Fix It Mob

Sent a TY note to Sandy Hook Firefighters & made a gift to Nat. Alliance for Mental Illness. What will U do to fix it? #fixitmob #sandyhook

 I have felt sick since I first heard the news about the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. Sick because I have two young children, sick because I have a husband that is a high school administrator and I worry about his safety everyday, and sick because these tragedies have become common occurances. When these things happen, I usually spend hours watching the news, trying to put together the pieces, and putting myself in the shoes of parents who have suffered an unbearable loss. I couldn't do it this time, it just hurt too much.

I'm calling for a new response when the worst happens. I've seen how we can rise up during tragedies. After the 35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, thusands of people sent in donations to help the families affected put together the pieces. We all felt better because we did our part to help heal the wound but I want us to take it one step further. I want us to also take one small step to prevent the worst from happening again. If every single one of us got out of our media fueled depression and took just one step to prevent the next tragedy from happening and told everyone we connect with what that step was, I think we would be shocked by the impact.

So here are some ideas:

If you would like to make a gift help the families impacted  make a gift to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank 39 Main Street Newtown CT 06470 To donate online, go to

and then send that same amount to an organization that is working to prevent similar tragedies in your community.

If you feel like easy access to guns caused this then make a gift to a gun buy back program or to the Brady Campaign that is working on national gun policy,

If you think that mental health issues are to blame then support a local orgaization that is providing mental health services in your community. A Minnesota example is Crisis Connection, a great national example is the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

Your support doesn't just have to be financial. Send a card to the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co, who were the first responders to the crisis and thank them for their incredible bravery during a crisis:

Sandy Hook Vol. Fire and Rescue 18-20 Riverside Rd/Po Box 783 Sandy Hook, CT  06482

and then write a letter thanking your local firefighters a letter thanking them for putting their lives on the line for our community everyday.

Reach out to parents that are struggling with their children's mental illness, bring them a dinner or just understand how hard it is to be in their shoes.

Then encourage your friends, real and virtual to do the same. After you've taken your first step to help our communities heal, update your Twitter or Facebook status with the tag #FixItMob and the tragedy that your action is in response to this will encourage people that are feeling powerless to remember that wach of us has the power to do something about this.  The only way to get rid of darkness is to shine a light on it, so let's get shining.

Please help spread this idea by sharing this post with your network and taking your first action.

Don't just count it, use it

For many foundation collecting data is a way of life. We ask grantees to tell us how many clients they served, how long they were involved with the client, which changes happened as a result of their services. We want budgets and projections and evaluation plans and the list goes on and on. But why? Do we use the data to inform our future grantmaking? Not nearly often enough. Do we track our own data on length of time to return an email or processes to streamline paperwork? Hardly ever. Data is a powerful tool but only if you use it to make change, otherwise it's just wasted effort.

NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network did a great study on how nonprofits collect data and what they use the data for (if anything). The study pushes for more data driven decision-making, which I think is a great thing for nonprofits and foundations. You can read the study here.

So you're on a panel...what are you going to wear?

It is fall conference season and that means many of you will be attending conferences in full force both on the stage and in the audience. If you will be speaking at a conference, remember that your appearance often speaks louder than your words. Here is some advice about how to look your best:

1) What is your role? Are you a program associate or a CEO? Are you representing an established organization or are you with a start up? Knowing your role helps you determine what look you should project.

2) Audience Will there be 10 people in the room or 500. Knowing the audience size helps you pick an outfit that helps you stand out but not overwhelm.

3) Logistics Will you sitting in tall chairs or standing behind a podium. Figuring this out before will ensure that you don't wear a pencil skirt and have to try to jump into a tall chair or non-matching socks that show as soon as you cross your legs (I've seen both, by the way).

4) Colors Find out what the backdrop looks like (ask your friend that's on the planning committee). Try to make sure that you don't clash with the colors that they are using.

5) Be comfortable Speaking at a conference is not the time to try new clothes. The last thing you need is shoes pinching or a shirt with buttons that come undone. Wear something that you know feels good and that makes you feel great. Uncomfortable clothes can make you look awkward and people are less likely to listen to what you are saying if you are spending the whole presentation adjusting your collar.

For great advice on professional clothing choices, check out the Corporate Fashionista Blog.

