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Unfunded List Presents

A virtual symposium on

Inclusive Philanthropy

July 28th and 29th, 2021

Our virtual skills-building sessions covered everything a grant evaluator needs to know, from basic nonprofit research to entity formation to tax reform in a series of panel discussions that covered a vanguard of the philanthropic landscape.

Our goal was to leave each participant with new opportunities to participate in philanthropy. We are pleased to publish all the sessions and agenda below for those who could not attend. 

About the Symposium

The Unfunded List, in service of our mission to educate the public about philanthropy and philanthropic processes, hosted a Virtual Symposium on Inclusive Philanthropy. This was our most comprehensive event in our history.

Our skills-building sessions covered everything a grant evaluator needs to know, from basic nonprofit research to entity formation to tax reform in a series of panel discussions that covered a vanguard of the philanthropic landscape. 

We believe that philanthropy can be an effective tool when used for good. Like with any tool, it helps to learn how to use it first. We want to teach as many people how to properly use this critical tool and we want to include a wider array of participants in the world of philanthropy.

Everyone who has evaluated a proposal during our past few rounds was invited to attend as a guest along with every organization we reviewed. All of our instructors and moderators were current evaluators and most of our panelists have evaluated with us as well.

Host Committee

We would like to thank the members of our host committee that helped make our Symposium on Inclusive Philanthropy a success.

Sypmosium Sessions

Our sessions were designed to serve our community in response to questions, reviews, and feedback that we have received from evaluators and applicants over the past couple years. They are shared below free of charge. We organized the sessions along three tracks aligned with our motto; Listen, Learn & Speak.

WATCH: Nonprofits: Under the Hood

WATCH: Common Grant Proposal Questions

WATCH: Models of Social Formation

WATCH: Guide to Giving Vehicles

WATCH: Legislative Reform for Civil Society

WATCH: Covid Contributions and the Post-Mask Ask

WATCH: Feedback on the Feedback

Find more detailed session descriptions and materials below. All of our videos were originally captioned with Zoom and the auto-subtitler made more than one mistake. We will do our best to review all the captions over the next few weeks to make the content as accessible as possible. Enjoy.

Track 1 - Listen

Nonprofits: Under the Hood

We kicked off the Symposium with a look at how to research a nonprofit, whether you are reviewing their proposal, considering a partnership, or wondering how they spend their funds. What better way to begin an event than a deep dive into some 990s?

Moderator: Dave Moss

Common Grant Proposal Questions

Dave’s session was immediately followed by a discussion of the most commonly asked grant proposal questions. We review proposals submitted anywhere and everywhere and we have identified the 5 trickiest proposal questions that can be traps to instantly disqualify applicants or excellent opportunities for organizations to make their case.

Moderator: Ted Travens, MBA Dynamic Solution Associates
Guests: Marquetta D. Finley, Xtraordinary Business Consulting LLC
Keesha Gibson, Gibson Consulting & Solutions LLC

Models of Social Formation

Unfunded List’s Managing Director walked us through over two dozen models of social good formation. LLC? 501(c)(3)? S-corp? 501(c)(4)? So many letters and numbers but what do they mean and how do you know which is the best fit for an idea?

Moderator: Margaret Chapman, MBA, Unfunded List

Track 2 - Learn

A Guide to Giving Vehicles

This sessions focused on some of the most common giving vehicles used throughout the world of philanthropy and fundraising, from foundations, checking accounts, LLCs, DAFs and CLATs, as well as how they work. The good news for fundraisers is that these vehicles sometimes make their priorities and giving plans clear in advance which makes it easier to plan your grant calendar in advance.

Guides: Dave Moss, Founder of the Unfunded List
Doria Josma, Unfunded List Evaluator and External Affairs Associate at the Association of Black Foundation Executives.

Legislative Reforms for Civil Society

A panel of experts discussed recent bills that have had a major impact on the nonprofit sector and civil society at large and new legislation under consideration that could have additional impact on everything from Donor-Advised Funds to how the IRS is funded to who is allowed to fundraise at all.

Moderators: Maria Yuan of IssueVoter
Ian Madrigal of Project Truth & Rec
Guest: Alex Porter, Legislative Director and Tax Counsel for Senator Angus King (I-ME)

COVID Contributions and the Post-Mask Ask

This panel featured Unfunded List evaluators who have chosen to make fundraising their profession. They discussed how the work has changed over their careers and talk about the future of raising money. Fundraisers are sometimes misunderstood or even maligned. Collectively, the profession raises hundreds of billions of dollars for nonprofits and social good causes. In a world where services and goods cost money, those with the skills to raise that money can have great impact at organizations doing good.

Moderator: George Tsiatis, The Resolution Project
Guests: Sarah McIntosh, Director of Foundation Relations, Mary’s Center
Ashley Lahoud, Director of Development and Communications, Northside Center for Child Development

Track 3 - Speak

Feedback on the Feedback

An Unfunded List favorite. We invite those who have received feedback to provide feedback on their experience. An evaluation of their evaluation, if you will.

Moderators: Professor Jane Moss, MA, PhD
Dave Moss, College Graduate
Guests: Toby Norman, SimPrints
Heather Morgan, Mary’s Center
Hannah Hyman, NVAK

Spring 2021 Process Audit and Meet the Board

We take a pause after each round of submissions to look back at what we just did. We often invite guests to join us and help brainstorm improvements for our next round (which is always right around the corner). We are excited this round to invite all of our Symposium guests to join our Spring 2021 Process Audit. Our leadership team will be joined by the Unfunded List’s esteemed board of directors who will be available to answer questions and talk about why they serve.

Moderators: MarQuis Fair, Unfunded List Board of Directors
Mahrinah Shije, Unfunded List Knowledge & Procedures Committee
Guests: The Unfunded List Board of Directors

Fall 2021 Q&A with Co-Review Partners

Fall 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting and large round of review. Our biggest co-review partners have already announced their competitions and we’ll be reviewing submissions from Mentor Capital Network, multiple challenges from SOLVE at MIT, as well as semi-finalist applicants from The Elevate Prize.

Symposium Guests who have committed to evaluating this Fall were invited to join Margaret, Dave and several experienced Unfunded List evaluators for a Pre-Round Q&A.

Moderators: Margaret and Dave
Guests: Representatives from our Co-Review Partners including MIT, Kettering, and CJI Fund

We would also like to thank our venue, hosts, and tech support, Open Gov Hub. The Hub staff and catalysts played an integral role in making sure our content was delivered to our guests in a seamless and professional manner.

Additional Resources

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"The" List

Our key takeaways and insights from each round of submissions.


Our podcasts seek to connect various aspects of the philanthropy world and provide insights into the world of funding, programming and implementation.


Our articles are important resources for funders and fundraisers, grant writers and grant makers.


We love to get together with our evaluators and fellow travelers within the world of philanthropy to share ideas and improve our work.