Grantmakers can take a cue from corporate leaders who know all too well that in order to sustain their work as leaders, they must find the space to reflect, refresh and renew their leadership. The 2008 financial crisis took a toll on all of us. Philanthropy was no exception. During this crisis we saw unprecedented layoffs and many nonprofits had to close their doors permanently.
Grantmakers now have fewer resources to give away and are having to say “no” more frequently to prospective grantees. It’s also getting harder to say no–to make those tough decisions. Philanthropy, like all other sectors is also changing. In these times of rapid change and growing fragmentation, grantmakers need a space more than ever to create internal calm and meaning in their work.
Designed to specifically address these very challenges, Heart of Philanthropy is a unique leadership renewal retreat for grantmakers in need of rejuvenation to continue to do the great work of helping grow and sustain organizations that serve our communities. Heart of Philanthropy is crafted to help grantmakers think about their leadership in light of the storm—to connect who they are with what they do. NCG is happy to partner with the other California regional associations, Southern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers to deliver this signature 2 ½ day- leadership retreat on August 9-11 at Commonweal Retreat Center in Bolinas, California.
Heart of Philanthropy retreat is based on author Parker Palmer’s (Center for Courage and Renewal) pioneering work with educators wanting to advance integrative teaching in higher education and learning. Through a series of reflective exercises in an idyllic setting, led by the Center for Courage and Renewal, Heart of Philanthropy is designed to equip busy philanthropic leaders–in need of finding meaning and a sense of service in their work, with renewed values that brought them to the work in the first place. Heart of Philanthropy’s main objective is to help both philanthropists create a value-based leadership needed to drive their work as grantmakers. The personal impact of the retreat on grantmakers is ultimate intended to increase organizational effectiveness.
As the staff person at NCG who coordinates the Heart of philanthropy retreat, I offer five reasons why a philanthropic leader should take 2 ½ days off of work to participate in the retreat.
1) Heart of Philanthropy is a unique opportunity to come together with grantmakers across the state to reflect on the tensions inherent in our work;
2) The retreat allows grantmakers to develop closer relationships and to be a part of cohort that will continue to offer support and inspiration long after the retreat concludes;
3) The retreat is an opportunity for a grantmaker to get clarity on what brought them to the work in the first place;
4) The setting. Ah Bolinas. Bolinas–the unincorporated coastal community in Marin County—is just breath taking and ideal for deep reflection without the distraction of busy schedules or other demands;
5) You can’t afford not to if you want to sustain yourself over the long run.