2015 Annual Meeting | April 24-28, 2015 | San Francisco, Ca

Leading Together

Hope and Opportunity in a Destabilized World

Preconference Programming

Separate registration is required for all of these events. Space is limited. Register now! If you are already registered for the Annual Meeting and would like to add an additional preconference event to your registration, please use the paper registration form and e-mail or fax in the forms with payment.


***SOLD OUT***Center for Community Foundation Excellence (CCFE) Fundamentals Course

This session has reached capacity, and is now sold out. 

Friday, April 24th | 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Saturday, April 25th | 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Price: $595.00 Member/$809.00 Nonmember

A well-trained staff and an informed board are critical to the success of community foundations in our fast-changing world. This two-day course helps new and experienced foundation stakeholders build the essential skills they need to balance governance and management.

Created and led by experienced leaders, this course includes:

  • Updates on key legal and legislative issues;
  • Information on grantmaking; and
  • Review of community leadership and fiduciary responsibilities.

Executive Leadership Preconference Programs

Participation in the Executive Leadership preconference sessions is limited to foundation executive directors, C-Suite foundation executives and foundation board members and trustees.

Philanthropy and Public Policy: Executive Challenges, Leadership Opportunities

Friday, April 24th | 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Saturday, April 25th | 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This Session Only: $250 | All Executive Leadership Preconference Sessions (Friday and Saturday Programming Option 1): $600

This compact program is designed to challenge foundation executives to explore the unique roles of philanthropy, the Council, and individual foundations in the public policy sphere. The interactive program will also address how public policy helps advance our missions and define ways foundations can implement their own strategies in today’s evolving policy arena.

Speakers Include:

  • David Hammack, The Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History, Case Western Reserve University
  • Mason Rummel, President, James Graham Brown Foundation
  • Marvin Ammori, Center for Internet & Society, Stanford Law School
  • Rob Collier, President and CEO, Council of Michigan Foundations
  • James Head, President & Chief Executive Officer, East Bay Community Foundation
  • John E. Tyler, III, General Counsel, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Robert Holste, Senior Director, Government Relations, Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Katayoon Majd, Program Officer for Juvenile Justice, Public Welfare Foundation
  • Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations
  • Sue Santa, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs, Council on Foundations

Friday will begin with an exploration of philanthropy’s historic role in public policy and our significant contributions to civil society.

Participants will then navigate through a series of thought-provoking questions rooted in current realities:

  • How can foundations play a meaningful role in policy conversations when our nation’s democratic system seems so dysfunctional? 
  • Is there a role for philanthropic leaders in repairing this system?
  • Do efforts to reframe the definition of “charity” change how we look at individual giving incentives?
  • Does scrutiny of the value of endowed funds ultimately threaten philanthropy’s role in this discussion?

Saturday will focus on internal considerations that foundation leaders must often address as you create and implement policy strategies, such as:

  • Where on the broad spectrum of public policy activities are you now?
  • What internal questions must you ask about the connection to mission, your ability to effectively participate and how you will gauge and reflect progress?
  • How do board members/trustees view these investments in public policy, and how do you staff the efforts?
  • Who should you engage as partners?
  • What political capital will you gain or lose in these efforts?
  • Will you encounter legal constraints?

In addition to these interactive discussions, this special preconference will include:

  • A cocktail reception and salon discussion on the impact of technology on philanthropy. This salon is part of the Council’s Evolution of American Philanthropy discussion series.
  • Optional dine-around opportunities on Friday evening to network with your colleagues and enjoy some of San Francisco’s culinary best.

Register Now!

*Additional details on panel discussions and speakers will be announced soon.

Evolution of American Philanthropy

Part 1: Saturday, April 25th | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. & Part 2: Saturday, April 25th | 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This Session Only (Evolution of American Philanthropy): $250 | All Executive Leadership Preconference Sessions (Friday and Saturday Programming Option 1): $600

Two to Tango: New Forms of Giving in Philanthropy and New Forms of Grantees to Meet Your Mission are back-to-back breakout sessions that will address the many ways philanthropists can create positive impact beyond grantmaking. Engage with us as philanthropic leaders explore how foundations are using an array of incentives, investment vehicles, and innovative funding strategies to achieve their missions. These discussions will also examine the emerging hybrid institutions that are utilizing financial capital for social entrepreneurship and business solutions to tackle some of the world's toughest challenges.  

Register Now!


Public Policy Challenges and Leadership Opportunities for Community Foundations

Saturday, April 25th | 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Complimentary for Community Foundations, Registration is Required

Community foundations have a unique role in philanthropy. They are an essential part of American culture. The community foundation model has come under increased scrutiny as critics question the broader value of endowed philanthropy, with particular attention recently on Donor Advised Funds. This policy forum, for community foundation staff and trustees only, will focus on the pressing public policy issues specifically affecting them. The program will continue the dialogue from the 2014 Fall Conference and is designed to seek collective input from community foundation leaders. With expert guidance from policy and communications experts, participants will discuss and contribute to developing a strategy for addressing particular policy implications for community foundations, including regulation of DAFs. Join your colleagues to help shape messages and positioning for community foundations within the broader tax reform debate. Explore how community foundations are an integral voice at the local level, regional and national levels can shape policy messaging to lawmakers and prevent harmful regulatory activity.

Email ssanta@cof.org to Register