Vikki Spruill is president and CEO of the Council on Foundations, a national nonprofit association of approximately 1,600 philanthropic organizations and corporations. As a leading voice for the American philanthropic sector, Vikki frequently speaks about the impact and value of American philanthropy, as well as the importance of charitable giving.
She has a long record of advancing the philanthropic sector. In 2003, she helped create FoundationWorks, an independent organization devoted to helping foundations and others in the philanthropic sector use strategic communications to enhance their philanthropic effectiveness. She also served as the first director of the Philanthropic Awareness Initiative, a research project that worked with foundations and philanthropy organizations to improve communications and outreach strategies. She has authored a number of thought pieces, including Philanthropy in the News, Making American Foundations Relevant, and Build Brand Identity for Causes, Not Groups.
Prior to the Council, Vikki served as president and CEO of the Ocean Conservancy, a science-based education and citizen empowerment organization aimed at preserving a healthy ocean. In response to the largest accidental oil discharge in history, Vikki coordinated a bipartisan coalition to pass the RESTORE Act, a key step in directing essential funding to help the Gulf ecosystem. She also expanded the annual International Coastal Cleanup – the world’s largest volunteer effort for the ocean. By mobilizing more than half a million volunteers and members each year, Vikki's efforts to build significant public support for ocean health will continue to impact policymakers' decisions and make science-based conservation a priority.
Earlier in her career, Spruill founded and led SeaWeb, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing ocean issues through strategic communications and social marketing. Her work at SeaWeb was built on a 15-year career in public relations, including five years as a senior vice president of Ruder Finn, one of the largest independent public relations firms in the world.
Vikki studied communications and religious studies at Loyola University in New Orleans. She received her masters degree, also in communications from the University of West Florida. She currently serves on the boards of directors of the Communications Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS) and of the Worldwide Initiative for Grantmaker Support (WINGS). Vikki and her husband Jeff have two grown daughters and two rescue dogs. They spend all the time they can close to any beach they can find.
Remarks by Vikki
- Remarks at the 2015 Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge Anniversary
- Leading Together at the 2015 Annual Meeting
- Remarks on the State of American Philanthropy at the 2014 Annual Conference: Philanthropy Exchange
- April 30 Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge Launch
- Address at the 25th Anniversary Conference of the Mexican Center for Philanthropy
- Connecting for Good at the 2013 Fall Conference for Community Foundations
- Philanthropy's Critical Moment for Vision & Action at the 2013 Annual Conference
- Speech to Philanthropy Northwest
Analysis by Vikki
- Huffington Post: Leading Together for Greater Impact
- New York Times letter to the editor response to "Who Will Watch the Charities?"
- Council on Foundations RE: Philanthropy Blog: A Moment for Self Reflection
- Inside Philanthropy: How Donor-Advised Funds Engage New Donors and Boost Communities
- Cleveland Plain Dealer: Community foundations return home to Cleveland
- New York Times: Taxes and Charity: A View From the Foundations