Wisconsin Philanthropy Network is pleased to make webinar recordings of programs available for a limited time. If you want more information about a past webinar, contact Kristi Anderson at kanderson@wiphilanthropy.org.

Impact Investing Roundtable  
April 4, 2024 

Aligning Foundation Endowments with Mission and Values - Since 2022, Kids Forward, a statewide advocacy organization, has been working toward moving their small but meaningful endowment towards 100% mission alignment. Originally, the organization thought they had to sacrifice profit if they wanted to lean into their mission and values. Instead, they learned the opposite was true: profits can align with mission if you are committed and intentional. This session included members of the Kids Forward team as well as their investment advisors (Re-Envision Wealth) who detailed how they aligned their DEI values system to their investment portfolio. With support, Kids Forward wrote a value-based investment policy focused on racial equity. They identified board members who reflected their values and established multiple bottom lines: mission alignment, BIPOC managers, positive returns, and community-based investments. This program demonstrated that while time intensive, this work is not only possible, but worth the effort.   

Innovative Actions to Support Healthy Leadership Transitions 
March 20, 2024 

Leadership transitions bring both great opportunity and real challenges around destabilization for nonprofit organizations. Given the steep increase in volume of transitions across the nonprofit sector, it is more important than ever that funders embrace transitions as a normal yet fragile part of the organizational life cycle. This values-driven and action-oriented session invited participants to learn from social sector professionals who are leaning into trust and change with new strategies to support leaders who are leaving, leaders who are entering, and the board and staff who manage the change. This session included an explicit focus on strategies for supporting BIPOC leadership transitions. 

Capacity Building Spotlight: Building Capacity to Unlock Public Funding  
March 14, 2024 

Why didn’t some school districts get ARPA funds while others did? Why did the amounts vary so much, even across districts with similar demographics?  What role can foundations play in unlocking state, federal and other grants available to rural school districts? On Thursday, March 14, participants were invited to explore how one foundation, two consultants, and school district leadership worked together to identify additional state and private funding to support students, teachers and the community of Arcadia. Lessons included the importance of (1) trust and mutual respect, (2) being responsive to local assets and needs, and (3) having an open mind and a collaborative approach. 

Education Funders Roundtable 
March 5, 2024 

This conversation focused on what’s been learned about the impact philanthropy can have on school-based mental health programs. Steve Goldberg, from the WEA Member Benefits Foundation, provided an update on their statewide school mental health funding initiative, which features a proactive trust-based approach. Since its launch in 2022, the pilot program has scaled to include additional districts, reached more students, and engaged additional funders.  

Responsible AI Adoption for Funders 
February 22, 2024 

During this session, Technology Association of Grantmakers (TAG) discussed the recent release of its groundbreaking “Responsible AI Adoption in Philanthropy" framework. A collaborative effort between TAG and Project Evident, this framework was released in December 2023 with the goal of providing essential guidance on the responsible and equitable use of artificial intelligence (AI) within grantmaking organizations. During this event, participants learned about the collaborative process that resulted in this first version as well as heard from peers and practitioners who contributed to the development of the framework.  

DAF Regulations: A Comprehensive Briefing for the Philanthropic Sector  
January 31, 2024  

On November 13th, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the first in what is expected to be a series of long-awaited regulations interpreting the statute that codifies DAFs, which Congress enacted in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. In the wake of these proposed regulations and ahead of the comment period deadline, United Philanthropy Forum's District to D.C. Advocacy Network hosted a special presentation for members and the broader sector, DAF Regulations: A Comprehensive Briefing for the Philanthropic Sector. During this informative presentation, veteran tax policy experts from the renowned D.C.-based law firm Miller & Chevalier provided a detailed review of the proposed regulations, fielded questions, delivered well-versed analysis and suggestions, and garnered feedback from PSOs and foundations to help inform the Forum's approach to comments, due February 15th. 

