The New Strategies in Grantmaking panel returned last Thursday, July 20th to PSEG Newark. With “Leading Together” serving as the theme for the event, grantmakers and nonprofit leaders explored new ways of thinking about business practices and leadership in professional settings. The interactive panel provided participants with the opportunity to discuss, reflect and apply the leadership principles observed to bring constructive change to their communities. The featured panelists included:
- Crystal Dundas, Vice President, Program and Communications Officer, Wells Fargo Regional Foundation
- Kathy Durante, Executive Director, OceanFirst Foundation
- Margarethe Laurenzi, Director of Leadership Grantmaking & Engagement, Community Foundation of New Jersey
- Edward Laporte, Executive Director, Office of Faith Based Initiatives
During the mid-panel break, attendees participated in a short workshop led by the world-class musicians of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. By examining the rehearsal process, the string quartet illustrated the different types of leadership skills used in musical preparation—collaboration, communication, and trust. Audience members drew parallels between performing arts and nonprofit management, sharing ways they could creatively incorporate these techniques into their workplace. The Leadership Quartet took apart the components of a working team, explored them from multiple perspectives and then reassembled them into a finished product – a great musical performance.
The event concluded with a series of questions moderated by Craig Drinkard, Associate Director of Operations at Victoria Foundation. Some of the questions included: “how do grantmakers think about leadership?” and “what are the key elements that corporate, foundation and other grantmakers look for when seeking out well-led organizations?” The panelists discussed their strategies for accessing grantees and highlighted key factors for successfully securing grants within their organizations.
What did your fellow nonprofit leaders think?
“In my 20 plus years in grantsmanship, I thought this was very forward thinking in program design and topic selection. It gave us new insight into the thought process from the grant makers perspective. Very helpful information to bring back to our team.” – Pat Levins, Caldwell University
“This was a relevant topic, both in terms of organizational leadership and fundraising. The panelists were real and direct, while still being personable and informative.” – Jane Kurek, The Provident Bank Foundation