Archive for the ‘2013 Fall Conference’ Category

Having recently transitioned from the world of politics to that of ‘foundationland,’ I was excited to attend my first CoF Conference and help reaffirm in my own mind how foundations can play a more dynamic role in their local communities through a modernization process of what I have been commonly referring to around the offices [...]

This article was originally published on the Interaction Institute Blog.
Last week I represented IISC as a presenter/facilitator in a “deep dive” session at the Council on Foundations Conference for Community Foundations.  The title of the session was “Complete Capital”and was inspired by an SSIR article by the same title written by Antony Bugg-Levine of the Nonprofit Finance Fund [...]

The Center for Effective Philanthropy recently released a report titled Working Well With Grantees, and as any program officer might expect, the importance of the relationships that nonprofit applicants and grantees have with program officers is crucial to their perception of the foundation. Not surprisingly, negative experiences like those chronicled in the report can have [...]

Government officials, philanthropists, and foundation staff often discuss the importance of providing services to our veterans and their families. However, we don’t often link the importance of those services to protecting the all voluntary military force. Today’s working lunch emphasized the importance of supporting our volunteers and then did a deeper dive on exactly how [...]

I attended the “What is place-based philanthropy?” site visit, and it got me thinking about the role of private business in community foundation projects. There are fruitful relationships and productive roles we could do more to develop, and San Diego has some interesting models.
We visited “urban village” development projects run by Price Charities (in City [...]

A packed room came to hear how community foundations are successfully listening and responding to their communities. The work we heard about was innovative, sometimes controversial, and completely inspiring.
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) facilitated conversation about the work of 12 community foundations from across the country. The community foundations’ were highlighted for their [...]

At the “Trends and Realities” plenary, the panelists all recognized economic issues in their communities as being among those things that kept them up at night.  But my biggest take-away came from Mariam Noland, President of the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan.  When she noted that “Detroit is bankrupt only in the sense that it [...]

This blog was originally posted on
Across the country, community foundations are recognizing the power of public
 policy work to advance their missions. Some do so by awarding grants for advocacy activities like public education and research. Others support nonprofits to lobby. And many others engage in advocacy themselves by taking positions on issues they [...]

While folks here in California are no strangers to the earth moving beneath their feet, they are currently witnessing a seismic shift of another kind. Earlier this year, for the first time, the population of Latinos in California equaled the number of whites. And by early 2014, California will likely become the second state in [...]

One of the most pressing topics for community foundations is the reinvention of their position as catalysts for change.  Foundations are increasingly taking on new, proactive roles within their communities, capitalizing on their ability to lead and advocate.  They are independent and unencumbered by political affiliation or private interests.  They are uniquely positioned to take [...]

What: Learning Lab, Key Tools to Weave a Richer Civic Fabric
When: Monday, September 23, 2013 (4:45pm-5:15pm)
Where: Elizabeth Foyer, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
It is crucial to have a broad base of civically engaged citizens who have positive relationships with public agencies and community decision-makers to address the complex problems that communities currently face. However, the growing perception [...]

Are you making technology harder than it needs to be?
If you are in an executive leadership position at a community foundation, the answer to this question is probably yes. Why is that? Why do we cringe, ever so slightly, when we hear the word? Technology often seems overwhelming and complicated. And much of the technology [...]

The philanthropic goals of being a servant leader and achieving greater return-on-investment are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, we believe they are intertwined. At the Council on Foundations Conference on Community Foundations in San Diego, come explore these ideas in a highly interactive session, “Serve to Solve: 4 Funder Strategies to Improve Returns-on-Investment & Partnerships.”
First, I will [...]

The shootings in Newtown, prison overcrowding, disproportionate minority confinement and Attorney General Holder’s recent advocacy for increased judicial discretion for “low level” offenders have placed increased pressure on community foundations to respond to new community and policy realities. Three leading foundation executives and the director of San Diego’s Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention will [...]

Last week a member of U.S. Senator Susan Collins’ staff called to ask for my help. Senator Collins, who is the ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, was launching a newsletter focused on the issue of aging. She wanted to be sure to cover the most important and interesting topics in Maine, [...]

David Haskell, former international regional director for Habitat for Humanity, has a unique perspective on networking. “Imagine that you were tiling a floor,” Haskell says. “You could use uniform tiles that all fit together nicely but are rather expensive. Or, if you cannot afford those tiles, you can make a mosaic of discarded tile shards. [...]

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 [...]

2013 Knight Community Information Challenge from Knight Foundation
Starting May 1, Knight Foundation will again be offering matching funds to community and place-based foundations seeking to make an impact by funding news and information projects. This year, however, the Knight Community Information Challenge is evolving.
While the challenge will continue to be an open [...]

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.


Leanne Breiby
Heidi Sytsema
Joan Noricks
Brooke Bailey
Rachel Leon
Aaron Dorfman
Bill Linder-Scholer
Vanessa Cedeño
David Etzwiler
Paul Major
Albert Ruesga
Kathy Merchant
Heather Bennett
Kevin Laskowski and Niki Jagpal
Renee Branch
Sam Davis
Emmett Carson
Susan Price
Jorgen Thomsen
Ray Knott
Daniela Fainberg
Robert K. Ross
Nichole Baker
Nancy Van Milligen
Brian Collier
Jack A. Calhoun
Raul Perea-Henze
John Barnes
David Colby
Sidney R. Hargro
Eileen Ellsworth
Erica V. Ekwurzel
Michael Smith
Oz Spies
Sally Migliore
Chatrane Birbal
Sue Bornick
Anthony Tansimore
Patricia Maguire
Erica Ekwurzel
Brooke Ramsey
Nancy Henry
Regan Gruber Moffitt
Brian Reich
Vicki Rosenberg
Trista Harris
Ana Marie Argilagos
Cris Stainbrook
Ken Sternad