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Oct 10, 2023

Noon - 12:30 p.m.

12:30 - 2 p.m.

Join the Philanthropy Ohio Education Initiative for a deep-dive learning session highlighting how Ohio funders collaborate to advance a more sustainable and holistic view of education. Dive into a discussion with experts and advocates in education and child wellness about how the Ohio Whole Child Coalition is placing mental and behavioral health at the center of Ohio education policy decisions.

2 - 2:30 p.m.

2:30 - 4 p.m.

CEOs/Board/Trustees Peer Space
This peer space, curated for the needs of foundation leaders and their boards, focuses on succession planning and providing space for answering your pressing leadership questions while building connections with peers.

Speaker: Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Communications & Development Peer Space
Learn how to harness the power of storytelling to advance your resource development and communications goals, then spend time in conversation with your peers. 

Speaker: Rebecca Brown Asmo, Ohio Humanities

Corporate Peer Space
Build connections with your corporate peers statewide through shared learning and networking in this corporate-specific space. 

Evaluation & Learning Peer Space
Build your capacity to evaluate the impact of your work in this job-alike peer space.

Programs & Grants Peer Space

This peer space will infuse community organizing methods into tangible actions to build community power and remove barriers to philanthropy. Attendees will leave with a mission-driven plan to scale up outreach efforts.

Speaker: Artisha Lawson, Greater Toledo Community Foundation

4 - 5 p.m.

5 - 7 p.m.

During the conference kick-off reception, enjoy hors d'oeuvres and drinks with your fellow conference attendees at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. Nestled in The Scioto Audubon Metro Park amongst a picturesque watershed, the Audubon Center boasts a fantastic view of the Columbus skyline and is a welcome environment to reconnect with colleagues and build new relationships in the Philanthropy Ohio network.

Oct 11, 2023

7:45 - 8:30 a.m.

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Explore what defines the success of philanthropic leaders and organizations. Consider how each of us can bring our unique assets to our work and create conditions that allow us to thrive in our organizations and communities. Experts in the field will share what the world needs from you to create the conditions that will enable leaders of all kinds to thrive and contribute to our collective success in philanthropy and community.

This plenary will feature our Emerging Philanthropist Award.

9:30 - 9:45 a.m.

9:45 - 10:45 a.m.

Discover how foundations and local governments are finding innovative ways to advance environmental justice by adopting and using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework, which offers solutions for inclusive, safe and sustainable communities. This session will share how to lay the groundwork in your community with a focus on organizational readiness, capacity and how to embed environmental and climate justice insights into your community development efforts.

Benefit from the lessons that the Saint Luke’s Foundation learned when they shifted their approach from informing folks on the ground to shared decision-making. Learn about their committee of residents, their digital engagement platform and how they shifted power authentically to their community.

Consider how crisis and injustice help launch collaborations. Using a model of criminal justice reform as an example, examine how collaborations can evolve and be sustained through internal and external pressures and learn about an effective collaboration lifecycle.

Learn how a community foundation and family foundation came together to develop a talent attraction and retention model aimed at incentivizing college graduates to make their rural county home and serve as an investment in the long-term economic viability of their region.

10:45 - 11 a.m.

11 - Noon

Learn how to strengthen your capacity to engage in advocacy work. Discover successes, tips and lessons learned from the Funders Collaborative on COVID Recovery, an outgrowth of the pandemic formed to deepen philanthropic investment and engagement in advocacy work.

Discover the basic principles of trust-based philanthropy through an eerily realistic and downright entertaining role play about some of our sector’s practices that are anything but. You’ll laugh. You’ll cringe. You’ll question everything.

Learn how The Columbus Foundation is working to close the racial wealth gap by increasing access to capital and services for entrepreneurs of color – particularly Black-owned and Black-led businesses – through its $5 million Equitable Small Business Fund. Hear how this approach uses grantmaking equity lenses, data, strategy and community champions to solve systematic challenges and how it’s poised to use economic development and trust-based lending to inspire a new pipeline of diverse donors.

This session will share the learning journey of a funder and its partner while implementing a community marketing campaign. Through embracing humility, difficult conversations and intentional operations, the team shifted power, elevated minority contractor voices and implemented equitable practices.

Noon - 12:30 p.m.

Engage in The Big Table, The Columbus Foundation’s signature community conversation series, through dialogue with your peers over lunch.

12:30 - 1:45 p.m.

Hear three different perspectives on how to effectively lead equity work that can advance racial, gender and disability justice. While philanthropy has largely begun to embrace the use of a racial equity lens in grantmaking and operations, we often fail to effectively incorporate a truly intersectional approach to our work that recognizes that the breadth of our identity must be incorporated to attain a culture of equity, inclusion and belonging. 

This plenary will feature our Innovation Award and the Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in Philanthropy.

1:45 - 2:30 p.m.

2:30 - 5 p.m.

See firsthand how technology innovations are transforming how families and communities support those living with physical or mobility barriers. Learn how 3D-printed custom prosthetics are helping individuals pursue their passions. At the same time, the Smart Home Discovery Center will illustrate how technology can facilitate and encourage independent living. The site visit will wrap up with a The Big Table debrief.

