What is On the Table and why should I participate? By hosting a mealtime conversation as part of On the Table on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, you’ll be part of an exciting, regionwide initiative to explore the ways in which we have the power to collaborate and contribute to a more vibrant and connected region.
Throughout more than a century of work in the community, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has seen that Milwaukee-area residents share a desire to collaborate, become more civically involved and strengthen our community. While we know that there’s no “quick fix” to the issues facing our region, progress will result from residents and organizations working to make contributions that add up to a greater solution that helps unite the place we call home. On the Table is a forum for those conversations to take place.
What is the goal of On the Table? Our goal is for residents throughout our four-county region to generate ideas and take action to build and sustain our communities. When we come together in the spirit of listening to and learning from each other, we have the power to impact individual lives and whole communities. That’s what On the Table is all about. We seek to create a movement that inspires philanthropy and motivates each of us to do more – to contribute our time, talent and ideas toward improving the quality of life in greater Milwaukee. By agreeing to participate in On the Table, you’ve already taken an important step as part of this movement.
How can I get involved? Right now, we’re in the process of recruiting hosts from across the region to be part of On the Table. To sign up, fill out the registration form.
Hosting is simpler than you think, and we’ve got resources, like our Host Toolkit, to help! Anyone can register to host, and the details of your table are up to you. You decide who to invite, where it will happen, what time it will take place and the format of your meal. Learn more about being a table host below.
What is the Greater Milwaukee Foundation? The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is the region’s largest community foundation and was among the first established in the world. For more than a century, the Foundation has inspired philanthropy by connecting generous people to community needs that align with their interests. The Foundation was founded on the premise that generosity can unlock an individual’s potential and strengthen the community as a whole for everyone who lives here. We work in partnership with those who are committed to ensuring greater Milwaukee is a vibrant, economically thriving region that comprises welcoming and inclusive communities providing opportunity, prosperity and a high quality of life for all. Learn more about us at greatermilwaukeefoundation.org.
Where can I find more information about On the Table? New and updated information will be posted regularly on the On the Table website. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, you can send us an email at onthetableMKE@greatermilwaukeefoundation.org to have one of our team members contact you with more information.
What does a host need to do? What’s involved? It’s really pretty simple: You determine a location for folks to meet on Oct. 17, 2017, for a mealtime conversation to discuss the ways in which we can commit to making our communities more vibrant and connected. You serve as the organizer of your gathering – inviting the guests and choosing the time, location and format of your conversation. You will receive resources from us to guide you, and our team is always available to answer your questions.
How do I get started? Visit the registration page to register your event.
Who do I invite? The invite list is up to you. If you’re unsure, start with people you know — friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. We encourage you to expand your circle. Consider reaching out to a larger community by co-hosting your event with a local congregation or nonprofit. Ask your guests to bring a friend, or invite people from your network that don’t already know each other.
Eight to 12 guests per table is ideal. On the Table is about giving everyone a chance to speak and be heard. If you want to host a larger gathering, consider breaking into smaller groups and allowing time for each to discuss and report out to the larger group.
What should an On the Table gathering look like? Your breakfast, lunch or dinner – or anything in between – can take place at a private residence, local restaurant, coffee shop, library, office, place of worship, park, back yard or any community gathering place you choose. It can be catered, sit-down, potluck or picnic – how the meal is designed is up to you. Hosts are encouraged to be creative. The priority is to create an atmosphere conducive to meaningful conversation.
What is expected of me during and after my On the Table gathering? We look forward to hearing about the stories and commitments discussed at your gathering. We encourage all participants to share insights, photos and videos on social media throughout the day, using the hashtag #onthetableMKE.
At the conclusion of On the Table events on Oct. 17, we’ll send every participant (hosts and guests) a short email survey to learn more about their experiences and their commitments. You will also receive postcards in your registration packet to distribute to your guests. You should collect the completed cards at the conclusion of your gathering and send them to the Foundation. In addition, you will be provided a host feedback form to complete and return to the Foundation as a means of sharing your success stories, challenges and ideas.
Q: What does it cost?
A: On the Table is completely free! It is up to the table host how they would like to handle the food/beverages. It could be potluck-style, BYO-meal, snacks, coffee and dessert or even a full-on meal at a restaurant; whatever works best for you and your table guests.
Q: Who should I invite?
A: Table guests are completely up to the table host! Your table could be made up of friends, family members, colleagues or complete strangers. It’s up to you!
Q: What topics should we discuss?
A: The topics at your table are completely up to you! You can use the conversation starters outlined in our host toolkit as a guide, but we encourage you to embrace the unscripted, candid nature of On the Table discussions.
Q: What time is it at?
A: The beauty of On the Table is that you can do it at any time on Tuesday, October 17! If you have a busy day, have your table meet for coffee before work starts! If you have a break at lunch, plan a meet-up! Many people will be hosting tables as dinnertime conversation, as well.