Blog: Newsletters

Community Philanthropy Update - February 2021


We continue to live through unprecedented times. 2021 started off with new challenges and the demands have been relentless. Through it all, community foundations have played a crucial role in communities, ensuring funds were available to local nonprofits and relief efforts. Your work helps people not go hungry, address unprecedented foreclosure and eviction levels, and combat soaring unemployment and faltering small businesses.

There continues to be substantial pain and loss, alongside monumental movement to usher in a deeper realization and commitment to anti-Black racism. You witnessed a healthcare system near the brink of collapse, dramatically affecting those of color with greater devastation than any other race. We are still assessing the impacts of the crumbling economic situation for millions of Americans, with front-line workers and low-income earners experiencing the brunt of it.

All of this while working remotely and experiencing record-breaking years in giving and granting. It is nothing short of a miracle to come to this point only to realize we still have a long road ahead of us. We will dive into the strong year-end giving experienced during our next CEO Roundtable on March 9 with a peer discussion on what this means for our work going forward.

We invite you to stay engaged and connected, learn from one another, and support each other through a range of opportunities highlighted below. If we can help you in any way, please reach out.


Brad M. Ward | Lead Strategist, Community Philanthropy | he/him/his
Council on Foundations | Remotely based in Charleston, SC
202-991-7612 | [email protected]

Refreshed Marketing Tools

marketing toolkit

In partnership with Council of Michigan Foundations, we are excited to have new customizable marketing tools repackaged from the original portfolios created by the National Marketing Action Team (NMAT).  

Whether you need to jumpstart your marketing activities or simply want support for enhancing and expanding your existing marketing program, these free resources to members can help. These portfolios include well-written and well-designed product sheets, presentation slides and print ads that can be customized, branded with your logo, and used quickly, inexpensively, and easily. 

Learn More

Your Input Needed for Future CEO Roundtables

In Partnership with CEONet Affinity Group

Rising Talent and Future Executive Leaders – Share your Ideas

Are you a non-executive who aspires to lead a community foundation? An existing CEO and Executive Director thinking about succession or encouraging your staff to look for opportunities to grow in our field and sector? I want to hear from you – what stands in the way of rising talent?

Returning to the Workplace – Share your Ideas

What are community foundations facing in full returns to the workplace? What will COVID-19 experience change forever in how we work? What long-term effects will this have on the community in terms of other industries, businesses, office buildings, downtowns, and nonprofit sector?

Customer Experience Officer – Share your Ideas

A common staff role in all other industries is someone who oversees the overall customer experience. Who does this at the community foundation? Why don’t we have a dedicated role devoted to the overall experience of interacting with the Foundation? What does such a position look like? What benefits does this type of role have on foundation?

Council Launches Values-Aligned Philanthropy Initiative

There remain constant challenges with vetting grant recommendations that do not align with the mission and inadvertently support hateful causes. Our newest initiative, Values Aligned Philanthropy, funded by the Gill Foundation, invites you to contribute to this project by sharing any information you think would be useful with our team. For example:

  • Does your organization perform a screening process before distributing grants?
  • What does that process look like? 
  • What resources do you use for screening grantees? 
Learn More

Member Spotlight

KJW Deloitte CFOCongratulations to Karla Jones-Weber, Chief Financial Officer at Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines on being awarded Deloitte’s CFO of the Year Award during the Des Moines' Business Record’s Annual Economic Forecast community event, held virtually this year.

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HUD Secretary's Awards for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships

Apply by March 1

The Council is pleased to partner with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the ninth year, an award that has been received by a number of community foundations who partner with their local government entities and nonprofits with innovative and effective strategies to increase the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents.

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Public-Philanthropic Partnership Learning Opportunities

The Stark Truth We Face

In the words of R.T. Rybak, CEO of Minneapolis Foundation, countless efforts are being advanced across the field in support of "the stark truth we face," which resonates on so many issues and fronts. Here are a few examples of the poignant words and actions the field is taking:

Many of you responded to last summer’s statement from ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, “We Must be in it for the Long Haul,” Black Foundation Executives Request Action by Philanthropy on Anti-Black Racism,” which provided ten specific actions philanthropy should take to more fully support black communities.

In order to help community foundations embrace this work, CFLeads and ABFE are conducting a survey to get a better understanding of community foundations’ funds that invest in Black communities and/or are by and for Black donors.

Complete Survey

Applications Now Being Accepted for Career Pathways Program

Career Pathways is the Council's flagship leadership development program. It's a highly selective preparation program with a goal to increase the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds in the leadership pipeline who are considered, appointed, and retained in senior and executive philanthropic leadership positions. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Cohort is February 15.

For the first time ever, through a generous partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we are offering scholarships for Career Pathways participants. The Waldman Scholarship is in honor of the life and legacy of David Walman, Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. David was incredibly passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and was an early champion of the Career Pathways program. This new scholarship program expands the reach of Career Pathways and creates new opportunities for those that share David’s values. The deadline to apply for the Waldman Scholarship is February 22.

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Upcoming Council Events