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PEAK Grantmaking

Coming together – and going BIG – in 2021

Maya Angelou said many brilliant things, including “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

To that point, here is what PEAK members have shared about being part of our community:

PEAK’s annual conference is my favorite time of year. I get to step back from the day-to-day, reconnect with grantmaking friends, recharge with fresh ideas and inspiring speakers, and leave with new knowledge I can apply to my work.
– Jenny Morgan, Grants Officer, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation

Volunteering with PEAK has given me the opportunity to grow as a leader, honed my project management and communication skills, and connected me with fellow regional officers on important topics in the field.
– Lisa Colaninno, Senior Manager, Travelers Foundation

PEAK2020 Online exemplified the strengths of grants management professionals – the ability to come together in uncertain moments and help each other navigate change with humility, practicality, and a service mindset.
– Allison Gister, Director of Grants & Knowledge Management, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Like Jenny, Lisa, and Allison, every chance to be amongst my PEAK community this year – whether at PEAK2020 Online, a chapter meeting, or a special program – filled me with the energy, information, and inspiration to be a more enthusiastic, effective changemaker. We hope that your experience with PEAK makes you feel valued, connected, and fueled up for the work ahead.

In this moment, philanthropy stands at the precipice of many unknowns. The pandemic and its economic fallout, ongoing social and racial unrest, and a fraught political climate present an unyielding tide of change. Out of an abundance of caution, and the urgency to communicate a path forward for our PEAK community, we plan to commemorate our 25th year with a myriad of stylized, virtual gatherings – including our annual conference and chapter convenings – that we hope will leave you feeling included, energized, and (most important of all!) celebrated.

We have seen philanthropy respond in ways that I do not believe would be possible without your planning, skills, and advanced preparation. You were ready to pivot, just as the PEAK Grantmaking community did this past spring, leading the way in transitioning to virtual events with an online conference that brought more than a thousand grants management professionals together, proving our Courage in Practice.

For PEAK2021, we feel confident that we can go big with a next-level virtual conference, building on our success in 2020 with help from your feedback on the ways we can enhance the experience.

And speaking of big: What better place than New Orleans to bring our group together again in person? PEAK2022 is confirmed at the newly-remodeled New Orleans Marriott for March 21-23, 2022. Putting aside all those quips about “best laid plans,” we’ve decided to shine a light on this convening and give us all something to look forward to!

In a time when so many are staying in, and “seeing people” is done most often through a screen, we have heard from our community, overwhelmingly, that you feel more connected than ever. Of course, we have all worked hard to make that happen – bringing us together around our Principles, programs, and individual chapters; in dance parties and coffee hours; to share and unload in both targeted and informal conversations.

We need your energy and insights more than ever. Fortunately, what we’ve all discovered is that our community is just a click away: no planes needed, no steps to take, no barriers to overcome. We can stay fully engaged, even as we stay safe.

We owe you our deepest thanks for your dedication and adaptability, and we hope we’ve earned the same from you. Let’s keep it up.

Onward we go!

Satonya Fair, JD
President and CEO