Charity Impact Podcast: Sufina Ahmad MBE on grantmaking changes during Covid; racial equity; reimagining the art of the possible; and leadership capabilities. (#5)
THE CHARITY IMPACT PODCAST: GRANTMAKING CHANGES WITH SUFINA AHMAD MBE
Sufina Ahmad MBE on grantmaking changes during Covid; racial equity; reimagining the art of the possible; and 4 leadership capabilities. (#5)
“I find time and again that it's the quiet leaders that have the skills and capacities that we need; they've got the ability to sense make, to relate, to vision, to invent. They're often the people who are doing the hard work and the necessary background work through which we can form these building blocks that we need to dismantle the oppression or the injustices that we currently find ourselves facing.”
Sufina Ahmad MBE, Director, John Ellerman Foundation
As Director of the John Ellerman Foundation, Sufina works closely with trustees, staff and stakeholders, including grantees, to ensure all aspects of the Foundation’s strategy, governance and grantmaking work is delivered effectively.
Before joining the Foundation, Sufina worked in corporate strategy and performance at the City of London Corporation. She has also worked for the National Lottery Community Fund and City Bridge Trust in grantmaking, strategy and policy roles. Sufina started her career in service delivery and business development roles for charities working with adults with learning disabilities and older people.
This inbetween-isode features a clip from our 2021 event on grantmaking changes, where Sufina spoke about her personal reflections of leading John Ellerman Foundation since starting the role in January 2020 as well as what this period has meant for the grant making sector and what might come next.
Sufina’s insightful and inspiring talk covers leadership in the sector as well as some of the big issues for grantmakers around power, transparency and equity; how the response to Covid-19 has improved grantmaking practice; increased focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and re-energised the art of the possible.
As I mentioned in the podcast launch, my plan is to produce a series of say six to 10 episodes and then review whether to continue or not.
If you enjoy the podcast and haven’t done so yet, please do leave a rating/review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or the podcast platform you use; or if you’d prefer to share constructive feedback by e-mail, please do. I would really appreciate any feedback so I can get a sense of whether the podcast is adding value for you or what I could do to improve it.
NOTES AND LINKS FOR EPISODE 5
EPISODE 5: Sufina Ahmad MBE
John Ellerman Foundation – Experience of funding during the pandemic and future plans
Shedding the worst of philanthropy – e.g. power and privilege, lack of transparency and equity
Improving grant practice – embedding the positive developments during Covid
Embrace the need to adapt and manage in disequilibrium
Paradoxes of leadership in times of uncertainty
Four leadership capabilities:
Sense-making: understanding context of organisations and being committed to learning continuously and challenge ourselves to test principles and move outside of existing frameworks and norms.
Relating: building trusting relationships across our organisations and the sector, understanding other people’s perspectives with less judgement; creating safe spaces for people to share their views.
Visioning: how do we imagine a vision for the future that responds to the crises we face.
Inventing: how will we develop new ways to achieve the vision.
Quiet leadership – might have been overlooked due to their role or being in smaller organisations or being ‘othered’.
“I find time and again that it’s the quiet leaders that have the skills and capacities that we need; they’ve got the ability to sense make, to relate, to vision, to invent. They’re often the people who are doing the hard work and the necessary background work through which we can form these building blocks that we need to dismantle the oppression or the injustices that we currently find ourselves facing.”
“My hope is that in time we’ll talk more about grant makers and their role as quiet leaders that are committed to truly championing civil society to address the myriad of opportunities and challenges we currently face”.
This podcast is brought to you by KEDA Consulting, where we help charities to develop strategy, secure funding and make decisions to navigate the various challenges and opportunities we face in the sector.
Click on the episode title below to find the play buttons and all associated notes and links to resources:
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