From Grantmaking to Impact Investing – with Measurement!

‍‍The Technology Affinity Group conference “Impact: Collectively Changing Communities” (Nov. 14-17, 2016) was a sold-out gathering of 275 philanthropic COOs, IT Directors, Operations & Grants Managers, and accidental but purposeful techies.

Trending Thoughts

Key questions overheard, indicating a shift in mindset about granting, included:

How can we...

  • ...change the mindset from “grantmaking workflow” to “investment workflow”?
  • ...view grants as investment vehicles?
  • ...shift the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) role from administrative to decision support?
  • ...shift a Program Officer role from due diligence to investor?

The Measuring Impact plenary was a highlight. Led by Mariana Catz, with panelists pictured below, expertise was shared on how tech innovation in granting platforms and the subsequent tech disruptions have affected our ability as a sector to measure impact.

Mairana Catz
Ontario Trillium Foundation
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Michelle DiSabato
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David Goodman
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Hendry Bromelkamp
Bromelkamp LLC
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Anil Patel

Co-Founder, Futurist & Design Thinker

Sector Trends, Future of Work, Design

With more than two decades' experience in philanthropy and technology, I have written, reviewed, reported, and/or optimized the process for thousands of grant proposals. This has provided me with a unique perspective on how to re-imagine the flow of philanthropic information, so that people can devote more time to the most purposeful work. Currently, I'm exploring the Future of Work: specifically, how automation, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) will disrupt most corners of the economy and many pockets of society.

James Law

Director, Design & Foresight

Director, Design & Foresight

James Law has worked for 10 years in the social finance and social sectors, designing, exploring, and implementing technologies to help organizations activate mission and achieve impact.

He began working in lean non-profits, employing databases and constituent relationship management tools (CRM) to help track and aggregate data for land conservation and environmental protection. Moving into social finance, he managed the development of an application to administer community bonds and equity.

Moving to Grantbook in 2015, James dove head first into helping foundations—of all types—align on digital values, explore technology options, and select the best path forward. From there, he continued to explore solutions architecture and integrations, connecting best-in-class tools to meet the ideal needs of grantmakers, grantees, and all stakeholders. 

More recently James is investing in Grantbook’s use of service design tools—from personas to service blueprints—to increase resilience and reduce the risk of technology planning and adoption via human-centred thinking. He also helps rally and co-ordinate Grantbook’s new ideas and opportunities as philanthropy and technology change.