Affinity groups are organizations founded by grantmakers who have common interests. The first affinity groups were formed in the early 1980s and in the late 1980’s, the Council leadership established the Affinity Group Network. These groups provided opportunities for grantmakers with common interests to meet each other, share knowledge and encourage collaborative funding.
Some groups emphasize networking and information exchange among members, while others advocate for an issue or cause within and outside philanthropy. Some affinity groups are formed around the identity of the population served (e.g., ABFE, AAPIP). Some are formed around particular grant issue areas (e.g., Grantmakers in Education, Grantmakers in the Arts). Still others are formed around position and function (e.g., Grant Managers Network).
Generally, these groups serve the grantmaking community, although some include grantee organizations as members. The variety of these organizations provides rich resources for partnership and expertise. Many foundations that are Council members are also members of one or more affinity groups. Grantmakers and trustees seeking greater understanding and networking around a particular area of philanthropy can contact any of the affinity groups listed below.
The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) was established in 1971 by forward-thinking, Black foundation executives to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities. As the first official affinity group of the Council on Foundations, ABFE is the champion of diverse leadership in philanthropy. Progress is defined by a substantial increase in the number of Blacks as leaders and emerging leaders within the philanthropic field. Today, ABFE counts among its members some of the most influential staff, trustees and donors of grantmaking organizations who are intimately involved in shaping the focus, decision-making and response of foundations toward Black communities.
AGAG’S mission is to encourage increased and more effective foundation funding in Africa.
AAPIP is a national membership and philanthropic advocacy organization dedicated to advancing philanthropy and Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Our members include foundations, staff and trustees of grantmaking institutions, and nonprofit organizations in regional chapters throughout the United States. AAPIP engages AAPI communities and philanthropy to address unmet needs; serves as a resource for and about AAPI communities; supports and facilitates giving by and to AAPI communities; and incubates new ideas and approaches for social justice philanthropy.
The Association of Small Foundations (ASF) is a membership organization of more than 3,000 foundations with few or no staff. ASF enhances the power of small foundation giving by providing the donors, trustees, and staff of member foundations with peer learning opportunities, targeted tools and resources, and a collective voice in and beyond the philanthropic community. Foundations with few or no staff account for half of the country's total foundation grant dollars, and provide essential financial support in communities across the country.
CFLeads connects community foundations to their peers and other sources of knowledge as they take on crucial leadership roles to build thriving communities.
Confluence Philanthropy is a non-profit network of over 150 private, public, and community foundations. They build capacity and provide technical assistance to enhance the ability of foundations to align the management of assets with organizational mission to promote environmental sustainability and social justice.
Consortium of Foundation Libraries (CFL) is a vehicle for enhancing learning, sharing resources and coordinating information services among foundation libraries and archives.
Disability Funders Network (DFN) is a national membership and philanthropic advocacy organization that seeks equality and rights for disabled individuals and communities by bridging philanthropic resources, disability and community. DFN envisions an empowered and functioning democracy with full equality under the law, equal access to services, unconditional respect for difference and the meaningful participation of all communities at tables where decisions are made.
Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) is a national network of foundation professionals and social entrepreneurs who strive for excellence in the practice of philanthropy. Our mission is to develop emerging leaders committed to building a just, equitable, and sustainable society. EPIP exists to ensure that emerging foundation professionals are effective stewards of philanthropic resources and all social entrepreneurs reach their potential as leaders. EPIP is a project of the Tides Center.
EGA works with members and partners to promote effective environmental philanthropy by sharing knowledge, fostering debate, cultivating leadership, facilitating collaboration, and catalyzing action.
FCCP's mission is to educate its membership and the larger philanthropic community about barriers to full participation, strategies for fostering democratic involvement, and the means by which effective strategies can be supported through grantmaking.
Funders Concerned About AIDS mobilizes philanthropic leadership and resources, domestically and internationally to eradicate the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to address its social and economic consequences.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues seeks to mobilize philanthropic resources that enhance the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, promote equity, and advance racial, economic and gender justice.
The mission of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities is to inspire, strengthen, and expand funders’ abilities to support organizations working to build more livable communities through better development decisions and growth policies.
Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health & Rights is a network of grantmakers who address issues of population, reproductive health and rights, both domestically and internationally. Its members share a common goal: to ensure that all people have access to the information and services they need to manage their own fertility and protect and promote their sexual and reproductive health. The Funders Network seeks to improve communication, foster collaboration, increase resources, and enhance the overall effectiveness of grantmakers in this field.
Funders Together to End Homelessness is a national network of foundations and corporations supporting strategic and effective grantmaking to end homelessness.
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) seeks to move the philanthropic field to advance the contributions and address the needs of the world's growing and increasingly diverse immigrant and refugee populations. With a core focus on the United States, GCIR provides grantmakers with opportunities for learning, networking, and collaboration, as well as information resources that: 1) Enhance philanthropy’s awareness of issues affecting immigrants and refugees; 2) Deepen the field’s understanding of how these issues are integral to community building in today's dynamic social, economic, and political environment; and 3) Increase philanthropic support for both broad and immigrant/refugee-focused strategies that benefit newcomer populations and strengthen the larger society.
GCYF’s mission is to engage funders across all sectors to continually improve their grantmaking on behalf of children, youth and families.
Grantmakers for Education is philanthropy’s knowledge source for achieving results in education. Our mission is to strengthen philanthropy's capacity to improve educational outcomes for all students.
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a coalition of grantmakers committed to building strong and effective nonprofit organizations. Understanding that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success.
