Interest Group: Corporate Grantmakers

Block A  |  Monday, March 16  |  10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Leveraging Employee Engagement Data to Drive Business Impact

Learning Track: Outcomes/Evaluation
Level: Intermediate


  • David Dye, Ph.D., Director, Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Patrick Hyland, Ph.D., Director, Research and Development, Sirota Consulting

In this interactive session, we will discuss how to use employee engagement data to meet organizational objectives. When employee engagement is aligned with a strategic vision it can drive business impact, promote corporate social responsibility goals, and achieve corporate volunteerism objectives. Examples of data and analysis will be provided along with opportunities for participants to guide the discussion with questions.

Session participants will:

  • Take home best practices for aligning employee engagement with your organization’s objectives.
  • Learn ways to better incorporate CSR and corporate volunteerism.


Block B  |  Monday, March 16  |  1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Navigating Self-Dealing for Corporate Foundations

Learning Track: Compliance
Level: General

Presenter: Andrew C. Schulz, General Counsel, Arabella Advisors

For many, the rules governing grantmakers can be unclear, with self-dealing often being the most daunting and intimidating. This highly informative session will focus entirely on explaining the self-dealing rules and applying them to the most common scenarios that arise for corporate foundations. Topics will include sharing staff and office space, cause marketing, tickets to fundraisers, and employee assistance grants. Bring your questions and try to stump our expert.

Session participants will:

  • Gain a better understanding of self-dealing rules.
  • Increase your knowledge about the pitfalls associated with self-dealing.
  • Learn important lessons on how to navigate the world of self-dealing.

Block C  |  Monday, March 16  |  4:15 – 5:30 p.m.

Going it Alone (or Almost) in the Grants Office

Learning Track: Effective Practices
Level: General


  • Susan Fulton, Director of Grants Management and Finance, Endowment for Health
  • Cynthia Adams, Community Responsibility Consultant, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
  • Kristin Cullen, Foundation Associate, HRK Foundation

Grants managers at small staff organizations that are often managed by working boards commonly balance multiple roles. In this session, we will discuss some of the unique challenges often faced in small offices, especially when all demands are perceived as equally important. Panelists representing small private, family, and corporate philanthropies will share their experiences with expectations and work prioritization and will involve participants in a discussion of potential solutions.

Session participants will:

  • Explore the opportunities and challenges of working in a small office.
  • Gain ideas on how to better organize and prioritize your work and time.
  • Obtain techniques for better communication with management and staff about expectations and priorities.
  • Learn how to improve work performance by identifying solutions for managing workflow efficiently while continuing to develop professional skills and avenues for advancement.
  • Connect with others in similar positions for networking and lasting contacts.


Block D  |  Tuesday, March 17  |  11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

A Conversation with Corporate Grantmakers: Finding the Right Balance in Your Philanthropic Strategy

Learning Track: Effective Practices
Level: Intermediate


  • Mark Feldman, Principal and Managing Director, Cause Consulting
  • Kathy Ladiner, Grants Manager/Matching Gifts Coordinator, Nordson Corporation Foundation
  • Stacey Smida, Grants Manager, Cargill and Cargill Foundation
  • David Figliuzzi, Executive Director, Cigna Foundation
  • Candy Becker, Program Manager, Cause and ConAgra Foods Foundation

Every day corporate foundations must balance a wide range of strategic considerations in order to continually enhance the impact of their contributions. Join a conversation with other corporate grantmakers about some of the trade-offs required when designing and adjusting philanthropic strategies. Discussion topics will include how to balance between responsive vs. proactive grantmaking; giving shorter-term vs. longer-term grants; making fewer larger vs. numerous smaller investments; supporting proven vs. experimental initiatives; and other hot topics. Learn from one another about tips, potholes, and evolving best practices.

Session participants will:

  • Understand the tradeoffs for shorter- vs. longer-term grants.
  • Learn about the potential trend toward “fewer-bigger-better.”
  • Take away examples of how corporate philanthropic strategy is being redefined.


Block E  |  Tuesday, March 17  |  2:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Navigating Legal and Tax Compliance for Corporate Grantmakers

Learning Track: Compliance
Level: Intermediate

Presenter: Suzanne Friday, Senior Legal Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs, Council on Foundations

Most corporate grants managers wear many hats and are expected to know how to avoid any legal, compliance, or tax pitfalls. Would you pass this test? Yes, no, or maybe – this session is for you! We will cover a variety of topics including self-dealing, benefit events/ticket purchases, sponsorships, and in kind/pro bono. Using real life examples, this session will help you understand how to navigate these and many other sticky wickets.

Session participants will:

  • Know how to distinguish between self-dealing and conflicts of interest.
  • Understand the nuances of self-dealing when corporate sponsorship or event support includes corporate recognition and advertising and know what is acceptable and what is not.
  • Learn about issue spotting – knowing when to ask for further clarification and how to ask those tough questions.

Block G  |  Wednesday, March 18   |  9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Trends in Corporate Philanthropy

Learning Track: Hot Topics
Level: General

Presenter: Mark Shamley, President & CEO, Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals

The role of the corporate grantmaker has changed significantly in recent years. We have had to become more skilled at leveraging limited philanthropic resources and learn to view our programs through an ROI lens. We have also dealt with increasing demands on our profession to not just serve the community but to harness the power of social responsibility to build better brands, create market opportunities, and increase customer and employee loyalty. Today, a company’s reputation is at stake if it isn’t contributing positively to help solve issues such as hunger, poverty, human and civil rights, or other equally daunting problems. As we navigate the integration of corporate philanthropy across the entire business, we need to obtain a higher level of understanding of multiple functional areas, what drives success in those areas, and how corporate responsibility can influence positive outcomes. In this session, Mark Shamley, President & CEO of the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals, will provide an overview of trends in the corporate philanthropy sector. He will also facilitate a conversation with two corporate funders to discuss how they have had to evolve in their roles to respond, and often stay on top of and ahead of, trends in the world of corporate philanthropy.

Session participants will:

  • Understand the landscape of trends impacting corporate philanthropy.
  • Explore new ways to tap into the unique competencies, skills, and resources of your company to build mutually beneficial alliances within the community.
  • Receive tips from other corporate funders who have navigated through the changing world of corporate philanthropy and learn how their jobs have evolved during their careers.