We work diligently to lift up members of our community. This month, it is an honor to highlight one of our own, Dolores Estrada, who joined the PEAK Grantmaking staff in 2018 after serving as Director of Grant Operations at The California Endowment. Prior to joining as COO, Dolores was an active volunteer who held many PEAK leadership roles, including service on our Board of Directors.
At the encouragement of the Board, and in recognition of her quiet, steady leadership over the past year as the organization sought a President and CEO, we are thrilled to celebrate Dolores on her second PEAK anniversary!
Here, Dolores shares some reflections on her career in the sector, what brought her to PEAK, and what’s ahead.
Satonya: You’ve just celebrated your second anniversary as PEAK’s COO, after being deeply involved in our community for years. Why did you choose PEAK for this next step in your career journey?
Dolores: Thank you! It’s been an amazing learning and growing experience. Why did I choose PEAK? Peers, Changemaking, and History.
When I considered my career trajectory, I knew I wanted to continue to work with my friends and peers as a changemaker. But without the payout deadlines.
PEAK was the perfect next step because it met my criteria and was a space that I was familiar with, having served as both a Board member and So Cal chapter leader. My first introduction to the Principles for Peak Grantmaking solidified my belief that PEAK was my landing spot.
Satonya: Many of our members look to our peer community for guidance on their career development and trajectory. Take a look back for us and share three things that were critical to growing your role while at The California Endowment, and now at PEAK?
Dolores: My career journey in philanthropy and at PEAK shares three elements:
First: Find an amazing support network of peers and colleagues. Who else gets excited about coding taxonomies and NTEE codes? My network is both about learning and self-care.
Second: Be a champion and have champions. These are folks who support the mission, challenge your thinking, and help get things done.
Third: Love what you do. I geek out often about my work and I have fun.
Satonya: If the philanthropic sector asked you for advice, what one thing would you encourage?
Dolores: Believe in the power and impact of general operating grants.
Satonya: What does PEAK look like in 25 years?
Dolores: 2046 will be a rocking year for PEAK. We will celebrate our 50th anniversary knowing we’ve moved the needle on practice change in philanthropy and pushed technology to be more supportive. We will have perfected grantmaking algorithms. PEAK will have a staff of 30 supporting 10,000 members worldwide.
But regardless how PEAK engages in its work in the future, I know that the focus will always start with our members and what they bring to the collective. As they do now.
Please join us in recognizing Dolores Estrada and her many contributions to PEAK Grantmaking. We invite you to share your appreciations on Twitter and LinkedIn, tagging @PEAKgrantmaking.
Photos (from upper right, clockwise): Dolores Estrada with Susan Bozeman of The California Endowment (TCE); with TCE’s Irene Mendez; with Pam Foster, Nicole Howe Buggs, Ignacio Estrada, Chris Percopo, Daniel Weinzveg, Satonya Fair and Marcus McGrew; with TCE’s Gina Durham and Elizabeth Tabita.