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Successful Structures: Aligning Operations with Program in Service of Strategy

February 28, 2017 @ 1:00 PM2:30 PM

Grantmaking Webinar Series

Successful Structures: Aligning Operations with Program in Service of Strategy

Part of the Grantmaking Webinar Series, presented in partnership with the Council on Michigan Foundations

Good grantmaking practices lead to better grantmaking impact; yet funders often treat grants management and grants operations as separate from program strategy. Grantmakers are experimenting with new organizational structures and tactics to support real-time learning and feedback about effective grantmaking – putting grants management at the center of strategy and impact. This session will share promising approaches to breaking down organizational silos with research from Grants Managers Network.

Presenters: Jessica Bearman, Mark Brinkley, Michelle Greanias


  • Council of Michigan Foundation Members: $25
  • Non-Members: $55
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Registration closes noon on February 28, 2017.

Jessica BearmanJessica Bearman, Principal, Bearman Consulting, works with foundations and other mission-based organizations, focusing on organization development, facilitation, planning, and R&D to help them become more intentional, effective, and responsive to the communities that they serve. As a consultant and in her prior role as deputy director of New Ventures in Philanthropy, Jessica has written and spoken widely about new and established philanthropy. Her most recent Project Streamline publication, Practices That Matter, investigates the impact of grantmakers’ application and reporting practices on nonprofits. She — or rather, her sassy alter ego, “Dr. Streamline” — blogs regularly on the topic of funder practices and values. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Jessica spent nine years at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an environmental nonprofit based in Maryland.

Mark BrinkleyMark Brinkley is Director, Grants Administration for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he works as a partner with the program areas and senior management to provide oversight and operations of the Grants Administration team, including responsibility for grants expenditures, processes and compliance. Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Brinkley was the director of field underwriting for Farmers Insurance Group, where he developed and implemented a quality assurance program and execution plan ensuring strong execution of underwriting philosophy and monitored the underwriting practices of field agents. Earlier, he was the vice president of internal audit at Zurich Financial Services.

Michelle GreaniasMichelle Greanias, Executive Director of Grants Managers Network, is a passionate advocate for efficient and effective grantmaking and is deeply committed to elevating the value of grantmaking practices in philanthropy. Michelle has spent most of her career in corporate philanthropy, leading grants management teams to implement efficient, effective grantmaking practices.

About the Grantmaking Webinar Series:

The Johnson Center for Philanthropy is pleased to partner with the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) to offer the Grantmaking Webinar Series, a practitioner-led learning series that teaches the techniques of effective grantmaking to both new and seasoned foundation professionals.

The sessions are highly practical, academically rigorous, and designed to be as accessible and affordable as possible. Participants who complete the series will receive a Certificate of Completion. Series Details.


February 28, 2017
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
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Johnson Center in partnership with Council of Michigan Foundations