RE: Philanthropy Blog

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 9:00am

Natalie Ross

Sustainability. Quality education. Poverty reduction. Gender equality. If this list sounds familiar to individuals working in philanthropy or non-profits in the U.S., it should. Our sector is synonymous with these issues in part because our nation suffers from many of them, despite being the wealthiest country on the planet.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 3:10pm

Everyone who works in philanthropy has a different and interesting story of how they “found” the field. For many, it is a story of starting in philanthropy after a long career in another industry. Others tell a different story: you need not wait to become a philanthropist. Around the world, a growing movement of young people is not waiting to be a part of the change made possible by philanthropy.

Monday, July 18, 2016 - 10:38am

How can you do the most good, with limited resources, when facing enormous problems? That question lies at or near the heart of every decision at a foundation. This is true of the grant dollars which support community institutions and provide for social services, and it is true of the endowed dollars which are invested to in order to fund future grantmaking – providing for generations to come and needs unforeseen. By carefully stewarding money held in the public’s trust, a foundation’s board can ensure that an initial philanthropic gift can grow over time, multiplying – many times over – and providing a strong financial base to advance the foundation’s mission. And many today are asking if those investments can be invested in other ways, beyond traditional grantmaking, to deliver benefits to the communities and complement the efforts central to the foundation’s mission.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 - 10:26am

There is no doubt that the US is suffering from what feels like the unravelling of social order. Recent shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas have heightened deep-seated tensions relating to race and criminal justice. The presidential election has felt more like a schoolyard brawl than democracy in action. And anger continues to grow among millions suffering from joblessness, poverty and disenfranchisement.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 4:53pm

Last week’s shootings in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas have made more urgent our need for a national civil discussion about longstanding systemic challenges that deeply divide our communities. The Council on Foundations steadfastly denounces the killing of innocent people, no matter their skin color, political position, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. We mourn the lives lost and send our thoughts to their friends and loved ones and to our philanthropic colleagues who serve and lead in the affected communities.

Monday, July 11, 2016 - 2:07pm

When leaders from approximately 48 Pennsylvania-based foundations gathered in State College in April for the Council on Foundations’ Pennsylvania Philanthropy Conference, the negative effects of the state’s infamous nine-month budget impasse on human service delivery were painfully fresh. Nonprofits, especially agencies with state and county contracts, were worn down by months of financial uncertainty. Staff and clients felt underserved by elected officials of both parties in Harrisburg.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 1:10pm

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are a popular topic these days. DAFs are powerful giving mechanisms set up at financial institutions and community foundations that allow donors to support and remain connected to causes and issues they care about most. When explained, people get it. They see the power and need for DAFs. Despite the inroads we have made in educating elected officials, journalists, and the general public about DAFs, damaging misinformation continues to be put out about them.

Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 12:00pm

Suzanne Friday

Senior Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs Suzanne Friday introduces the Council's new legal publication, Mastering Foundation Law, The Council on Foundations Compendium of Legal Resources. Offered as an annual subscription, the Compendium is a comprehensive guide to foundation law for the non-lawyer. Each chapter focuses on a different area of law relevant to private and public charitable foundations and includes detailed citations and explanations of the applicable Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulation sections, relevant sample documents, and a discussion of state law issues that may apply.

Saturday, June 25, 2016 - 9:32am

The vote for Britain to exit the European Union took philanthropy and the rest of the world by surprise. But it raises tough new questions about how grant makers should respond to political and financial turmoil and uncertainty.

Friday, June 24, 2016 - 3:54pm

Floyd Mills

I started this blog post earlier in the month to recognize June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month, but the tragedy in Orlando rightly caused the Council and my blog post to change course. As June comes to a close, it seems fitting to celebrate the LGBTQ community and the steps which our society has taken on its journey toward full equality.