RE: Philanthropy Blog

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:23pm

Investing in people feels very good. Carrie Avery of the Durfee Foundation, the moderator of the session “Supporting Individuals as Innovators and Change Agents,” described these types of programs as the “R & D” of the nonprofit sector. How do foundations invest in people?

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:13pm

This year’s Paul Ylvisaker Public Policy Award winner, Linda Reed, president and CEO of the Montana Community Foundation, delivered a formal talk on the relationship of rural philanthropy and public policy. Given that Reed was talking about Montana, where there are only three communities with populations above 50,000, almost anything she might have addressed could be given a rural cast. But everything she talked about could have just as easily been a model or perhaps a prescription for any philanthropic leader or institution interested in addressing public policy issues.

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:10pm

After my time at the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) conference this past week, I walked away with a lot of reflection points. What struck me most about the conversations I experienced, both during the sessions and with colleagues, was that they were not just about vision, change, and success in philanthropy. They also were about being conscious of the things that can inspire us to do better, both today and in the future.

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:07pm

Saturday was wonderful preconference kick-off to what will undoubtedly be another great Council on Foundations event. Collaboration, common agendas, and community engagement were key themes for both the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and Global Grantmakers. Each group delivered thought-provoking, inspiring programming - but unfortunately I was forced to choose between sessions. Similar to previous conferences, I was forced to make the mad dash between presentations and sneak politely in and out of conversations that were great independently but have the potential to be transformative together. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to mobilize to create a more perfect Council union.

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:04pm

Panels of talking heads during conferences are all well and good, especially when they are saying something of importance that we don’t know. However the audiences at Council on Foundations conferences often have knowledge and perspectives that are just as interesting as the speakers. At today’s session, “The Leadership Opportunity for Corporate Philanthropy,” three items from the floor are particularly worth noting.

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 10:18am

The beginning of opening session is just a few short minutes away. I arrive early to find a seat while trying to avoid the strobe light clearly flashing above my head. As I loiter in the lobby, here are some general impressions thus far.

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 10:04am

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 10:00am

Last year’s Council on Foundations Annual Meeting was held before the Occupy Wall Street movement highlighted the role and power of corporate America in this nation’s wealth divide. Even then, according to Chris Pinney of the Aspen Institute, one of the researchers behind the new Council report on corporate philanthropy, Increasing Impact, Enhancing Value: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leading Corporate Philanthropy, corporate foundation grantmakers felt “disconnected.”

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 9:56am

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.

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 9:47am

Each one of us has 86,400 seconds per day to live, work, love, play and/or fritter away. Indeed time is the nonrenewable resource. Threaded through the last weeks, I have reached out to colleagues in the foundation sector to be sure that my time at the Council of Foundations Annual Conference is leveraged to build connective tissue. At The Patterson Foundation we strive to learn from the best and brightest to “build connective tissue to create new realities.” My dance card is full (yes, I am showing my age with that analogy) with opportunities to immerse with other “passionaries” as we toil to make positive change in the world.