Blog: Newsletters

Private Philanthropy Newsletter—April 2018

By now you have heard the news that Vikki Spruill has accepted a position at the New England Aquarium and in June will return to the ocean conservation community, where she has deep roots. Our board president, Javier Soto, is leading the Outreach Committee, which will gather input from the field about the vision for this next era for the Council and the qualities and qualifications most important for the Council’s next leader.

Members of the COF Board are eager to speak with you one on one, or in groups large or small. Wherever philanthropic leaders are convening, we would be delighted to join you to hear your views, glean your insights and gather your suggestions. No organization can be all things to all people, but we are committed to listening, so we can benefit from your insights and wisdom as we chart the path forward.

At any time throughout this process, please email our outreach committee at to share your thoughts, ideas and insights. Or if you prefer to contact me directly with questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 703-879-0734. 

Talia Rivera
Director, Private Philanthropy

Upcoming Events and Webinars

Public Policy Summit
Next week, the Council will host 200 foundations at our inaugural Public Policy Summit, April 11-13 in Philadelphia, PA. We will release two new toolkits—for community and private foundations—at our breakfast plenary on April 12, featuring Nonprofit VOTE CEO Brian Miller. It's not too late to register to secure your space in this powerful discussion and grow your network. If you are not able to join us, you can stream the plenaries on Facebook.



State Level Salt Work-Arounds: What do they Mean for Philanthropy?
With the passage of tax reform and the repeal of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, a handful of high-tax states—such as New Jersey, California, and New York—have been considering proposals to alleviate the new burden their residents will now face. Many of these proposals have involved utilizing the charitable deduction as a work-around for residents to still claim the full value of the previous SALT deduction. Join us as we explore how such proposals could impact the philanthropic sector and charitable giving.



Race, Poverty & Trust
On April 23 in New York City, the Council on Foundations will be hosting an in-person convening on Race, Poverty and Trust with guest speaker Tiziana Dearing, Associate Professor of Macro Practice at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. Tiziana is the former CEO of Boston Rising, a place-based, anti-poverty, public foundation that aimed to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by replicating the Robin Hood Foundation and Harlem Children Zone’s models in Grove Hall, a Boston neighborhood inundated with poverty and crime. Over three years, Boston Rising invested $4 million in residents, promising entrepreneurs and under performing schools, then it dissolved.

You don’t want to miss this conversation!



Shifting the Power: Applying Community Philanthropy to Durable Development, Here and Abroad 
Join us—the Council on Foundations, Foundation Center, and Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy—on April 25 in Washington, DC, for the launch of a new GrantCraft Leadership Series paper which introduces the concept of community philanthropy: both as a form of, and force for, building local assets, capacities, and trust.

Inclusive Economic Prosperity in the South
The Council on Foundations and our partners, The Spartanburg County Foundation and the Southeastern Council of Foundations, invite you to Spartanburg, South Carolina on May 23-24, for a dynamic two-day convening at the innovation centers of two prominent Southern corporations—Milliken and BMW Manufacturing—where we will consider the factors that make up a healthy local and regional economy that strives to be inclusive and promotes innovation.

Webinar Recordings—An Exclusive Member Benefit

990 PF Storytelling
On Wednesday, March 28th the Council hosted a webinar with Foundation Center to learn about sections of the Form 990-PF that present potential risks and vulnerabilities, as well as opportunities to better share your institution's work. Participants learned how to turn an examination of their 990-PF into an opportunity for improving internal practice, policy, and how these are communicated. Listen Here.

(Internal) Talent Development for (External) Impact
The Council facilitated a conversation with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, who’ve deployed a model based on compassionate competition. Listen Here.

Recent Private Philanthropy News

A Challenge for Philanthropy: Spurring the Poor to Seek Social Mobility Over Stability
A preference for stability over mobility should be deeply alarming to leaders in every part of our society, but particularly to all of us in philanthropy. After all, philanthropy’s reason for being is change. We must sit up and take notice when so many people are saying that "staying in the slow lane is fine, I just wish the car would stop breaking down."

Pete Peterson: Hard Lessons from a Billionaire's Philanthropy
Whether you agreed with his views or not, the billionaire Peter G. Peterson, who died last month at the age of 91, stood as a leading example of a philanthropist who was highly focused, disciplined, and understood the leverage of investing in public policy work.

How Philanthropy Can Work to Give All Black Men an Opportunity to Succeed
Over the past few days, I keep hearing—and thinking—about an important new study whose results the New York Times summed up in its headline, "Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys."

Sustainable: McKnight aims funding at climate change
In north Minneapolis, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light helped organize and fund a community solar garden on top of Shiloh Temple that later this year will begin powering a nearby mosque and 26 homes. In central Minnesota, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance in Backus developed a community solar garden for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and has been studying how social-impact bonds might be used to finance community solar gardens for low-income residents.

Share Your Story

If you’re interested in submitting a blog about your work, what you’re learning, or any thought-provoking questions with your colleagues, feel free to contact me at for the guidelines.

Add new comment