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.
Leadership attracts assets and each day community foundations are maximizing opportunities in the community for growth and impact. Yet, community foundations are still grappling with ways to prioritize and balance community leadership and donor engagement, as well as how to finance and measure their work inclusive of all organizational investments beyond traditional grantmaking and convening. And, to do this work with even greater speed, sophistication, and coordinated effort across the organization and community.
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.
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.
The Council on Foundations stands in solidarity with those affected by the horrific attack in Orlando.
HUD and the Council are seeking nominations from charitable foundations working with the public sector to improve the neighborhoods and the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents. The winners of this prestigious HUD Secretary's Award will be presented at the Council's 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in April.
Recently, I saw the power of what happens when you put a few dozen foundation CEOs in a room together to discuss the future. They generate as many questions for each other as answers, and, as the head of the Council on Foundations, I’d say that’s a great thing for the communities philanthropy serves. After all, learning and leading together is how lasting solutions are made.