|Member Spotlight | Satonya Fair|
Get to know TAG members—people who are leading the charge—and learn from their stories.
Satonya C. Fair, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
An Interview with Satonya C. Fair, Director of Grants Management at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and a TAG member since 2010.
In your organization, what shifts are you seeing in terms of technology? What matters most now?
Now more than ever, it’s important that we as technology leaders have the ability to work across the aisle with our partners in communications, programming and more. As our organizations innovate and change, this means we’re going to need MORE technology, not less. Technology is driving our world. It’s not just driving philanthropy; it’s driving the world.
And this means technologists will need to be a partner along the way, earning ourselves a seat at the strategy table or learning how to insert ourselves gently by honing our interpersonal skills.
How have these shifts altered the skillset you look to build for yourself and/or your team?
Building great teams means cultivating a wide variety of skills, but I believe three are especially vital in a philanthropic context whether you're an IT director, grants manager, or database administrator.
Before we go, what are you reading right now that you'd recommend to others?
The Alternative: Most of What You Believe About Poverty Is Wrong
I have been working in community relations and foundation relations for more than 15 years. Funders are never without their own ideas on fixing or addressing society’s major socioeconomic dilemmas, especially as it relates to poverty and creating opportunity for low-income families and their children. Mr. Miller reflects an important fact that often gets glossed over, which is that many of us working at foundations and in the social sector grew up in poverty, so this is not a “them” proposition. Growing up with challenges has a way of sticking with you in this life. But the real gem in this book is changing our mindset (as I did the further I got into it) to engage deeply with individual and families to help them articulate their issues and identify possible solutions — and then to partner with them and let them power toward their own change.
The Foundation: A Great American Secret; How Private Wealth is Changing the World
I am coming late to the party for this book, but am acting like it is a new release. New family and private foundations are being created every year, yet when I tell people what I do for a living, I am generally helping educate them on what a private foundation is and how one comes to work at one. Knowing more about the history of this elusive world is not lost on me, regardless of how long I have worked in the field, and I am looking forward to learning as I read this.