21st Century Grantmakers Essentials – Agenda


A networking session will be scheduled during our 2020 annual conference.

Session 1: April 23rd         

9:30 AM – 9:50 AM     Welcome & Introductions          

9:50 AM – 10:30 AM    The Philanthropic Landscape
Participants get to know one another and put their own foundations or giving program within the broader context of philanthropy.  Lead by Elisabeth Hyleck of the Maryland Philanthropy Network.

Learning Results:

  • Basic facts about foundations and the philanthropic sector
  • More about charitable giving trends with national and local philanthropies
  • Current trends and debates in philanthropy

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM     Working your Guidelines & Communicating Funding Priorities
Participants reflect on their organizations’ areas of interest and goals, as well as communicating with potential grantees and partners.  Lead by Elisabeth Hyleck of the Maryland Philanthropy Network and Susie Salisbury of the Hersher Foundation.

Learning Results:

  • Grounding your mission in values
  • Aligning grant guidelines and types of grants to your values
  • Rationale, tips, and tools for communicating those things to the public

Session 2: May 13th

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM     Funding Recommendations and Due Diligence 
Participants learn the art of grantmaking, balancing organizational values and goals, trustees’ interests, and best practices in due diligence to better review and recommend grant proposals.  Lead by Elisabeth Hyleck of the Maryland Philanthropy Network and Stephanie Hyre of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

Learning Results:

  • Typical steps and best practices in the proposal review process
  • How to determine a proposal’s relevance and fit to your foundation culture
  • An introduction to nonprofit financial statements
  • Best practices in presenting recommendations to the board and communicating with grantseekers and grantees
  • How to conduct a valuable site visit

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM     Guiding Principles and Ethics 
Participants are introduced to key legal and ethical issues in grantmaking through scenarios and Maryland Philanthropy Network’s Guiding Principles.  Lead by Elisabeth Hyleck of the Maryland Philanthropy Network and Tom Tinder of the WV Bar Foundation.

Learning Results:

  • The basic rules of expenditure responsibility
  • Definition and how to avoid self-dealing
  • The role of conflicts of interest policies
  • Strategies for managing common ethical challenges

Session 3: June 2nd

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM     Maximizing Grant Impact
Participants connect capacity building, advocacy, grantee engagement, and diversity/inclusion to effectiveness and identify leadership roles in philanthropy beyond delivering dollars.  Lead by Elisabeth Hyleck of the Maryland Philanthropy Network 

Learning Results:

  • Key strategies to leveraging grant dollars
  • Considerations for working with government
  • The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to effective grantmaking

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM     Managing Your Grant Portfolio
Participants discuss grant monitoring, evaluation, and closure – including what to do when grantees flounder.  Lead by Elisabeth Hyleck of the Maryland Philanthropy Network and Shei Sanchez of the Sisters Health Foundation.

Learning Results:

  • An overview of the types and purpose of evaluations
  • The design of grant reports
  • Effective practices in working with nonprofits to support their success

3:30 PM – 3:45 PM     Continuing to Learn
Participants discover additional resources for ongoing development. Lead by Elisabeth Hyleck of the Maryland Philanthropy Network.

Learning Results:

  • Opportunities and resources, both national and local, for continuous learning
  • Networks to support your work
  • Strategies for fostering personal satisfaction from your work