The COVID-19 crisis underscores how important it is for funders to be deeply connected to the communities we seek to support. For the next three months, our Monthly Master Class webinars will take up the question of how funders can authentically engage the communities we support and partner with.
For the first class in this series, on April 3, we will ask members for feedback on how philanthropy and Grantmakers for Education can and should best engage those outside the funder world. Funders increasingly recognize that solving big social problems requires the participation and voice of a diverse set of actors, especially those most proximate to the challenge. The current COVID-19 crisis is an excellent backdrop to surface this conversation. As we've been working through the rapid changes that have impacted millions of students, it has been especially important to hear from those interacting directly with learners and teachers to understand their immediate needs. This is a good example of how funders are learning to listen better and share space at the table. At the same time, funder-only spaces remain a vital component of grantmaking because they allow funders to develop and learn from each other in a pitch-free environment.
What have we learned so far from the current crisis about how and when to involve other stakeholders? What insights have you gained and how are you applying those to your strategies? Moving forward, how can we balance these opposing needs and create both inclusive spaces for all community members and safe spaces for grantmakers?
At this webinar, we will take up the question of how to strike the right balance between inclusive and funder-only spaces. Share lessons on community engagement that you are learning in your own work, especially in light of COVID-19, and how you plan to apply these lessons in addressing the next steps in this crisis.