I’m just back from the United Philanthropy Forum’s annual conference in Boston where I connected and learned with over 300 people who work in philanthropy serving organizations like mine. It’s the only such event for our niche of membership associations, whose mission is to lead and serve community and private foundations, corporate giving programs, United Ways and other private sector funders. In my nearly 20 years here at Philanthropy Ohio, I’ve attended 18 of the conferences, a testament to my organization’s commitment to continuous learning.
Like most nonprofits, our budget for professional development is pretty modest, so a trip to Boston with its hotel, flight and registration cost is significant and, while I can take advantage of webinars and teleconferences, there is nothing compared to sitting down with colleagues in person, and this year’s conference certainly didn’t disappoint and was well worth the cost.
I returned with new knowledge, ideas and energy, with strengthened connections to peers doing similar work and a few books added to my reading list (The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein, who spoke at a plenary and deep dive). Being away from the day-to-day business of managing our communications and public policy work for three days gave me space to absorb, reflect and refresh.
I hope that our members have a similarly worthwhile and heady experience at our annual conference here in Columbus this October. We’ve just opened registration for a three-day experience that is jam packed with thought leaders and practitioners, with learning tours, deep dives and “micro sessions” all designed to build knowledge, skills and connections that will make Ohio philanthropy more intentional, impactful and effective. Read all about Philanthropy Forward ’18, register today and make time to learn.
Claudia Y.W. Herrold
Senior Vice President, Communications & Public Policy, Philanthropy Ohio