Category Archives: funder network

Your Team at the Council on Foundations Conference

I’m thrilled to announce the 2010 Philanthropy411 Blog Team for the Council on Foundations annual conference in Denver! This year’s  Team is organized in collaboration with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers.

We’ll be blogging from Denver starting with the pre-conference sessions on Saturday, April 24th.

As many of you know, Sean Stannard-Stockton’s Tactical Philanthropy Blog Team covered the conference in 2009 and 2008.  This year Sean has generously passed the blog baton to Philanthropy411. The Council on Foundations will also be blogging from the conference, so definitely check out their conference posts as well. You can also follow the conference by using the hashtag #cof10.

Here is your Philanthropy411 Blog Team:

Rebecca Arno
Vice President of Communications, Denver Foundation
Board Member, Colorado Nonprofit Association
Board Member, The Communications Network;      Twitter: @tdfcommunity

Teri Behrens
Editor of The Foundation Review
Adjunct Faculty, School for Public and Nonprofit Administration, Grand Valley State University

Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
Co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future
Commissioner, RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America

Ray Colmenar
Senior Program Officer, The California Endowment
Vice Chair, Zero Divide

Paul M. Connolly
Senior Vice President and Director, TCC Group;  Twitter: @tccgroup
Author, Navigating the Organizational Lifecycle: A Capacity-Building Guide for Nonprofit Leaders; Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Lee Draper
CEO, Draper Consulting Group
Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Mary Galeti
Vice Chair, Tecovas Foundation
Member, CoF Next Generation Task Force
Twitter: @tecovasfound

Jacob Harold
Program Officer, Philanthropy, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Board Member: Guidestar
Twitter: @jacobcharold

Crystal Hayling
Winner, 2010 James A Joseph Award ; Association of Black Foundation Executives
Former CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation;
Twitter, @CHayling

Kristin Ivie
Program Manager of Social Innovation, Case Foundation
Blogger, Social Citizen
Twitter: @Kivie

Colin Lacon
President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
Board Member, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers

Kris Putnam-Walkerly
President, Putnam Community Investment Consulting, Inc.
Vice-Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
Board Member, Community Fdn. of Lorain County;       Twitter @Philanthropy411

Henry AJ Ramos
Principal, Mauer Kunst Consulting
Lead Consultant, Diversity in Philanthropy Project
Founding Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Kathleen Reich
Program Officer, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Twitter:  @kdreich

Mike Roberts
President, First Nations Development Institute
National Advisory Committee Member, National Center for Family Philanthropy
Member of the Tlingit Tribe of Alaska

Sokunthea Sa Chhabra
Director of Interactive Communications, Case Foundation
Chair, Metro DC Chapter of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
Twitter: @Sokunthea

Mike Shaw
Program Assistant, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Board Member, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
Twitter: @mikebaileyshaw

Sterling Speirn
President and CEO, WK Kellogg Foundation
Advisory Council Member, Global Philanthropy Forum

Sean Stannard-Stockton
CEO, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors
Member, Alliance for Effective Social Investing
Columnist, Chronicle of Philanthropy; Twitter: @tactphil

Kimberly St. John-Stevenson
Communications Officer, Saint Luke’s Foundation
2010 Communicator of the Year, International Assoc. of  Business Communicators  Greater Cleveland Chapter;  Twitter: @saintlukesfdn

Aleesha Towns -Bain
Program Associate, Rasmuson Foundation

Rosetta Thurman
President, Thurman Consulting
Adjunct Professor, Trinity University
Twitter: @rosettathurman

Cole Wilbur
Trustee, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Steering Committee Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
Board Member, Institute for Global Ethics

Richard Woo
CEO, The Russell Family Foundation
Board Member, Council on Foundations
Board Member, Philanthropy Northwest


Looking For A Philanthropy Job? 20 Resources To Help You

When I was searching for my first foundation job, the CEO of a prominent family foundation told me:

“Philanthropy is a closed world, but once you’re in, you’re in. Take any program officer job you are offered, even if it’s a different content area than what you are interested in. Once you are working at a foundation, you’re seen as an “insider” and can network with other funders.”

That was accurate advice ten years ago, and I think it continues to be true. Although I think foundations are generally more open and accessible today than they were then, it can be difficult for someone to “break into” the field.  I was lucky enough to land a position at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which was tremendously helpful in training me to be a strategic grantmaker, and introduced me to many amazing program officers and foundation leaders.  I learned about this position the old-fashioned way – by networking – but in this economy no stone should be left unturned in a job search.

