Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Every year, thousands of nonprofits experience the departure of an executive. Faced with this challenging and typically unfamiliar situation, boards can easily make missteps that jeopardize their most important governance decision.
One way a board of directors can minimize risk is to hire an external interim executive director (IED) to serve between CEOs. This strategy gives [...]

It’s no accident that the Council on Foundations 2013 Family Philanthropy Conference takes place this week in Silicon Valley. This is Ground Zero for technological innovation. Ideas birthed here have changed—and continue to change—the world.
Silicon Valley has been the workshop of some brilliant entrepreneurs. People like Steve Jobs, William Hewlett, David Packard, eBay founder Pierre [...]

I first started working in the community foundation field more than 15 years ago. It goes without saying that I’m a big fan. I believe in this democratic model of philanthropy where the collective power of many creates powerful change. I’m also a fan because most community foundations understand that our work is constantly changing [...]

One of my most memorable moments from college was when I sat in a sea of more than 500 college students in PoliSci 101. From the back of the auditorium, a very small man stood up on stage speaking to all of us about the strength of the U.S. president as “soft power.” According to [...]

At the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, we believe strongly in the critical importance of unrestricted general operating support because it provides nonprofit leaders with the flexibility to direct spending toward strategic priorities facing their organizations. In 2011, two-thirds of the Fund’s grants were allocated for this purpose.
However, the [...]

Many people believe facilitation is a role that only designated individuals can play in meetings or planning sessions. But just as leadership is more about how you behave than what your title is, so is facilitation about the contributions you make regardless of your role.
Break down the word facilitation and you find two components: facile, which [...]

Why do community foundation CEOs pursue “community leadership” as a key organizing strategy in their foundations?
Because there was a leadership void in our community and we realized we were uniquely positioned to step up.
Because we recognized we had important assets that could help address the huge challenges facing our community.
Because under the status [...]

In his acceptance speech for the 2012 Nicholas P. Bollman Award for leaders who inspire through values and actions, Claudio Martinez, executive director of Boston’s Hyde Square Task Force, reminded an audience of nearly 200 funders that the “journey to become visible is still too hard to travel.”
He was speaking of the challenges and [...]

Let me introduce myself: I’m a young leader and a passionate advocate for social justice. I’m well into my second year as executive director of Social Justice Fund, a regional progressive public foundation. I’m an innovator. Since starting my role, I have implemented a new model of grassroots fundraising, leadership development, and grantmaking, resulting in [...]

The Council on Foundations (COF) recently released the 2011 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report. The sample includes 910 total foundations of which 544 are COF members. As Rick Cohen notes on his piece about the survey, the survey suffers from the limitations of self-reporting, as do most all of our [...]

As my colleague Peter Pennekamp from the Humboldt Area Foundation says, when it comes to community leadership it’s not always the most pressing issue that you need to be working on; it’s the issue where there’s energy and heat. In a word: tension. And in our community, there’s tension around immigration.
In the next 25 [...]

Ambassador. Facilitator. Strategist. What do these words have in common? They are among the many roles played by family foundation CEOs during their day-to-day work as funders. At the recent Council on Foundations’ Family Foundations Conference in Miami Beach, the National Center for Family Philanthropy used GrantCraft’s Roles@Work deck to kick off their CEO retreat. These [...]

“…outside resources will be much more effectively used if the local community is itself fully mobilized and invested, and if it can define the agendas for which additional resources must be obtained.”
-”Building Communities from the Inside Out,” John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight, 1993.
I’ve been reflecting on how much my early training in community [...]

Over the past two decades, technology and the Internet have changed the physiology of platforms, mechanisms, and tools, as well as how we communicate and the psychology of communicating itself: why, when, and where we choose to engage with one another, online and off.
It’s no surprise that our own expectations have begun to shift along [...]

At ING, we have developed a strong corporate responsibility (CR) program that is enhanced through engagement in all levels of our company.  What have we learned? Buy-in and communications are important on a variety of levels. Tying CR directly to the CEO is critical. A CR program with strong support from the CEO and board [...]

Lessons on talking and not talking from the Stanford Nonprofit Management Institute …
As the autumn leaves unfurl their brilliant foliage and crisp days wane, I still get that urge to go back to school.  And here in Palo Alto, California, about 325 of us from 15 countries and 35 states are doing just that, this [...]

The chief takeaway from the fall conference’s closing talk and panel session is this: The country is in a tough spot now and will continue to be for the next 5 to 10 years, financially and politically.
Government is gridlocked and revenues are ever-diminishing in a time of greater need, but cooperation and cash aren’t the [...]