Apply for the Thurman Consulting Internship

Are you looking for a great way to build your resume or have a side hustle? Look no further! Thurman Consulting (yes, the fabulous Rosetta that co-wrote "How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar" with me) has a PAID internship that is open right now. From Rosetta:

I’m hiring! Are you looking for experience in administration and marketing for a small, one-woman owned, passion-based business? I’m currently recruiting for a winter intern to help me manage and expand the work of Thurman Consulting. This position is VIRTUAL and the hours are flexible, up to 10 hours per week at $12 an hour. The role is ideal for a college/grad student, virtual assistant or work-from home professional.

Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

Free book because you are fabulous

Two years ago this week, Rosetta Thurman and I released the book “How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar”. It has been a wild ride ever since. We’ve traveled from New York to Hawaii and from Indiana to Texas on the Nonprofit Rockstar book tour. If the tour has missed your town (Alaska, I’m looking at you) or if you’d like us to come back (Hawaii, you complete me) then contact us here. We’ve talked to young professionals groups, Chambers of Commerce, EPIP chapters, United Ways, community foundations, and universities.

None of this would have happened without YOU. You went to bat for us on conference planning committees, you encouraged your staff and students to read the book, and some of you baby boomers even bought copies for your nonprofit career-bound kids. You tweeted nice things, wrote book reviews on Amazon, and you even nominated us for a book award.

For one week only (October 29th to November 2nd), we are giving you a free electronic copy of “How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar” ($19.99 value), when you use this link. You will receive a complete PDF of the book, as our way of saying thanks for being such a nonprofit rockstar. Get one for yourself, your co-workers, your neighbor in graduate school studying nonprofit management, and your book club. Spread the love and tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Last year, we gave away 650 copies of the book, with your help we can double that number this year.

Impatient Optimist

I usually don't review books but I am a big fan of Bill Gates and was excited when I heard that there is a new book about Bill Gates' thoughts on business and philanthropy. Impatient Optimist: Bill Gates in His Own Words  is a new book edited by Lisa Rogak. Bill Gates made his name in business but in his second act, he is tackling big hairy goals like eradicating malaria and reforming the U.S. education system.

I think that Bill Gates' impact through philanthropy will someday vastly overshadow his work in technology. Here are a few of my favorite qutes from the book.

"Why isn't there outrage, absolute outrage over this issue (disparity in the educational system)? Why aren't there protests every day, I don't understand. Why wouldn't this activate people the way that it during the Civil Rights Movement?"

"The world is getting better, but it's not getting better fast enough, and it's not getting better for everyone."

"I'm an optimist. I think this is a wonderful time to be alive. There are so many opportunities to do things that were impossible before."



What's your Platform?

During this election season, there is a lot of talk about political platforms but how much thinking have you done about your own platform to share ideas? Whether you are a program assistant at a community center or the CEO of a foundation, you probably have big ideas about how to solve the problems that you see in the world. If you didn't, you probably would have picked a different field to work in. The best idea for change in the world doesn't mean much if no one hears about it, except for you and your cat.

This idea of branding and building a platform for do gooders has been keeping me up at night. My greatest frustration is that all of the great marketing goes to the dumbest ideas, e.g. the marketing muscle that went into Snookie's book "It's a Shore Thing" (no link purposefully given because I am trying to save all of our brain cells). Where is that sort of marketing might when it comes to the recent college grad who is building a performance company to use improv to bring public policy ideas to life or the author who is breaking the mold on what a donor looks like or the organization that is building a nation-wide green economy by seeing residents of the inner-city as a solution, not the problem? Since they don't have million dollar marketing budgets and prime-time commercials, I thought it was time to build a do-it-yourself movement for good idea marketing. I've built a branding book of the month club to help all of us spend some extra time building our brand. Not so you can be the next reality tv star but  so your great ideas can get the light of day. Learn more here. 

Innovation and Impact Forum

Last week I had the pleaseure of attending the Innovation and Impact Forum for Black Male Achievement that the Open Sociaty Foundation hosted in New York City. Hundreds of funders, practitioners, goverment officials, and academics came together and talked about what is working to strengthen Black men and boys in the United States. Too often we focus on the challenges but it is nice to be able to spend time celebrating what is going right. The Headwaters Foundation for Justice has been the host of the African American Leadership Forum for the last few years and it is great to see that the success of that work isn't an abberation but that is part of a larger movement across the country to support successful outcomes for African Americans. Below is a panel from the conference.

