Relationship Building Track Schedule

Relationship Building
RelationshipBuildingStrong, trusting relationships are instrumental to impactful philanthropy. Sessions in this track help you build and strengthen vital external relationships with grantees, other funders, and the community. To help you unlock success in all of these relationships, the last session takes your listening skills to a new level.

DAY 2:                Monday, October 16

9:30–11:45 am           Great Funder-Nonprofit Relationships Start With You

What does honest, open, two-way communication look like in a funder–grantee relationship? How can this communication lead to greater success for both parties? Hear from a funder–grantee pair about the arc of their relationship as they share practices that strengthen their work together and separately. Audit your own practices to determine where to implement practical tips so you can improve your relationships and, ultimately, your impact.

  • Understand and describe key factors of open, productive funder–grantee relationships.
  • Identify at least one or two practical strategies to enhance your relationships with your grantees.

Mollie Bunis, Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd.: Ursula Miniszewski, Global Greengrants Fund; Roger Sheffield, Mind Springs Inc.

This session will be presented with the following formats: Panel Presentation, Worksheet, Group Discussion

1:30–4:30 pm            The Art of Funder Collaborations

Smaller foundations and individual donors can derive a lot of value and gain leverage out of partnering with other funders. Hear from members of collaboratives who are at various stages of the experience and work together to develop strategies for joining or starting collaboratives.

  • Assess the costs and benefits of participating in collaboratives.
  • Begin to develop plans and proposals for joining or starting a collaborative.

Joelle Asaro Berman, Amplifier; Whitney Gustin Connor, Rose Community Foundation; Melinda Fine, Ed.D, TCC Group; Frances Phillips, Walter & Elise Haas Fund

This session will be presented with the following formats: Presentation, Storytelling, Group Discussion, Reflection

1:30–4:30 pm           Bring Community Voices to Your Table

We often say that community engagement is about “getting out of the office.” But can you bring your community into the office? In this session, we’ll rethink assumptions and explore new ways of doing business that bring new, diverse voices to your foundation’s decision-making.

  • Gain a deeper understanding of your foundation’s opportunities to engage in learning and impact
  • Be inspired by bold new ideas – from genuine transparency through advisory committees to participatory grantmaking
  • Develop specific next steps to improve your foundation’s ability to incorporate community voices

Caroline D. Avery, Durfee Foundation; Jen Bokoff, Foundation Center; Ruth Masterson, MPP, Exponent Philanthropy; Philip Walsh, Maine Initiatives

This session will be presented with the following formats: Presentation, Storytelling, Group Discussion, Reflection

DAY 3:                Tuesday, October 17

8:45–11:00 am           Listening Skills Workshop

Impact and leadership in philanthropy begins with the humblest act: listening deeply. Deep listening enables you to build strong relationships, gain clarity on complex issues, empower others, and move towards action. In this skills-based workshop, learn how to truly tune in to your conversations and begin putting what you learn into practice with peers.

  • Define the levels of listening and practice listening at each of the different levels.
  • Recognize how deep listening can help increase effectiveness.
  • Identify ways to integrate deep listening into conversations with board members, staff, and nonprofits.

Colleen O’Keefe, Sauer Family Foundation; Jen Lachman, Lachman Consulting

This session will be presented with the following formats: Presentation, Reflection, Group Discussion