Archive for the ‘Philanthropy’ Category

This past Sunday, December 1st, marked the 25th annual World AIDS Day, an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We know that private philanthropy has played a catalytic role in the response to HIV/AIDS, increasing from a mere $216,000 in 1983 to roughly $500,000,000 annually today, and helping to scale [...]

This blog was originally posted on CNN Money. The Council on Foundations is partnering with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan. For more information on how you or your organization can be involved in recovery efforts, please visit the CDP website.
There is a Toby Keith song with the lyrics, “I [...]

Why should my community foundation care about public policy?
Community foundations have a unique philanthropic voice in to bring to policymakers in Washington D.C. You are fully integrated into the lifeblood of your communities, and are intimately familiar with the urgent needs of those you serve. This grassroots experience is invaluable, and it is essential that [...]

With competition from other charitable options and heightened scrutiny of charities in the media, National Standards set our field—and your community foundation—apart and underscore your commitment to integrity, effectiveness and transparency.
In 2000, a group of respected community foundation practitioners collaborated with the Council on Foundations to establish National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations™. National Standards [...]

Gifts to community foundations have long been used as planning tools by individuals with philanthropic goals. Apart from qualifying for the maximum income tax deduction and the estate tax deduction, the community foundation is a vehicle that provides donors a variety of opportunities for fulfilling their philanthropic objectives. Among the most critical outcomes in community [...]

As the Council on Foundations observes Community Foundation Week, this November 12-18, we will be posting stories from across the country of members who exemplify the ability of place-based philanthropy to drive innovation and strategy. If you would like your organization featured here, contact john.cochrane@cof.org.
Andrea Lubov, PhD, recently completed a follow-up to WCI’s 2007 Workforce [...]

As the Council on Foundations observes Community Foundation Week, this November 12-18, we will be posting stories from across the country of members who exemplify the ability of place-based philanthropy to drive innovation and strategy. If you would like your organization featured here, contact john.cochrane@cof.org.
In 2014, ACT for Alexandria (ACT) will celebrate its 10th anniversary [...]

As the Council on Foundations observes Community Foundation Week, this November 12-18, we will be posting stories from across the country of members who exemplify the ability of place-based philanthropy to drive innovation and strategy. If you would like your organization featured here, contact john.cochrane@cof.org.
A task force of the Placer Collaborative Network (a project of [...]

As the Council on Foundations observes Community Foundation Week, this November 12-18, we will be posting stories from across the country of members who exemplify the ability of place-based philanthropy to drive innovation and strategy. If you would like your organization featured here, contact john.cochrane@cof.org.
Ten years ago, West Central Initiative (WCI), along with its five [...]

The following infographic was prepared by Mark Neithercut, of Neithercut Philanthropy Advisors.

Imagine that you and your children are victims of domestic abuse. Or that your landlord refuses to remove mold from your apartment and you are getting sick.
You have been wronged and you want a chance to turn things around. You need a lawyer, but you are poor. You think someone will say, as you’ve seen [...]

The following letter, reproduced with permission, was sent by Juanita T. James, president and CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, to her representatives in Congress. If you would like to contact your representatives about how the shutdown is affecting philanthropy, the COF Public Policy team is available to help. Contact Brian Horn for more [...]

As much as we’d like to, we can’t predict the future. However, we can ensure the future outlook for effective programs and nonprofits is vibrant. At a recent meeting of grantmakers and nonprofits receiving funding through the federal Social Innovation Fund, Tulaine Montgomery from New Profit Inc., Kate Dempsey from the NYC Center for Economic [...]

This blog post was originally published by the Initiative for Responsible Investing at Harvard University.
We just launched the Community Foundation Field Guide to Impact Investing in San Diego. As part of that, I got to moderate a session with five of the Guide’s contributors –Stuart Comstock-Gay of the Vermont Community Foundation, Bert Feuss of the [...]

Philanthropy has the means to make strategic social investments to elevate the interests of America’s elders, especially for the over-65 U.S. Latino population. As the Baby Boom generation ages, there are increased opportunities and compelling strategies for addressing their needs.
Philanthropies can help create better paths for America’s seniors to thrive with their post-retirement choices. The [...]

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the law exempting charitable activity from taxation — now referred to as Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Over the last century, this exemption contributed, more than any other factor, to the development of a broad and diverse network of charitable organizations and foundations that today raise [...]

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 [...]

Kari JacksonWe Are Brand New

In: Philanthropy

30 Sep 2013

Throughout the fall conference, I had been prefacing every comment or question, every new introduction, with “I’m brand new, only six weeks in as a program officer.” I heard many others, too, more than I expected, who are only a few months, or, in several cases, a few days into the incredible (and exciting and [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Today, Council on Foundations president and CEO Vikki Spruill is in New York City to talk with the board of Realdania about trends in American philanthropy and how we can leverage transatlantic partnerships in the field. Today’s meeting complements the Council’s existing efforts, such as co-founding the Global Philanthropy Leadership Initiative (GPLI) with Worldwide Initiatives [...]

