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Program Peer Community

Philanthropy-serving organizations offer thousands of programs throughout the year for members, nonmembers, grantmakers, and nonprofits. These programs take many forms, from intimate brown bag lunches to elaborate annual conferences. As the hub of the network, the Forum has collected program agendas, ideas, notes, communications pieces, and more to help regional associations replicate successful programs and better serve their members.

Below you'll find some of the best practices and program ideas developed by PSOs through the years. If you have resources to share, please share them online or by emailing Courtney Moore.

Program Peer Community

The Program Peer Community is for those who are responsible for their PSO’s member programming, educations and partnerships.

  • Program 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: Maggie Osborn, (202-386-6426)


Yi-Ching Lin, Director of Learning Services Philanthropy New York

As Director of Learning Services, Yi-Ching Lin works with Philanthropy New York’s members, partners, and staff to develop and implement the organization’s educational programs and events.  Yi-Ching manages and evaluates PNY’s program strategy to strengthen and expand program offerings to foster meaningful collaboration and knowledge exchange within philanthropy and between philanthropy and other sectors.

Yi-Ching holds a Bachelor of Science from Emory University and a Master of Arts from New York University.  As a professionally trained artist, Yi-Ching enjoys writing, photography, and making music in her free time, as well as volunteering for several local and national nonprofits.

Melissa Sines, Effective Practices Program Manager PEAK Grantmaking

Melissa Sines is the Effective Practices Program Manager at PEAK Grantmaking. In this role, she works with internal teams, external consultants, volunteer advisory groups, and partner organizations to articulate and highlight the best ways to make grants – Effective Practices. This body of work will help to define the role of grants management in philanthropic institutions in the United States and across the world. 

Prior to joining PEAK Grantmaking, Melissa was the Education and Accreditation Director at Maryland Nonprofits and the Standards for Excellence Institute, where she oversaw nonprofit accreditation and the association’s learning community.

Melissa is currently a board member at the Maryland Center for Economic Policy and on the advisory board for the Business and Economic Department at the Notre Dame of Maryland University. She has served on committees for Independent Sector, the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, and numerous other nonprofits in her local community. She received her MPA from the University of Baltimore and her BA from Hood College.

Melissa is a self-professed nonprofit dork and accidental techie. She is passionate about organizing people and projects to create positive social change.

By Foundation Type

Community Foundation Centennial
Resources for philanthropy-serving organizations and your members to promote the community foundation field's 100th anniversary.

Corporate Foundation Programming
Sample materials and event descriptions of programming for Corporate Foundations.

Family Foundation Programming
Sample materials and event descriptions of programming for Family Foundations.

Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

During local and national emergencies, grantmakers provide substantial funding for short-term disaster relief and long-term recovery efforts. Here, you can find some practical tips and tools for your grantmaker members on:

  • disaster communications
  • disaster grantmaking
  • disaster preparedness
  • disaster relief
  • sample philanthropic responses

Center for Disaster Philanthropy
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy offers the tools, expert analysis, and advisory services to maximize the impact of dollars given for disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery.

Opportunities from the Unpredictable
From GrantCraft's Reflection on Practice Video Series, this video follows a team of international grant makers as they respond to a natural disaster, laying the groundwork for local cooperation. It looks at how grant makers can promote collaboration among local grantees — helping them build a common vision, address long-term recovery, and develop their own capacity to meet future challenges.

Arabella Advisory Disaster Response Resources
A collection of disaster response resources from Arabella Advisors.

Disaster Grantmaking: A Practical Guide for Foundations and Corporations
Foundations are becoming more active in disaster-related grantmaking. Find eight key principles of good disaster management and practical suggestions from the European Foundation Centre and the Council on Foundations.

Philanthropy News Digest: Disaster Relief 
Coverage of the philanthropy's response to major natural and manmade disasters as relief and recovery efforts unfold from Philanthropy News Digest.

Disaster Recovery Plans for Foundations
Sample disaster preparedness and recovery plans for foundations.

Conferences and Annual Meetings

Philanthropy-serving organizations regularly convene their members in-person for networking and knowledge exchange. Below are resources from PSO annual events and other conferences including agendas, invitations, and sponsorship packages.

Agendas and Brochures
Explore brochures and agendas from past conferences and annual meetings.

Conference Invitations
Invitations and promotional materials for annual meetings aimed at reaching members and prospective members.

Conference Sponsorship Packages
Review the different sponsorship opportunities offered to raise funds for their conferences and annual meetings. 

Programming for New Grantmakers

Many philanthropy-serving organizations offer a training program or series for philanthropy professionals who are new to the field or are looking to update their skills and knowledge.


Of course, no matter how good or poorly your program was recieved, you'll never know until you evaluate. Philanthropy-serving organizations regularly evaluate their programs big and small. Evaluation may be a small as a comment card left on the chairs in meeting room or as complex as an independent long term evaluation study.

PSOs can find samples and template from their colleagues for all types of evaluation tools by clicking through below.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Programming

Serving diverse communities can be both a challenge and an opportunity for enrichment. Philanthropy-serving organizations encourage explorations of diversity in grantmaking, staffing, and representation. 

As PSOs share their best programs with the Forum, they can be replicated in other organizations across the country. 

Program Design

What process does your philanthropy-serving organization use to develop a program? How do you set goals and learning objectives? How do you share those with your program committees and speakers?
See examples from other PSOs on what they are using to guide this process.