On February 22, 19 members of WGA converged in Seattle, WA for the 2020 Catalist Conference. Little did we know at the time that much of what we learned would become more important than ever as we all work with the non-profit agencies in our communities to continue to provide vital services.
The overarching theme this year was Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and how it factors into all facets of an organization, through the board members, the agencies funded and communications with the group’s members and the community at large.
Trust was also a big discussion point and we were challenged to come home and actually talk to and listen to our agencies. They know what they need better than we do. Sometimes we get too concerned about equating success with measurables. A great quote:
“Don’t count the length or the cost of the hose when the house in on fire.”
A few thoughts to ponder:
- Equity is about targeting funding to those who need it most. “Which agencies are doing amazing work but are not getting funding? Give funding to them for whatever they need!”
- What if we as funders started with trust, instead of making potential partners “earn” it?
- Consider multi-year unrestricted grants
- Don’t forget the mission of your giving circle; that should not have changed regardless of the current crisis.
Finally, Catalist has the same look and website, but a new name (now known as Philanos). Despite months of wrangling, The US Patent & Trademark Office rejected the petition for the Catalist trademark. By April 1, the organization will be transitioned on all platforms to reflect the Philanos identity (www.philanos.org). The new name is based on Greek and Latin roots—the same Greek root as “philanthropy” and the Latin root “nos” which means “us”.
Philanos is hosting bi-weekly webinars to discuss best practices among women’s collective giving organizations and the ongoing changes and impact that COVID-19 is having in our respective communities. Stay tuned!