Peer-to-peer learning tops grantmakers’ preferred strategy list

A recent study by the William and Flora Hewlitt Foundation, Peer to Peer: At the heart of influencing more effective philanthropy, found that most foundation staff and board members rely on their peers and colleagues for continued professional development. Funder networks like GRANTMAKERS provide foundation professionals with opportunities to connect with each other and share information. “In particular, funders cited regional associations of grantmakers as being helpful in connecting them with one another,” the report’s authors stated, adding that conferences are the second most popular way that funders learn. The third most popular source of information was email and newsletters, like the one you’re reading now. 

Funders also cited grantees, consultants, other convenings, online discussion boards, and social media as sources of knowledge. Interestingly, no single publication was listed as a trusted source by more than 25% of those surveyed. Still, many sources were listed as a resource funders were aware of and might use. Stanford Social Innovation Review was the most popular, followed closely by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), FSG Social Impact Advisors, and the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP)

Recently, we announced a new membership category, GOSW Alumni Connect, which is intended to keep retired funders or working individuals who have left the philanthropic sector connected to our members, and preserve the knowledge they’ve gained. If you are interested in joining, contact info@gosw.org.