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Program Officer Peer Learning Cohort

If you’re a new to mid-career program officer, this cohort will help hone your knowledge and advance your practice to have the greatest impact possible on the communities and issues you care about.

Program Officer Peer Learning Cohort

Decades of CEP research shows that program officers play a crucial role in a funder’s ability to positively impact communities, issues, and fields. To be an outstandingly effective program officer requires a unique skillset and deep knowledge of an array of approaches. CEP’s Program Officer Peer Learning Cohort is designed to help you hone that knowledge and skillset.

In this cohort, you will: 

  • Deepen your knowledge of effective grantmaking practices
  • Hone skills for your unique context
  • Learn from guest speakers + funder examples
  • Build a deep network + leverage peer support
Cohort Welcome: Sept. 5, 3-5pm EST
  • Cohort overview
  • Community-building: Get to know your cohort peers
Strengthening Grantee Relationships: Oct. 17, 3-5pm EST
  • What does CEP data tell us about the importance of strong funder-grantee relationships and how to build and maintain them?
  • Discussion: Reflecting on relationships in the context of your organization
Selection Processes: Nov. 14th, 3-5pm EST
  • Due diligence and identifying your organization’s non-negotiables
  • Streamlining processes to limit the burden on grantees
  • Equity implications for constructing a portfolio, including accessing and building a pipeline
Difficult Conversations: Jan. 16, 3-5pm EST
  • Respectful approaches to difficult grantee relationship junctures including: proposal declinations, sunsetting long-term relationships, and restrictions on funding size, length, or type.
  • Discussion: Role-playing difficult conversations
Reporting Processes: Feb. 13, 3-5pm EST
  • Creating a culture/climate of mutual learning and partnership
  • Different models of reporting processes
  • Discussion: Reporting processes in the context of your organization. Role-playing constructive feedback as part of the reporting process.
Strengthening Grantee Organizations: April 17, 3-5pm EST
  • What does CEP data tell us about the importance of grantmaking characteristics and non-monetary support?
  • Discussion: non-monetary supports and multiyear general operating grants at your organization
Capstone: May 15, 3-5pm EST
  • Tying it all together with pro-tips and career advice from seasoned Program Officers
  • Celebration!

Session Details

This cohort includes seven monthly virtual sessions, September 2024 through May 2025, with breaks in December and March.

Each session includes interactive presentations on data-backed practices, compelling guest speakers, discussion in whole group and small group formats, reflection, and peer-to-peer learning. This cohort is designed to enable you to develop a network of deeply connected peers across the field.

Guest Speakers

Check back for updates on additional speakers!

Elisha Smith Arrillaga

Vice President, Research, CEP

Joseph Lee

Manager, Assessment and Advisory Services, CEP

Amber Bradley

Director, Learning Institute, CEP

Mercedes De La Riva

Engagement Lead, Learning Institute, CEP

Andrea Keller Hesel

Program Officer, Environment, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Limited spaces available! Register early to secure your space!

Early Bird Discount Register by June 6, 2024Standard Cost


Group and Community Foundation Discounts: We offer a $100 discount per person for participants who join with a colleague (limit: five participants per organization) and for those joining from a community foundation. Multiple discounts may be combined. Email CEP for Eventbrite discount codes. 

Accessibility: CEP is committed to making cohorts welcoming and accessible spaces. Reach out to us if you have questions or require accommodations.

Contact CEP if: Your role doesn’t match the participant description, but you’d like to be considered; you require accommodations to fully participate; and/or if you would prefer to pay via EFT, check, or grant.

About the Learning Institute

CEP’s Learning Institute offers cohorts, workshops, and custom trainings for foundation staff and leaders to support your learning and implementation of data-backed practices.