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Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking

February 14, 2024 @ 12:30 pmFebruary 15, 2024 @ 4:30 pm EST

Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking: February 14 & 15, 2024

A two-day course for program officers — both those new to their role and veterans looking to refine their process.

Proposal solicitation and analysis are essential skills for grantmaking. Why, what, and how projects and organizations are identified and funded can have a lasting impact on local communities — or even more broadly if the work is replicated or scaled.

Proposal Analysis in Grantmaking is designed to challenge grantmakers to learn as much about the grantee organization, program, and community as possible so that opportunities to build capacity and partnerships are recognized and supported.

This course is equally valuable for program officers new to the role, or veterans looking to refine their process. Participants will explore how the processes of proposal solicitation and analysis set the stage to advance equity and authentically share power with community organizations while working within the context of a foundation’s overall mission and grantmaking philosophy.

Join your peers from the field and discover how you can design and implement an equitable, efficient, and clear proposal process.

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: Sarah Berger & Surabhi Pandit
Deadline to register: Friday, February 2

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, February 14 from 12:30–4:30 p.m. and again on Thursday, February 15 from 12:30–4:30 p.m. (ET).

Day One:

  • Foundation strategy, approach, and risk management
  • Right-sizing the proposal solicitation and application process
  • Core elements of a proposal and what makes a good proposal
  • Alignment with foundation criteria

Day Two:

  • Overview of equitable due diligence
  • Recognizing and leveraging opportunities for capacity building
  • Power dynamics, trust-building, and stakeholder engagement
  • Communicating the decision

Course Instructors

Sarah Berger
Sarah Berger (formerly Lovan) joined the McKnight Foundation in 2005 and has been a program officer since 2012 for the Foundation’s Arts program, which supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities in Minnesota. Lovan participates in field-building initiatives, including those in rural and urban Minnesota as well as nationally. She is dedicated to equitable grantmaking practices and is deeply interested in decreasing barriers to funding. Learn more about Sarah.
Headshot of Surabhi Pandit
Surabhi S. Pandit, M.S.W., is the director of diversity, equity and inclusion & community engagement for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. In her work at the Foundation, she manages special initiatives and grantmaking programs that focus on human services, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrant/refugee support, and safety & justice. From 2012 to mid-2014, Surabhi served as the William C. Richardson Fellow in Government Affairs & Philanthropy at the Council of Michigan Foundations. Her work at CMF was focused on developing programs that respond to public policy issues in the areas of aging, health, education, arts & culture, women & girls, and the environment for member foundations and state government officials. Learn more about Surabhi.

Who should attend this course?

This course is intended for foundation staff, donors, and others engaged in grantmaking. 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.


February 14, 2024 @ 12:30 pm EST
February 15, 2024 @ 4:30 pm EST
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