Evolution of Grant Making

With the Johnson Scholarship Foundation’s grant program convenings on this year’s horizon it is instructive to consider how the Foundation’s grant making has evolved since 1991. Our Founders’ plan was to use education as a vehicle to help people who hadn’t been as “lucky with money” as they had. To that end, they established some priorities for the first $3 million in grants and left … Continue reading Evolution of Grant Making

Listening and Understanding

At December’s Continuing Education presentation, “How to listen to grantees (and still find out what we need to know),” Bobby Krause of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors made the point that we must actively and empathically listen to our grantees. His presentation to his fellow Grant Program Committee members contained good communication and relationship building advice, namely, show up, shut up, engage and … Continue reading Listening and Understanding

Doing Good

Originally posted on Giving Matters:
Sometimes it seems impossible to tell the difference between good grants and bad ones. If we feed the hungry and house the homeless, it feels good but the lasting result is to encourage dependency. If we fund groundbreaking research on how to address poverty, the connection between our grant and the end result is usually hard to see. Accepting accolades… Continue reading Doing Good

November is Native American Heritage Month

The photo above was taken at the Johnson Scholarship Foundation’s annual Entrepreneurship Scholarship meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, last month. As you can see, we had a good turnout of JSF board members, staff and consultants and representation from almost all our nonprofit, tribal college and university partners in this program. The Entrepreneurship Scholarship program is in its 28th year and this annual convening has been … Continue reading November is Native American Heritage Month

Philanthropic Foundations Canada and Emergent Learning

This week I am attending the three-day biennial conference of Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC). We learned of this organization when it republished a blog post that I had written for the Center for Effective Philanthropy on the Foundation’s efforts to communicate with grantees. Like the Council on Foundations in the United States, PFC is a member association of Canadian grant makers and hosts this “gathering … Continue reading Philanthropic Foundations Canada and Emergent Learning