What does a foundation do when pollution poses an immediate health threat to the community and the nonprofits there to help aren’t connected to each other?
Consider what’s happened in the Greater Buffalo area, a passageway for 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply-and home to the first U.S. Superfund site. The region’s industrial heritage [...]

Over the past month, I have reflected on the recent webinar, “Leadership and Professional Competencies for the Savvy CEO of the 21st Century.” I’ve also been reading Manning Marable’s excellent biography of Malcolm X, and thinking about the themes that Karen McNeil Miller, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, and I touched on [...]

Who are those scary beings in the dark suits? They look like they are 12 years old. And why are they asking about the way we do things around here? Who are these bright, young things?
Don’t worry-we’re part of the millennial generation. We just graduated from some of the most prestigious universities in the country, [...]

In any year, a foundation will spend about 5 percent of its available capital on program grants and operations while 95 percent will be reinvested for the future. The stability and continuity of a foundation’s philanthropic activities depend on successful investment management, but investments do more than just provide cash for grantmaking. They communicate a [...]

*This piece is excerpted from Ms. Slack’s address delivered earlier this month at the closing session of the 2010-2011 Career Pathways program.
Good morning. I am honored and humbled to represent the first Career Pathways cohort. I’m so proud of my colleagues and our accomplishments . They truly represent the best and brightest in philanthropy. [...]

It is striking how often I hear from foundation and nonprofit professionals that they are interested in engaging Next Gen leaders (typically meaning people ages 18-40) but can’t find anyone interested in participating. From where I sit, the notion that Next Gen representatives are not engaging because of lack of interest is mind boggling. Every [...]

Question: What happens when 20 foundation CEOs land in a closed-door session conducive to candid conversation?
Answer: You can’t design a session long enough.

As I begin to reflect on this year’s conference theme, “Windows,” a metaphor for encouraging a spirit of transparency, honesty, openness and candor, I am moved to also reflect a bit about the past year.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of theories of change in our work. As we in [...]

My career path to becoming the executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation only makes sense in retrospect. While pursuing this tortuous road that meandered from academic research and clinical psychology practice to television reporting and writing newspaper columns to entrepreneurial ventures in video, consulting, and professional speaking, many times colleagues simply shook their [...]

I am one of 15 inaugural participants in the Council on Foundations Career Pathways Philanthropic Leadership program, which began in July. This program presents a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills that are important to the philanthropic field. Although philanthropy often funds such programs for others, there are actually few such programs for grantmakers themselves. [...]

If the Yakima Valley Community Foundation (YVCF) received a dollar for every time we brag about the Community Foundations National Standards, our adding machines would be smoking.

In the late 1990s, a group of committed community foundation leaders had a dream for the future of the field and set a course to make that dream a reality. The Committee on Community Foundations went through a “revolution” of sorts, morphing into the Community Foundation Leadership Team (CFLT) as we know it today.

I recently attended the Council on Foundations CEO Summer Retreat in Los Angeles. Like most of you, I often question the value of yet another CEO get-together. I find myself weighing the value of what I “might” get out of participating in these types of events against the work I “would” accomplish if I stay [...]

Over the last five years, philanthropy, and our world in general, has confronted a number of challenges – from the Indonesian tsunami to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the earthquake in Haiti and the Gulf Coast oil spill to economic downturns, job loss, and poverty. Philanthropy has combined its resources and passion to address these epic [...]

Every year on June 14 we commemorate the adoption of the U.S.’s first flag in 1777. Over two centuries later Flag Day is more than just a remembrance of our history—it’s a celebration of some of our core civic values.
This symbolic day is a chance to reflect on what “civic health” means in our field [...]

During the Council on Foundations’ Family Philanthropy Conference at the end of January in San Diego, we pulled together a concurrent session on disaster grantmaking in light of the earthquake in Haiti. There was a small but passionate group that attended. I walked away thinking about three things: our short attention span; our lack of [...]

This was the challenge issued by Lisa Parker, moderator of a robust discussion about the journey of women’s philanthropy, the successes and the lessons learned from both “heartbreaks” and triumphs. The session (Wind in Our Sails: Women Philanthropists Championing Women and Girls) brought together living legends in the women’s funding movement, including Tracy Gary, Linda [...]

On Monday, 50 excited people from the conference gathered at the Jacob’s Center for Neighborhood Innovation(JCNI) in the Lincoln Park district of San Diego for a day-long learning experience about the power of grassroots community change.
What exactly did we learn?

Place and Perseverance: The Jacobs Family—through their family foundation—made a long-term commitment (since 1998) to focus [...]

I have been rapt by the devastating images coming out of Haiti. What I have found particularly interesting is the outpouring of support—not only on television, but also on Facebook and Twitter.
Organizers have created opportunities for people to give via text message. People are also posting messages and tweets about what organizations are doing and [...]

