RE: Philanthropy Blog

Friday, July 29, 2016 - 11:13am

When I noticed late last year that the Council on Foundations’ annual conference would focus on climate change, I was delighted. For The Fund for New Jersey and other place-based funders, climate change has been a daunting challenge.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 9:55am

The SDGs are a framework that challenges all of us, working both in human rights and across sectors, to think differently about how our work in the US and abroad is interlinked. But do we even speak the same language? The closing conference session on buzzwords challenged us to consider if we are communicating in an accessible way that allows others to join the conversation – or are we excluding those not in the know?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 9:00am

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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:47pm

July updates include plenty of free resources for download, websites to check out, and support in public policy and advocacy during the recess. Take part in an economic development survey to better represent the work of community foundations in this space. Learn about upcoming CCFE fundamental trainings and more.

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.