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PEAK Grantmaking

PEAK2021 Online

Foundations Respond to Crisis: A Moment of Transformation? Towards Equity?
To respond to 2020's unprecedented challenges, foundations are being called on to change how they approach their work, including providing more flexible funding, shifting power, relaxing grant requirements, trusting nonprofits, and increasing payout. Foundations are also being called to come to terms with how they perpetuate structural racism, and to integrate racial equity across their work. Although they might be answering these calls in the here and now, what long-term changes can we honestly expect?

Last summer, the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) explored this question in a research study. Findings from these recently released reports in CEP's Foundations Respond to Crisis series suggest that foundations are making significant changes to their work. Leaders reported that these crises catalyzed and accelerated change, forcing funders to reconsider how they approach their work. They described working differently and trying new things, being more flexible and responsive, with less focus on traditional norms. They reported getting more grant dollars out the door. Most reported having made new efforts to support communities hardest hit by the pandemic, particularly Black, Latino, and low-income communities. Most leaders also said they are more aware of how race and racism affect the choices they make and the work they do, and even as they themselves identify room for progress, they are making changes to incorporate racial equity into their work.

While this is positive news, these findings indicate ample opportunity for progress and suggest there is good reason to be somewhat skeptical. While only time will tell how deep and sustained these changes will be, the data suggest that most foundations do not plan to implement these practices to the same degree in the future as they do now. Findings revealed potentially significant oversights when it comes to affected communities that have received less support in response to the pandemic. Racial diversity on foundation boards is lacking, yet few interviewees mentioned increasing the racial diversity of their board as a priority.

In this session, CEP director of research Naomi Orensten and Satia Marotta will present key findings from this study, focusing on opportunities for improvement and aspects of grants management. Naomi will then lead a series of interactive exercises - with time allotted for Q&A and discussion - for group and individual reflection.
Session Type: Breakouts
Session Format: Short Talk
Track: Listening to Community

Courage in Practice
Tuesday, May 4 | 12-1:15 pm ET
At the intersection of social justice, political empowerment, human development, and the cultural arts, one will find LaTosha Brown. As a catalyst for change, thought leader, and social strategist, her national and global efforts have organized, inspired and catapulted people into action, enabling them to build power and wealth for themselves and their community.


Your PEAK20201 registration fee covers all programming and materials, along with access to the recordings until August 13, 2021.
Registration Fee
Organization Member $125
Consultant Member $125
Individual Member $225
Non-member $325


Who should attend PEAK2021?

Our audience is expanding each year. Currently, it consists of professionals at all types and sizes of funding institutions working in grants management, IT, programs, operations, evaluation and learning, and executive-level roles. Speaking generally, these professionals are multidisciplinary in background and play a part in stewarding the grantmaking process within funding institutions.

What is PEAK’s virtual meeting code of conduct?

Review our policy here

Are scholarships available?

Yes! We recognize that not everyone can afford to attend professional development opportunities. Scholarships as a way that we try to eliminate that barrier for those that would like to attend our annual conference. Scholarships cover all registration fees for an individual.

Eligibility: Scholarships are open to any individual working for a grantmaking institution or philanthropy support organization. You must be a U.S. citizen and member of PEAK Grantmaking.

Deadlines: Scholarship applications are due by April 10, and accepted applicants will be notified by April 15.


Thank you to Ascendium Education Group and the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust for making these scholarships possible.

What is your cancellation/substitution policy?

Requests for conference registration cancellation and fee refunds must be received by Friday, April 9, 2021 and are subject to a $50 non-refundable administrative fee. No refunds will be granted for requests received on or after April 10, 2021. 

Participants may avoid the $50 cancellation fee by transferring their registration to a colleague or peer with the same membership level or by electing to apply their conference fee to a future paid event within the same calendar year. Any balance not applied to an event by December 31, 2021 is forfeited. 

Requests for cancellations and substitutions must be submitted in writing to [email protected].

When will the conference app be available?

The conference app and website will go live on April 26. At that time, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the platform on your desktop computer or via mobile; add sessions to your schedule; and start to connect with vendors, speakers, and others attending the conference.

Will I receive copies of session presentation materials?

All available session materials will be available in the conference app.

What is the photo/video/media policy for the event?

During PEAK2021, we will be photographing and recording various aspects of our programs, and your image, voice, and chats might be captured. In addition, we capture evaluation data for programming design and testimonial purposes. Through event registration, attendees accept the terms of our release:

Photography/Video/Audio Release
By participating in this?conference, you authorize PEAK Grantmaking to use and reproduce any photographs, videos, chats, and audio recordings?taken, for promotion or distribution. PEAK Grantmaking recognizes that people have varying levels of comfort being recorded. Since PEAK2021 is virtual, there are straightforward ways to ensure your voice or likeness will not be recorded. For more information, please?contact?[email protected].?? 

Are there sponsorship opportunities?

We welcome your interest in to supporting PEAK2021 Online. In addition, we are offering a range of options to support and engage with our community in celebration of our 25th Anniversary Year. The deadline to select sponsorship options for summer events is May 15, and for fall events by July 15.

Though the initial commitment deadline has passed, we are still welcoming additional sponsors and exhibitors to be part of our conference. Please email Clare Larson at [email protected] as soon as possible to secure your spot. The final deadline to commit for conference sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities is March 31.


Thank you to the PEAK2021 Online Conference Committee for your leadership!

Candy Champion, Co-Chair
Director of Grants
Turner Foundation

Sue Fulton, Co-Chair
Chief Financial Officer
Endowment for Health New Hampshire

Shonda Barnett, Co-Chair
Senior Manager, Grants
Texas Women’s Foundation

Robin Barker
Grants and Administrative Manager
George Family Foundation

Liz Donohue
Grant Manager
Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Myriam Fizazi-Hawkins
Senior Director
Grantmaking Resource Center, National Endowment for Democracy

Chindaly Chounlamountry Griffith
Principal Consultant
Streamlife Consulting

Paula Lentoni
Grants Manager, Mott Philanthropic

Katrin Ludwig
Community Investment Manager
Methodist Healthcare Ministries

Jody Marshall
Housing Opportunities Program Associate
Meyer Memorial Trust

Ursula Stewart
Grantmaking Industry Advisor

Kyrstin Thorson Rogers
Grants Manager
Proteus Fund

Jane Van Ingen
Database Manager
Research to Prevent Blindness

Richerd Winton
Grants Management Associate
William Davidson Foundation

Keynote Sponsors

Premier Sponsors

Contributing Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors