Reflecting on the 2016 Learning Institute
Last week, about 175 people gathered at The Blackwell Inn on the OSU campus for two days packed with deep learning on critical topics facing Ohio philanthropy.
Thanks to the smart and thoughtful work of a handful of volunteers (Meghan Cummings, Connie Hawk, Brady Groves, Bob Jaquay, Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Anthony Richardson and Emily Savors) and my Philanthropy Ohio colleagues Deborah Aubert Thomas, John Gest and Laura Smith, the Institute offered sessions on topics as diverse as how to: restore prosperity to industrial cities; plan for leadership succession; evaluate impact; use research to connect with donors; and use impact investing models. An early look at evaluations indicates that participants rated the Institute very highly for knowledge learned and connections made to peers.
For many, the highlight of the event was the keynote talk and following panel discussion on the Equity Effectiveness Imperative. Early on, we made a decision to embed equity throughout the Institute, rather than as a separate track, so kicking off with a two -and- a-half hour session set the context for the remaining sessions.
Vu Le, executive director of the Rainier Valley Corps and nonprofit blogger, brought his particular brand of humor to the serious topic of how funders can be more equitable and inclusive in their work with grantees and communities. If you don’t already subscribe to his blog, Nonprofit with Balls, head over and do so: every Monday morning you’ll get a post that’s sure to bring a chuckle while setting you thinking about the topic of the week (today’s post: 29 tips for being a horrible supervisor everyone hates).
Claudia Y.W. Herrold