2023 Midwest Grantmaker Salary, Benefits, and Demographics Report 
November 29, 2023 

This regional report is produced annually using the Council on Foundations’ national salary survey data. During this session, Brittany Kienker, Ph.D., presented key findings from the report, shared advice on understanding and utilizing the data and addressed frequently asked questions. Program attendees also engaged in open dialogue on current trends in performance reviews.  

Wisconsin Veterans Network – VetsNet 
October 18, 2023 

A wide range of issues impact both the mental and physical health and well-being of veterans and military families. In conjunction with their partners, VetsNet has served over 3,000 veterans and their families since 2016, assisting homeless veterans with housing needs, finding jobs for those unemployed, directing them towards needed counseling, finding emergency relief, and more. VetsNet was founded and is run by veterans and works in collaboration of more than 75 organizations to eliminate confusion and barriers to open access to resources. For many veterans, VetsNet is a last resort. On Wednesday, October 18, participants were joined by be Quentin Hatfield, Executive Director of VetsNet, Melissa Baxter, President of the Waukesha County Community Foundation, and Alicia Manning, Vice President of Programs with The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation for an overview of major factors impacting quality of life and mental health of veterans in Wisconsin and spotlight on  the important work VetsNet does to serve as a direct line to basic needs and services. 

Principles of Community Centric Fundraising: Implications for Funders  
October 4, 2023 

This session explored the 10 principles of Community Centric Fundraising, what they ask of funders, and how they are impacting the sector. Participants learned from colleagues implementing these principles to better understand the range of ways funders can be supportive of these principles – in particular as a way to advance anti-racist values. Speakers included Dani Faulkner, Chief Development Officer, Baltimore Corps and a Community Centric Fundraising Global Council Member and Dannielle Sturgeon, Director of Development, Baltimore Corps.  

Nonprofit Finance Basics  
September 21, 2023 

This session highlighted how grantmakers can best use the Form 990 to learn about potential grantees. Presenters discussed what the 990 tells you and, more importantly, what it does not tell you. Participants received a 990 cheat sheet describing the most important sections of the 990 and the questions a grants officer can ask.  

Rural Funders Roundtable  
September 20, 2023 

On September 20, participants were joined by Matthew Calvert, Professor of Civil Society and Community Studies, and Neil Klemme, Extension Associate Professor and Iron County 4-H Youth Development Educator for a session on Engaging and Connecting Young People to Sustain and Build Communities. This discussion explored how youth programs and community youth leadership opportunities intentionally build community. UW-Madison’s Division of Extension has developed programs and resources to partner with rural community leaders and organizations that engage a new generation of voices and leadership and contribute to community sustainability. Presenters shared practical frameworks and local examples of this important work. 

2023 Webinar Series: Demystifying Trust-Based Philanthropy 
April 2023 – August 2023 

Trust-based philanthropy is a philosophy and approach rooted in values of relationship-building, mutual learning, and systemic equity – with a vision of advancing a healthier and more impactful nonprofit sector. While this approach is generally associated with six core grantmaking practices such as multi-year unrestricted funding and streamlined paperwork, the day-to-day work of trust-based philanthropy is very nuanced and dynamic. In fact, funders who have embraced this approach are finding that it requires ongoing self-reflection and rigor with regards to how they think about – and evolve – many of the deeply embedded practices and assumptions of traditional philanthropy. Given these nuances, it is not surprising that there are many questions and occasional misperceptions about what it actually means to embody trust-based philanthropy in practice. In this 6-part webinar series, the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project will explore some of the most commonly asked questions and the underlying misperceptions that may be roadblocks to understanding and operationalizing trust-based philanthropy. 

Advocacy 101: Investing in Change 
July 27, 2023 

Not sure how to make the case for funding advocacy? Uncertain whether you can fund grantees that lobby? Wondering whether your public or private foundation can speak out on a particular issue? This training, led by Bolder Advocacy, answers these questions and more! The workshop was designed for foundation staff and trustees. Learning objectives included: (1) Why public and private foundation should support advocacy; (2) An overview of activities that constitute advocacy and public policy work; (3) Various advocacy roles for foundations; (4) The tax code’s definitions of lobbying; (5) Activities that are exceptions to the definitions of lobbying, including those in which private foundations can engage in; (6) Rules for private and public foundation grants to nonprofits that lobby, including general support, a specific project, and multi-year grants; and (7) Grant agreement language that permits support for policy work. 

