. Join us to discuss how you and your organization have adapted in response to the global pandemic. We’ll share lessons learned from how it has influenced or changed your grantmaking to how you are maintaining relationships with your grantees and team members. Host: Lynsie Laughlin & Kellie Utzinger, Foundant Technologies
  • Aligning Your Portfolio With Your Mission. More funders are turning to impact investing these days, and the practice never been more relevant given the pandemic and the unmasking of entrenched issues in society. Are you investing for impact? Is your portfolio aligned with your grantmaking and foundation’s mission? Let’s share successes we’re having with investing for mission, as well as our challenges – where we wish we could have more impact with our investing dollars. Host: Peter Klein, ALINE Wealth & The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation
  • Applying Venture Philanthropy to Environmental Issues. Only ~3% of U.S. philanthropy funding goes to the environment, so philanthropists in this space have to get creative with achieving big outcomes. We’ll explore ways that lean funders can apply agile, entrepreneurial, venture philanthropy approaches to drive breakthrough solutions on environmental projects. Host: Brett Howell, Howell Conservation Fund
  • 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. Host: Afia Amobeaa-Sakyi, Exponent Philanthropy
  • Convening Grant Partners. Convening brings people together for technical assistance, peer learning, and mentorship. What have been your experiences with convening? What prompted you to bring grant partners together? What platforms and formats have you tried? In what ways did the experience add value for your grant partners? What would you do differently in the future? Host: Jennie Riley, Rx Foundation
  • Engaging With Artists To Deepen Your Impact. Is there a specific message you would like to communicate but are having difficulty articulating? How are you keeping your community connected during a global pandemic? Explore how engaging with artists in virtual and intimate in-person gatherings may help deepen and accelerate the impact you are wanting to achieve. Host: Joey Borgogna, Speranza Foundation
  • Future-Proofing Your Foundation’s People, Processes, and Technology. Join us for discussion on why and how you should be future-proofing your grantmaking—including the people, the processes, and the technology. Hosts: Alexis Fish & Ann Getz, Blackbaud
  • Grant Dashboards. Foundation board members frequently ask about the impact of their grantmaking, but don’t have time to read grant reports. How do we keep our board members updated on the cumulative impact of our grants in a way that appeals to them? How about dashboards? Let’s talk about it – what to capture, what to leave out, and how to employ dashboards. Host: Kassie Davis, CME Group Foundation
  • Navigating Next Gen Transitions. Whether change is imminent or unexpected, it is stressful. Let’s share ideas about how to navigate the surprises when we engage the next generation (at any age) as active board members. Let’s destress the change we will all experience during the lifetime our foundations . Host: Dawn Franks, Ben and Maytee Fisch Foundation
  • Opportunities in a Virtual Grantmaking World. The pandemic has challenged us all, and also revealed opportunities to work in new ways. How have we become even more nimble as lean funders? How have we expanded our connections beyond our geographic area?  Have our board members participated differently?  We’ll explore potential benefits and lessons that may last beyond the crisis. Host: Beth Versten, Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation
  • Planning for 2021. 2020 has been a year of seismic changes that have given us an opportunity to think about new ways to support the community, engage with grantees and re-define and streamline our procedures. We, and our grantees, have had to pivot and reimagine how we operate in these realms. These experiences may inform our thinking and give us a chance to re-evaluate our own work. Let’s talk about changes we’ve implemented this year and the impact on 2021 planning. Host: Janet Miller, William S. Abell Foundation
  • Progress & Challenges In Equity-Focused Philanthropy. What progress are we making in race equity at our foundations? What actions are we taking to advance diversity and inclusion, create policies and practices that remove bias and are trust-based, and use our philanthropic leverage to affect change? Let’s learn from each other by sharing successes and challenges. Host: Julie Boudreau, John and Wauna Harman Foundation
  • Support Beyond Grantmaking: Seeding Grantee Networks. Our two foundations have worked together with six nonprofit organization partners since 2018 to move forward a focus on both individual awareness and collective actions tied to college success. How has your foundation engaged (or thought about engaging) grantee partners beyond grantmaking? Hosts: Caroline Brown Wertz, Scheidel Foundation, and Robyn Attebury Ellis, Crimsonbridge Foundation
  • Supporting Nonprofit Biomedical Research Awardees through Unprecedented Times. The ongoing pandemic has been severely detrimental to non-COVID related research, including lab closures, shifting priorities, and significant losses in revenue at academic and medical institutions. How can lean funders in this area help our grant recipients during this time of economic uncertainty? Join us to learn how we are responding to the evolving needs of our stakeholders and finding ways to offer meaningful assistance with a relatively modest investment of resources. Host: Charlene Mancusi, Charles H. Hood Foundation
  • Tackling Climate Change. Climate change has been called the biggest public health threat of our time, yet only 2% of philanthropic funding is directly dedicated to this issue. What are some ways that we, as lean funders, can promote solutions and build resilience in our own communities? How does climate change intersect with other areas of our work, including health, racial equity, food systems, transportation, infrastructure and more? Host: Ashley Barrett, Godley Family Foundation
  • Thanksgiving Thoughts: Investing Alongside Indigenous Rights. Indigenous communities and allies sparked #DecolonizeThanksgiving to shed light on the mass genocide and displacement that this holiday marks for Indigenous tribes. As investors, asset allocators, endowments, and foundations, let’s use this moment to reflect on the ways we can decolonize our investment processes to advance justice, equity, and inclusion for Indigenous communities. Host: Essma Bengabsia, Glenmede
  • The Value of Trust-Based Philanthropy. Embracing a trust-based approach includes providing more gen op and multi-year support, streamlining, and listening deeply.  Let’s explore the benefits to your grantees and your foundation. How can we and other funders overcome the barriers? Host: Corinne Korchinski-Fisher, Korchinski Family Foundation
  • Transparency, ‘Mask Muffle,’ and Beyond. Clear communication with grantees, trustees, and staff has never been more important yet more complex. How do you balance grantee requests for increased awards and flexibility with trustee/staff concerns about portfolio and mission? What lessons will you take forward to improve procedures while enhancing impact? Host: Gianna Durso-Finley, The Charlotte. W. Newcombe 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. Host: Brian Bates, Exponent Philanthropy

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