What Winning Looks Like in Black Male Achievement from Open Society Foundations on


Are you building the business of you?

[gallery] I am looking for social entrepreneurs, nonprofit rockstars, and all around do gooders that are trying to build the reach of their book, speaking career, consulting business or other business enterprise to participate in a 30-45 minute interview by phone. Participants will be rewarded for their generosity of time with a signed copy of "How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar" for themselves and a copy to be donated to the University of their choice.

If you are interested in participating in a call, send me an email (tristaharris at with the subject line: phone interview

In the body of the email please list:


Type of business (speaker, author, etc.)

Number of years you have had this business

Please share this widely with your network.


Informational Interview 101

This week I had the opportunity talk to some high school students about building their brand (What's up Cookie Cart kids!) and one of them asked me afterwards "what is an informational interview?". That is a great question and one that many adults are often too embarrassed to ask. So I'll pretend that I'm answering the question for the high schoolers and mid-career professionals can pretend like they are reading this post to brush up on something that they already know everything about and are doing consistently to advance in their career. Deal? So what is an informational interview?

An informational interview is  not a job interview. It is an interview to learn more about a job, career, industry or company.

Who should I ask for an informational interview?

People that you admire, someone who has a job that you would like in 5-10 years, or someone that works at a company that you would like to work at. You can find these people in industry blogs or newspapers, through alumni associations, or through referrals from people in your network.

Can you give me an example email to request an informational interview?

For students: Brad Owens, from Humphrey Institute Career Services suggested that I contact you.  As a graduate student studying nonprofit management I would like to learn more about my various career options after I graduate, he thought you might be able to provide me with useful information. If you are able to find time, I would like to meet with you in person or by phone for 20 minutes to ask you a few questions about your career path.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to your reply.

For people that are employed:

Amy Johnson, Executive Director of the Helping People Center shared your contact information with me. She is a big fan of yours and highly recommended that I reach out to you. I am currently a development officer at the Evergreen Health Society and am confidentially considering a move to the foundation field. Because you successfully transitioned from fundraising to a program officer position, I would like to talk with you  about your transition and if you have any specific advice about how I can better prepare myself for a job as a program officer. If you are able to find time, I would like to meet with you in person or by phone .

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to your reply.

What should I ask in my informational interview?

Can you tell me about your career path?

What does your average day look like?

What degrees are needed in this field?

What do you think best prepared you for this position?

What do you like most about your job?

What is your least favorite part of the job?

What are the next steps for you in your career?

Are there people that you would recommend that I talk to to learn more?

Who do you admire in this field?

What sort of follow-up should I do?

Write a thank you note (handwritten is best) and if you get a job in the field at a later date, write them again to thank them for their great advice that helped you to break into the field.

Best Ted Talks for Do Gooders

I am a huge fan of Ted Talks. Ted describes their mission as "spreading ideas." From their website: "We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other." I always find inspiration for my work at a foundation when I listen to Ted Talks so I thought I would compile a list of some of the best for people in the social sector. I have some of my favorites as well as ones that were suggested by my Twitter followers

Bill Strickland is one of my favorite talks ever. I have seen him do this in person but I love this version where he is backed by Herbie Hancock.

Majora Carter is a rockstar and her talk is on greening the ghetto


Jamie Drummond on crowdsourcing goals


Great talk on the mesh, which I think is the future for nonprofits as well


@Upwell suggested 3 talks, as well as a spreadsheet that lists 1200 Ted Talks in a searchable spreadsheet that is available here.

Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice

Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability

Steve Boland from the Nonprofit Assistance Fund has a great talk about freeing the power of ideas.

@mollygmartin suggested Eve Ensler's talk on happiness in body and soul

Leave your favorite Ted Talk in the comments.

