Roles@Work — Back by popular demand! Are you playing with a full deck?

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You asked and we listened! Not long after I started in my role at Candid Learning for Funders, I received an urgent request for Roles@Work cards for a meeting facilitation that a program officer was planning. And then another request. And another. Sadly, we were sold out and no one had the original files since their creation dated back to Jan Jaffe’s days at the Ford Foundation. I’m delighted to announce that we now have recreated and updated these beloved decks and you can print them at no cost whenever you need using the above link. (You will just need Avery Index Cards #5388. For bulk orders of 15 or more, order directly by contacting PreSort Plus printers via email at [email protected].) 

For the uninitiated, Roles@Work cards make facilitating meetings and broaching difficult topics with your program team, board members, and grantees a bit easier, and even kind of fun.  

Grantmakers manage a lot of expectations about their work. The roles identified in the deck are the result of interviews with hundreds of grantmakers about what their foundations and grantees expect of them to get their work done - and what they expect of themselves.  

For the updated version, we reached back out to funders as well as nonprofits to expand the roles to have relevance to grantees and grantmakers, and reflect important changes in the field about how the program officer role has evolved over the years. For example, new roles program officers described playing as they implement trust-based and equity-focused efforts are ally, bias detector, bridge builder, community engager, includer, knowledge sharer, and streamliner. 

In total, Roles@Work, collects the 42 roles grantmakers and nonprofit professionals mentioned most often. There are, of course, a few wildcards in there, too. 

Use the cards to jumpstart a conversation among colleagues about topics like how you weigh different roles, what you do too much of or not enough of, how you orient newcomers, or how you talk about your role with board members and leaders. The deck includes suggested exercises to use the next time you facilitate a meeting. 

--Janet Camarena 

Download Deck (PDF)
Use Avery #5388 index cards to print your own deck of cards.


About the author(s)

Senior Director of Learning Experience