Constant learning creates lasting progress

August 10, 2015 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

headshot of claudia“To make lasting progress on the issues we care about, we have to be learning with others all the time . . . we have to know what others are learning.”

This statement has stuck with me since reading it in a recent GEO publication, probably because of two things: first, I was reading it on the way to the annual conference for staff of regional associations like Philanthropy Ohio, where I hoped to learn from and with my colleagues. Second, I had just sent the final copy of our own conference brochure to print, both of which led me to think about the importance of professional development, whether that happens in formal ways – like conferences and webinars – or informally as I network with colleagues and members working in the philanthropic sector.

books stacked with e-readerMy hopes were realized at the conference I attended with 150 of my peers (about 40 percent of those eligible to attend – did I mention that we’re a small niche of the nonprofit sector? There are only 33 regional associations of grantmakers spread across the U.S., but we’re the largest philanthropic network with over 5,000 grantmaking organization members.)circle_people

So what did I learn?

  • I learned about a different way to think about and organize setting goals and assessing outcomes from David Grant as he shared the framework and tools from his book, The Social Profit Handbook. A lively and engaging presenter, David was the president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for 12 years, a teacher at heart, world traveler and committed social change agent.
  • As usual, my peers from across the country helped me think about how to do my day-to-day work better, whether it was during the 50 Shades of Engagement or job-alike breakout sessions.
  • I built my network of professional colleagues, meeting many new people and reconnecting with some seasoned veterans (there were six of us there who have worked at regional associations since the 1990s – we’re taking suggestions for our quintessential theme song).
  • And, there was plenty of time to socialize and relax as we explored Baltimore restaurants near the harbor, with an emphasis on seafood and wine.

Philanthropy Forward brochure coverAs I head into the final days leading up to our conference in mid-September, it of course occurs to me that these are the same kinds of experiences and learnings that I hope our conference registrants are looking forward to – and will realize. Our thought leaders, Innovation / Flip Lab, deep dive sessions, networking breaks and Oktoberfest welcome party will all come together to provide Ohio’s philanthropic sector with a great learning experience that will help create lasting progress on the issues we all care about. See you there!

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Claudia Y.W. Herrold

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Entry filed under: Miscellaneous, Philanthropy Forward '15, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Good grantmaking and good intentions The countdown to Philanthropy Forward ’15

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