Skip to content
PEAK Grantmaking

PEAK2020 Online Appreciations and Reflections

It wasn’t the same as being together in person, but PEAK2020 Online proved that coming together as a community matters, regardless of the space we do it in. Across 32 online events last month, 1,154 of us gathered to learn and connect, exploring in real-time how to make it work in a virtual space. 

Many participants offered their impressions, memorable moments, and top takeaways on social media, through our survey, and by email. Here is a sampling:

“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, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and PEAK board member 

“Let’s have something positive come out of the COVID-19 crisis. It is time for foundations to make permanent changes to their grantmaking practices. We need to be flexible, have trust-based relationships with our grantees, and stop requiring items that are not legally required. Our goal has to be not to go back the way things were because we now know we can get what we need with less burden on the nonprofits we support.”
– Robin Barker, George Family Foundation 

“During the Building Equity for Native Communities keynote, I felt a joint sense of solidarity. While I couldn’t see everyone’s face, I could feel we were collectively feeling exhausted, livid, anxious, overwhelmed, and so on. It’s beautiful that we can still transmit these emotions through an online platform.”
– Jennifer Herrera, The Libra Foundation

“It’s hard to replace an experience as special as the PEAK annual meeting is to me and many others, but I was very thankful to have these opportunities to learn from and connect with my peers and experts.”
– Amy Hall, Georgia Power Foundation

“As someone new to grants management, I was so grateful to have made connections with people who can help me wrap my head around the field and where it’s going.”
– Teresa Gonzales, Perigee Fund

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a sense of urgency in the philanthropy sector around implementing rapid and efficient grantmaking. PEAK2020 Online allowed for more dialogue around this urgency issue and the roundtable session on GMS/Technology provided helpful solutions on how to track COVID-19 grants similarly across various systems, in addition to the importance of online security.”
– Rosa King, The Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation

“Equity in practice has so many facets because of the complexities inherit with different types and sizes or nonprofits. The journey as it relates to narrowing the power gap and ensuring we keep equity in focus is indeed a journey. We all have to be comfortable that we will never be “finished” if DEI is part of who we are center to our principles.”
– Satonya Fair, The Executive Leadership Council

“PEAK2020 Online’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion was not only at the forefront of all the content and sessions but it was also felt and reflected by PEAK’s commitment to service and excellence.”
– Darius Soler, Helmsley Charitable Trust 

“The most memorable moment for me was the call to action in accordance with reconciling intergenerational trauma and oppression. The reminder that we all must be more than allies and take responsibility for what we do not know was powerful. I immediately purchased the book “Decolonizing Wealth” as well as a “Decolonizer” tee shirt as the first steps toward supporting this movement.”
– Kaitlyn Richardson, Mission & Ministry Impact

“As someone just settling back into this sector and who was acquainted with PEAK when it was GMN, I found the conference sessions refreshingly compelling and eye-opening. I appreciated the breadth of topics covered, including issues related to equity and inclusivity, change management, and other issues that provide valuable context for our day-to-day work, our values as a company, and how we think about our mission vis-a-vis advancing the work of social impact.”
– David Goldsmith, GivingData

“I felt more connected with my peers virtually/online and enjoyed the connections made. The discussion from the guest speaker regarding promoting equity in grantmaking and how foundations are dealing with COVID19 indicated to me that not all foundations handle their grantmaking the same way. There is no ‘one size fits all.’”
– Susan Bouchard, Agnes M. Lindsay Trust