RE: Philanthropy Blog

Posted Date: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 16:03
I first started working in the community foundation field more than 15 years ago. It goes without saying that I’m a big fan. I believe in this democratic model of philanthropy where the collective power of many creates powerful change. I’m also a fan because most community foundations understand that our work is constantly changing and adjusting to new needs. We cannot stand still. Indeed, the model of community foundation 15 years ago was vastly different than the one I see across the country now. The difference is the greater clarity about our leadership, and about our place-based expertise and connection. Community Foundation Week makes me reflect on that leadership.
Posted Date: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 15:17
Isssues: Leadership
One of my most memorable moments from college was when I sat in a sea of more than 500 college students in PoliSci 101. From the back of the auditorium, a very small man stood up on stage speaking to all of us about the strength of the U.S. president as “soft power.” According to Joseph Nye of Harvard University, the man who coined the term, it is “the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce, use force, or give money as a means of persuasion.”
Posted Date: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 15:11
Isssues: Leadership
At the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, we believe strongly in the critical importance of unrestricted general operating support because it provides nonprofit leaders with the flexibility to direct spending toward strategic priorities facing their organizations. In 2011, two-thirds of the Fund’s grants were allocated for this purpose.
Posted Date: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 12:02
Isssues: Leadership
Many people believe facilitation is a role that only designated individuals can play in meetings or planning sessions. But just as leadership is more about how you behave than what your title is, so is facilitation about the contributions you make regardless of your role.
Posted Date: Tue, 03/05/2013 - 14:02
Isssues: Leadership
Why do community foundation CEOs pursue “community leadership” as a key organizing strategy in their foundations? Because there was a leadership void in our community and we realized we were uniquely positioned to step up. Because we recognized we had important assets that could help address the huge challenges facing our community. Because under the status quo, things were getting worse in our community, not better.
Posted Date: Mon, 03/04/2013 - 14:56
Isssues: Leadership
In his acceptance speech for the 2012 Nicholas P. Bollman Award for leaders who inspire through values and actions, Claudio Martinez, executive director of Boston’s Hyde Square Task Force, reminded an audience of nearly 200 funders that the “journey to become visible is still too hard to travel.”
Posted Date: Mon, 02/25/2013 - 09:56
Let me introduce myself: I’m a young leader and a passionate advocate for social justice. I’m well into my second year as executive director of Social Justice Fund, a regional progressive public foundation. I’m an innovator. Since starting my role, I have implemented a new model of grassroots fundraising, leadership development, and grantmaking, resulting in significantly increased volunteer and donor engagement, interest in replication from around the country, and more than 60 percent revenue growth. I’ve spent time in the streets as a grassroots activist as well as the board room in the corporate sector. I believe that those of us with privilege-race, class, gender, sexuality-have a responsibility to work for equality and name injustice when we see it. I have seen the power of funding to transform society, but I’m deeply skeptical about institutional philanthropy.
Posted Date: Thu, 02/21/2013 - 15:58
The Council on Foundations (COF) recently released the 2011 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report. The sample includes 910 total foundations of which 544 are COF members. As Rick Cohen notes on his piece about the survey, the survey suffers from the limitations of self-reporting, as do most all of our sector’s data. That said, there are some important trends in the makeup of foundation demographics and compensation that are worth noting:
Posted Date: Thu, 02/21/2013 - 15:19
Isssues: Leadership
As my colleague Peter Pennekamp from the Humboldt Area Foundation says, when it comes to community leadership it’s not always the most pressing issue that you need to be working on; it’s the issue where there’s energy and heat. In a word: tension. And in our community, there’s tension around immigration.

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