Blog: Newsletters

Community Philanthropy Update - April 2021

Dear Friend,

Over the last two years, conversations with community foundation leaders from across the country have deepened my understanding of the complexity and importance of your work. I have a personal commitment to advocating for the unique needs and priorities of community foundations, and the Council will continue to underscore your important work and its impact on the sector. I have specifically heard from many of you that proposed legislation around donor advised funds is a high-priority item from both an organizational and a public policy standpoint.

Donor advised funds (DAFs) continue to be a vital tool to cultivate new donor relationships and expand giving. At the same time, the accelerated use of DAFs has increased public scrutiny of this philanthropic vehicle. With conversations about legislation regulating DAFs active in several states and here in Washington DC, the Council is dedicated to protecting community foundations’ right to sponsor DAFs and to do so without undue administrative burdens. As we endeavor to best represent your interests to policymakers and government agencies, we will listen deeply and engage with our members so that we can understand the varying points of view on the issues. To that end, in April:

  • Council leadership joined community foundations and national DAF sponsors on calls with the Treasury Department to ensure that policymakers are aware of the data behind DAFs and concerns about regulation.
  • David Kass, Council Vice President of Government Affairs, and Mason Rummel, President of the James Graham Brown Foundation and Co-Chair of the Council’s Public Policy Committee, held a members-only call to share information and answer questions about the Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving draft proposal. Council members can view the recording to learn more.

To ensure that the Council’s policy team represents your interests, we are joining a number of listening sessions with community foundations around the country over the coming months. To add your voice and perspective, please email or set up a call with Jenn Holcomb, our Director of Government Affairs.

I’m excited to have the chance to keep in touch and stay connected with each of you through this monthly newsletter, which will highlight the work of community foundations and keep you updated on Council programming and resources that advance your work.

Please contact me if you have any feedback about the Council's support for your work.

Until next time,


Kathleen Enright
President & CEO


Equitable COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution: Build It, But Will They Come?
May 11 | 2:00 p.m. ET
Learn about philanthropic responses being undertaken to tackle the issues of vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.
Register Now >>

Exploring New Spaces: A Quick Guide to Evaluating Potential New Programmatic Areas
May 12 | 1:00 p.m. ET | Council Member Only Event
This workshop, in partnership with Philanthropy California and Dalberg Advisors, will introduce a structured, efficient process that foundations can use to quickly learn ‘the lay of the land’ in potential new funding areas.
Register Now >>

Community Foundation CEO Virtual Roundtable
May 18 | 2:00 p.m. ET
Join the Council and CEONet as we convene CEOs and Executive Directors of community foundations to discuss returning to the workplace.
Register Now >>

Leading Together Preconference Session: Reclaiming Community
June 14 | 12:00 p.m. ET
Designed by and for community foundation CEOs, this preconference session will focus on the critical role community foundations play in building community. Register Now >>

Leading Together 2021
June 14-17 | A Virtual Experience
The gathering for philanthropic leaders to connect on issues, engage in transformative conversations, and build the trust needed to create real change.
Register Now >>

Legal Matters for Community Foundations
June 29-30
Led by the Council's legal team, this workshop is designed to answer your broad legal and practical questions on administering funds, grants, and community foundation activities.
Register Now >>



The Minneapolis Foundation – Responding to Tragedy

Watch an impactful video of Chanda Smith Baker, The Minneapolis Foundation’s Chief Impact Officer, responding to the tragic killing of Daunte Wright and the ensuing tumult in the Twin Cities. On Twitter, the foundation reaffirmed their commitment to stand in solidarity with members of the Black community and to continue the pursuit of racial justice and equity.

The Dayton Foundation Centennial

The Dayton Foundation Centennial

We are proud to join The Dayton Foundation in recognizing their 100th anniversary on April 5, and with it, their year-long Centennial Celebration launched in November of last year. The initiative includes awards of one-time grants from one hundred of the Foundation’s fund holders to special causes of their choice. Congratulations to The Dayton Foundation on this milestone!

Project Equity Logo

Project Equity: Redesigning the Lehigh Valley Nonprofit Sector

The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation has undertaken a critical and ambitious journey in their new enterprise, Project Equity: Redesigning the Lehigh Valley Nonprofit Sector. The foundation is working with other nonprofit leaders and members of the community to co-design a common vision, values, and strategies for rebuilding an equitable and sustainable nonprofit sector in Lehigh Valley. Project Equity exemplifies the innovative thinking and creative collaboration that characterizes philanthropy at its best.

Have a story of impact you want to share? Email us at.


Trending Philanthropy Exchange Conversations

The Philanthropy Exchange is a peer-to-peer platform that connects Council members around shared interests, topics, or resources. 

  1. Board of Directors Tool Kit and Talking Points - Open Exchange
  2. Guide to CFs for Estate Planners - Open Exchange
  3. Request to Transfer Assets of a DAF to Another Community Foundation - Open Exchange

Legal Question of the Month with Ben McDearmon, Staff Counsel

Question: How far can community foundations push the IRS envelope of granting to local for-profit newspapers and radio stations?

ben-mcdearmon-2018-500x500Summary Answer: Given that they are for-profit, assisting media companies requires an analysis of how such endeavors interact with the private benefit doctrine. The activity you are funding must not only be charitable, but providing support for a for-profit must be absolutely necessary in order to achieve your charitable purpose.

Council Members can access the detailed analysis on and send any legal inquiries to

New & Noteworthy

  • Many community foundations across the country have significant Indian American populations. If you have community members looking to support India's COVID-19 response, Council members Give2Asia and GlobalGiving launched response funds to channel support. Reach out to the Council's Director of Engagement, Brian Kastner, if you have any questions.
  • The 2021 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey is open until May 10. Participate today to gain access to a free copy of the report.
  • The 2020 CCSF Survey is open until May 14.
  • The Cambridge Community Foundation recently released Equity and Innovation Cities: The Case of Cambridge, a report that investigates the roots of the city's inequities, from rent-controlled housing to imbalances in the public education system. The report proposes a way forward that honors longtime Cambridge residents of color while also supporting the city’s progress in the field of innovation.
  • Philanthropy Unbound launched the Philanthropy 100, a list of foundations, corporations, nonprofits, and individuals committed to transforming society and advancing justice. The inaugural list includes two community foundations: Brooklyn Community Foundation and East Bay Community Foundation.