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 [...]
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.
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.