By Dave Peery
We’ve been talking about launching this blog for some time, but it’s time to quit talking and just get it going! I’ve feared the prospect of suddenly having extra homework - but have also found the exercise of recording thoughts and learnings from our work to be incredibly useful for us.
Last year we conducted an experiment. As we were undergoing a strategic-planning process, we decided to open up our discussion to include other minds in the field who were on Twitter. Truth is, I had no idea how to use Twitter, but Jessamyn showed me a few things and we decided to see how we could use it during our discussions about the direction of the Foundation. We’re a small shop - there are just two of us running the day-to-day, so being able to include other ideas was extremely helpful - and fun! We just began by sending out tweets that summarized what we were discussing, what questions we had, and inviting people to chime in using the hashtag #pfwhiteboard - thus creating a virtual whiteboard of ideas to aid in our planning. We netted a number of new connections, relationships, and some fresh thinking. We hope to do the same here, on the PF Whiteboard.
We think of the Peery Foundation as a learning foundation. After we all, we are a family foundation without a highly professionalized staff, but we’re thoughtful about the work we do and aim to improve every day. Blogging on the PF Whiteboard, I believe, will probably be of greater value to us than anyone else as we’re able to put our thoughts and experiences to paper and learn from the rest of you. We hope you’ll comment and share your opinions. Ultimately, we really hope the content here can serve the field of philanthropy in some way.
Aside from my ramblings, you’ll find posts from Jessamyn Lau, our Program Leader and first non-family staff member. We’re not going to focus on specific issue areas or grantees, but will talk more about experiences we’re having as grantmakers, insights from the field, and the problems we see and are working through. Some of our posts may not appeal to the most sophisticated foundation professionals out there, be we do aim to add real value to most of us in the field. We welcome any topics you’d like to see a foundation blog about. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, so anything is on the table.