September 23, 2022 - 12:00 am

Philanthropy 101 is a six-module cohort series that helps staff new to philanthropy gain a better understanding of the sector. This virtual, interactive course provides a historical overview of philanthropy, reviews a foundation’s leadership and governance, offers an overview of grantmaking, allows for discussions of current issues in philanthropy, and explores your role, as a funder, within the field.
Philanthropy 101 takes place over six Friday mornings that run from late-September through early-December. This cohort series is relevant to staff in any position at a grantmaking organization. Each module builds on the previous one and themes are connected throughout the series. Participants are expected to attend the entire series. Participants are also expected to engage in post-session discussion groups with an assigned Learning Pod to explore seminar topics more deeply. Learning Pod meetings will take place after each session and will be 1-hour long.
*Presenters for each module will be announced as they are confirmed.
Designed for:
Anyone who has joined the philanthropic sector (including private, public, community, corporate and United Ways) within the last two years or is interested in a refresher; open to the entire range of roles within the field, e.g., Program Staff, Chief Financial Officer, Controller, Human Resources Director, Trustee, among others.
Members of Philanthropy Massachusetts, Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island (GCRI) or Maine Philanthropy Center (MPC): $350
Non-members: $500
20% discount applies if more than one individual sign up from an organization. There is a limit of three registrants per organizationSpace permitting, we will welcome additional participants.
The series provides opportunities for:
  • Skill-building and learning from leaders and experts in the field
  • Meaningful connections through peer group discussions and Learning Pods (pre-determined small peer working groups to continue the conversation after each session. Presentations will go from 10am – 12pm, followed by a short break for lunch, and then working groups will meet from 12:30pm – 1:30pm)
  • Enhanced knowledge of the field
  • Unlimited access to session materials and recordings
  • …and more!
2022 Modules
Module 1: The Field of Philanthropy – An Overview
Friday, September 23, 2022, 10am-1:30pm
Provides a broad overview of the field of philanthropy, including the history and how modern foundations came to be. This session answers the “what’s” and “why’s” of foundations and their connection to nonprofits and community.
Module 2: Foundation Governance and Legal Issues
Friday, October 7, 2022, 10am-1:30pm
Takes a dive into 501(c)3 criteria, identifying who philanthropy is accountable to, foundation board responsibilities, and reviewing key legal and ethical issues within the field through scenarios and guiding principles.


Module 3: So You’re Working for a Foundation… Power and Your New Community 
Friday, October 21, 2022, 10am-1:30pm
Helps ground participants in the role they play within their respective organizations, strengthening awareness of their professional role, themselves, and the broader organizational system. Participants will discuss power dynamics and ways to address the inherent differences between those who deploy resources (beyond dollars) and those seeking resources.


Module 4: Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Friday, November 4, 2022, 10am-1:30pm
Offers a space for participants to explore their personal and organization’s role in diversity, equity and inclusion work, and how philanthropy, as a whole, can move the needle on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Module 5: Grantmaking Approaches and Philosophies
Friday, November 18, 2022, 10am-1:30pm
Explores the core cycle of how foundations make grants, provides an overview of how foundations give and various approaches to grantmaking strategy, particularly since the pandemic. This session also explores ways to manage and steward relationships with grantees. For those not in a grantmaking or programmatic role, this session aims to connect the dots across the entire funder organization.
Module 6: Current Topics in Philanthropy 
Friday, December 2, 2022, 10am-1:30pm
Provides a space for participants to discuss current trends in philanthropy and implications for the future of the sector with seasoned field practitioners. The conversation, guided by participants, may cover topics such as impact investing, legislation, decolonizing wealth, grantmaking practices (for ex. general operating vs. restricted support, trust-based philanthropy).
Philanthropy Massachusetts has designed and curated the curriculum for Philanthropy 101 with contributions and feedback from presenters, cohort participants and partners. Materials for some of the modules have been adapted from a program originally developed by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy’s Grantmaking School team and Philanthropy New York.

Zoom Instructions:

Zoom information: Zoom information for the program will be sent out to all registrants one week before AND in the afternoon of the business day before the session is scheduled to take place.  Please reach out to if you believe you are registered for this program and do not receive the link.

Registration & Program Follow-up Materials: Registration for the program will be closed at 2pm EST on the day before the program is scheduled to take place.  If you register after this point, you will be added to the waitlist and will be able to receive the program recording as well as all follow-up materials from the session.  For fee-based Nonprofit Partner programs, you can request these materials for a discounted rate.  Please note that it may take up to a week to prepare and disseminate those materials to all registrants.