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What We Learned About Grantmaking in 2020

2020 has been tough, and most of us are probably more than ready to kiss it goodbye. But the challenges a global pandemic and economic downturn created also forced agility and innovation among the grantmaking community, whose funds were more vital than ever. Moreover, organizations not traditionally in the grantmaking space also responded with generosity and speed to address the enormous need. As a platform used to award over one billion dollars in COVID-19 relief funding, Submittable saw it all firsthand.

Join the Submittable sales and marketing teams in conversation with client organizations that made big impacts in 2020: Brooklyn Community Foundation, Crew Nation, and Bread and Roses Community Fund. With special guests Nurit Smith, Marcella J. Tillett, Sandra Thompson, and Lily Hamilton, we'll discuss major lessons learned in grantmaking and corporate social responsibility from the past year, including:

  • Trends in emergency grants, relief funding, and CSR.
  • Ideas that failed, ones that worked, and strategies that you can steal.
  • How grantmaking can and should evolve as a result of what we've learned.
  • Time for Q&A.

Hosted By:

Picture of your host, Nurit Smith

Nurit Smith is Executive Director of House of Blues Music Forward Foundation. Nurit has two decades involvement in the arts and entertainment social sectors as artist and executive. A UC Berkeley grad, her work as a performer and creator has been seen on TV and film and on stages across the country. She has managed positions within varied organizations including Blue Man Group, SAG-AFTRA Foundation and Grand Performances. Born in Israel and raised in Los Angeles, she currently lives in her hometown of LA with her husband and two daughters.

Picture of your host, Marcella J. Tillett

Marcella J. Tillett joined the Brooklyn Community Foundation in September 2019 as the Vice Presidents of Programs and Partnerships, overseeing the Foundation's strategic grantmaking and community leadership programs. She previously was the Vice President for Project Street Beat of Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC), a unique HIV-prevention, harm reduction, and access-to-care program.

Marcella spent over a decade actively engaged in HIV prevention and access to care and sexual and reproductive justice advocacy through community planning work in NYC and nationally. Her work has focused on affirming community needs and priorities during the development of policies, services, and resource allocation, which has included the New York State Ending The Epidemic Women’s Advisory Committee and New York City Sexual and Reproductive Justice Community Engagement Group.

Marcella currently serves as a Board Member of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and is an Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work.

Picture of your host, Sandra Thompson

Sandra Thompson is the Interim Director of Grantmaking for the Bread and Roses Community Fund. Sandra has a long and diverse career in the nonprofit sector. She has comprehensive experience in administration, implementation of policies and training programs, and resource development, as well as budget development and analysis. She also has strong background in supervision, consultation, negotiation, and training.

In addition to her professional experiences, she has a long history as a volunteer in HIV/AIDS services; juvenile justice; and Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender issues. in 2015, she served on Bread & Roses’ Community Grantmaking Committee.

Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Marywood University and a Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served on the Boards of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, Prevention Point Philadelphia, Liberty City Democrats, the Center for Responsible Funding, AIDS FUND, and the LGBT Elder Initiative.

Picture of your host, Lily Hamilton

Lily Hamilton is the Program Associate for Grantmaking at the Bread and Roses Community Fund. Lily is devoted to cultivating a radical, anti-racist social work practice focused on community autonomy. They are passionate about prison abolition, mutual aid, and political education. In their free time Lily loves to work on bikes, listen to podcasts, and go gay country line-dancing with chosen family.

Lily grew up in a small town in rural Virginia, but calls Richmond home. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Lily went on to attend the University of Chicago for their master’s in social work and now joins Bread & Roses as a Quaker Voluntary Service Fellow.

Picture of your host, Rachel Mindell

Rachel Mindell is a content marketing manager at Submittable. One of the highlights of her job is talking with social impact leaders about their work and learning more about how technology can help accelerate positive change.

Picture of your host, Caitlin Stainken

Caitlin Stainken is the Director of New Business at Submittable. She joined the team in 2015. Caitlin has an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana, and she’s an alumnus of the Chicago Neo-Futurists. At 5’4″, she’s the tallest woman in her family.

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Hosted By:

Picture of your host, Nurit Smith

Nurit Smith is Executive Director of House of Blues Music Forward Foundation. Nurit has two decades involvement in the arts and entertainment social sectors as artist and executive. A UC Berkeley grad, her work as a performer and creator has been seen on TV and film and on stages across the country. She has managed positions within varied organizations including Blue Man Group, SAG-AFTRA Foundation and Grand Performances. Born in Israel and raised in Los Angeles, she currently lives in her hometown of LA with her husband and two daughters.

Picture of your host, Marcella J. Tillett

Marcella J. Tillett joined the Brooklyn Community Foundation in September 2019 as the Vice Presidents of Programs and Partnerships, overseeing the Foundation's strategic grantmaking and community leadership programs. She previously was the Vice President for Project Street Beat of Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC), a unique HIV-prevention, harm reduction, and access-to-care program.

Marcella spent over a decade actively engaged in HIV prevention and access to care and sexual and reproductive justice advocacy through community planning work in NYC and nationally. Her work has focused on affirming community needs and priorities during the development of policies, services, and resource allocation, which has included the New York State Ending The Epidemic Women’s Advisory Committee and New York City Sexual and Reproductive Justice Community Engagement Group.

Marcella currently serves as a Board Member of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and is an Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work.

Picture of your host, Sandra Thompson

Sandra Thompson is the Interim Director of Grantmaking for the Bread and Roses Community Fund. Sandra has a long and diverse career in the nonprofit sector. She has comprehensive experience in administration, implementation of policies and training programs, and resource development, as well as budget development and analysis. She also has strong background in supervision, consultation, negotiation, and training.

In addition to her professional experiences, she has a long history as a volunteer in HIV/AIDS services; juvenile justice; and Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender issues. in 2015, she served on Bread & Roses’ Community Grantmaking Committee.

Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Marywood University and a Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served on the Boards of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, Prevention Point Philadelphia, Liberty City Democrats, the Center for Responsible Funding, AIDS FUND, and the LGBT Elder Initiative.

Picture of your host, Lily Hamilton

Lily Hamilton is the Program Associate for Grantmaking at the Bread and Roses Community Fund. Lily is devoted to cultivating a radical, anti-racist social work practice focused on community autonomy. They are passionate about prison abolition, mutual aid, and political education. In their free time Lily loves to work on bikes, listen to podcasts, and go gay country line-dancing with chosen family.

Lily grew up in a small town in rural Virginia, but calls Richmond home. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Lily went on to attend the University of Chicago for their master’s in social work and now joins Bread & Roses as a Quaker Voluntary Service Fellow.

Picture of your host, Rachel Mindell

Rachel Mindell is a content marketing manager at Submittable. One of the highlights of her job is talking with social impact leaders about their work and learning more about how technology can help accelerate positive change.

Picture of your host, Caitlin Stainken

Caitlin Stainken is the Director of New Business at Submittable. She joined the team in 2015. Caitlin has an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana, and she’s an alumnus of the Chicago Neo-Futurists. At 5’4″, she’s the tallest woman in her family.