Skip to main content

Podcast: Marc Holley on what really matters in grantmaking and life beyond

  • Marc Holley

"Sometimes it can be easier to bring systematic thinking to evaluating the work of others than to reflecting on yourself, having the discipline to create clear goals, strategies and clarity around the pathways that you need to take to move along in making progress towards those ultimate goals.”

— Marc Holley

Curious how foundations decide where to invest resources in education? Marc Holley, evaluation unit director at the Walton Family Foundation, reflects on what attracts a foundation’s attention, the case for investing in teachers, and the importance of creating time to ask yourself the big questions in life.

Dreaming of a future career in philanthropy? Jason Llorenz asked Marc how to make that dream reality.

Jason: For those who want to do what you're doing one day and be able to direct resources toward great ideas with potential for impact, what's the path toward that?

Marc: It’s an exciting job, it's a fun job and it can be a stressful job just like any other, but it is a privilege getting the opportunity to do this day in and day out. The best route [to breaking in] is working at a grantee organization for a while and building up expertise in our field. You don't have to be an expert in all aspects of the field, but you need to know about education and education policy.

Need to catch up on the #LeadersTablePodcast?
Check out Episode 1 with Ryan SmithEpisode 2 with Nina Rees, Episode 3 with Aixle Aman, Episode 4 with Luis Avila, Episode 5 with Jada Drew, Episode 6 with Amy Wilkins, and subscribe for upcoming episodes on your favorite podcast feed (iTunesStitcherSoundcloud).

Share your story on The Leaders’ Table
In the spirit of giving thanks this holiday season, we’re inviting you to share a 1-3 minute personal story about a “gift” you were given by a teacher, student, mentor or hero. Call (202) 856-7614 by December 18 and leave your story as a voicemail message, and we’ll compile these messages for a special holiday edition of The Leaders’ Table.

Want to work at a foundation?
Learn how LEE can help you grow your career at a foundation.