Reaching the Summit

On my eighth day as part of the PEAK Grantmaking staff, I got a rare opportunity for someone in my position—I got to meet face-to-face many of the regional chapter leaders I’ll be supporting and was part of important strategic discussions about the regional chapters’ roles and expectations moving forward.

Needless to say, I was excited—and a bit nervous—to attend my first PEAK Grantmaking Regional Chapter Leadership Summit. Yet I couldn’t help but think: What better way is there to learn the challenges, see the opportunities, and understand the landscape of a chapter network than to hear it directly from regional chapter leaders?

The Summit did not disappoint! Twenty-three of PEAK Grantmaking’s regional chapter officers, along with nine members of PEAK Grantmaking’s staff, discussed the high-level strategic value, purpose, and functions of the regional chapters. I got real insights into how the regional chapters work, how much chapters vary from region to region, and the types of tools and resources that would be most helpful to our leaders in the future.

“With seven years’ experience in similar positions in the non-profit sector (after a short stint in the federal government), I can easily say—even after less than a month—PEAK Grantmaking is a different kind of organization.”

With seven years’ experience in similar positions in the non-profit sector (after a short stint in the federal government), I can easily say—even after less than a month—PEAK Grantmaking is a different kind of organization. And I mean that in a very positive way.
I’m energized by the strong foundation PEAK Grantmaking has for us to build upon together. Like many associations, PEAK Grantmaking started when a small group of passionate people came together to share ideas and collaborate. After years of growth, the creation of new chapters, and the evolution into a nationwide entity, PEAK Grantmaking has stayed true to its roots—that we are a member-led organization. In my role, I’ll look to support our members who do the great work of PEAK Grantmaking.

I’ve been happily surprised at how much our regional chapter officers—who volunteer their time, energy, and leadership—have done and continue to do to promote PEAK Grantmaking and the grants management profession. I’ve only heard great things about the volunteers—how hard-working they are, how willing they are to help, how detail-oriented and organized they are—and so far, all the tales have been confirmed.

It’s also fun and humbling to be working for an organization that supports philanthropy and serves the grantmaking profession. Supporting a field based on helping others is truly inspirational. I can’t wait to learn more about the foundations and organizations that are part of PEAK Grantmaking and contribute daily to the philanthropy community.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out our calendar of events and attend an upcoming regional chapter meeting and to consider getting involved in your PEAK Grantmaking regional chapter. I’m so excited to be a part of the PEAK Grantmaking team and look forward to collaborating with all of our regional chapters.

Sara Sanders

Sara Sanders is PEAK Grantmaking’s Regional Chapter Manager and focuses on supporting regional chapter officers to lead thriving, successful organizations. Sara plans to learn the needs chapter officers, develop new tools and resources to meet those needs, and help officers share common challenges and great ideas.