How did you end up in philanthropy?
I was on the other side – I was leading a nonprofit and had just finished my MBA in nonprofit management and a mentor of mine reached out to me and said that she was getting ready to retire and wanted me to come on to run the family foundation she was working with.
What was that transition from grant recipient to grantmaker like?
Because I had been a fundraiser I knew all the challenges and joys of working with funders and I was able to pivot that understanding to be the best funder I could be.
Tell us more about your grantmaking philosophy.
It’s very driven by trust based philanthropy. My goal is to make the whole process from proposal to last report of a grant as easy as possible on the grantee partner. The best part of this job is the relationship with grantees and that’s what drives me.
How do you bring trust based philanthropy to life in your processes?
I do as much of the research and financial review as I can before I ask a grantee partner to submit any documents. We only ask for what we really need and will actually review. We do share conversations instead of written reports during a grant and a final written report that is very lightweight. I also try to align my site visits with volunteer opportunities with my grantee partners.
Why did you end up adopting the Temelio system?
It was the first system that I had seen that was able to incorporate all elements of trust based philanthropy AND had CRM capabilities. The staff is so responsive and easy to work with which was also really important to me.
What do you like about the Temelio system so far?
I like that it’s intuitive and I like that any time I suggest an improvement or new feature, within three days it’s incorporated into the system. As a small foundation, I don’t need everything that a large foundation would need but the Temelio system still provides the flexibility and customization to fit my needs. With regards to customer support, any time I have a question, there is a human that is answering - the personalized service is amazing. The free and easy migration of all of my historical data was also a huge help.
Tell us about one of your favorite grantee partners.
One of our newer grantee partners is Social Justice Learning Institute and we just love the way they promote community empowerment. They help communities build and maintain community gardens while providing residents with knowledge to improve health outcomes for themselves and become health advocates for their community. They have taken such an innovative approach to food access and food justice.