RE: Philanthropy Blog

At the Council on Foundations Annual Conference in San Francisco, there was enormous interest in how foundations can lead together by aligning all of their assets with their missions. However there is one investment nearly every foundation makes, but which many fail to properly evaluate.

While attending the Council on Foundations annual meeting in San Francisco last week, I learned about exciting new trends in philanthropy. The theme that really stood out was the graying lines of business, investing, and philanthropy. For profit companies are being founded with the specific purpose of creating social good. Venture capitalists are measuring a startup's social impact as value, and everyday investors are favoring social responsibility over financial returns. Was this a parallel universe or did I miss something in business school?

When my husband Bob went to Iraq to cover the war, I was worried but didn’t think of it the way families of our soldiers do. After all, he was there as the anchor of ABC News.

In 2009, Blue Shield of California Foundation learned of the increasingly high rates and devastating impacts of domestic violence among military families. Given the incredible stress these families had endured after more than a decade at war, the findings were difficult to hear, but not surprising. Thankfully, we were in a position to do more than just listen. Through our work to end domestic violence in California, we saw an opportunity to make a difference for our servicemen and women.

I was a foundation officer and government official in the White House and Pentagon before I became a military family member…before there was a war. Before the Marine I married deployed to combat three times. Before I knew neighbors who faced the knock of a Chaplain and a Casualty Assistance Officer in dress uniform. Before my tenth grader attended ten schools.

Lorne Steedley

With a topic taken from the headlines of today’s newspapers, the Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site in partnership with the Council on Foundation and the Southeastern Council of Foundations conducted a day long learning forum entitled Flipping the Script: Changing the Narrative on Boys and Men of Color.

Stephanie Powers

Building on last April’s historic Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge convening, next week on May 12, the Council will host an event in Washington, D.C. to mark the first anniversary of the Impact Pledge and the launch of the Council’s Veterans Philanthropy Exchange. More than 160 grantmakers, veterans and military family organizations, policymakers, service providers and others will gather to laud the new pledges for 2015.

Ten years ago this month I waddled – enormously pregnant – into a job interview with the founder of a billion dollar healthcare tech company. “I have this crazy idea about education,” he said.

The Orcas Island Community Foundation (OICF) is a small but mighty foundation. In 2011, with assets of $4 million spread across 70+ funds, we had outgrown our ‘off the shelf’ bookkeeping software, spending over half of our precious staff time on accounting. We struggled with finding right sized technology.

Even as the high human, economic, environmental, and planetary costs of climate change come into sharper focus, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, tightening the timeframe for a transition to a low-carbon future. Climate change exacerbates growing pressures on life-sustaining resources, including freshwater, soil, and biodiversity. We all have a stake in efforts to mitigate the emissions that contribute to climate change and to increase adaptive capacity to cope with its effects.