Playing B-Ball with Obama: 6 Steps to Crossing Anything Off Your Bucket List

I am a big believer in "the bigger the goal, the more likely that you can accomplish it." There is a lot less competition for big, hairy audacious goals, everyone is too focused on achieving the mediocre. I read this amazing post at the Four Hour Work Week blog and it takes the idea of big goals to the next level. From Tim Ferriss:

If you want a lesson in boldness, and to cross things off of your bucket list, there is no better teacher than Ben Nemtin.

His story, and that of the entire Buried Life team, is amazing.

It started with a list of 100 things and a planned two-week roadtrip. Along the way, Ben has somehow managed to play basketball with Obama, throw the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game, delivery a baby (not his), make the biggest roulette spin in Vegas’ history, and much more.

Most recently, they crossed off #19: Write a bestselling book. Their debut, What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?, just hit #1 on The New York Times, which will be announced officially April 15th. To celebrate? They’re sending a copy of the book into space.

It all seems unbelievable, which is exactly why I love this guest post from Ben.

This original content covers his 6 steps for crossing anything off of your personal bucket list. There is a method. Everyone needs a kick in the ass sometimes, and this did it for me. Read the six steps here.

Future of Nonprofit Revenue is in the Mesh

This is the first in a series of posts on the future of the social sector. Let me know what you think.

Strengthening the revenue line is the daily struggle of most nonprofit executives. We host galas, write 30 page grant applications, and try to identify our next major donor but what if the key to giving your nonprofit stronger financial viability was hiding right in your storage closet?

Lisa Gansky, the pioneering author of “The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing” , says that Mesh companies create, share and use social media, wireless networks, and data crunched from every available source to provide people with goods and services at the exact moment they need them, without the burden and expense of owning them outright. Gansky reveals how there is real money to be made and trusted brands and strong communities to be built in helping your customers buy less but use more.

One of the darling companies of the mesh movement is Zipcar. By making it easier and affordable to have access to a car, only when you need it, Zipcar is lessening each participants’ environmental impact and the expense of car ownership.

So what does that mean for nonprofits? You have an office full of equipment and tools that you are not using at this very moment but will need to have at some future time. For example:

-The extra laptop that the summer intern uses

-The projector that is only used for the monthly board meetings

-Nametags for your yearly gala

-Reflective vests and traffic cones for your annual walk/run

What if that equipment becomes a monthly revenue item for your nonprofit by renting it out through a company like Zilok? Through Zilok you can post your equipment for rent and renters can browse listings and schedule and pay for rentals from you, a definite benefit for time-strapped nonprofits.

Nonprofits have a built in network of supporters like donors, volunteers, clients, or nonprofits you collaborate with. You could advertise your available equipment to these supporters through your regular mailing list or social media presence. On a site like Zilok you can also describe in your listing that the rental fee will support the mission of your organization, making you more marketable to values-driven consumers are who want to reward socially conscious businesses with their purchases.

Tools to put you on the leading edge of this trend:

Zilok- a centralized online rental marketplace. Zilok allows anyone, whether individuals or professionals, to rent or offer for rent anything in a few clicks. They provide both individuals & professionals a platform to offer in seconds any item for rent, so people have a quick and convenient access to anything they could possibly need on occasion, for rent.

Craigslist- Free local classifieds and forums - community moderated.

SnapGoods-SnapGoods connects people so that they can rent or borrow gear from within their network or neighborhood.

Why do we love to hate do gooders?

I am a constant critic of many philanthropy and nonprofit practices. My husband likes to say "give them a break, they are trying to do something nice." My personal motto is "do good better", so it is impossible for me to "give them a break". But I have noticed that more and more of us are getting stuck on the better part and are ignoring the do good part. This was recently highlighted for me when I was listening to Tiny Spark on NPR. Tiny Spark is a new effort to ignite a debate about the business of doing good. Their latest podcast is about Tom's Shoes and the controversy about who received the shoes. The reporter seemed disappointed that Tom's distibute the shoes to children who already have a pair of shoes. My first thought was "so what?". Kids can't have two pairs of shoes? Last time I checked, Nike or Adidas was not giving a pair of shoes away for everyone that is sold and the Tom's model feels like progress to me. It isn't perfect, but it changes how we look at what is possible. By spending so much time and energy on gaps in new ways of doing good I think we discourage others from trying. The other place where this has come to life for me is Invisible Children and the Kony controversey. My 12 year old daughter came home from school and asked me what I am doing to help the kids that Kony has kidnapped. This is not her regular conversation after school. This started a great discussion and opened up her ability to look beyond herself. It may not have been done perfectly but it started an important conversation about how we are all connected.