Grantmakers in Aging works to promote and strengthen grantmaking for an aging society. GIA is an educational organization for staff and trustees of foundations and corporate foundations/giving programs that enables its members to network with other funders in aging, gain tools to make excellent aging grants, acquire information about the needs of the elderly as well as the resources they bring to their communities, receive updates about trends and policy changes affecting older adults, learn about current and upcoming funding initiatives in aging, and link to other sources of information in the field of aging.
Grantmakers In Health is a nonprofit, educational organization serving trustees and staff of foundations and corporate giving programs.Its mission is to help grantmakers improve the nation's health by strengthening grantmakers' knowledge, skills, effectiveness, and fostering communication and collaboration among grantmakers and with others.
The mission of Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) is to provide leadership and service to advance the use of philanthropic resources on behalf of arts and culture.
The Grantmakers Income Security Task Force is an informal affinity group of approximately 175 grantmakers interested in improving the self-sufficiency and economic well-being of low-income families in the United States.
The Grants Managers Network (GMN) is committed to improving philanthropy by leading the field of grants management to achieve efficient and effective grantmaking. As the nation’s only nonprofit membership organization devoted to serving grants management professionals, GMN connects its more than 1,300 members to best practices and the collective knowledge of the field, innovative learning experiences, and peer-to-peer collaborations.
Grassroots Grantmakers serves as a locus for learning for place-based funders who are supporting civic engagement at the block level—active citizenship—with the goal of advancing change agendas that have been identified and shaped by community residents. Grassroots Grantmakers serves as an advocate for place-based philanthropy that works from a resident-centered perspective, a connector that facilitates information sharing and peer learning among funders who are engaged in this work, and as generator of tools and resources that advance the practice of effective grassroots grantmaking. The theory of change that forms the basis for this work is that the most desirable change is that which is fueled by the preferences, energies, and commitments of the broadest array of community residents, and that the way to ensure that this kind of change is possible is to build capacity from the ground up to enable every community resident to participate, make a contribution, and be heard, without being hindered by obstacles that result from disenfranchisement, lack of power, or lack of resources.
Hispanics in Philanthropy is committed to strengthening Latino communities by increasing resources for the Latino and Latin American civil sector and by increasing Latino participation and leadership throughout the field of philanthropy.
IFIP's mission is to convene and educate donors to build capacity and enhance funding partnerships that improve the lives of Indigenous Peoples around the world.
International Human Rights Funders Group is an association of grantmakers devoted to supporting efforts to achieve the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the treaties it has generated so that all people may enjoy a truly and fully human existence.
Jewish Funders Network is an organization of individual and institutional grantmakers committed to broadening the base and scope of Jewish philanthropy and advancing its effective practice. To respond to the challenges of the twenty-first century and the evolving needs of the Jewish community, we seek to provide a forum for exposing the broadest range of contemporary creative and innovative thinking; to foster growth and vitality in Jewish charitable giving; to encourage informed grantmaking to Jewish and secular causes that embody Jewish values; and to facilitate cooperation and partnerships among grantmakers.
To increase philanthropic community's knowledge and understanding of literacy as a systemic issue and a tool for community change.
Media Impact Funders (formerly Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media) is a network of funders, working broadly on media and technology issues, in order to create social change. We serve as a learning resource for grantmakers interested in using media to further their missions; a catalyst for philanthropic partnership and networking; and a convener to advance media and technology focused philanthropy. Media Impact Funders is an affinity group, with members representing foundations, government agencies, donor affinity groups, philanthropic advisors, and individual donors.
The mission of Native Americans in Philanthropy is to advance philanthropic practices grounded in native values and traditions. Towards this mission, NAP: (1) Engages Native and non-Native practitioners of philanthropy to focus on sustainable Native communities. (2) Educates to instill Native philanthropic values into contemporary practice. (3) Empowers Native philanthropic leadership to be effective practitioners.
The Neighborhood Funders Group is a membership association of grantmaking institutions. Our mission is to strengthen the capacity of organized philanthropy to understand and support community-based efforts to organize and improve the economic and social fabric of low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities. We provide information, learning opportunities, and other professional development activities to our national membership, and encourage the support of policies and practices that advance economic and social justice.
Peace and Security Funders Group is dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of philanthropy to promote international peace security. To this end, the group provides opportunities for education and information sharing; facilitates the development of effective strategies and collaborations; and encourages greater and new investments in this challenging and rewarding area of work.
Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement inspires interest, understanding, and investment in civic engagement. PACE aims to build a community within philanthropy committed to vigorous debate and action around encouraging participation and engagement in community, civic and political life; to inspire and incubate strategic collaborations with policy makers, nonprofits, business and the media to support active citizenship; and to increase the quantity and the quality of philanthropic investment in civic engagement strategies. PACE is non-partisan and actively seeks collaborative and innovative ways to work on new ideas.
Resource Generation organizes young people with financial wealth to leverage resources and privileges for social change.
The Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) is a national network that aims to strengthen, diversify and expand the community of grantmakers that focus on sustainable agriculture and food systems. SAFSF provides a wide range of learning and networking opportunities and keeps funders on the cutting edge of the growing 'good food' movement. In addition to expanding our members' knowledge of these issues, SAFSF highlights the important links between agriculture and food systems and other critical issues: health, climate change, education, and the viability of communities both rural and urban.
TAG is a membership organization of foundations that promotes the understanding of how information and communications technology can help its members further their philanthropic goals.
The mission of the Communications Network is to advance the strategic practice of communications in philanthropy.
Women's Funding Network, a partnership of women's funds, donors and allies around the world committed to social justice, works to ensure that women's funds are recognized as the "investment of choice" for people who value the full participation of women and girls as key to strong, equitable and sustainable communities and societies.