Tools and guides

Powerhouse Convening

About this resource

Publish date: 
March, 2019
The Giving Practice

Designing and facilitating powerhouse convenings is a set of strategies and approaches that invite you to show up as an adventurer in working “better together.” This guide provides the tools needed to begin the adventure, centered on 10 Doorways. Each doorway starts with a brief theory behind the concept followed by “Try This” exercises offering more structured tools for exploration. These prompts will help engage groups whether they are in a starting or sustaining phase.

Powerhouse Convening:

  • Develops shared leadership, regardless of anyone’s standing.
  • Generates trusted relationships, shared curiosity and group sensemaking—all of which fosters innovation while avoiding groupthink.
  • Reveals issues and insights we might otherwise shy away from.
  • Bolsters courage, passion and co-creation.
  • Opens new pathways for action.
  • Creates impact that none of the participants could have achieved individually.


Enhance your convening skills with in-person learning:

Keynote (30—45 Minutes)
Explore the sea shift inspiring new ways of engaging diverse stakeholders, including case studies and interactive table talks. Understand how co-creation and shared curiosity can help funders become more responsive and authentic.

Conference Session (1—2 Hours)
Help distill the wisdom already in the room, surfacing what we all already know about powerhouse convening through exercises designed to “Spark Curiosity” and “Set the Tone.”

The New Fundamentals (3 Hours)
Half-day session adding in participation and reflection on group activities intended to “Build Trust,” “Appreciate Difference” and “Share Purpose.”

Starting & Sustaining (6 Hours)
A full day that adds five doorways essential to sustaining convenings, funder collaboratives and community engagement. Explore how to “Try, Test and Learn,” “Embrace Obstacles,” “Distribute Power,” “Welcome Complexity” and “Make it Your Own.”

For scheduling contact: Ted Lord, senior partner, The Giving Practice


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