Leadership

The Council’s Endowments and Finance Summit is the premier annual event for those responsible for the strategic and effective management of foundations’ assets and resources. High level speakers attached to the 2016 convening include Alberto Ibargüen, President, CEO and Trustee, Johnson S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Dr. Jason Wingard, Dean and Professor, School of Professional Studies, Columbia University; Jean Case, CEO of The Case Foundation; Randall Lane, Editor of Forbes Magazine; and Vikki Spruill, President and CEO of the Council on Foundations.

The Council on Foundations’ 2016 Endowments and Finance Summit is just around the corner – Sept. 28-30 – and as co-chair of the convening, I strongly encourage you to register for it! I personally look forward to the summit each year because it’s the preeminent venue for foundation executives to share information about investment trends, challenges, solutions and best practices. It also provides unrivaled opportunities to meet and collaborate with some of the top finance leaders in philanthropy. This is why my organization, the TIAA Institute, is thrilled to once again serve as the summit’s Education Partner and co-sponsor.

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.

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.

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.

The Winter Retreat for CEOs and Trustees will provide foundation leaders the unique opportunity to engage in facilitated peer-to-peer learning to strengthen the CEO-Trustee relationship and craft a shared vision for the foundation. This is a Council members-only event.

The vote for Britain to exit the European Union took philanthropy and the rest of the world by surprise. But it raises tough new questions about how grant makers should respond to political and financial turmoil and uncertainty.