GFE Impact Groups: Engaging Deeply, Acting Purposefully

Take advantage of Grantmakers for Education’s network of education philanthropists, unparalleled in size, scope and commitment, by joining an impact group around a shared topic area of interest. By working together in this structured yet flexible format, GFE members can build on the knowledge and resources of many foundations, enabling impact groups to carry out initiatives and generate concrete outcomes not possible on their own.

A New Vision for Grantmakers for Education's Impact Groups

For many years, Grantmakers for Education supported members to exchange ideas, share strategies and build relationships through networking communities, most recently called impact groups, in an effort to enhance collaboration. In alignment with our strategy and in response to member feedback, Grantmakers for Education is refreshing its impact group strategy to encourage greater member participation and to ensure the impact group format meets the needs of its members and offers valuable collaborative opportunity to impact the field.  

As before, impact groups will continue to support communities of members with a common interest who agree to work together toward a common goal. With the refresh, we are seeking to:

  • Open the door to new topics of interest to members.
  • Better define what impact groups can accomplish together.
  • Ensure GFE support is aligned and adequate to support impact group goals.
  • Empower members to define the agenda for impact group work.
  • Establish time-limited goals with an option to end, extend or shift the work annually.

For 2019-2020, we will offer three different types of impact group structures. These are based on the variation we see in current impact groups, and they reflect the desire of the larger membership for offerings at varying levels of commitment. We hope that by adding flexibility on both topics and depth of time commitment, a greater number of members can participate.

Regardless of their duration and structure, impact groups will continue to inspire learning and action by deepening relationships between members and generating interactions that provoke new thinking in ways that can have profound impact on the field.

Become a Member of an Impact Group

We launched a four-step process to increase participation and solicit new topics of interest for 2019-2020 impact groups.
Step 1: Open call for topics (June 17 to July 15, 2019). Express interest and submit topics for the launch of new impact groups through a short survey here (for GFE members only).
Step 2: Selection of topics and communities of practice (mid-July to mid-August, 2019). GFE will identify topics with greatest interest and invite a core group of members to further explore interest and structure of the groups.
Step 3: Pre-planning and recruitment (mid-August to mid-September, 2019). Groups will convene to further identify goals and define structure. The groups may recruit additional members with similar interest to maximize participation and completion of goals.
Step 4: Launch impact groups (GFE annual conference, October 22-24, 2019). Impact group communities of practice will meet during the annual conference to finalize the work plan and goals of the group. The group will determine deliverables and outcomes for upcoming year.

Impact Group Communities of Practice

Grantmakers for Education will offer three types of impact groups. These communities of practice encourage funders with common interest to learn and work together towards a specific impact on the field among its members with a variety of tools:

  • Virtual Learning Community
  • In-Person Learning Community
  • Capacity and Field-Building Community

To learn more about the vision and opportunities for each group, see Impact Group Communities of Practice and contact us at