GMN2017: Here We Come!

It seems like just yesterday when we began the process of planning our 2017 conference: we’re so excited to be heading to Hollywood! As we count down the days, we wanted to share the top three things we are looking forward to on the ground with you all in Southern California.

  1. Networking with all the attendees! Our favorite part of membership and the conference is access to all the smart people doing similar work at different grantmaking organizations: what a great resource! Meeting new colleagues and catching up with old friends is definitely a highlight of the conference. Maybe we’ll find someone who can share how they’ve solved the problem of keeping documentation up to date? Or someone who has built a custom tweak to our shared grantmaking platform that will enhance efficiency! Take advantage of speed networking, shared meals, scheduled non-profit site visits around Los Angeles, morning walks, regional meetings, and the time between sessions to chat with your fellow attendees: you won’t be disappointed.
  2. Breakout Sessions! We worked with the conference committee to review the many fabulous session submissions, leading to 50+ varied and interesting breakout sessions. Jessica is particularly interested in any and all sessions on data. Adam is looking forward to the various sessions devoted to non-traditional grantmaking and hearing about how other funders are leveraging their resources in unconventional ways. And Roy can’t wait to hear about Red Flags in Donor Advised Funds Grantmaking!
  3. The Plenaries! From exciting news about the future of GMN, to hearing from actors working in philanthropy, and the nonprofit world’s own superstar blogger Vu Le closing out the show! Don’t miss hearing him speak on Wednesday about The Role of Grantmakers in the Coming Apocalypse, as he will surely keep us buzzing on our way to the airport. If you’re familiar with his blog, Nonprofit With Balls, you know that Vu doesn’t pull his punches: he’s willing to speak his mind about the nonprofit sector. We can’t wait to hear him, and suspect he’ll push us to think critically about our own work and approach to grantmaking.

It has been an honor and a privilege to work as your Co-Chairs in designing this year’s conference. We hope that you are as excited as we are! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions in advance of the conference, and please introduce yourselves when our paths cross in Hollywood. Can’t wait to see you there!

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Jessica Hickok

Jessica Hickok is the Grants Manager at The James Irvine Foundation, whose mission is to expand opportunity for the people of California. Follow her on Twitter @Jess4Irvine.

Adam Sanders

Adam Sanders is a Grants Manager at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. He volunteers on Philanthropy New York’s Committee for Equity and Inclusive Philanthropy.

Roy Williams

Roy Williams is Grants Manager at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. During his time at the Foundation, Roy has overseen the streamlining of grantmaking programs as well as the Foundation’s transition to an online grantmaking platform.