Speakers: Aaron Westbrook, Founder & CEO, Form5 Prosthetics Inc., Jordan Wagner, Program Coordinator, Technology Project, Smart Home Discovery Place at OSU Nisonger Center


Tour the Columbus Idea Foundry, a 65,000-square-foot converted warehouse that is now one of the nation’s largest maker spaces. Hear how some of the creators, designers and entrepreneurs located here are single-handedly elevating their respective industries. Learn how the Columbus Fashion Alliance has helped Columbus become home to the third largest concentration of fashion designers in the United States and test your maker skills in one of the Foundry’s experiential models. The site visit will wrap up with a The Big Table debrief.

Speakers: Alex Bandar, Ph.D, Founder & Chief Mischief Maker, The Idea Foundry, Yohannan Terrell, Founder, Columbus Fashion Alliance

Stay on-site at the Hilton for the afternoon, investing in your core competency learning on nonprofit board governance.



Live into your values of service in this highly interactive site visit focused on the transformative value of volunteer programs. Start with an off-site panel discussion introducing three volunteer program models to bridge generational, racial and socioeconomic gaps. Each model helps foster a sense of belonging while doing good in their communities. Spend the remainder of your afternoon engaged in a service project, assembling kits to support women living in permanent supportive housing at the YWCA Columbus. The site visit will wrap up with a The Big Table debrief.

Speakers: Charly Bauer, Executive Director, Measurement Resources Company; Matthew Goldstein, Founder & CEO, Besa; Ivory Levert, Programs & Partnerships Manager, Zora’s House; Leigh Sempeles, J.D., Del Mar Encore Fellow, The Dayton Foundation

5 - 6 p.m.

End your day of learning over cocktails and light refreshments in the Hilton’s Gina Knee ballroom overlooking downtown Columbus.

Oct 12, 2023

7:45 - 8:30 a.m.

8:30 - 9:25 a.m.

Deepen your understanding of health equity and policy intersections during this plenary conversation sponsored by Philanthropy Ohio’s Health Initiative. Data at the international, national, local and individual levels all show a strong correlation between civic engagement and health, specifically the act of voting. Learn how health funders invest in civic health and the results of this work, striving for healthy communities through civically engaged residents.

This plenary will feature the inaugural Public Policy Award.

9:25 - 9:45 a.m.

9:45 - 10:45 a.m.

Hear about a partnership with Central Ohio’s Community Shelter Board and Nationwide Foundation that achieved a 97% success rate in stabilizing families facing homelessness through an innovative, one-of-a-kind prevention effort.

Discover how philanthropy can leverage far more than financial resources to support its network of grantees, develop strategies that meaningfully engage stakeholders and build the strength of the social sector more broadly. Gain valuable insights about how your foundation can support nonprofit capacity and sustainability through this candid and thoughtful funder-grantee conversation.

In this powerful and intimate conversation, leaders from Zora’s House and The Columbus Foundation will discuss moving beyond a traditional funder-nonprofit relationship to one of meaningful collaboration to dismantle barriers of systemic racism and sexism. Zora’s House is a community space and leadership incubator created by and for women and non-binary people of color.

Discover how funders invested in mental and behavioral health services have created innovative, cross-sector partnerships that significantly expand the reach of a regional foundation. Learn how this effort has allowed funders to accelerate data-driven solutions for behavioral health emergency response systems and leverage and guide national resources from the public and private sectors to benefit their local communities.

10:45 - 11 a.m.

11 - Noon

Gain an overview of essential cybersecurity issues to ensure your foundation is fully prepared to operate safely in today’s virtual environment. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing concerns in the philanthropic sector, and protecting donor and organizational information is even more critical.


Discover the state of giving to women and girls and learn about the factors prolonging the philanthropic gender gap, which lead to only 1.9% of charitable giving going to organizations that support them. A panel of funders will share why they center female-focused philanthropy and how they are working to invest more equitably in the future.

As today’s Next Gen donors will be tomorrow’s leading philanthropists, learn ways to effectively engage these emerging leaders, including what motivates younger donors, how to design Next Gen programs that educate and inspire and tactics to apply an equity lens to this work.

Hear how three philanthropic leaders advance equitable grantmaking models through participatory processes. Models include a tech-based platform; a grassroots fund in which residents vote; a leadership program with grantmaking dollars attached; and a lived experience advisory committee.

Noon - 12:20 p.m.

12:20 - 1:45 p.m.

In an age where the truth can feel subjective and the ability to cut through the noise can feel impossible, the quest for equipping and uplifting storytellers for social change has never been as important. Hear how the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance is countering stigmas on mental illness to create a healthier state using narrative as its core. Then, hear from expert changemaker Tiffany Manuel, Ph.D., on the leadership principles that will build your capacity for storytelling and sharing your wisdom to impact hearts and minds. Leave Philanthropy Forward ’23 inspired to use the lessons of strategic case-making to advance your work.

This plenary will feature our Ohio Philanthropy Award.