Blog: Newsletters

Private Philanthropy Update - July 2017

In May, I invited the Council on Foundations' private foundation members to participate in a survey to help me gather information that will shape future Council programming tailored to private foundations. The results of the survey identified several areas of interest and need.

Participants answered two main questions:

  1. What topics would you most like to learn about or discuss at an event?
  2. What are the top three challenges you are facing right now?

 The topics which received the most interest are: 

  • Performance Management
  • Cross-Sector Collaboration
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The top challenges facing Council members are: 

  • Measuring Impact
  • Political Climate (Impact of federal budget cuts)
  • Investments
  • How to Manage Community Demands/Needs 

I have already used the findings from this survey to develop webinars that took place this past June, and I have others in the works for later this year.

Below find resources I hope will be of interest. 

Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey

For more than 30 years, the Council's Grantmaker Salary and Benefits (GSB) Report has provided the sector with the most comprehensive data on grantmaker staff composition and compensation in the U.S. We know that you and other grantmakers rely on this annual report to plan your budgets, benchmark personnel policies and practices, determine salary levels for new and existing staff, and more. 

We are proud to continue to offer this invaluable tool — and I personally want to invite you to contribute to strengthening the usefulness and scope of this important research by participating in the 2017 GSB Survey. Plus, in collaboration with our partners at Mission Investors Exchange, we have included an impact investing specific staff position to this year's survey to highlight philanthropy's staffing response to an area of rapidly growing interest. 

Take Survey

Participation in this survey is highly valued and gives you complimentary access to:

  • Trend analysis paper and discussion guide on the age, racial, and gender demographic results of the 2016 GSB Survey — Summer 2017
  • 2017 GSB Salary Tables Pre-release — September 2017
  • Benchmark Central, the Council's online benchmarking tool, and a special training webinar on how to maximize the platform — October 2017
  • 2017 GSB Full Report — Spring 2018

The deadline to complete the survey is August 4, 2017. To start, just email with a request to participate.

Plus, the 2016 GSB Full Report is now available. Download your copy today and determine how your foundation compares to others in the sector.

Question Clarification

Suzanne Friday, Senior Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs at the Council on Foundations, wanted to follow up on a question asked during the June 28 webinar related to the legal rules for private foundations and lobbying.  

The question involved a scenario where multiple private foundations were funding a specific grantee project that included a lobbying component. The general rule for project grants is that a private foundation can only fund up to the maximum non-lobbying portion of the project expenses. In the webinar, it was stated that when multiple private foundations are funding the same project, each private foundation may have to adjust or reduce its funding to ensure that no portion of any private foundation dollars is used for lobbying. However, after additional research, it was determined that this is not correct, and that for project-specific grants, each foundation can do its own stand-alone determination based on a budget from the grantee showing that the foundation’s grant is equal to or less than the non-lobbying portion of the project’s budget. Even if the foundation knows that one or more other, unrelated private foundations are providing additional funding for the project and that some of the funds from at least one of the private foundation funders will be used to fund the lobbying portion of the project budget, the foundation will not be subject to the taxable expenditure penalties. 

We hope this is helpful and appreciate the opportunity to clarify this question. For further questions, contact Suzanne at

FEMA Disaster Relief 

Earlier this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the states of New York and North Dakota to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by a severe winter storm and snowstorm from March 14, 2017 – March 15, 2017. 

Condolences on the Passing of William S. ‘Bill’ Goldman

The Council would like to offer its condolences to the family of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund’s board president, William S. ‘Bill’ Goldman. Bill Goldman had served on the board of the Fund since 2006 and had recently assumed the role of Board President. He also served on the boards of the New Israel Fund and the Richard W. Goldman Family Foundation.

Upcoming Learning Opportunities 

HR Summit | August 16-17 | Minneapolis, MN

Open to HR leads of foundations with 15 or more employees, the HR Summit is a unique opportunity to learn how to make organizations — and philanthropy as a whole — more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. 

Endowments & Finance Summit | October 12-13, 2017 | New York, NY

The Endowments and Finance Summit is the premier convening to hear expert insights and have in-depth conversations on the best practices and financial strategies to get a competitive advantage in the philanthropic advisory marketplace. Early bird pricing for members ends July 31.

CEO & Trustee Retreat | December 5-6, 2017 | Miami, FL

Explore the critically important CEO-board chair relationship and develop the tools and awareness you need to gain goal and role alignment. Registration opens for members in mid-July. Space is limited.

Heinz Endowments Opportunity for Your Networks

The Heinz Endowments' Youth Philanthropy Summer interns have released four requests for proposals (RFPs) for grants totaling $100,000:

All applications are due Friday, July 28, 2017, by 5 p.m.