Demystifying Trust-Based Philanthropy session #3, “How Do We Approach Risk and Due Diligence in Trust-Based Philanthropy?"
May 31 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT
In this session, we will explore the notion of risk – and how to reframe our understanding and analysis of risk to consider the reciprocal nature of the funder-grantee relationship. We’ll hear from funders who have implemented trust-based values and practices in their due diligence process, and have identified ways to bridge the gap between donor/board desires and grantee needs. Participants will gain knowledge around how to assess and respond to potential “risk” with a trust-based lens.

Workplace and Employment Law Trends for 2023: A Review for Funders  
May 25, 2023 

This webinar offered a high-level overview of employment law trends and best practices for foundations. Attorneys from the Labor & Employment and Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Organizations groups of Dentons presented practical tips for small- and mid-size foundations with regard to employment and workplace issues. Drawing from both national trends in the industry and the impact of the pandemic and social change, topics included: (1) social media policies; (2) remote and hybrid work considerations; (3) job descriptions and changes with hiring practices; and (4) independent contractor agreements. 

Demystifying Trust-Based Philanthropy session #2, Does Unrestricted Funding Automatically Make a Funder Trust-Based?
May 11, 2023 | 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT
In this session, we unpacked the difference between unrestricted funding that is deployed in a trust-based way, and what it looks like when it’s not. We also shared case studies from funders who have shifted from project-specific to majority unrestricted funding, as well as those who have embedded trust-based values within semi-restricted grants. Participants gained greater clarity on the philosophy behind unrestricted funding in a trust-based context, and received strategies for aligning trust-based values with the way grants are structured and deployed.

Demystifying Trust-Based Philanthropy session #1: Does Trust-Based Philanthropy Mean Unconditional Trust?
Wednesday, April 19 | 2:00-4:00pm (CT)
There is a common misperception that trust-based philanthropy is about trusting nonprofits unconditionally. In reality, a trust-based approach uses trust as a gateway to rightsize power imbalances between funders and grantees, in order to facilitate deeper, more transparent relationships. With an intentional priority on relationships over transactions, trust-based philanthropy creates conditions for mutual accountability in the funder-grantee relationship.

In this session, we will clarify the misperception that trust-based philanthropy means unconditional trust, and dig into the nuances of why trust is an important vehicle for more equitable funder-grantee relationships. Speakers will share how they have cultivated (and maintained) trust, how they model and reinforce mutual accountability in a trust-based way, and how they have worked through challenging moments when trust breaks down. Participants can expect to obtain greater clarity on why and how to build trust, and strategies for developing mutually agreed upon expectations for a trust-based funder-grantee relationship.

Impact Investing
April 27, 2023 | 11:30am-1pm CDT

Ryan Zerwer, President & CEO of Forward Community Investments (FCI) presented an opportunity to invest in a new fund created by FCI. Participants learned about FCI’s New Market Tax Credit Loan Fund developed to provide financing at advantageous terms for projects located in eligible census tracts throughout Wisconsin, including those in both urban and rural counties. This session was designed in direct response to requests from WPN members for examples of specific investment opportunities in Wisconsin.

Creativity and Capacity in a Post-Pandemic Wisconsin 
Wednesday, April 19  

Wisconsin’s creative sector is a $9.6 billion industry representing more jobs than the state’s beer, biotech, or papermaking industries. It has shown resiliency during the COVID era. While the worst days of the pandemic may be over, artists and arts organizations still grapple with pandemic-related and oncoming challenges. These include workforce, audience engagement, sustainability and capacity, and rising costs.  At the same time, there have been innovations and, for groups that survived, a long list of lessons learned when it comes to organizational sustainability and capacity investments. This session offered a “backstage tour” of the last several years and a preview what lies ahead. Your tour guides are leaders of 4 arts organizations that have persevered and see some hope for the future.

