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.

Table Topics

Accountability & Transparency. We ask our grantees to be accountable for their work (i.e. applications, reports, site visits), but how accountable are we, as foundations? We have basic levels of accountability to the board, state attorney general, and the IRS, but how rigorously should we take up the charge of accountability to those we interact with regularly: our communities, grantseekers, and our grantees? Join this conversation with others who are also considering these questions. Hosted by Deborah Fraize, New England Biolabs Foundation

Bumping Up Family Engagement. At a family foundation, the opportunity represented by full family engagement is increased impact, the ability to fine tune the mission, and the chance for the foundation to continue its impact beyond current members’ lifetimes. Are you finding it a challenge to encourage family members to devote the time to researching causes and to engage with other family members? Let’s talk and think of strategies to move from “We are fine with what you are doing” to “We want to do more!” Hosted by Jeff Farmer, Farmer Family Foundation

Equitable Evaluation Through an  Emergent Learning Approach. Designing and implementing an equitable discovery process to collaboratively learn how evaluation can be transformative rather than transactional and align with DEI principles and best practices. Hosted by Ernesto Torres & Allison Hagerman, McCune Foundation

Grantee Feedback Loops. What are the ways that you get feedback from your grantees and other grantseekers about your processes and more? What have you learned from the feedback and how do you share out on what you’ve learned with grantees and others? Have you implemented changes based on what you heard? Let’s talk about grantee feedback and making changes to our processes to benefit both – the foundation and the grantees. Hosted by Keahi Makaimoku, Hau’oli Mau Loa Foundation

Investing in Future Strengths & Capabilities. Funding capacity building means funding an organization’s backbone: sound management, strong governance, and dedication to assessing and achieving results. As funders, we want to invest in organizations and partners with these capabilities, but we often find ourselves considering the balance between investing in operations and capacity building and providing direct funding to programs. Ponder with us the merits and challenges that come from developing the strength and sustainability of grantees. Hosted by Becca Steinhoff, John P. Ellbogen 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

PRIs: Put Your Money Where Your Mission Is. Let’s talk about program-related investments such as loans. What types of PRIs have you given? What have been the results? What are some of the sticking points? Did you increase PRIs during the pandemic? What’s on tap for the future? Join for this robust discussion and let’s compare notes. Hosted by Peter Klein, ALINE Wealth & The Clair Friedlander Family 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.

Spending More & Strategic Decisions. In the past year, many foundations opted to give more than usual to respond to the multiple crises in their communities, and oftentimes the payout was well above the 5% minimum. What decisions did you make? What are you considering as you look ahead? How does the higher payout impact your foundation’s strategic decisions, such as perpetuity or your investments? Bring your experiences and join the conversation. Hosted by Huldah Robertson, Glenmede 

“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, Membership Committee

When Your Boss Is Also Your Family. When your bosses are also your family the line between work and home gets very blurry. At times it is incredibly fulfilling as you get to work alongside your family making good things happen for grantees, but other times you are the only one working on family vacation. Join in a conversation of peers to discuss the fun and frustration of being both family and paid staff. Hosted by Dorothy Gardner, The Longbrake Family Foundation       

Working Through 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 Michael Pompian, Sunpointe Investments

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