Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Science, technology, engineering, and math—the “STEM” subjects—are an important focus of philanthropic institutions trying to address educational and economic disparities between girls and boys.
STEM-related fields account for an increasing number of new, and high-paying, positions being created in the knowledge economy. Especially for young women of color or in low-income communities, who already face [...]

Today is International Workers Day, celebrated around the world as a commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre. Although President Grover Cleveland moved our Labor Day to September because of worries about the radical connotations of May 1, the day remains an important rallying point for labor, immigrant rights, and now the Occupy movement.
The many battles [...]

What should America’s students get out of their college education? It seems like a simple answer, yet few institutions seem to be able to agree on the knowledge and skills students need for success in career and life. But students, colleges, and the nation’s workforce can’t afford the confusion any longer.
In an effort to streamline [...]

Another year of uncertainty surrounding tax law revisions and economic instability makes charitable year-end planning more important than ever. Continued market turbulence and increasingly unmet community needs mean donors are being cautious and selective about their year-end giving. As community foundation leaders, it’s our job and privilege to offer counsel about philanthropic giving.
Continue to discuss [...]

The first-ever joint Twitter Chat with the Council on Foundations and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, held October 28, provided a forum for the field to discuss the sector’s role (if there is one) and impact in strengthening America’s economy. This follow-up blog is a way to continue the conversation, for people to offer their opinions [...]

Optimism is a scarce resource in this economic environment. Americans have all but given up on the idea that working hard and playing by the rules is the ticket to a better future. While the politicians duke it out, shouting hollow slogans about jobs and the economy, unemployment remains stuck above 9 percent, and 19 [...]

Trust. It’s perhaps the greatest attribute to have in the world of philanthropy. In the community foundation world specifically, where we at all times are both fundraiser and grantmaker, the trust of donors and charities alike is our greatest asset.
During this remarkable time of financial insecurity in our country and abroad, our field needs to [...]

As I prepare to conclude my leadership at the Council on Foundations, I’ve found myself looking back at my tenure. My goal is to get some sense of how much has changed and how much has stayed the same.
In August 2007 we gathered for the Council’s first Rural Philanthropy Conference in Missoula, Mont. This was [...]

One of the great things about being Secretary of Agriculture is that I get to see first-hand how truly vast our great nation is.  It’s been my privilege to represent USDA and President Obama from Alaska to Florida and from North Dakota to New Mexico.  Of course, I also spend quite a bit of time [...]

Last night, we were treated to competing visions of governmental dysfunction, as President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner seemed to play a dangerous game of chicken with the nation’s potential default. Even if somehow Obama, Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid strike a deal in the next hours or days, the nation [...]

The mythologies characterizing rural America are just that, mythologies that rural is doing just great, that rural people are pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and navigating their way through the never-ending recession.  Foundations serving rural communities know a different reality, one of assets and needs in rural America, but communities often short-shrifted for resources [...]

As I have sought funding for our work, I have often been told that we are “too rural” and our scale is “too small.” As the Council on Foundations gets ready to host its Rural Conference next week, it is heartening to see rural philanthropy on the rise.
When people ask what philanthropy means for rural [...]

As noted in the promotional material for the Council on Foundations’ 2011 Rural Conference, “Philanthropy in rural America has generated some of the most innovative success stories in our nation.” Amen. I’m sold on the concept of a stronger philanthropic presence in small town and rural America. But with less than 1 percent of U.S. private, [...]

While America’s slow economic recovery continues and Washington policymakers grasp at ideas to drive down joblessness and drive up growth, philanthropy is doing its part to address the jobs challenge. That was the message conveyed by several sector leaders to members of Congress, their staffs, and workforce policy leaders during a congressional briefing last week.
With [...]

Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up someplace else!” Fortunately, CF Insights offers tremendous benchmarking tools to help community foundations develop individualized peer groups and collectively analyze trends across our field—and figure out our destination in the process.

How do we know which education investments are likely to make the biggest difference for student learning? And how do we know those investments are working? We examine the data. That’s the premise of Education as a Data-Driven Enterprise: A Primer for Leaders in Business, Philanthropy, and Education, a publication prepared for AT&T by the [...]

Newsweek Senior Editor Daniel Gross dug into his fried chicken and mashed potatoes like a man facing a rapidly approaching deadline. His plenary session presentation at the Council on Foundations 2010 fall conference was only minutes away.

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

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


Nancy Jones
Brad Phillips
Carol Goss
Caroline Altman Smith
John Padilla
Barbara Dyer
Terence Mulligan
Johanna Van Dyke
India Pierce Lee
Andrew Allen
Lance E. Lindblom and Laura Shaffer Campos
Riki Wilchins
Frank Alvarez
Sofia Rasmussen
Mary Topliff
Ellen Remmer
Tom Vilsack
Neville Vakharia
Noel McLaughlin
Lori Bertman
Joshua Gibb
Ian Dutton
Jill Nash
Jane Holliday Wilson
Hal McCabe
Thomas Davis
Latonya Slack
Nina Smart
Daniel Kaufman
Eileen Ellsworth
Matthew Chase
Timothy P. Silard
Dien S. Yuen
Jennifer Leonard
Jack A. Calhoun
Ira Strumwasser Ph.D. and Beverly Church
Amy Ellsworth
Omar Brownson
Audrey Jacobs
Adrienne Vargas
Nathan Dungan
Danielle Williams
Heather Scott
Josie Burke
Debra Jacobs
Andrea Jett
Eileen Speaker
Nancy Berglass
Conaway B. Haskins III
Courtney Spalding-Mayer