We recently asked Rebecca Van Sickle, manager of 1892 consulting and PEAK’s 25th Anniversary Committee co-chair, to lead a roundtable with four PEAK members to explore how they each discovered grantmaking and grew within the field, and navigated these challenges. The following are highlights of the conversation with Pam Foster, chief operating officer of Co-Impact; Dan Gaff, director of grants management at the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust; Quinn MacNichol, grants manager at Group Health Foundation; and Tiffany Price, program officer at Pacific Foundation Services. Their dialogue reveals how far grants management has come and the ways in which others in the profession can fully leverage the vast possibilities of the role.

Van Sickle: I’m reflecting on the idea of grants management professionals as advocates for themselves, for the profession, and for their colleagues, peers, and grantees. And I’m also reflecting on ways of constantly looking at and improving your process, your relationships, or your internal work or systems. That’s the practice and the culture of the foundation and a lot of that sits in this realm of the grants management professionals. So, I would love to hear more from all of you about how you’re defining power and influence in philanthropy.

Foster: Access to data gives grants managers a tremendous ability to influence everything around our organizations. We are able to harness that information to tell the stories that are embedded in the data, to use that information to shine a light on challenges and potential solutions across the organization, to give our program colleagues the information they need to make informed decisions about their grants. This is a great space for grants managers to occupy and it’s been a key area for me as I think about how I’ve been able to navigate and advocate for my team and for my own role.

Read the full article about the innate power of grantmakers by Rebecca Van Sickle, Pam Foster, Dan Gaff, Quinn MacNichol, Tiffany Price at PEAK Grantmaking.