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 [...]

A few weeks ago, I conducted research to prepare for a teleconference and revisited a website to print information for the meeting.  Using the Google search engine, I found the link to the page and clicked on it.  To my dismay, a “Page Not Found” message was displayed.  Looking for a solution, I started searching [...]

Earlier this year, Project Streamline – an initiative of the Grants Managers Network – released Practices That Matter:  Taking Stock of Streamlining. Five years after our initial exploration of the burdens of application and reporting, Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted from Purpose, this new report assesses the state of streamlining in the field and identifies the [...]

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, [...]

Today, Susan Taylor Batten, president and CEO of the Association of Black Foundation Executives, co-authored an editorial with Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. Read the full article over at the Nonprofit Quarterly.
Fifty years ago yesterday, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom inspired and unified millions. That it rose [...]

Sometimes small grants can have surprisingly large effects, and advance your mission with unexpected potency. Case in point: the Northwest Area Foundation made a $50,000 grant to support the work of the Growing Transit Communities partnership in the Central Puget Sound Region. Planners needed funds to analyze areas of opportunity and access in Seattle. They [...]

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. [...]

In 1988, President Reagan proclaimed August 21st to be National Senior Citizens Day. He hoped that the country could unite in recognizing the important role that seniors play in communities across the country. Seniors are entrepreneurs. Between 1996 and 2010, adults over 55 had the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity. They were also twice as [...]

There are currently an estimated 1.5 million LGBTQ seniors in the U.S., and by 2030 that number is expected to more than double to 4 million.[1] As the first generation of “out,” self-identified LGBTQ people reaches retirement age, it’s remarkable to think of what they’ve been through.  Any LGBTQ person 65 or older was born [...]

When the comic strip “Doonesbury” is making fun of your state’s lackluster education record, you know things must change.
That’s the situation Oregon’s foundation leaders found themselves in 10 years ago. That part of the story isn’t that unusual; every state has had to cope with the failures of the K–12 system. What leaders of Oregon’s [...]

I had a meeting recently with an economist at the World Bank. Part researcher and part policy-maker, he explained that the Bank had been pleased to see marked and measurable improvement in the lot of women and girls in almost two dozen countries they’d track and fund.  Hearteningly, the improvements spanned a variety of metrics, [...]

Council staff, consultants and I recently met with Senator Max Baucus of Montana who serves as chair of the Finance Committee. Three weeks ago, the Council’s CEO, Vikki Spruill, met with Representative Dave Camp, the chair of the Ways and Means Committee. These two men guide the tax writing committees that will decide what form, [...]

Discussion is healthy with regard to addressing the issue of homelessness in Denver, but we need to reframe the discussion.
On June 27, in an effort to balance the portrayal of interrelations between police officers and individuals experiencing homelessness, The Denver Post editorial board highlighted the Denver Police Department’s commitment to the members of our community [...]

I recently began learning about social network analysis (SNA), an innovative tool that helps professionals understand the often hidden relationships between people, groups, and organizations. This can be important for anyone seeking to identify the key stakeholders and relationships that affect the success of grant-supported work. It can also help organizations that are looking to identify [...]

I am always drawn to an essay that talks about how we are motivated to give, especially when the main character is a guide dog named Lucy. In a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece in the New York Times, Paul Sullivan shared a story about his, and his wife’s, support of groups involved with helping the [...]

Nonprofit leaders are accustomed to justifying their need for operating support in appeals to potential donors. In a “proposal letter” written in June 1788, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart makes his case to benefactor Johann Michael VonPuchberg:
 “If you will do me this kindness, I shall primo (being thus provided) be able to make necessary payments when they [...]

The concept of “strategic philanthropy” has gained much currency in recent years. While nonprofit effectiveness has likely increased because of it, it also has inhibited nonprofit impact. In practice, strategic philanthropy is often linear, technocratic and top-down, and self-limiting as a result. For example, despite grantmakers’ provision of some $10 billion in grants to environmental [...]

As I write this, my partner and I about to leave for Borough Hall to get our marriage license. The Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 went largely as expected, yet I still found myself shocked and overwhelmed with joy that, for the first time in my life, [...]

For better or worse, the field of philanthropy is inundated with reports. My swelling “to-read” pile is the root cause of seemingly intractable clutter in my office.
Amid this cacophony, Advancing Human Rights: The State of Global Foundation Grantmaking warrants our attention. On its part, the International Human Rights Funders Group deserves kudos for culling rich [...]

