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Philanthropy 101

January 24, 2024 @ 12:30 pmJanuary 25, 2024 @ 4:30 pm EST

Philanthropy 101: January 24 & 25, 2024

A two-day course for those new to grantmaking or the field of philanthropy

Philanthropy 101 is a two-day, online learning experience designed to ground new professionals in the basics of foundations, nonprofits, grantmaking, the field of philanthropy, and how philanthropy interacts with other sectors — namely, business and government.

This course introduces concepts essential to philanthropic work, including the grantmaking cycle, with a focus on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the sector.

Philanthropy 101 is equal parts theory and practice. As a participant, you will develop a deeper understanding of what philanthropy is, what makes it distinct, and why it’s important. You will examine how your role fits within the context of your foundation and the broader sector. You will also have the opportunity to put theory into practice through a variety of virtual activities.

Join us to strengthen your sector knowledge and your ability to create meaningful impact.

Individual Rate: $995
Group Rate: $950 per person for groups of 3 or more from the same organization
First-Time TGS Attendee: $950 (use promo code TGSFIRSTCOURSE)
TGS Alumni: $950 (use promo code TGSALUM45)


Format: Virtual
Instructors: Michael Layton & Naomi Polin
Deadline to register: Friday, January 12

This course takes place over two days and participants are expected to attend the entirety of both days. Participants will be expected to participate in polls, breakout sessions, and discussions either verbally or via chat.

Please Note: Registration is limited to 30 participants. It will NOT be recorded.

Meeting Dates & Times

Participants will meet virtually on Wednesday, January 24 from 12:30–4:30 p.m. and again on Thursday, January 25 from 12:30–4:30 p.m. (ET).

Day One:

  • Introduction to philanthropy
  • Understanding the philanthropic sector; foundation and nonprofit types
  • How to make an impact
  • Practices to promote equity
  • Relationships to government and business

Day Two:

  • Know your foundation; mission, vision, & strategy
  • Developing external relationships; ethics, bias, and power dynamics
  • Overview of key elements of the grantmaking cycle, including grantmaking tools and approaches; proposal solicitation, application, and review; due diligence; monitoring and reporting; and evaluation and learning

Course Instructors

Photo: Michael Layton
Michael D. Layton, Ph.D., is the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. Michael brings a wealth of experience to this role, including his work as a researcher, teacher, director, advocate, and consultant. He has worked closely with a mix of community philanthropy organizations throughout the Americas, and brings to his position a nuanced understanding of the unique challenges and capacities of community philanthropy to act as a catalyst in promoting community-led development and in strengthening the local context for philanthropy. Learn more about Dr. Layton.

Headshot: Naomi Polin
Naomi Polin, M.A., is principal and founder of Orchid Root Strategies, a boutique consultancy specializing in strategic planning, program development, and philanthropic advising for foundations, nonprofit organizations, and coalitions. For more than 18 years, Naomi has collaborated with local, national, and global foundations, nonprofit organizations, and multi-stakeholder initiatives advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging. Most recently, Naomi served as Senior Advisor for Strategy and Partnerships at Refugee Council USA, a coalition of more than thirty nonprofit organizations working to protect the rights of forcibly displaced people and build more welcoming societies. Learn more about Naomi.

Who should attend this course?

This session is ideal for foundation program officers and other grantmaking staff who are new to grantmaking or to the philanthropic sector. If you do not fit this profile but are interested in attending, please email emily.brenner@gvsu.edu before registering.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

This course may be subject to cancellation if it does not reach the minimum number of registrants. In the event of a cancellation, you will be notified at least two weeks before the course start date and will be offered a full refund or the option to transfer your registration to another Johnson Center course. Refund requests for any other reason must be made at least two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Questions about this event or about your registration?

Call 616-331-7585 or email emily.brenner@gvsu.edu.


January 24, 2024 @ 12:30 pm EST
January 25, 2024 @ 4:30 pm EST
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