I am beginning to believe that there is a continuum of doing good and choosing inaction as we wait for perfection will get us no where.

What do you think?


Always be ready for the mike

I went to a meeting this week and was running a little late. I knew it would be a lunch gathering about a project that I lead but didn't have a lot of other details. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for making it just on time when I slipped into my seat. I took a look at the program and was beyond surprised when I saw that I was the second speaker listed. A few years ago I would have broken into a stress sweat and hid in the bathroom waiting for them to go on without me. Instead I continued the great conversation I was having with my table mates and when they called my name I reminded myself to stick to 5 minutes and gave what I hope was an informative and friendly introduction to the program that I lead.

So the key to going from shock to ease in just a few minutes...preparation.  For programs that I may be asked to give an impromptu speech about, I have a 30 second, 5 minute, 15 minute, and thirty minute version that I am ready to do anytime. I also have speeches in the same lengths ready to talk about myself, my organization, my job, the Nonprofit Rockstar book and the future of philanthropy. It isn't as overwhelming as it sounds. I often use the Beyond Bullet Points method to script the outline and the version can get longer as I add details and stories to my key points.

Being a prepared public speaker sets you apart professionally and decreases your need to hid in the bathroom in fear exponetially.

Do you want the coolest job in philanthropy?

As you probably know I am a big fan of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP). EPIP is where I developed my professional network in the field and now I am the chair of EPIP's national board. Our founding director, Rusty Stahl, will be stepping down in a few months and we are looking for someone amazing to increase the representation of young people in the field of philanthropy. If you are that person, get your resume in soon. If you are not that person, send this announcement to everyone in your network and help us find someone great.

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) develops extraordinary new leaders to enhance organized philanthropy and its impact on communities. EPIP was founded in 2001 by a small group of young foundation professionals and individual donors who sought to work and learn with peers in order to transform philanthropy and confront generational issues, using a social justice lens.

EPIP seeks an Executive Director to lead the fulfillment of EPIP’s vision and mission in a truly creative, dynamic, and forward-thinking fashion. The Executive Director is the leader of the organization both publicly and inside the organization, and, as such, is at once a highly visible advocate for emerging professionals within the social sector and an effective project manager who ensures that the work of EPIP is done efficiently and well.

EPIP has retained The 360 Group of San Francisco to assist with this search. Please visit to view the complete position description, including detailed application instructions. No calls, please. To be considered, The 360 Group must receive applications no later than 5:00pm Pacific time on Thursday, April 5th, 2012.

Foundation Leadership: Who Decides?

There is some serious movement afoot in the philanthropic sector. For years there has been talk of a massive leadership transition as baby boomers begin to retire, this transition hasn't happened for a lot of reasons (the economy and retirement investment returns being weak as the main culprits). But we are now starting to see the transition begin in the philanthropic sector.

Hiring a new CEO is one of the most important jobs a foundation board has. There is a another critical stakeholder when it comes to hiring the foundation CEO...grantees. Grantees are often looked at as the recipient of foundation good, rather than a consumer whose needs should be taken into account. Foundations can't meet their missions without the critical work of nonprofits, so their voice should be an important one in the hiring process.

A group of nonprofit and organizations dedicated to the success of the nonprofit sector have written an open letter to the board of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as they begin their search for a new CEO. The organizations have asked the board to select a CEO who:

-supports general operating grants for nonprofits

-understands the role that race plays in inequity

-supports high impact grantmaking through the support of advocacy and community organizing

-understands the limits of "strategic philanthropy" and will minimize the paperwork burden on nonprofits

I hope this kind of open communications brings the voice of a foundation's most important partner, nonprofits, into a decision that will impact the future of the sector.

Looking for a researcher

I am looking for a graduate student or nonprofit nerd/connoisseur to provide me with research on nonprofit and philanthropy trends. The topics will be provided and I would like the researcher to summarize the trend in 2-3 pages and provide a list of sources. I need between 5-10 hours a month of research time. For every 5 hours of research time that you provide, I will give you one hour of professional development coaching. More information about my coaching areas of expertise are at


The researcher can work virtually, so geographic location is not important. If you are interested, please send me an email at tristaharris (at) gmail (dot) com.

