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PEAK Grantmaking

We [heart] our volunteers!

National Volunteer Appreciation Week is here and PEAK Grantmaking has much to celebrate. Our organization is led, nationally and regionally, by more than 200 volunteers – grants management professionals who contribute their time, expertise, enthusiasm, and thought leadership to building communities, learning and sharing effective and equitable grantmaking practices, and changing the landscape of philanthropy for the better. They serve on our governing board, help develop resources and new initiatives, provide guidance and counsel on programming, and lead PEAK’s 14 regional chapters. Over the past year, PEAK volunteer participation has soared, and our organization is immeasurably strengthened by it.

2020 is not off to the start any of us expected, and our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by the global pandemic. The enduring commitment of our volunteers to PEAK, and to supporting fellow members through this trying time, makes us especially grateful to them all.

In early March, the PEAK Executive Committee, along with the Board, led our organization through the cancellation of the PEAK2020 annual conference – putting our community’s health and safety above all else, and making difficult decisions in the midst of great uncertainty.

Our PEAK2020 Co-Chairs – Sue Fulton (Endowment for Health), Candy Champion (Turner Foundation), and Shonda Barnett (Texas Women’s Foundation) – did not hesitate to graciously accept the challenge of helping us re-imagine and plan our first-ever virtual conference.

Members also stepped forward to share how they are updating and streamlining grantmaking practices to meet the needs of grantees and communities during this crisis. Thank you to Kelly Hayashi (Heising-Simons Foundation), Kristen Summers (Saint Luke’s Foundation), Lori Perkins (Ausherman Family Foundation), Kerri McHugh (Helen J Sereni Foundation), and Genise Singleton (The Kresge Foundation) for leading our first Community Conversation by sharing their response.

We are grateful to the volunteer chapter leaders who run our 14 regional chapters, for jumping in to re-plan events to offer virtual spaces for grants management professionals for share effective practices and consider ways to lessen the burden on grantees. Thanks to their efforts, our chapters are hosting virtual coffee hours and programming centered on building expertise and developing new strategies to live foundation values through grantmaking practices.

These are just a few examples of the amazing people power that our volunteer force gives to PEAK and the philanthropic sector. Last year, volunteers contributed to the development of our Principles for Peak Grantmaking, hosted record-setting numbers at chapter events, presented and shared their expertise and experiences, and so much more.

Join me in a virtual round of applause for PEAK’s outstanding volunteer corps! Thank you to our current volunteers and to our 2019 volunteers.

Looking for way to give back to the sector, network deeply with grantmaking colleagues, act as a thought leader, or develop skills? Reach out and let’s talk about volunteer opportunities that help you reach your personal and professional goals.


Pictured above: PEAK volunteer leaders at our July 2019 Chapter Leadership Meeting