Back to top
Back to top

Emerging Practitioner Peer Community

The future of the philanthropy field is contingent on new practitioners learning and excelling in the field. The Forum is committed to being a source of knowledge and guidance for new philanthropy-serving organization (PSO) professionals through our newest network – Emerging Practitioners Peer Community. If you have resources to share, please share them online or by emailing Brandon Iracks-Edelin

Emerging Practitioners Peer Community

The Emerging Practitioners Peer Community is designed for those with less than five years of experience in the philanthropy field.

  • Emerging Practitioners Listserv ( You must be a member of the Forum & this Peer Community to post to this list.    
  • Three round-robin calls per year
  • In-person meeting at Forum’s Annual Conference

Interested in joining this Peer Community? Submit your email address on the form at the bottom of the Our Networks page

Forum Staff Lead:  Ivana Bikombe (202) 869-4327 and Brandon Iracks-Edelin (202-991-5217)


Melissa Micek, Philanthropy Delaware

In April 2019, Melissa joined Philanthropy Delaware as the Director of Engagement. In this role, she oversees membership engagement, strategic communications, and programmatic affairs. She serves as the project manager for the SHARE Delaware, a collaborative enterprise of Philanthropy Delaware and Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA), which aims to transform the Delaware nonprofit and philanthropy community through universally accessible and useful information. As a Delaware native, she is committed to serving her local community as a servant-style leader.

Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Lynchburg. During her tenure, she led the Ethics Bowl Team, a debate team focused on contemporary ethical issues. She also graduated cum laude from the Westover Honors Program. Her liberal arts background significantly shaped her creative problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

Sherylynn Sealy, Grantmakers in the Arts

Sherylynn Sealy is a strategist, yoga instructor, performing artist, and educator with a varied background. She is also on the steering committee of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)-Boston Chapter. Prior to her program manager role with Grantmakers in the Arts, Sherylynn was a Philanthropy Fellow with the New York Community Trust where she engaged with arts and culture funders and organizations across New York City. She previously served as a consultant for the Mayor’s Office and Superintendent’s Office on their implementation of the City-wide Youth Stat Initiative in New Haven, CT. Managing over 200 student-cases, she served as the point of contact for schools and local partners. A Teach for America alumna, she received her MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University, and her BS in Education and Psychology from Northeastern University. She also served on the Dance/NYC Junior Committee. She is the Producing Artistic Director at Greater Glory Nazarene Ministries in Brooklyn, NY. She continues to explore her passion for performing arts, traveling, and spreading a message of hope.


2017 Key Metrics for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations

United Philanthropy Forum's 2017 Key Metrics for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations report provides comprehensive benchmarking data and analyses on the governance, finances, membership, services and programs, and operations of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs), which includes philanthropy associations and networks focused on place, issue, identity, funder type, and/or philanthropic practice.  

A Job Hunter Gets Advice on Landing Her First Job in Philanthropy

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
The advice a recent graduate hoping to work as a grant maker received from nonprofit executives is also key to maintaining and developing your career in the philanthropy field.

For Emerging Philanthropy Professionals: The Power of Personal Branding

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
Building a personal brand as a new PSO professional can help solidify your career in the field. Here are a few things to consider when building your person brand.