The Harmony Initiative was launched in 2015 to support professional grantmakers in strengthening their philanthropic practice. Designed by and for grantmakers, the program provides in-depth training on the art and science of making grants. The Harmony Initiative provides cutting edge tools, training and knowledge needed to partner with grassroots communities, select impactful grantees, evaluate social change work, and collaborate in philanthropy.
The program’s curricula follows six common steps in the grantmaking cycle (strategy development; outreach and application; due diligence; making the case; award and implementation; and evaluation and learning) and investigates the competencies needed at each step.
Guest speakers and faculty bring on-the-ground expertise and knowledge from years in the field. The speakers for the Class of 2016-2017 included:
Holly Bartling, General Service Foundation
Carol Cantwell, Fun With Financials
Vanessa Daniel, Groundswell Fund
Aja Duncan, Management Assistance Group
Kathryn Gilje, Ceres Trust
Meerim Ilyas, Urgent Action Fund
Taj James, Movement Strategy Center
Kellea Miller, consultant and researcher
Susan Misra, Management Assistance Group
Dewey Schott, Leadership That Works
Eveline Shen, Forward Together
Kenji Treanor, Sobrato Family Foundation
The program is appropriate for philanthropic professionals of all levels who are directly responsible for grantmaking and seek an opportunity for reflection and learning in community. The Harmony Initiative is equally applicable for those looking to improve on current philanthropic practice as those looking to innovate how philanthropy is done. Core components include:
Here are the words of some past participants:
“Being part of the Harmony Initiative helped me feel grounded and connected to other progressive people in philanthropy. Each gathering built on the next, and before long I understood how grant making can happen in more transformational ways."
Esperanza Tervalon Garrett, Groundswell Fund
"The Harmony Initiative helped me to understand my place in philanthropy, and what I can bring to the field to help advance equity and social justice.”
Padmini Parthasarathy, The California Wellness Foundation
“If you seek strengthened professional capacity and deep relationships to leverage your investments and work for powerful social change, this program is for you!”
Katherine Gilje, Ceres Trust
The retreat dates for the 2017-2018 cohort are:
As a small, cohort based program, 100% active participation is required. To enable participation from grantmaking institutions of all sizes, tuition fees are sliding scale, based on annual organizational grantmaking budget.
Class of 2016-2017
Galina Angarova, Swift Foundation
Class of 2015-2016
Alexandra Desautels, The California Endowment