Quick: Think of a sector that embraces risk, looks unabashedly to innovation and the future, and is ready to fail better and better, over and over. Chances are, your first thought was not philanthropy.
Large fortunes to protect, family legacies to guard, reputations to preserve, peers to impress, impacts to ensure: The list of perceived hazards is long in the sector.
For those in grants management, the idea of risk is also tied to practical matters: following due diligence to a T, assuring legal and procedural compliance, reviewing applications and reports, creating processes and keeping to them.
A silver lining of the current crisis is that our sector has been moved to act with urgency, to lean into organizational values, and to start embracing risk. Unsurprisingly, our members have helped lead the way.
When the pandemic hit, and PEAK needed to cancel our conference, our community rallied. By donating your registration fees or putting them towards new Organization Memberships, and by showing up in record numbers over the months that followed, you’ve shown your commitment to advancing the state of our community and grantmaking overall.
Amidst multiple crises, you have come together to leverage the power, and potential, of our community. Through our CONNECT forums, Community Conversations, chapter meetings, and virtual coffee breaks, you’ve shared what’s working and what’s not, and worked collaboratively to rethink the most effective ways to meet the mission and get funding out the door.
We are moved to see members stepping up courageously – to change the status quo, implement responsive practices, and prioritize trust, equity, and impact over any of the perceived risks. But, like I said, we are not surprised: You were prepared by years of behind-the-scenes conversations and convenings. And the resulting buy-in from leadership makes it clearer than ever that operational changes are what make strategic change possible.
The PEAK community is also working to make racial equity the sector’s most urgent imperative. Our organization is dedicated to taking action alongside our members, and in league with the peers and individuals – like CHANGE Philanthropy, ABFE, Edgar Villanueva, Vu Le, and many others – who have been leading racial justice work and conversations for years.
The outcry to do better grows and we’re here to say that PEAK has been working for years to ensure that grants management professionals possess the planning, thought, and skills needed for implementation when leadership is ready to engage. To be successful, we must be committed to learning while doing, and staying engaged for the long haul. PEAK is here to help keep everyone moving forward.
We have the momentum. Let’s continue putting the work of grants management professionals, our community’s collective wisdom, and leadership at every level to incredible use. Let’s commit to the long haul. Let’s reimagine philanthropy