The session offered a journal from the past several years and ideas for moving ahead that apply not only to the arts sector but to nonprofit organizations across sectors. The session was based on information gathered and lessons learned through Create Wisconsin and its Art$upport Fund’s “Journey through the Pandemic” project. Speakers represent Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Ex-Fabula, Bookworm Gardens and Woodland Pattern.

Governance and Legal Trends and Best Practices: A Review for Funders 
March 30, 2023  

This session offered a high-level overview of trends and best practices for foundation governance. Attorneys from the Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations group of Dentons, the world’s largest global law firm, presented practical tips for governance and legal compliance, focused on small to mid-size foundations. Drawing from both national trends in the industry and the impact of the pandemic and social change, topics included: (1) Considerations for revising bylaws and conflict of interest policies; (2) Foundation political activity, including lobbying and advocacy; (3) Issues to consider when funding a project with a fiscal sponsor; and (4) Updating grant agreements.  

Wisconsin Biennial Budget Briefing  
March 15, 2023 

Every two years, the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum publishes a detailed report analyzing key components of the governor's biennial budget proposal and implications for state programs, services, and taxpayers. On March 15, WPF President Rob Henken and Research Director Jason Stein discussed the Forum's analysis of Governor Tony Evers' proposed 2023-25 state budget. Among other issues, they gave the Forum's impartial take on proposed tax cuts; changes to key programs like K-12 school aids, childcare, Medicaid, and shared revenues; and the proposed use of the state's historic budget surplus. They also field questions and engage in discussion with attendees. 

Education Funders Roundtable 
March 14, 2023 

On March 14th, Wisconsin Philanthropy Network was joined by AEF Executive Director John Humphries, who shared a brief background about the "revenue limit" system and specific impacts this limit has had on achievement, staffing, and post-secondary enrollment. The Wisconsin Association for Equity in Funding (AEF) is a group of approximately 60 public school districts advocating for financial equity in the state system of school financing. AEF’s central issue is the fact that under state law, some school districts are allowed to raise and spend thousands of dollars more per student than others. Mr. Humphries then discussed research from leading economists and policy analysts who have been engaged by AEF to study the system and its impacts on students and schools. Finally, he shared opportunities the coalition is pursuing to resolve this issue, as well as opportunities related to various state budget scenarios in preparation for the biennial budget cycle. 

Demystifying Trust-based Practices: Trust in Action
March 9, 2023
The philanthropic sector continues to evolve, and many giving families are embracing a trust-based
approach to their philanthropy—not only as a mindset, but as a guiding principle across their
grantmaking, relationships, and operations. While many families are interested in and willing to adopt
trust-based practices, it isn’t always clear how and when to utilize specific trust-based approaches and
what they look like in action. What does it really mean to be a trust-based funder? What are concrete
ways to be more trust-based in your internal operations, in relationships with your partners, and in your
evaluation and financial due diligence with nonprofit partners? And how do you measure success?

Civil Legal Aid in Wisconsin and its Relationship to Philanthropy 
February 22, 2023 

Everyone should have the opportunity live in stable housing and enjoy a safe, independent life. But our social and legal systems carry with them prejudices of our past and present. Unforeseen barriers can perpetuate injustice and are often complex. In fact, when there’s a legal aspect to such barriers, they can be impossible to resolve without an attorney. Civil legal aid organizations help turn around cycles of injustice by providing legal advice, representation, and information to people facing major challenges. During this virtual session, Wisconsin Trust Account Fund staff Benson Gardner and Becky Murray were joined by Bobby Peterson (ABC For Health), Rachel Fox Armstrong (Legal Action of Wisconsin), and Courtney Jiles (Roots and Wings Foundation) to share about civil legal aid in Wisconsin and how it relates to social justice, housing and income stability, health and independence, and other philanthropic goals. During this session, WisTAF also previewed findings from a new study on the impact of civil legal aid on Wisconsin’s economy. 

