See Covid-19 updates, resources and contact information.

Kumar Raj Named One of The Funders’ Network’s 2018 PLACES Fellows

Kumar Raj, program officer, The Skillman Foundation and 2018 PLACES Fellow

This post was originally published on The Funders’ Network’s blog.

The Funders’ Network is proud to announce our 2018 PLACES Fellows — 16 exemplary leaders in philanthropy who will embark on a year-long curriculum focusing on equity and inclusion.

A key element of TFN’s mission is to ensure these important values are reflected in the work we do — and ensuring that we support those working in philanthropy with the tools they need to turn ideals into outcomes.

For the second year in a row, our fellowship has drawn a record number of applicants from across the U.S. and Canada, and reflect a deep diversity in experience, expertise and backgrounds.

As we grapple with the real-life consequences of structural racism and other inequities, it’s hard to understate the important role philanthropy can play in these contentious times.

PLACES, whose alumni now number more than 100 individuals, is designed to help professionals in philanthropy embed an equity lens into the work they do. Recent cohorts have addressed issues impacting disenfranchised communities, including structural racism, gender justice, health equity, environmental sustainability, economic development and community engagement — asking difficult questions, exploring uncomfortable truths and confronting their own biases along the way.

Many of our PLACES fellows and alumni will be at our TFN 2018 Annual Conference in Houston March 19-21. Feel free to ask them about their PLACES experience, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you’d like to know more about this extraordinary fellowship.

Join us in congratulating the 2018 PLACES Cohort, and look forward to seeing you in Houston! To learn more about PLACES and to learn more about our 2018 Fellows, visit our PLACES Fellowship page.


In 2008, the Funders’ Network launched PLACES (Professionals Learning About Community, Equity and Smart Growth), its first philanthropic leadership development initiative. PLACES is designed as a year-long fellowship program that offers tools, knowledge and best practices to enhance funder grantmaking decisions in ways that are responsive to the needs and assets of low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. We are currently at 95 fellows and look forward to going over the 100 mark in 2017.

As a result of participating in the PLACES program, fellows develop:

▪ An in-depth knowledge of how decisions about growth and development relate to issues of race/ethnicity/class;
▪ Tools and resources to help them increase their effectiveness as grantmakers;
▪ Exposure to best practices of grantmakers working in this field;
▪ Leadership development and skill building opportunities;
▪ Expanded networking opportunities; and
▪ Access to PLACES and TFN networks.

Check out our most recent newsletter. For more information about the PLACES Fellowship, contact Dion Cartwright at

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *