Blog: Newsletters

Corporate Philanthropy Newsletter - October 2017

I know from speaking with many of you that it's been a busy fall, both at the Council and within your organizations. I want to make sure you're aware of some special meetings and calls we're scheduling in the next month so you can get these on your calendars.

On Thursday, October 26th we will be hosting a timely webinar to update Council members on the status of the President's 2018 Federal Budget, Congressional appropriations actions to date, and the likely impacts to the nonprofit sector (please see below for more information and/or to register).

Our Senior Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs, Suzanne Friday will be speaking at the 2017 Corporate Philanthropic Practice Conference at New York Law School on November 28th. Suzanne will be presenting on conflicts of interest and self-dealing particularly in the context of corporate foundations. If you're in the New York area and/or planning to attend the conference, we invite you to join her session.

If you aren't planning to attend the Conference, on Wednesday, December 13th, Suzanne will be presenting a Council webinar on "Legal and Tax Compliance for Corporate Grantmakers: Self-Dealing." More information will be made available soon.

Below are several updates related to our corporate members as well as future opportunities for you to engage with us and your peers in the field.

Navigating the 2018 Federal Budget Landscape

Many of the Executive actions and fiscal visions of the Trump Administration have surfaced complicated and layered public policy issues, putting a variety of "hot issues" in the forefront of the public discourse and Congressional deliberations. Notwithstanding has been the approach to the 2018 federal budget.

Join the Council's Sr. Director for Policy and Partnerships, Stephanie Powers, as she hosts federal and tax policy analysts who will update Council members on the decisions and actions to date around federal spending. Participants will be invited to share concerns and specific stories of potential impacts on their nonprofit grantees and local communities.


  • Lauren O'Brien, Partner, Akin Gump
  • Rebecca Theiss, Fiscal Federalism, Government Performance, The Pew Charitable Trust
  • David Thompson, Vice President of Public Policy, National Council of Nonprofits

Thursday, October 26, 2017
2:00pm to 3:15pm ET
Register Here

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

The 72nd Session of the United National General Assembly (UNGA) took place in September in New York City. Council staff hosted, spoke at, and attended several events focused on the role of philanthropy in achieving the SDGs and supporting development globally.

Over the past two years, we have convened more than 350 foundations in 6 cities to discuss how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are relevant to domestic challenges in the U.S. During UNGA, five regional association partners from these meetings joined us in New York to explore how to expand this work and build connection across cities. We are excited to continue working with local partners to strengthen the role of philanthropy in achieving the SDGs here in the US.

As part of the Concordia Summit, Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill moderated a plenary session focused on the role of U.S philanthropy in international development. Vikki shared the stage with Kathleen McLaughlin (President, Walmart Foundation), Dr. Rajiv Shah (President, The Rockefeller Foundation) and David Simas (President, Obama Foundation). You can watch the panel via the Concordia LiveStream of Day 2 (starting at 6:05:00).

Two new resources were also released in New York that may be relevant for your grantmaking:

  • Scaling Solutions towards Shifting Systems – a set of concrete recommendations for how foundations can change their behavior in order to better achieve systems change. The suggestions include shifting power dynamics, looking beyond financial support, building knowledge bases, collaborating, and changing the way grants are made. This research was undertaken by Skoll Foundation, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Ford Foundation, Porticus Foundation, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
  • Employees for Global Goals - the Medtronic Foundation joined with Aim2Flourish and Impact2030 to create a new open-source resource that teaches what the SDGs are. This is initially written for employees at companies, but the Council is talking to Medtronic about how to adapt this tool for other audiences, like foundation staff and boards.

Read more about the programs and announcements made at UNGA this year:

  1. In-Depth Coverage of UNGADevex
  2. New Goalkeepers report from the Gates FoundationNY Times
  3. New Models and Approaches for a New Era of Development - Council on Foundations blog
  4. Top 3 Development Takeaways from President Trump’s UN AddressDevex
  5. Philanthropic pledges to improve global gender dataReuters
  6. Top Quotes from Bloomberg Business ForumAxios

Disaster Relief

Many of our members, their staff, families and communities have been affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. To support our members impacted by these disasters, we hosted a conference call, three webinars and set up a Resource Page to provide you with information and updates. If you missed the webinars or would like a listen again, below are links to the recordings:

  • Hurricane Maria: A Deep Dose of Urgent Needs in the Aftermath | Friday, October 6
    The purpose of this call was to update interested funders on the current status of unmet rescue and recovery needs identified by the community foundations and FEMA teams on the ground in the U.S. Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Maria.

    The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) and Fundacion Comunitaria de Puerto Rico (Community Foundation of Puerto Rico) joined FEMA’s Assistant Director of Recovery to discuss where the needs are the greatest and how foundations can direct their efforts to quickly help.

  • Hurricane Irma: What Funders Should Know | Thursday, September 14
    The Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Council on Foundations, and the Southeastern Council on Foundations hosted a webinar, "Hurricane Irma: What Funders Should Know." Moderated by Regine A. Webster, Vice-President, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, speakers provided updates on both the U.S. damages and the situation throughout the Caribbean.
  • Hurricane Harvey | Tuesday, August 29
    Hosted by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the Council on Foundations, this webinar was moderated by CDP President and CEO, Bob Ottenhoff and included opening remarks from COF Senior Vice President of Member Relations & Development, Paula Wolferseder Yabar.
  • Charlottesville | Thursday, August 24 The Council on Foundations hosted a conversation with Anne Scott, President & CEO, Charlottesville Area Community Foundation following the fatal death of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a terrorist plowed a car into a crowd in Charlottesville.

Look Ahead – 2017 Activities to Attend

Veterans Philanthropy Exchange Mid-Year Convening | November 29-30, 2017| San Diego, CA
The Veterans Philanthropy Exchange mid-year meeting in November will be a first for the Exchange, .i.e., a deep dive on a specific issue area related to successful transition outcomes. At the April 2017 annual convening, the attendees expressed a desire to dig deeper on the topics the annual convening focused on --- employment, education, health and wellbeing, and public partnerships -- to learn what lessons are available from the field, what is missing, and to loop in learning from relevant fields external to philanthropy.

The purpose of the deep dive convening is to review what funders know and what they don’t know in a specific field of interest or issue, and then to increase information sharing and learning on the topic. For the San Diego convening, the goal is to tackle the issue of veterans employment. In addition to sharing what funders of veterans employment programs have learned to date, also of interest is to learn from the “mainstream” employment, entrepreneurship, and workforce development systems.

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.