Program Officer Peer Learning Cohort

• 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

Program Officer Peer Learning 9-Month Cohort

Hone your knowledge and advance your practice to have the greatest impact possible on the communities and issues you care about.

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 program officers hone that knowledge and skillset.

In this cohort, you will connect with a supportive group of peers while you grow your knowledge of data-backed practices for effective philanthropy and hone skills tailored to your organizational context.

The cohort includes seven virtual sessions, September 2024 through May 2025. Each 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.

Sessions in Detail

Sessions take place monthly, with breaks in December and March to provide time for individual reflection and implementation.

September 5, 2024 (3-5pm EST):

  • Cohort overview
  • Community-building: Get to know your cohort peers

October 17, 2024 (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

November 14, 2024 (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

December Break

January 16, 2024 (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

February 13, 2024 (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.

March Break

April 17, 2024 (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

May 15, 2024 (3-5pm EST):

  • Tying it all together with pro-tips and career advice from seasoned Program Officers
  • Celebration!

Calendar Quick Look

The utility and success of the learning cohort depends on meaningful participation from each member. So that we can foster a strong group, have fruitful conversations, and best support members in their work, we ask that each participant register with the intention of attending each of the seven planned sessions.

  Date Pacific   Mountain Central Eastern
Session 1: Welcome September 5 12-2pm 1-3pm 2-4pm 3-5pm
Session 2: Relationships October 17 12-2pm 1-3pm 2-4pm 3-5pm
Session 3: Selection Processes November 14 12-2pm 1-3pm 2-4pm 3-5pm
Session 4: Difficult Conversations January 16 12-2pm 1-3pm 2-4pm 3-5pm
Session 5: Reporting Processes February 13 12-2pm 1-3pm 2-4pm 3-5pm
Session 6: Strengthening Organizations April 17 12-2pm 1-3pm 2-4pm 3-5pm
Session 7: Capstone May 15 12-2pm 1-3pm 2-4pm 3-5pm

About CEP’s Learning Institute and Peer Learning Cohorts

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. To learn more about CEP’s past and current offerings, visit the Learning Institute webpage.

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