What Does a Program Officer Do?

In this philanthropy job series I'll cover that a program officer does. When I was a fundraiser and wanted to work in philanthropy, I thought that program officer's had 5-10 organizations that they worked with over a number of years. I thought I'd learn about organizations inside and out and help them make the world a better place. What really happened is that I had more than a hundred organizations (current grantees, applicants, former organizations, and organizations doing similar work) that I needed to understand on the most basic level. Most of my time was spent telling great people and organizations that we would not be funding them and managing the avalanche of paperwork that followed those that we could fund. All of that being said, I think being a program officer is one of the most exciting and fulfilling jobs in the social sector.  There are three main phases of work for the program officer: Eyes & Ears, Brain & Heart, and Hands & Feet.

Eyes & Ears: This phase of work is filled with spending time in your community to develop relationships, doing informational calls with prospective grantees, and identifying organizations to encourage to apply during the grant process. The amount of time that you spend doing these things varies widely depending on your foundation. Some foundations are so understaffed that they don't do this type of outreach. Other foundations may spend years on this type of work as they develop a grantmaking program.

  Brain & Heart: This phase is where the big paperwork and analysis begins. In this phase you receive letters of inquiry and applications (depending on the foundation and the narrowness of its guidelines this could be a few dozen or hundreds of applications). Your role is to determine if the applications fit the guidelines and if the organization has the capacity to undertake the work that they have described. Later in the process you might do site visits, outside research, or interviews with community stakeholders. You will then write up a summary of the applications to the foundation's board. In this phase you will give a lot of bad news. Many organizations won't get funding and a good program officer learns how to give that bad news in a way that honors the work of the nonprofit and offers suggestion to improve the program or find a foundation where the work is a better fit.

  Hands & Feet: This part of the work is about being an ambassador for that organization to your board and in the community. You are their voice in the board room (either verbally or written) and you are the person that needs to be able to answer any questions that the board has. If the organization is funded, you communicate any expectations that your foundation has (reports, outcomes, publicity) and help the organization navigate grant agreements, evaluation frameworks, or required convenings that your foundation hosts.  You can also connect those grantees with colleagues at other foundations that may be interested in their work.

I lay out this description of a program officer's job not because I feel like this is how the grantee/grantor relationship should be but because I want you to know what you are getting into if you pursue a career in philanthropy. There is a lot of work to be done to reduce the amount of paperwork in foundations, increase foundation's transparency and better train program officers and if you become a foundation staff member, I hope that you will take on those causes as seriously as you take on evaluating the work of nonprofits.

If you work as a program officer, what parts of your job do you love, which do you hate?

New Year, New Philanthropy Job?

*Note: It is a common misconception that philanthropy jobs look like this, be prepared for piles of paper and no private jet.


I've heard from many of my recruiter friends that January is a prime time for organizations to start searches because people often make New Year's resoultions to get a new job. If you have a resolution to get a job in the philanthropic field, here are a few pieces of advice to help you on your journey:

Develop Expertise: Lots of foundations (especially community foundations or unstaffed foundations) need volunteers to help them make grantmaking decisions. Volunteer your services and build some expertise in grantmaking.  As Rosetta Thurman says "don't volunteer for free", get some new skills out of it.

Build a Strong Network: While you are volunteering, build your network. Use that foot in the door to attend philanthropy conferences or foundation briefings. I got my first volunteer opportunity in philanthropy by sneaking into a Joint Affinity Group meeting. A funder that I knew saw me there and asked me if I was interested in being on one of their grant review committees, that led to consulting work with that foundation, and then to a job there as a program officer. (Check out my post "So you wanna be a Program Officer" for more tips on how to get a job reviewing grants)

Brand Yourself: Different foundations have different brands, for example academic, community-focused, cutting edge, or stuffy. Find a foundation that aligns with your personal brand and make sure that your resume and cover letter highlight your brand.

Take the Leap: It is easy to psyc yourself out and not apply for your dream philanthropy job. Sometimes you have to suck it up and take a chance. If you want to make a difference through grantmaking, prepare and be willing to take the leap.