Blog: Newsletters

Global Philanthropy Update - August 2017

I hope you have been enjoying a relatively mild summer, using the time to explore the outdoors and hopefully take a much needed vacation.

As the end of summer draws near, we are fully in planning-mode. This September marks two years since we began supporting the Sustainable Development Goals at the Council, and we’re excited to continue this work in partnership with many of you. We are also preparing for the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York City, where we are partnering around several side events. If you’ll be in New York for UNGA, we hope you can join some of our events below.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

Sustainable Development Goals LogoThe 72nd Session of the United National General Assembly will take place from September 19th – 25th. UNGA is a major global forum for discussing international political cooperation, threats to peace and economic development. Council staff will be in New York City all week to co-host, speak at, and attend events exploring the SDGs and the role of philanthropy, in the US and around the world.

2017 Annual Concordia Summit - Monday September 18 and Tuesday September 19

Concordia will include a Council-sponsored plenary session on philanthropy’s role in global development on Tuesday afternoon. As the largest non-partisan partnerships-focused forum taking place alongside the UNGA, Concordia convenes over 2,000 top influencers and decision makers through action-oriented programming that aims to build partnerships for social impact. Programming will reflect major issues impacting the U.S. and the world, including the ongoing refugee crisis, rise of populism, investment in sustainable infrastructure, and evolution of domestic health policy, among others.

SDG Philanthropy Platform

We are working with on 3 events in New York City related to philanthropy and the SDGs. Due to limited space, please limit your RSVP to one of the following events and reach out to Natalie with any questions or concerns.

Monday September 18 - Crossing Sectors for Impact: Philanthropy, Resource Innovations and the SDGs focusing on new kinds of partnerships that have emerged between foundations, impact investors, governments and UN agencies, drawing on examples from the environment and early childhood development sectors and work in a few countries including Kenya and Brazil. (Access event page using password Sept18)

Tuesday September 19 Local Impact, Global Lessons: Scaling Solutions to Achieve the SDGs. Co-hosted with Locus Coalition and the Scalable Solutions Funders Initiative, speakers and table conversations will illustrate lessons around integration for impact and scaling for philanthropy to achieve systems change and implement the SDGs in US and around the world. (Access the event page using password Sept19)

Wednesday September 20 Who's Driving the SDGs? Country Experiences from North and South. Co-hosted with the SDG Philanthropy Platform and Council on Foundations, a half-day meeting will focus on what we’ve learned to date for philanthropy supporting the SDGs. We’ll also have a focused discussion on what is needed to meet the SDGs in the US and the role of philanthropy. (Access the event page using password Sept20.)

Additional events you may be interested in attending during UNGA can be found at

SDGs in the Southwest

In partnership with the Albuquerque Community Foundationand Philanthropy Southwest, we hosted Philanthropy's Impact in the Southwest in Albuquerque on Friday, August 4th. With more than 50 funders from across the region, we discussed how a framework like the SDGs is relevant in the land of enchantment and across the region.My recent blog post reflects on our event in New Mexico and how important partnerships are to our continued work on the SDGs.

This event was the sixth location in a series of national dialogues with local philanthropy on the SDGs, following convenings in Little Rock, San Francisco, New York City, Jacksonville, and Minneapolis. We are currently working to organize other convenings across the country – please be in touch if you’d like to bring this series to your community!

Save the Date North American Community Foundations Summit (NACF)


North American Community Foundation Summit LogoCo-sponsored by the Council, Comunalia (Mexico), and Community Foundations in Canada, NACF will be held in Mexico City on February 4-6, 2018. We are working with a wonderful advisory group and our partners to finalize ideas, plenary topics, sessions, and speakers.

We hope you are budgeting to join us in Mexico City next year! Visit our webpage for more details on the event. If you are interested in sponsoring the Summit, helping to shape content, or simply have questions, please contact me at

Global Civil Society News

Following a wave of anti-democratic activity, Poland’s government continues to undermine civic actors within the country. Human Rights First has released anew report documenting the Polish government’s escalating attacks on NGOs, activists, and civil society. Poland’s New Front: A Government’s War Against Civil Society, is based on in-person interviews with activists, civil society organizations, journalists, and academics. The report highlights that human rights defenders and critics of government policies are being labeled as national traitors, targeted financially, and left vulnerable to threats and physical attacks.

Pakistan: In June, Pakistan imposed a new tax on non-profitsand organizations that spend 15% or more of their budget on administrative costs. While Pakistan’s government states that this imposed tax is to cut waste, many feel it to be an on-going attack on civil society.

According to the UN, Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees, with 3 million currently in the country. The Turkish government has continued its crackdown on non-profit organizations, including those lending aid to refugees and civilians in need. Turkey’s removal of Mercy Corps in March sent shockwaves through the global development community. 

New Report on International Giving by U.S. Community Foundations 

Local Communities with Global Reach Report CoverOur latest report, Local Communities with Global Reach, is the first-ever report on community foundations global grantmaking. The report which was produced in partnership with the Foundation Center, features case studies from the Boston Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, Greater Houston Community Foundation, Seattle Foundation, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. In the first two weeks following publication, the report was downloaded more than 1,500 times. 

We also produced a discussion guide for community foundations to use when discussing the report with their staff, boards, and donors.

Several media outlets published articles about our report, including Philanthropy News Digest, The NonProfit Times, and Alliance Magazine.

The Council’s Director of Philanthropy, Brad Ward, also published a blog on the importance of international giving by community foundations and the implications this report has had in the philanthropic sector.