With that in mind I wanted to share some resources to help you land your next foundation job:

7 Websites With Foundation Job Listings

  1. The Council on Foundation’s Career Center provides national job listings at foundations. Anyone can search for positions, and for $25 you can post your resume (free to members).
  2. The Foundation Center’s Job Corner provides listings of current full-time job openings at U.S.-based foundations and nonprofit organizations. You can also search by organization type, job function, and state.
  3. Grantmakers Without Borders offers job listing with a focus on global issues and social change.
  4. Regional Associations of Grantmakers are great resources for local job listings.  For example, Ohio Grantmakers Forum and Philanthropy Northwest both have job listings on their websites. The Giving Forum lists jobs available at other regional associations, and you can also search for grantmaker associations near you.
  5. OnPhilanthropy’s Dot.Org.Jobs site includes some foundation jobs, although primarily lists nonprofit positions
  6. OpportunityKnocks lists foundation and nonprofit jobs nationally. You can post a resume and also get advice through their Nonprofit Jobs Resource Center.
  7. If you are looking for a nonprofit position, the Donor’s Forum provides a list of over 30 websites posting nonprofit jobs.

Most foundations also list their job openings on their websites. Some, like the Ford and Gates foundations, allow you to apply online.

Search Firms

Larger funders often turn to executive search firms to help them identify qualified candidates. Some popular firms include The 360 Group, Martha Montag Brown & Associates, DHR International, Bridgespan, and Phillips Oppenheim.

Anthony Tansimore, Executive Vice President of the search firm DHR International, offers this advice to job seekers:

It’s not easy to get a job in a foundation and there are many paths. The first thing I do is issue a caution. I talk to quite a lot of people who want to make the jump into a foundation from a nonprofit or from the corporate sector. They think the work is easier and they will make more money.

Second, think about what you’re passionate about. Think about what kind of difference you want to make in the world, and investigate the foundations that are doing that work. Get to know the program officers and ask for an informational interview.

Third, ask about fellowships that encourage people to pursue careers in philanthropy or the nonprofit sector. The San Francisco Foundation, for instance, has a fellowship program to encourage more people of color to enter philanthropy, and the typical fellow is younger in age and career.

Fourth, become informed and share your knowledge. If you know a lot about an issue, write and speak about it so that you are seen as an expert and someone to whom foundations will turn to gain more knowledge on the subject.

Lastly, when you reach out to a search consultant, know that that person’s client is the organization that wishes to hire staff. Do not expect the consultant to serve as an agent to place you in a terrific position, so limit your expectations to meeting someone new and sharing your resume.

If you are under forty years of age and new to philanthropy work, you should check out Emerging Practioners in Philanthropy, which provides terrific networking and educational opportunities. And if you prefer to hang out your own shingle you should check out two of my earlier posts, “So, You Want To Be A Philanthropy Consultant,” and “Starting A Consulting Business? 15 Things To Do Right Now.

How did you land your first foundation job? Do you recommend other resources for finding a position in philanthropy?  Leave a comment and let us know. If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe! On Twitter? Follow Philanthropy411 at @Philanthropy411.

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

20 Funder Networks That Tweet

There was so much interest in last month’s post of 90 Foundations That Tweet that I wanted to expand on it by sharing a list of funder networks on Twitter.

What is a Funder Network?

According to the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers:

Funder networks consist of grantmakers organized around a specific funding issue, geographic location, or identity-based community that come together to build their skills, capacity, and impact.  The networks:

  • come in all shapes and sizes, including small and large private foundations, individual donors, community foundations, and philanthropists
  • recognize the benefits of pooling resources, sharing knowledge, and benefiting from each other’s experiences
  • increase resources for and focus attention on issues or underserved sectors

Below are 20 funder networks that tweet:

  1. Arizona Grantmakers Forum (via CEO Marissa Theisen) @MRT5244
  2. Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers @ABAGrantmakers
  3. Council on Foundations @COF_
  4. Council of Michigan Foundations @michfoundations
  5. Donors Forum of South Florida @donorsforumSF
  6. Donors Forum of Wisconsin @donorsforumofWI
  7. Emerging Practioners in Philanthropy @rustystahl
  8. Emerging Practioners in Philanthropy-Michigan @EPIPMichigan
  9. Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers @givingforum
  10. Funders Together to End Homelessness @funderstogether
  11. Grantmakers Forum of New York @GrantmakersNY
  12. Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania @GWPTweet
  13. Iowa Council of Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Initiative @iowayouthphil
  14. More For Mission Investing @more4mission
  15. Regional Association of Washington Grantmakers @WGrantmakers
  16. Southeastern Council of Foundations @secftweets
  17. Technology Affinity Group @TAGtech09
  18. The Communication Network @bsttrach
  19. Transatlantic Community Foundation Network (Canada) @TCFN
  20. West Virginia Grantmakers @WVGrantmakers

I’m sure I missed some, so please add a comment to share more funder networks on Twitter!

For more information about funder networks, check out the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and the Council of Foundation’s list of affinity groupsGrantmakers for Effective Organizations also published a series of reports about the benefits and accomplishments of funder networks.

This list was compiled by (1) including funder networks I am following on Twitter, (2) posting three tweets over one month requesting names of funder networks that tweet (each of which were retweeted), and (3) taking Liz Wilder, Executive Director of Grantmakers Forum of New York, up on her offer to post the query “Who’s tweeting?” on the CEO listserve of the Forum of the Regional Association of Grantmakers (thanks Liz!).

If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe!  On Twitter? Follow Philanthropy411 at @Philanthropy411

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly  © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2009