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Grantmaker Education

Grantmaker Education is the core of regional association programming. The Forum has played a leadership role in development of turn-key grantmaker education resources such as Essential Skills and Strategies for New Grantmakers and sector-wide collaborations such as LearnPhilanthropy.

As the largest network serving philanthropy, the Forum draws from recommended practices, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and more to identify the best resources and models available. Over years of collaboration and through the funding of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Forum Network has developed tools to build the capacity of regional associations to provide grantmaker education programming.

Designed and assembled by the Macro International evaluation team, Your Toolkit for Successful Evaluations is a starter kit to promote the integration of effective evaluation into grantmaker education programs. Logic Model Template provides an easy guide to creating your own logic model. The Framework for Delivering Education Programs in Your Regional Association represents a synthesis of recommendations made by more than 60 practitioners and thought leaders in the field. It describes ten principles and corresponding practices that contribute to a grantmaking organization’s effectiveness and that can be used to strengthen philanthropy education across the sector.

To learn more about the Forum's Grantmaker Education work, contact our Director of Programs Mary O'Neill.

Essential Skills & Strategies for New Grantmakers

Essential Skills & Strategies for New Grantmakers (ESS) was developed by several organizations that believed the field would benefit from a standardized curriculum that would provide a common introduction to grantmaking. The volunteer leadership team that developed this curriculum included representatives from the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the Council on Foundations, the Council of Michigan Foundations, and Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania. Development of the ESS curriculum was supported by Council on Foundations grants from The Lumina Foundation for Education and the Ford Foundation.

This turnkey resource allows providers to easily deliver a training session that provides highly engaging learning activities and carefully selected content drawn from the most reputable national sources.

Effectiveness and Accountability

The Forum's Effectiveness and Accountability initiative seeks to increase philanthropic effectiveness and fulfillment of the public trust, at the regional level. The main goals of this initiative are to:

  • Enable regional associations to provide grantmakers with the necessary educational resources to assist them in dealing with the critical issues surrounding accountability and effectiveness.
  • Help regional associations and their members to develop, adopt, and implement guiding principles for grantmakers.
  • Increase the capacity of regional associations to build and sustain relationships with state officials and policy makers who have responsibility for the oversight of the charitable sector.
  • Strengthen the ability of regional associations to communicate positive messages about philanthropy.

Program Spotlight

Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Over the course of six months, philanthropic CEOs and trustees will explore key elements of racism. The sessions are planned to build on each other, with each session featuring a presentation by a nationally-recognized expert, followed by an in-depth, facilitated conversation between the presenter and the audience. The goal of the series is learning and understanding.