Innovation Symposium Will Discuss Gender-Based Giving

Innovations in International Philanthropy is sponsored by Fidelity Charitable, Veris Wealth Partners, the Boston Foundation, and many other notable partners in the corporate and nonprofit sectors.

Good news for the philanthropic sector, as mainstream philanthropy appears to be embracing key concepts and strategies related to gender equality and a more relational way to do grantmaking.

The latest example of this trend? New England International Donors (NEID) and The Philanthropic Initiative’s Center for Global Philanthropy have gotten together to co-host  the 2018 Innovations in International Philanthropy Symposium at MIT’s Samberg Center September 6-7, 2018. The goal of this event is to “propel forward the capacity and impact of internationally-oriented philanthropists, including individuals, families, foundations, investors, and corporate funders.”

But here’s the really good part: this symposium will involve systems strategizing, gender-based giving, and participatory grant-making, all key concepts to feminist philanthropy. Lisa Jackson, managing partner of Imago Dei Fund, will be facilitating a workshop on  “Introducing a Gender Lens to Your Philanthropy.” Jen Bokoff of The Foundation Center and Diana Samarasan of the Disability Rights Fund will workshop the subject of “Taking a Participatory Approach to Grantmaking.”

Impact investing will also be discussed, which aligns with feminist philanthropy in that it encourages the use of alternative models for funding social change like Limited Liability Corporations and funding start-up businesses.

The two-day event has an impressive lineup of speakers and workshops. Check it out:

Thursday, September 6, 2018 – at The Boston Foundation

2:00 pm Registration

2:30-2:45 pm Welcome and Opening

Paul Grogan, President, Boston Foundation

Ina Breuer, Executive Director, New England International Donors

Maggi Alexander, Partner and Director of TPI’s Center for Global Philanthropy

2:45-4:00 pm Keynote: Innovations in Global Philanthropy

Raj Panjabi, co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health

(More to be Announced.)

4:00-5:00 pm Collaborative Exercise

5:00-6:00 pm Welcome Reception 

Friday, September 7, 2018 – at the Samberg Conference Center, MIT

8:00 am Registration

8:30-9:15 am Breakfast

Keynote: Connecting Local and Global Philanthropy

(Speakers To be Announced.)

9:15-10:45 am Funder Workshops

  • Ramping Up Your International Philanthropy
    Maggi Alexander, Partner and Director, The Philanthropic Initiative’s Center for Global Philanthropy
    Rebecca Miller, Global Philanthropic Advisor, The Philanthropic Initiative
  • An Action Plan for Launching Your Impact Investing Strategy
    Vilas Dhar, Social Impact Investor and Founder, Next Mile Project
  • Taking a Participatory Approach to Grantmaking
    Jen Bokoff, The Foundation Center, Diana Samarasan, Disability Rights Fund                                                                                   
  • Understanding Philanthropy’s Role in Launching & Scaling Solutions
    Ina Breuer, Executive Director, New England International Donors ​​

10:45-11:00 am Coffee Break

11:00 am-12:30 pm Funder Workshops 

  • Building a Culture of Engagement in Global Companies
    Joe McGrail, Chief Operating Officer, State Street Foundation, Inc; Managing Director, State Street Corporation; Leslie Pine, Managing Partner, The Philanthropic Initiative; Lauren Ryan, Employee Community Engagement & Strategic Programs, Global Human Resources & Corporate Citizenship, State Street​​
  • Leveraging Philanthropy and Impact Investing to Support Social Change
    Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO, Acumen​​
  • Revolutionizing Relationships with Your Grantees
    Andy Bryant, Executive Director, Segal Family Foundation
    Tory Dietel Hopps, Managing Partner Dietel Partners
  • What is Systems Thinking – What Is It and How to Apply It to Your Philanthropy?
    Robert Ricigliano, Systems and Complexity Coach, The Omidyar Group

12:30-2:00 pm Lunch

Keynote: (To Be Announced.) 

2:00-3:30 pm Funder Workshops 

  • Developing a Roadmap for Your Next Steps: Models for Corporate Philanthropy
    Leslie Pine, Managing Partner, The Philanthropic Initiative​​;                                  Crystal Barnes, Executive Director, Nielsen Foundation; Senior Vice President, Global Responsibility & Sustainability, Nielsen Foundation
  • Aligning Your Philanthropy with the SDGs
    Natalie Ross, Vice President of External Relations, Council on Foundations
  • Introducing a Gender Lens to Your Philanthropy
    Lisa Jackson, Managing Partner, Imago Dei Fund
  • Empowering Community Foundations to Support Their International Donors
    Maggi Alexander, Partner and Director, The Philanthropic Initiative’s Center for Global Philanthropy with Ellen Remmer, Senior Partner, The Philanthropic Initiative 

3:30-3:45 pm Coffee Break

3:45-5:00 pm Closing Keynote: The Future of International Philanthropy

Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, Founder, Deshpande Foundation

Early Bird Tickets are available till June 30 and interested parties can register on the symposium website.

Questions regarding the agenda? Contact Odette Ponce, at 


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Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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