Virtual Dine-Arounds

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 lively 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.

We’re taking the best of last year’s three dine-around programs for today’s event, so today’s topics are a curated list from last year’s most popular conversations. Seating at each table is limited; at registration, you’ll select a table topic. Additional topics to be added in the coming weeks.

Table Topics

Aligning Your Portfolio With Your Mission. More funders are turning to impact investing these days, and the practice has 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. Hosted by Peter Klein, ALINE Wealth

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 roadblocks to work through together. Hosted by David Hazeltine, Blackbaud

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. Hosted by Brett Howell, Howell Conservation Fund

Avoiding Board Discord. No matter the typical state of your board’s group dynamics, there’s bound to be board discord along the way. What kinds of issues trigger the discord? How have you worked through it – or not? Let’s share strategies about working through issues to get to the group’s best decision-making place. Hosted by Jack Dwyer, Sunpointe

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

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 are 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 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. Hosted by Marlene Corrado, William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill 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. Hosted by Beth Versten, The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation 

Post-Pandemic Planning. We’ve all made some changes in the past year to react to what was happening in our communities because of the pandemic. Some of those changes had surprising benefits for both our foundations and our grantees. Let’s share what pivots back to the same and what changes remain in place. Hosted by Virginia Romano, Vera, and Joseph Dresner 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. Hosted by Julie Boudreau, John and Wauna Harman Foundation

Putting the Grantee First. What practices should funders adopt to best support and empower grantees so that they can put more of their resources into mission and programs and less into raising money? Let’s share our practices and ideas. Hosted by Christy Pennoyer, The William C. Bullitt Foundation, Inc.

Seeding Grantee Networks. Our foundation has worked with one other foundation and six nonprofit organization partners since 2018 to move forward with 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? Hosted by Caroline Brown Wertz, Scheidel Foundation, and Robyn Attebury Ellis, The Crimsonbridge Foundation

Tech Tips & Tools. What new types of technology (hardware and software) are you using that other lean foundations may also find helpful? How has it improved your efficiency or accessibility? Hosted by Havaca Ganguly, Middendorf Foundation

TRUST And The Increasing Importance of Local Organizations. Last year there was a reawakening among donors and foundations to the vital importance of local organizations, especially those serving the most vulnerable. Studies show that social trust is shrinking, and faith in some traditional institutions is on the decline. Nonetheless, many local organizations still appear to have relatively high levels of trust. What’s going on? Let’s talk about this trust (shrinking/growing) and what effect it has on our impact in communities and with small and/or local organizations. Hosted by Don Crocker, Funder

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