The Grantmaking School

As a professional in a grantmaking organization, ideas and information become more meaningful when you can put them to use in your daily work.

The Johnson Center was the first to offer a national, university-based program for learning the techniques and ethics of grantmaking. Designed and led by leaders in the field, our program helps professionals bridge research, knowledge, and good practice. Courses are available for your entire staff or individuals, and we offer public trainings as well as customized learning experiences. Request a one-on-one consultation to learn more about tailoring the program to your foundation’s needs.



Why attend?
  • Get up to speed on core grantmaking concepts and best practices if you’re new to the field or your role
  • Gain new ideas and insight to challenge your thinking or refresh your grantmaking practice
  • Make deeper connections with peers and thought leaders in the field
  • Get tools and resources for your daily work and to share with your team to increase their knowledge
Who should attend?

Our courses are designed for new and seasoned professionals at grantmaking organizations. While program officers often attend, we welcome financial, communications, and fund development professionals. Common topics include proposal analysis and project management, strategic philanthropy and portfolio management, financial analysis, and evaluation.

What to expect:
  • Strong curricula grounded in research and highly rated by grantmakers from more than 200 foundations
  • Engaging speakers who are recognized leaders within the field and in their subject area
  • Immersive learning experience, with time to hear from peers about what’s working in their organizations
  • Practical ideas and tools that you can take back to the office and begin trying out right away


Testimonials from Past Participants

“This session has empowered me to trust my gut and realize I am not the only one to face certain issues. I now have some tools to improve my performance.” – Attendee at Advanced Grant Portfolio Management course

“Being a new program officer, this is exactly what I needed to build confidence in my role. I also was the one to set up all the grant processes in our foundation, and it will be good to revisit some of our policies.” – Sara Hohnstein, attendee at Advanced Grant Portfolio Management course

“This was not easy information to convey and all instructors made the material manageable and less intimidating than I thought they were. I did not lose focus or become bored [or] glaze over at any point. This course has varied my knowledge of grant financials and I’ll be able to go back to work and be way more effective at analyzing the finances of applicant/grantee organizations. Not a small task, so thank you all.” – Attendee at Grant Financial Analysis course


From tools to trainings, we can help.

In addition to our education program, we offer other tools and strategic services for effective grantmaking. These include evaluation consultation, software to track grants, tools to visualize  community and program data, and publications such as The Foundation Review. Contact us to discuss your needs and create a customized package of services for your foundation.