Philanthropy is different than charity. Traditionally, philanthropy reflects long-term strategic investments in creating real change. But in times of national and/or natural disaster, both respond in short-term ways that can be most helpful.
The recent devastation in Haiti reflects the kind of disasters that call philanthropy to action. We can and should do our part in [...]

Happy New Year! While the holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, I suspect we all take a few moments to reflect upon the past year and anticipate the one ahead.
Before departing for the holidays, every employee at the Council and every member of our Board of Directors received a copy of [...]

[Editor’s Note: In November 2009, the Council hosted a celebration for its 60th Anniversary—60 years of service and leadership in philanthropy. As part of this celebration, several grantmakers shared their personal thoughts about the Council and the field of philanthropy. Here are comments from Nicole Robinson, the director of the Kraft Foods Foundation.]
I offer warm [...]

[Editor’s Note: On October 22, the Council hosted a “Leadership Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion in Philanthropy.” The convening brought together more than 50 foundation and nonprofit leaders, trustees, and search firm executives to discuss a newly released report—Career Pathways to Philanthropic Leadership. In this post, Katherine Jacobs, an expert on the nonprofit executive search [...]

[Editor’s Note: On October 22, the Council hosted a “Leadership Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion in Philanthropy.” The convening brought together more than 50 foundation and nonprofit leaders, trustees and search firm executives to discuss a newly released report—Career Pathways to Philanthropic Leadership. The event also included a panel discussion and participant Q & A. [...]

This is a big week for the Council on Foundations and philanthropy.
The Council is celebrating its 60th Anniversary—60 years of service and leadership to philanthropy and the communities we serve. (As I write this entry, I am on my way to Chicago for a series of meetings and events, including one to celebrate the Council’s [...]

[Editor’s Note: On October 22, the Council hosted a “Leadership Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion in Philanthropy.” The convening brought together more than 50 foundation and nonprofit leaders, trustees, and search firm executives to discuss a newly released report—Career Pathways to Philanthropic Leadership. The event also included a panel discussion and participant Q &A. In [...]

[Editor’s Note: On October 22, the Council hosted a “Leadership Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion in Philanthropy.” The convening brought together more than 50 foundation and nonprofit leaders, trustees, and search firm executives to discuss a newly released report—Career Pathways to Philanthropic Leadership. The event also included a panel discussion and participant Q &A. In [...]

dhooverPay It Forward

In: Leadership

6 Nov 2009

[Editor’s Note: On October 22, the Council hosted a “Leadership Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion in Philanthropy.” The convening brought together more than 50 foundation and nonprofit leaders, trustees, and search firm executives to discuss a newly released report—Career Pathways to Philanthropic Leadership. The event also included a panel discussion and participant Q &A. In [...]

[Editor’s Note: On October 22, the Council hosted a “Leadership Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion in Philanthropy.” The convening brought together more than 50 foundation and nonprofit leaders, trustees, and search firm executives to discuss a newly released report—Career Pathways to Philanthropic Leadership. The event also included a panel discussion and participant Q &A. In [...]

This one’s personal.
I just finished participating in the Council’s leadership convening on diversity and inclusion in philanthropy, which brought together CEOs, trustees, executive search consultants, HR officers, and Council members.
The conversation was anchored by a report the Council released today—Career Pathways to Philanthropic Leadership 2009 Baseline Report, examining the characteristics of foundation and grantmaking executives [...]



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.

Contributors

Geralyn Ritter
Stephen Pratt
Rich Westfall
Nicole Robinson
Sarah Berry
John Kobara
Daniel Jae-Won Lee
Dawn Townsend
Rita L. Soronen
Manikka L. Bowman
Aaron Dorfman
Roxanne Joffe
Amy Philips Haller
Lisa Philp
Rick Mappin
Courtney Kaezyk
Brian Collier
Robert Giloth
Jennifer Ford Reedy
Anthony Tansimore
Paulette V. Maehara
Ronn Richard
Lori Bertman
Emily Jones Rushing
Kate Levin Markel
James Head
Mimi Goodwill
Mindie Reule
Nicole Taylor
Dien S. Yuen
Nancy Van Milligen
Heidi Sytsema
Sheri Booms Holm
Dinah Waldsmith Dittman
Marika Lynch
Julia Boyer and Danny Murphy
Eileen Ellsworth
John Anderson
Josephine Sinclair
Kelly Brown
Sean Stannard-Stockton
Elizabeth Ramirez
Mary Vallier-Kaplan
Dale Robinson Anglin
Jacob Gayle
Diana Esposito
Helen Brunner
Ellen Remmer
THNKR
Lana Williams