RE: Philanthropy Blog

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 1:19pm

What business does a community foundation have hawking for-profit deals to its donors and other community members? How does it improve the quality of life in their community? How does it promote the spirit and practice of philanthropy and service? Well it turns out, some community foundations think that it has plenty of relevance to both goals.

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 11:45am

I recently attended the 2012 Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) and the Council on Foundation conferences in Los Angeles. I must say that attending both of them were turning points in my career.

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 11:32am

As the CEO of the Community Foundation of Louisville, I travel to Washington, D.C., each year and make the rounds as part of Foundations on the Hill, supported by the Council on Foundations and the Southeastern Council of Foundations. For most of us, this journey is a sprint, since we visit dozens and dozens of offices in just two days. Each office gives foundation staff representatives about 15 minutes, so we rush to get our message(s) across to our members of Congress.

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 11:13am

For today’s post, we’ve asked two leaders to weigh in on topics of interest to young, growing community foundations. Their organizations—Kern Community Foundation and The Community Foundation of Mendocino County—participated in Community Foundations Initiative II, a multiyear initiative by The James Irvine Foundation to accelerate the growth and leadership of a group of emerging community foundations in rural parts of California.

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 11:13am

For today’s post, we’ve asked two leaders to weigh in on topics of interest to young, growing community foundations. Their organizations—Kern Community Foundation and The Community Foundation of Mendocino County—participated in Community Foundations Initiative II, a multiyear initiative by The James Irvine Foundation to accelerate the growth and leadership of a group of emerging community foundations in rural parts of California.

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 10:39am

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Center for Digital Information’s session on philanthropy and the digital public dialogue at theCouncil on Foundations Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 8:53am

Yesterday, I wrote a bit about how funders, like all humans, are programmed by millions of years of evolution to hate failure. But our DNA hasn’t kept pace with the changing times. If our brains were adapted to the modern world instead of the prehistoric reality of the first apes with opposable thumbs, we would have created different neurological and chemical reactions to failure. We would have realized that in these times our survival depends on embracing productive failure. Until that realization occurs, we need to trick our brains into interpreting failure differently.

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 8:51am

Last year, influenced by the hype around Darwin’s 150th anniversary, I developed an interest in evolutionary theory. I read a few books about it, including the masterful Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, and since then I’ve been kind of obsessed. I usually find myself in odd moments trying to analyze human behaviors and traits, especially emotions, focusing on how they would have helped us survive and evolve in the savanna hundreds of thousands of years ago. What is the evolutionary reason for, say, love, or envy, or solidarity? Is art a “byproduct of evolution” or is it an extension of the capacity for communication and expression.

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 8:18am

“The movement towards outcomes-driven philanthropy has done a lot to diminish creativity,” concluded one CEO at a recent GMA Foundations’ NPO Conversation on creativity. At this regular lunchtime forum, leaders of seven Boston-area nonprofits were asked to open up about their organization’s most creative moments, their innovation wish list for 2012, and obstacles to organizational creativity. Judging by the conversation, creativity and innovation are still essential to the daily existence of these organizations. The question, though, remains: Is outcomes-driven philanthropy affecting creativity?

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 8:15am

On April 18, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Dubuque, Iowa to launch the Together for Tomorrow campaign. I was honored to share the stage with him and highlight the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s recent work on a third grade reading initiative with our school district and numerous other local partners.