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SOLD OUT: What's Love Got to Do With It: What it Means to Be a Grantmaker

Thursday, July 21, 2016 -
8:30am to 12:30pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360, San Francisco
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This event is SOLD OUT.  If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email 

As grantmakers, we have both the privilege and the responsibility to bring projects and people to the board room that we have come to believe in, which requires much diligence, presence, and cultivation. We must navigate our own passions and reasons for doing this work, the institutional culture we’re a part of, the challenge of building relationships (fraught with clear, yet sometimes unspoken, power dynamics), the need for subject expertise, the various pressures calling on us to respond, the challenge and responsibility of saying no. We believe in the possibility of a better world, and we entered into this field to make it happen, so then why does it sometimes feel like the biggest thing we do is push papers, answer voicemails and emails, and just generally sit behind our desks? How can we stay in a relational space, honoring the work that good people are doing on behalf of their communities, while at the same time tending to the transactional necessities that are a part of our responsibilities as grantmakers?

In this workshop, we’ll talk about the ins and outs of doing program work and being an exceptional program staff – everything from the intangibles such as building trust and relationships, to building a budget with nonprofit partners who are well on their way to submitting a proposal. We’ll talk about what you need to cultivate in yourself to do this work well. We’ll review a proposal in depth. We’ll cover questions like “what does it mean to take risks and to fail smartly?” We’ll explore some of the nuances and contradictions in philanthropy. We’ll work to define our role in having positive impact in communities and on the challenges we are facing. 

Back by popular demand, Jamie Allison-Hope and Angie Chen are adapting this session from NCG's New Grantmaker Institute to be available to the broader NCG community. 

Join Us To:

  1. Further understand your role in philanthropy

  2. Think about how to plan your work

  3. Explore ways of working more effectively with nonprofit partners (aka grantees)

  4. Learn about building capacity of nonprofit partners

  5. Think about finding allies in the field

  6. Think about how to invest in yourself to be sustainable, and to grow, in this field

Building off the success of this module at NCG’s New Grantmakers Institute in 2015, we want this knowledge and wisdom to be available more broadly to the NCG membership. We hope you’ll consider joining us if you’re interested in how to step up your program game, especially if you’re new to the field or even if you have been with us for a while, in this workshop you’ll explore how to continue to advance your work, and fund the causes and organizations, and people you believe in.

Targeted Audience:

Program staff who are newer to the field (0-5 years). While this workshop can be useful to individuals who have been in their roles for a while now, given its explorations of the nuances and complexities in this filed, it is geared towards those who are newer in their roles. 

Workshop Facilitators:

Jamie Allison-Hope managed the Cowell Foundation’s grantmaking in Youth Development and Affordable Housing for a decade.  Now, she currently serves as Vice President of the Grants Program, oversees the Families and Communities program area and manages the Program Related Investment and Recoverable Grant portfolio. Before joining Cowell, Jamie conducted research for universities and corporations and worked at the Stuart Foundation in San Francisco and the Lyndhurst Foundation in Chattanooga, TN, her hometown. Jamie’s civic involvement includes serving on the boards of The Whitman Institute, a philanthropy focused on promoting equity; U.S. Friends of CUSO International, a development organization that works to reduce global poverty; and REMAKE, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of apparel factory workers. Jamie graduated with Highest Honors from the University of Tennessee, where she earned a B.S. in Political Science and B.A.s in Economics, Spanish and Humanities. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.

Angie Chen is director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum. Prior to this role, she was an advisor to the Pisces Foundation. Angie previously managed a crosscutting environmental literacy program at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and oversaw grantmaking to connect California's youth with the outdoors at the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council. She also worked at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where she developed strategic initiatives to advance summer learning and children’s health coverage. Angie has served on the board of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, and she was selected as a 2011 American Express NGen Fellow. From 2012 to 2015, she was appointed by Administrators Lisa Jackson and Gina McCarthy to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Education Advisory Council. She currently serves on the board of Pie Ranch and the program committee of Youth Outside. Angie is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.