Looking Ahead to PEAK’s Next Chapter
We sat down with PEAK Grantmaking CEO Satonya Fair to discuss the next chapter in our organization’s history. She shared four takeaways from the anniversary year upon which PEAK members can reflect as we head into the new year.
1. This is an vital moment for philanthropy
“Some pretty monumental things have happened around us, including a global pandemic, a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, a new strategic framework for PEAK and a transformative gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott that will help us actualize these strategic changes.
We have an opportunity right now to act on those events and to be different. As a community, we can set the tone of what is possible from a best practice standpoint—and not like what we’ve done in the past.”
2. Focus on the first principle: Tie your practices to your values
“One of the things that’s so important for our work both internally and externally right now is our principles. At this moment, I am sitting with our first principle, which is to tie your practices to your values in so many ways—both personally and professionally.
Ask yourself: How can you tie your organization’s practices to its principles right now? Rather than hiding behind our organization’s missions, how can we as grants professionals live the lives we say we will?”
3. Our work matters
“The last couple of years have proven that philanthropy has something to say about the future. We as grants managers have an important role to play in what comes next regardless of the size of our organizations. If we get it right, we can truly influence other sectors.
And so—what is that sector space where philanthropy should and could be playing? I think our role as change agents is actually much larger than most organizations feel. So remember, your role is much larger than it feels or than you realize.”
4. We need to act now to achieve equity
“Mind the lessons that we’ve learned, and do not go back to what feels comfortable and safe because you feel like the crisis is over. Because there is a community somewhere at all times in a full-blown crisis. And for 400 years, it’s been Black people in this country.
We are often so focused on figuring out how to avoid harming communities that we wait too long to act. If we stall our efforts in the name of perfection, then communities may disappear by the time we show up to help. But if we walk through the door today with questions and inquiry, then at least that’s progress.
It’s not about having all of the right answers. It’s about raising your hand and working with others to come up with solutions.”