For over 70 years, the Council has supported philanthropy’s efforts to advance the greater good amidst persistent global challenges. Over the past 12 months we have faced crises unlike anything we have seen before, including the recent assault on our democracy. And yet, while the struggles we face may change over time, one thing remains consistent: philanthropy is an enduring and essential component of strong democracies and vibrant societies.
I take pride in the fact that amidst a year of great heartbreak and pain both philanthropy and the Council responded with resiliency and resolve.
For philanthropy, 2020 was a moment to take action. In response to the multiple intersecting crises we faced, more than 800 of you signed a global pledge, issued by the Council and our sector partners, committing to trust-based grantmaking practices. Many of you also decided to increase your giving in 2020, while others reported a commitment to the authentic pursuit of racial equity and power sharing.
For the Council, 2020 was characterized by strength and adaptability as we worked together to continue to deliver important services and support to our members. From fighting to ensure nonprofit organizations were eligible for the relief provided in the CARES Act, to rapidly compiling a comprehensive COVID-19 Resource Hub, to pivoting all our in-person events to virtual, to releasing six major publications and two new chapters of the Legal Compendium, we kept you and those you serve at the heart of our work. For more highlights from 2020, please see our Year in Review.
Looking ahead, I am excited about what the future holds. Last week, we opened applications for our flagship leadership development program, Career Pathways, and will soon also launch registration for our first ever virtual Leading Together conference. Through both programs we continue to shape a competent and compassionate philanthropic field that supports the nonprofits on the frontlines of social change. In the coming months, we will share our new strategic direction, which we hope will guide our work for the next 20 years. We are humbled that so many of you, including 175 NEW members, have decided to join us on this journey as we strive to create a world where philanthropy is a trusted partner in advancing the greater good.
We are privileged to be a sector with the ability to help heal and uplift communities in need, which makes each of our members, from community foundations to corporate foundations, an integral part of the recovery ahead. As we turn the corner into a new year, please know that our resourceful staff, and incredible board members will continue to support your efforts to rebuild, repair and make the world a better place.
With focus and hope,