(This is a guest post from Sandra Bass, program officer at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, who is covering the Council on Foundations Conference for Tactical Philanthropy)
By Sandra Bass
I’ve been to large conferences before but nothing like this. I’m half-way hoping they’ll be passing out GPS systems with our badges and bags so I’ll be able to find my way back to my room.
Big thanks to Sean for sharing his online real estate to facilitate conversations and critiques about COF. I’ve been with the Packard Foundation for a little over three years in various capacities. My current role is quite eclectic. I manage our President’s, Special Opportunities, and Philanthropy portfolios and I’m also engaged with a variety of other special projects. Depending on the day I either feel quite important and privileged or the Program Officer of Other.
I don’t know how anyone working in philanthropy can’t be excited about what’s happening in the field. I’m a political scientist by training and thought I would channel my social change impulses through my career as an academic. Then I got my first tenure-track job….nuff said. Disenchanted with the academic world, I was lucky enough to get a job at the Packard Foundation. Frankly, philanthropy was a big black box to me before coming to the Foundation. 3 years on I still can’t believe how fortunate I am to be at this place, at this moment in time, talking about these issues. So what do I hope to get out of the conference? Well the conference between the conference is always where the action is, so I’m looking forward to some great conversations and connections with colleagues. If I come back with at least one actionable idea from the sessions…that’s worth the price of admission.