Rural Funders Round Table – Q1 
February 16, 2023 

During this virtual session, WPN was joined by Marie Barry and Tim Size from the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) to discuss the connections between communities' economies and health outcomes/access. As leaders all across Wisconsin work to grow their understanding of social determinants of health, this session took a deep dive into how economic opportunity, or the lack there of, influences individual health outcomes as well as impacts systemic healthcare delivery in rural areas. Presenters discussed how multi-sector collaborations, including philanthropy, are vital for the future economic strength and health of rural communities.  

Impact Investing Roundtable – Q1 
February 15, 2023 

Lincoln Nebraska’s affordable housing story is the product of public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit partnerships. Over the past few years, Lincoln Community Foundation, City of Lincoln, and Community Development Resources (local CDFI) have come together to develop a shared understanding of the affordable housing problems in their community and work towards potential solutions. You can read more about this initiative here. On February 15, Alec Gorynski, President of Lincoln Community Foundation and Farshad Maltes, President and CEO of Community Development Resources discussed their partnership, the role impact investing (and grants) have played in its success, and how and why the community foundation chose a local CDFI as an emissary to advance the growth and development of affordable housing. 

Equity Funder Learning Community – Q1 
February 7, 2023 

During this virtual session, Alyssa Kenny discussed digital equity efforts embedded in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – which provides $65 billion to connect all Americans to high-speed broadband internet that is both affordable and reliable. While a significant portion of these funds will be allocated to direct infrastructure investments, a portion of these dollars will be used to promote digital equity efforts – in partnership with key community stakeholders in Wisconsin.  As part of this presentation, Alyssa also highlighted a Digital Equity and Inclusion Stakeholders Group focused on growing and strengthening Wisconsin’s Digital Inclusion Ecosystem. You can read more about the goals of this group on slide ten of the deck linked below. Reach out to Alyssa directly for more information (Alyssa.kenney@Wisconsin.gov).  

2022 State of Philanthropy Tech: Trends and Key Findings 
January 24, 2023 

Maryland Philanthropy Network, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, Florida Philanthropic Network, Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, Wisconsin Philanthropy Network, NY Funders Alliance, and North Carolina Grantmakers hosted an interactive webinar with Chantal Foster, Executive Director of Technology Association of Grantmakers (TAG) and TAG Survey Committee Member, Tess Hanrahan of the Hewlett Foundation, that explored technology trends in philanthropy just in time for 2023 planning. TAG cultivates the strategic, equitable, and innovative use of technology in philanthropy. Their work builds knowledge, strengthens networks, and advances the social sector.   

2022 Wisconsin Gives Report Release Webinar  
January 18, 2023 

The 2022 Wisconsin Gives Report provides readers with an in-depth look at the state’s philanthropic sector. The biennial report explores the significant role philanthropy plays in responding to community challenges. It provides an analysis of survey results from Grantmakers across Wisconsin along with data and trends from national studies, statewide philanthropic best practices, and benchmarks. This year Wisconsin Philanthropy Network partnered with the Center for Community & Nonprofit Studies (the CommNS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Co-Create to gather data for the report. 

On January 18, attendees were joined by WPN President and CEO Tony Shields and CommNS Associate Director for Engaged Research, Amy Washbush, PhD for a presentation of the 2022 Wisconsin Gives Report findings.  

Giving Circles: A Powerful Path to Community Impact at Your Institution  
January 10, 2023 

Curious about giving circles and how the model can help your organization increase community engagement, diversify your donor base, create close connections with local, grassroots nonprofits, and embed your organization’s mission further into the community? During this one-hour webinar, Philanthropy Together shared an overview on the benefits of giving circles and how your institution can successfully and sustainably host giving circles, building off more than a decades’ worth of research. Participants also heard from a guest speaker at a Community Foundation who went through the  program, Launchpad For Hosts, an incubator and leadership development training for Community Foundation and other philanthropic intermediaries looking to host giving circles. 


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