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These are momentous times, and the world and the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) community have changed since the first Earth Day here in the United States and the first Earth Summit in Brazil 20 years ago. Regardless of mission or scope, we are all working for a better world.

It has been great to engage in all the global programming underway at the Council’s annual conference. Meeting funders who are engaged in philanthropy from all parts of the world is inspiring and reinforces the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s (EGA) commitment to increasing its global focus and vision.

Our hearts are breaking for the Japanese as we watch catastrophe unfold in their nation. With natural disasters and energy-related accidents (coal explosions, oil spills, nuclear leaks) becoming increasingly commonplace—or so it seems—the community of philanthropy, with its diverse array of missions and focuses, needs to find common ground in “greening.”

Perhaps this year, we need to think of celebrating “Interdependence Day” in addition to our traditional July 4 holiday. And in doing so, we need to consider how collaboration can help lessen the horrific impact of the BP oil disaster on marine life and the Gulf community.

I left the Council of Foundations conference feeling hopeful about philanthropists engaging across sectors and finding common ground. Then the Gulf Coast got hit again by a man-made disaster, this one tied to our relentless energy needs.
Feelings of helplessness turned to action as our members started debating and reaching out to each other on our [...]

I applaud the Council on Foundations for having Al Gore speak on Monday.
The theme of this annual conference—Intersections: Social Change, Social Justice, Social Innovation—was a perfect match for the former vice president’s passionate words.



Welcome to RE: Philanthropy! In this blog, guest and Council bloggers share ideas and insights on the most pressing issues in philanthropy. If you want to contribute, please contact webteam@cof.org.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Council on Foundations.

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Judy Tenzer
Michelle Byrd
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