How I learned you can grant love

When we launched the 100 Classrooms project earlier this year, I thought the teaching/learning part would be a one-way street.  I teach; they learn.

After covering the basics of philanthropy and the vocabulary of professional grant makers, each class, regardless of age, is taken through a series of decision-making steps.  If they have elected to become human services grant makers, I ask them to list everything people, animals, and the planet need to survive.  Quickly, the board fills with words like air, water, houses, and food.

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Community Foundation question: “What should I do with my hands?”

For those of you who have been following our 40 Grants in 40 Weeks project, you may have noticed that once the camera is rolling, I have no idea what to do with my hands.  Seriously, they are either waving (seemingly uncontrollably) to make a point or shoved in my pockets.  Somehow I manage to get through the day off-camera without worrying about my hands at all, yet once a camera is in front of me I transform into something straight out of a Fosse musical.

I was thinking about this while watching the most recent video surprise (congratulations Glove House!), and it struck me that I faced a similar challenge ten years ago when I became a grantmaker.  Rather than wondering what to do with my hands, I wondered what to do with my opinions.  Should I make sure to disclose my personal feelings at every turn (seemingly uncontrollably) or should I bury them as to never allow the tiniest amount of perceived bias invade my work?

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