Ohio philanthropy goes back to school
Brené Brown summed up my feelings pretty accurately with her statement, “In many ways, September feels like the busiest time of the year: the kids go back to school, work piles up after the summer’s dog days and Thanksgiving is suddenly upon us.”
September is indeed a busy month and it’s one that most people connote with fall leaves, schools and learning. While I’m not quite ready to buy the turkey yet, I did pick up a few notebooks last week just because it’s “back to school” time. It was rather disconcerting to see the Halloween candy next to the spiral notebooks and lunchboxes, though.
Even more disconcerting is how much we spend on school supplies. According to the National Retail Association, money spent on K-12 and college supplies is expected to reach $75.8 billion by the end of September, up from last year’s $68 billion… and that’s a lot of spiral-bound notebooks.
But we know that school (or learning) doesn’t end as it does in the traditional notion of education. As leaders in philanthropy, we know that we must always seek new knowledge and understanding of the changing world we serve.
So as Ohio’s children head back to school, it’s the perfect time for the philanthropic community to gather, reflect and learn together and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing on September 20 and 21 at Philanthropy Ohio’s 2016 Learning Institute.
This year, I’m delighted that we are offering two days of engaging sessions focused on a wide array of topics that philanthropy addresses daily. And, as in school, it’s more than just learning, although our programs will be impactful, focusing on strategies for economic revitalization in urban or rural settings, demystifying impact investing and evaluation, learning how to plan for leadership succession and more.
It’s also about the networking. The conversations that happen in the halls and during meals are tremendously helpful in building connections with colleagues, new and seasoned, so you can tap into their experience and wisdom after returning to the office. We have planned new affinity group convenings on Tuesday morning to expand your networking time.
Finally, I think it’s about recharging. Philanthropy work requires patience and tenacity as you address the changing and complex 21st century issues. The Learning Institute is a great opportunity to get out of the office and recharge individually and as a community.
I hope to see you – with or without your new school supplies – in two weeks at The Blackwell Inn and Conference Center, on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus. If you haven’t registered yet, give us a call.
Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D.