Strengthening Communities

Convening centered on an opinion piece written by Kevin Murphy, President, Berks County Community Foundation during his 2016 tenure as Foundation Leader in Residence at the Council on Foundations, this interactive group discussion will focus on the rationale of asset growth, disruptions to the community foundation business model, and how changes in the local financial services field may force some fundamental changes on community foundations.

Convening centered on an opinion piece written by Kevin Murphy, President, Berks County Community Foundation during his 2016 tenure as Foundation Leader in Residence at the Council on Foundations, this interactive group discussion will focus on the rationale of asset growth, disruptions to the community foundation business model, and how changes in the local financial services field may force some fundamental changes on community foundations.

Monday, January 16, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK Day), a federal holiday in the U.S. The fact that a federal holiday was designated to commemorate the birthdate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is significant - only two other figures have national holidays in the U.S. honoring them: George Washington and Christopher Columbus.

Enjoy a day rich in new experiences and ideas — where you will be challenged to think more deeply, entertain new perspectives, and ultimately dig into potential new narratives for rural America. We will create an environment to spur your thinking about existing assets in new ways, new assets that are needed, ways to turn assets into opportunities, and importantly, how to better engage citizens toward new narratives for economic and social prosperity.

The Council on Foundations partnered with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy on a special issue of The Foundation Review examining the Future of Community. The issue explores aspects of the relationship between foundations and communities, addressing topics such as the redefinition of community, the effect of evolving demographics, and potential solutions to climate change.

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 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.