In philanthropy we know that storytelling is a critical way to illustrate impact. A new video, “Post 9/11: The Impact of a Funder Collaborative,” tells the tale of what we learned through the Civic Engagement Fund (CEF). The CEF is a collaborative fund that supports little-understood communities that were propelled to the spotlight after 9/11, [...]

Last week, the Lumina Foundation released a new report, “A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education,” the fourth of its kind to track progress against its ambitious mission for 60 percent of Americans to hold high-quality degrees, certificates, or other postsecondary credentials by 2025.
Why college attainment? The case is pretty simple. As stated in the report’s [...]

In class, I learned about motivating employees and the value of a learning organization, and started thinking about tools I could use to encourage a learning culture. Here are a few ideas I came up with that you might be interested in utilizing in your own organization.
1. Postcards. I turned a postcard into a tool [...]

Inspirational and aspirational is how I would describe Building a More Inclusive Workforce: A National Summit to Boost Education and Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities, held last Friday in Wilmington, Del.
Collaborating with the U.S. Business Leadership Network and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, 2013 chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council cohosted this [...]

The EDGE Funders Alliance Just Giving conference in Washington DC, 21-23 May, brought together some 250 donors, activists and allies on the theme of ‘What is to be done? And how do we do it?’ Participants enjoyed a casual yet focused environment to gain a deeper understanding of the current landscape of grassroots and transnational initiatives [...]

As our nation sits and watches the devastation in Oklahoma following a series of tornadoes this week, I was reminded of a conversation I had with Jennifer Lammers, the new Program Director for the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, about an article she wrote following the 9/11 attacks.  She referenced the piece during a call with a [...]

Black adolescent girls and young women face special barriers related to both race and gender, which have immense effects on their health, achievement, and life outcomes. This is especially the case for low-income black girls, who have added challenges associated with poverty.
The effects of race and class are well-explored, but what about gender? Not the [...]

As I sat in the lobby before a recent meeting at a nonprofit, I saw a woman carrying a stack of folders in one arm and tugging at her luggage with her free hand. She tripped, but caught herself before she spilled the stack. As she made her way out the door, I wondered if [...]

mmigrants are vital to our economy and our communities. Nearly 10 million immigrants, the largest of any state, call California home. More than 2 million Californians are undocumented. Immigrant workers comprise more than one-third of California’s labor force, and about one in 10 workers in the state is an undocumented immigrant.
Beyond the numbers, immigrants are [...]

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 [...]

Scotty calls himself “the medical miracle.” By the time he was 15 years old, he had been hospitalized 23 times and thrown out of his last foster home because of mounting medical bills. Scotty suffers from a rare genetic disorder that prevents his body from metabolizing protein, a condition that landed him in the hospital [...]

I spent the first day of spring 2013 fast-walking Capitol Hill with foundation colleagues from all across the country. Hundreds of us were there for Foundations on the Hill, philanthropy’s annual push to remind lawmakers why giving matters.
In brief encounters with our elected officials and their staffs, we tried to connect the dots between their [...]

I recently presented an infographic learning session using Google+ Hangouts on Air. While I’ve scheduled virtual learning sessions through my affinity group and another organization in the past, registration numbers for these events have usually topped out around 70. But this event grew to almost 160 registrants. In order to understand why, I conducted a [...]

Blistering sunlight broils our small group as we gingerly perch around the edges of the raised bed our hosts have set out for us in front of their hut in Godha Village. We’ve come to visit a few of the 100 ultra-poor women in rural Uttar Pradesh recently employed by our local partner, a social-venture [...]



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

John F. Rohe
Conaway B. Haskins III
Susan Price
Sam Stern
Philip L. Cochran
Eva Nico and Rebecca Graves
Rotary International
Laura McKnight
Shelton Roulhac
John Kobara
Sidney R. Hargro
Debra Rubino
Bruce Trachtenberg and Michael Hamill Remaley
Nancy Berglass
Nancy Mahon
Vanessa Cedeño
Chris Cardona
Julia Boyer and Danny Murphy
Stephen Pratt
Heather Scott
Sara Kruger
Eva Nico
Anne Sekula
Nancy Jost
William Vesneski
Anthony Tansimore
Doug Balfour
Suzanne Stringfield
Rockhelle Johnson
Ellen Carter
Albert Ruesga
Paul Penley
Rhonda R. Mims
Rebecca Graves
Ellen Remmer
Mark Baldassare
Michael Durnil
PJ Watters
Heidi Sytsema
Jim Canales
Nathan Dungan
Mae Hong
Zeke Spier
Susan Meier
Cheryl McKenna
Judy Patrick
Erica Ekwurzel
Thomas Davis
Valerie Batts
Brenda Chumley