The Implementation Team
Day-to-day operations for LearnPhilanthopy are powered by a focused and committed Implementation Team,consultants experienced in and beyond philanthropy,with a combination of skills and expertise including project management and leadership,technology,action research,social media,network facilitation,communications,adult learning,and product development.
Marcia Sharp,Team Lead,is the principal of Millennium Communications Group,a strategic communications practice serving the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Sharp has led the planning work for LearnPhilanthropy over the past two and a half years,starting with the Council on Foundations and the Forum of regional Associations of Grantmakers and expanding out to include dozens of foundations and provider organizations. In previous work,Sharp led the team that developed “Communications as Engagement:The Millennium Report to the Rockefeller Foundation” in the mid 90’s,one of the first works to call attention in the nonprofit world to the coming power of communications for connection and knowledge sharing,in addition to its more traditional use for “publicity.” She was the lead consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation for its Communication and Social Change initiative,that worked to define a new communications to support economic and social development in the third world.
A graduate of Harvard University,Sharp has been a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Effective Philanthropy,and the Kellogg Foundation’s College of Consultants,and has served as a research fellow at the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California.
Jessica Bearman works with philanthropic and other mission-based organizations,helping them to have greater impact and more fun. Her work focuses on facilitation,organization development,strategic planning,and project research &development. Current and recent clients include Grantmakers for Effective Organizations,LearnPhilanthropy,Project Streamline,the D5 initiative,and the California Women’s Foundation (for a project with progressive public foundations across the country).
Jessica is the former deputy director of New Ventures in Philanthropy,a national initiative of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers to promote philanthropic giving,particularly among populations historically alienated from mainstream philanthropy. Her work included significant research,writing,and speaking about philanthropic strategies and traditions of women,rural communities,and racial,ethnic,and tribal donors. Prior to her work in philanthropy,Jessica spent nine years doing program development and fundraising for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation,an environmental nonprofit based in Maryland. She has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Masters in Organization Development from American University/National Training Laboratory. She lives in the wilds of Idaho with her family.
Barbara Demarest is a strategy consultant serving mission-driven and constituency-focused organizations such as foundations,universities,associations and nonprofits. She also works with consultants and authors who want to turn ideas into products,workshops,online learning,or books. For 20 years,she held executive positions at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL),a $100 million nonprofit education institution with a global mission in executive education. Barbara’s CCL experiences in global marketing and product development inform her consulting practice. Barbara holds an MBA from Wake Forest University and an undergraduate degree is in Public Policy from Duke University.
Dara Major is an independent consultant in the areas of strategy,learning and alignment for results – at the individual,organizational and field levels. With 20 years of experience in philanthropy,Dara has led major evaluation and organizational learning initiatives – including building capacity to embrace and capitalize on change – for the Surdna Foundation,where she served as director for planning and strategic initiatives. Earlier in her career,she served as a chief aide to the president of the Rockefeller Foundation,managing the activities of the executive office and directing special projects including speechwriting. An active proponent of and participant in communities of practice that bring together people working on similar problems in different settings to share ideas,find solutions,and support innovation,Dara was member of the first cohort of participants in the Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. She has also worked with organizations in a board and advisory capacity,including Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and the Center for Effective Philanthropy.
Allen Gunn is Executive Director of Aspiration in San Francisco,USA,and works to help NGOs,activists,foundations and software developers make more effective use of technology for social change. Gunner has worked in numerous technology environments from NGO to Silicon Valley start-up to college faculty to large corporation,serving in senior management,engineering,teaching and volunteer roles. He is an experienced facilitator with a passion for designing collaborative open learning processes,and he believes in melding hard work with serious fun. Read more…