To kick off PEAK Grantmaking’s 25th anniversary celebration, three leaders reflect on the evolution of grants management, our focus on community and equity, how far PEAK has come, and their vision for PEAK’s future.
- Margaret Egan, Egan Consulting and PEAK Grantmaking Co-Founder
- Satonya Fair, PEAK Grantmaking President and CEO
- Jonathan Goldberg, Surdna Foundation
Margaret Egan, Egan Consulting and PEAK Grantmaking Co-Founder: I’ve been part of PEAK since its founding. We wanted to just create something that felt like a network that we could all rely on each other.
Satonya Fair, PEAK Grantmaking: When I think about PEAK Grantmaking and the experience I’ve had, all I can say is there’s nothing like finding your people.
Jonathan Goldberg, Surdna Foundation: “Grants managers” is often an undefined role. My experience is that you have a large collection of really intelligent, thoughtful, talented people who often go unrecognized. And what PEAK offers this community is professionalization, a development of skills, and a confidence that allows people to lead in their organizations.
Egan: Everything we do is relationship. And what I love about PEAK is it’s always nurtured that. We’ve had such a blessing of community-building in a way that I think has given us a really deep sense of what it is to fund community-building.
Fair: And then I think about community. I think about that mom-and-pop, that small nonprofit that’s in the corner of West Baltimore that really needs a ton of funding and the community loves them. There are all these power dynamics that show up behind the scenes.
Goldberg: And when we talk about equity, we’re talking about power-sharing. This is an issue that should exist going forward, and it should all be about grantee impact.
Fair: [Our] Black Voices [in Grants Management Journal], for me, that was the defining moment of when we were putting our equity into action in front of our members. It was staking a claim that we were not going anywhere as it related to this message for philanthropy, at all.
Egan: It was the gift of my life to to be a co-founder, on many different levels. And I can’t be more proud. This is probably the most productive, the most collegial, and the greatest learning experience that I think I’ve ever had in my whole career. Where grants management is today is miles different than when I was starting.
Goldberg: The quality of the staff has been pretty staggering. Its recent iteration under Satonya really gives the organization such a bright future.
Fair: PEAK’s next 25 for me is about a more global reach for the organization. It is about deeper advocacy and influence. PEAK Grantmaking for me right now is the beacon on the hill.