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The Insider's Guide to Grantmaking: How Foundations Find, Fund, and Manage Effective Programs by Joel J. Orosz

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Foundations: The Role of the Program Officer

The character of work in foundations is anomalous, truly a vocation like no other. When you become a foundation program officer, you discover that you have entered a truly distinctive trade. What other calling, for example, cannot agree on a name by which to refer to itself? A kiss is just a kiss, but you may be called a philanthropist, a funder, a grantmaker, a changemaker, a philanthroper (even a philanthropoid!), and, more recently, a social investor or social venture capitalist. Weighty objections can be arrayed against each term: philanthropist properly describes the foundation's donor, not its employee; funder is too generic, for it could describe any entity, human or corporate, that donates ...

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