Blog: Newsletters

Community Foundation Update – November 2017

November ushers in the giving season and time to reflect on achievements met or unmet, and new aspirations for the coming year. Yet, this particularly November, turbulence across America continues.

We are living with new American realities—a recent shooting in a small town outside San Antonio on the heels of the Las Vegas shooting and attack in New York on bikers and pedestrians, all while families and small businesses are still picking up the pieces after raging fires in Northern California.

Mary Ann Gabino and Nelson Colon at Puerto Rico Community Foundation reports this week that less than half of the population has water, putting water consumption at one of the highest priorities across the island.

Meanwhile, in the Virgin Islands:

“Cell phone service remains intermittent, but is the main means of communications and internet at home for most on the island. Currently on St. Croix we are at less than 10% power restoration, so the nights are still completely dark. For those who are fortunate enough to have generators, the cost of gas, the anxiety of safety issues, is beginning to wear on our residents. We are truly a resilient people, despite enduring this almost two-month odyssey.”

- Deanna James at St. Croix Community Foundation

We will continue to support foundations experiencing the effects of these volatile times.

To focus your energies for the remainder of the year, both operationally (Nov 15) and externally (Nov 30), join our two webinars scheduled this month. And, to turn our attention to next year, check out the lineup for 2018 below, an array designed to meet a variety of interests for community philanthropy.

The Council will tackle many evolving issues in 2018—helping move into relatively uncharted territory for community foundations. Revisit the Trendspotting for 2017 to see the early projections, and what is yet to be learned from these early observations on the big ideas at the start of the year.

Brad Ward
Director, Community Philanthropy

Upcoming Webinars

11.15.17 | Legal Webinar (and a few COF friends stopping by)
Maximize your year-end focus with a few of the Council’s key staff members—our legal counsel, CFO, National Standards Executive Director, and Director of Community Philanthropy. Register Today

11.30.17 | A New Way to Engage for Community Foundations
On this call, you’ll hear how three foundations are investing in Community Heart & Soul®, the Orton Family Foundation’s community development model. The outcomes can profoundly alter asset growth, grant impact, and engagement at community foundations. Register Today

North American Community Foundation Summit

February 5-7, 2018 | Mexico City
A bold, innovative approach to explore the multifaceted issues impacting our local communities, learnings taken from community foundations across Mexico, Canada, and U.S. Read the blog by Council’s CEO Vikki Spruill. Whether taking up impact investing or the latest strategy to engage donors, this conference is designed to help CFs embrace complex issues and align donors to the opportunities. Mexico City offers a true destination experience with robust networking and learning opportunities. Learn More. [Register Today: $450/member]

Salary Survey | Investment Report

Benchmark and explore tools available to members
Review the latest Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Investments Report—the field’s most comprehensive and authoritative study on investment and governance policies and practices. Learn More.

Review the latest Salary Tables and Benefits Report—as well as the Benchmark Central Tutorial on our learning management system, which all 2017 GSB Survey participants are entitled to enroll. For more information and to request an enrollment code, email

Charlottesville and our Country:

Where Emotions Remain Raw


Photos from an Oct 25 visit by Brad Ward, COF

The statue in question remains tarped, casting a dark shadow over Emancipation Park just blocks from the historic downtown mall in Charlottesville. Only a short walk the other direction is the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. The wall below its office window remains with flowers and messages, months after the August terror attract. The messages still resonates as we learn about the shooting in a small town outside San Antonio, New York ISIS attack on pedestrians, and the Las Vegas shooting.

Read the blog to revisit the words of your fellow philanthropic leaders that followed the days of Charlottesville, calling for the need to assess the role of philanthropy in these troubled times for our nation—racially, ethnically, and economically.

Essay—DAFs and Philanthropic Innovations

Nonprofit Quarterly: Nov 7, 2017
A strong analysis by Patrick Rooney from Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy comes out hours ago providing a deeper look into DAFs and other philanthropic innovations and whether they have changed the flow of giving in the United States—including the spend down vs. endow argument, crowdsourcing technological advances, and more.

New Tool Explores Trends in Community Investments

Fed Reserve Tool explores States, Metro and Nonmetro Areas
This interactive tool launched by the St. Louis Federal Reserve aggregates investments into low and moderate-income communities. Drawing on publicly available data from over 500,000 investment transactions through CDFI and related programs, this tool demonstrates the significant impact of impact investing and new financial models for community development.




Upcoming Events—Details Available

  • Nov 15 – Legal Webinar: Gearing up for Year End
  • Nov 30 – New Ways to Engage | Webinar
  • Dec 5-6 – CEO & Trustee Retreat
  • Feb 5-7 – North American Community Foundation Summit
  • Mar 18-21 – CFUnited Conference
  • April 11-12 – Public Policy Summit – Philadelphia, PA

2018 Legal Matters for Community Foundation Workshops

  • Mar 28 – Legal Matters for CFs workshop – San Antonio, TX
  • June 28 – Legal Matters for CFs workshop – Milwaukee, WI
  • July 24 – Legal Matters for CFs workshop – Raleigh, NC
  • Sept 27 – Legal Matters for CF workshop – Hartford, CT

2018 Community Foundation Excellence Courses

  • CF Excellence – Fundamentals course
    • (Denver, March 7-9 | Baltimore, July 18-19)
  • May 16-17 - CF Excellence: Finance course – Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Community Foundation Excellence – Affiliates online course

Future Events: Save the Dates | Budget Considerations!

  • CF Business Innovations & Digitalization Topics
    • Jan 23 – Data: Not a Four-Letter Word | Webinar
    • Feb 15 – Digital & Cyber Security: Risks & Solutions | Webinar
  • May 23-24 – Economic Prosperity: Southern Philanthropy (Spartanburg, SC)
  • Aug 22-23 – Economic Prosperity: Midwest Philanthropy (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Sept 12-13 – HR Summit, Denver, CO
  • Oct 14-16 – Growing Community Foundation Conference, Wichita, KS
  • Fall- Endowment and Finance Summit, New York, NY

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