What Do You Want To Learn From Council on Foundations Conference?

As you know, the Philanthropy411 Blog Team will be blogging from the Council on Foundations conference, starting with the pre-conference sessions this Saturday, April 24th. What do you want to learn? Write a comment below and tell us what you are most interested in learning. I can’t promise that our Blog Team will address all of your questions, but it will help to know what our readers want to learn.

I asked this question on some of my LinkedIn Groups, and here are a few of the requests:

Larry Blumenthal of Open Road Advisors asks:

I would love to learn of any signs that social media tools and principles are being embraced – especially by program staff. Are organizations continuing to experiment with crowd-sourcing such as prizes, idea competitions, forums, Wikis and other ways of doing program work by inviting broad input early and often? Are there other innovations going on in that arena? There are some great sessions on the social innovation track that deal with this. I’m sure it will be part of Al Gore’s keynote, as well.

Consultant and blogger Marion Conway wonders:

Something I’d like to read about is trends in grantmaking. I think that there are two trends in opposite directions…It seems that some foundations are becoming more demanding – more complicated grant applications, increased evaluation requirements and less money to grant. Other foundations seem to be streamlining with less red tape, using the generic online application, allowing staff to make some grants rather than just the Board opening the opportunity for grants throughout the year rather than once or twice. Is there anything to this? I’d like to hear about it.

And Martha Paschal, Managing Director of Capital Markets at Malachite LLC, asks:

I’d like to find out how many foundations are gearing up to make social and mission related investments as opposed to straight grants, given what’s going on with Gates’ announcement at the end of last year.

What do you want to learn?

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Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

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5 thoughts on “What Do You Want To Learn From Council on Foundations Conference?”

  1. Greetings All,

    Now that we have 25-30 years of experience and data (admittedly with varying levels of validity and reliability) where do philanthropists feel they have had 1) the greatest impact, 2) the most learning and 3) the most rewarding experiences and how do they define that for themselves and if appropriate their org.

  2. I’d like to hear about any examples where a foundation changed its strategy or funding levels based on something they heard at a conference. I don’t mean stories about “learning”, but actual, documentable examples of “We were doing this, and then we stopped and started doing this other thing.”

    1. Thanks Tim, that is a very interesting question. I’d like to see some examples of that too. I will definitely listen for this type of change resulting from a conference.

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