Learning to Lead

The Journey to Community Leadership for Emerging Community Foundations

In this age of austerity, it is more important than ever to ask and answer how foundations’ decisions impact the fields they work in. Can we do better? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has sponsored two webinars by the Council on Foundations to do just that.

The first webinar, entitled “Improving Effectiveness in an Age of Uncertainty: Lessons Learned from Grantee Budget Reductions and Business Model Changes,” was held Tuesday, January 17. This webinar featured presentations from Debra Joy Pérez, Assistant Vice President of Research and Evaluation at RWJF, and Heidi Williamson, Interim Vice President of Grantmaking at the Berks County Community Foundation (BCCF).

The second webinar, entitled “Improving Internal Practices in Philanthropy: Case Studies on Effective Performance Appraisals and Streamlining the Grantmaking Process,” was held Tuesday, February 21. This webinar featured presentations by Jeffrey Malloy, Director of Finance and Administration at the Irvine Foundation and E. Thomas Brewer, Director of Programs at the Archstone Foundation, who discussed best practices relating to internal grantmaking processes and staff performance appraisals.

If you are a foundation staff member or grantee and are interested in learning more about organizational effectiveness in the field of philanthropy, you will learn:

  • How one foundation improved efficiency in an internal grantmaking process;
  • How to apply change management tips to the grantmaking process;
  • What motivates people and improves performance in one foundation;
  • How one foundation updated their model to capture staff needs and values.

Heidi Williamson, Debra Joy Pérez, E. Thomas Brewer and Jeffrey Malloy are cohort graduates of the Council’s inaugural Career Pathways Program (2010-2011). Career Pathways is a 12-month leadership preparation program that prepares individuals from diverse backgrounds to compete for and earn positions as philanthropic leaders.