A guest post from our member, Christina Marconi, Engagement Manager, Philanthropy Delaware.
Although a veteran of the non-profit world, I am new to PSOs, so my hope in attending #ForumCon18 as a first-timer was to learn…and learn I did!
Dynamic and passionate speakers reached out, shared their stories, and, unafraid to confront the issue of equity head-on, moved and challenged all of us. Artist Titus Kaphar, the Color of Law’s Richard Rothstein, Policy Link’s Michael McAfee, and Heinz Endowments’ Grant Oliphant each put the issue of equity into specific contexts that deepened my perception of its roots and broadened my understanding of how the philanthropic sector can lead through example and action.
Concurrent sessions were presented by practitioners excited to share their knowledge and eager to actively involve every person present, with tangible takeaways coming from facilitators and participants alike. Philanthropy and PSOs 101 was not only an informative introduction to the sector, but also a peek into how Forum members impact the funders they support and, by extension, non-profits on the ground. And though my copy of the partnership continuum graphic from PSO Collaborations & Initiatives is now dog-eared from lots of use, I value the treasure trove of data and insight from the group discussion it inspired just as much.
For me, the most meaningful aspect of #ForumCon18 was the spirit of collaboration I witnessed at every level. Offline interactions were less about networking and more about learning from one another, sessions were structured so that learning was achieved through engagement, and partnerships formed in real time as sessions and events took place. Most impactful was discovering just how much cross-PSO partnerships can move the needle through operational, programming, and funding collaborations. In fact, I eagerly anticipate the Forum’s upcoming guide to nurturing and supporting collaborations among Forum members!
The entire experience will stay with me for a long time to come.