Essential Skills and Strategies for New Grantmakers

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 7:30am to Friday, January 30, 2015 - 5:00pm EST
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, NYC
Add to Calendar

Essential Skills and Strategies for New Grantmakers (ESS) provides an introduction to grantmaking and philanthropy for program officers with less than two years of experience in the philanthropic sector.

The three day course will help newcomers build a framework for understanding and implementing ethical and effective grantmaking.

Through highly interactive sessions, you will engage with your peers around opportunities and challenges of the work, such as identifying key factors in making funding decisions, and expectations and core tensions of your role as foundation staff.


  • Being Grounded in Philanthropy
  • Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Making Sound Funding Decisions
  • Communicating Funding Recommendations and Decisions
  • Managing the Grant Portfolio
  • Maximizing Grant Impact

(Since PNY offers an extensive course on financial due diligence each spring, this course will not cover financial due diligence.)


  • Chris Cardona, Director of Philanthropy, TCC Group
  • Cindy Esposito Lamy, Manager, Metrics, The Robin Hood Foundation
  • Pam Foster, Managing Director, Program Operations & Associate General Counsel, The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Jonathan Horowitz, Vice President and Program Officer, J.P. Morgan Private Bank - Private Foundation Services
  • Kerry McCarthy, Program Officer, Arts & Historic Preservation, New York Community Trust
  • Julie Peterson, Senior Program Officer, Pinkerton Foundation
  • Molly Schultz Hafid, Senior Program Officer, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock
  • George Suttles, Vice President, Foundation Officer, U.S. Trust
  • Facilitator: Kristen Ruff, Senior Director, Member Services, Philanthropy New York

Program Schedule

  • Friday, January 23, 2015 - 9:00 to 10:30 AM (Kick-off breakfast)
  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 
8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

  • Thursday, January 29, 2015  - 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

  • Friday, January 30, 2015 
- 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (includes closing reception)

Please note: Participation in all events is mandatory.


  1. ESS is open to program officers and directors with less than two years of philanthropic experience who have the following responsibilities:
    • Programmatic due diligence of potential grants (i.e., proposal review, site visits)
    • Communicate funding recommendations and decisions to foundation stakeholders (i.e., CEO and/or Board, grantees)
    • Assessment of grant performance and evaluation of grantmaking portfolio
  2. Participants are required to submit a Statement of Support from a supervisor, as this program requires significant time out of the office.
  3. Please apply only if grantmaking is the core component of your position as the curriculum focuses almost exclusively on grantmaking.
  4. Given the high demand for this program, ESS is only open to Philanthropy New York members.

Application Process

  • Applications will be accepted from November 7, 2014 to December 5, 2014.
  • In order to apply, you must meet all eligibility requirements. Please review these carefully.
  • Once you have applied, please ensure that your supervisor sends in a brief statement of support via email to: indicating his/her support of your application (If selected, you will be out of the office the morning of January 23rd and all day on January 27th, 29th, and 30th, 2015.)

Applications and statements of support must be received no later than 5pm on Friday, December 5, 2014.

We will follow-up with all applicants regarding participation in the program by Friday, December 12th.

Space is limited to 20 individuals.  (We limit participation to one person per organization in order to accommodate as many member organizations as we can.)

Find More By