Blog: Newsletters

Private Philanthropy Newsletter—January 2018

I hope your New Year is off to a great start! This year, my resolution was simply to not make any resolutions. That way I don't feel bad about breaking them later.

But, I am not here to shame you on your resolutions. No judgement here. I simply want to invite you to join me on Wednesday, January 24th at 3 P.M. EST for a conversation with Bush Foundation President, Jen Ford Reedy, and Strategy and Learning Vice President, Allison Barmann, as they discuss the Bush Approach and share examples from their education initiative.

The Bush Approach is an evaluation tool developed by the Bush Foundation to gauge program strategy. Their approach, about which you can learn more below, is based on the belief that systems are really made up of the people within them. Changing systems, therefore, requires inspiring, equipping, and connecting people engaged in the work.

Let's all pledge to be resolute about leading and learning together this year. Now, that is a commitment I am willing to make and keep!


The Bush Foundation Approach

In October, the Bush Foundation published the Bush Learning Papers to share what they're seeing as they invest in great ideas and the people who power them.This month’s session will be the first of a two-part series. In these sessions you will learn about the four questions that frame the Bush Foundations approach, and how they invest in the development of their staff to advance their foundation's mission.


The Bush Approach
Wednesday, January 24
3 PM ET/12 PM PT

(Internal) Talent Development for (External) Impact
Wednesday, February 14
2 PM ET/11 AM PT

Efficient Impact Frontier

On Wednesday, February 7, please join me for a conversation with Michael McCreless, Senior Director of Strategy & Impact for Root Capital, on Thursday, February 7th, 2018, in which Michael will explain his investment simulator, the Efficient Impact Frontier.

The Efficient Impact Frontier seeks to provide investors with tools to efficiently balance risk, return, and impact in their portfolios. He will provide a brief introduction to impact investing and share the challenges that foundations may face as they engage impact investors. He will also highlight the crucial role that philanthropy can play in keeping investing focused on impact.

Finally, he will describe how the concept of the "efficient impact frontier” can be useful in helping foundations and impact investors collaborate more effectively to set—and achieve—shared impact goals.

Efficient Impact Frontier
Wednesday, February 7
2 PM ET/11 AM PT

Upcoming Events

Public Policy Summit | April 11-13, 2018| Philadelphia, PA

Philanthropy is a driver of civil society. It fuels the programs and movements that shape our culture across communities. In this role, foundations are uniquely situated with the experience and expertise to lead the way forward on issues that affect people throughout our nation and across the globe. As leaders in philanthropy, it is our civic duty to extend this leadership to provide expert input in the policymaking process.

The Council’s inaugural Public Policy Summit—taking place on April 5-6, 2018 in Philadelphia—promises to engage foundation leaders, policy experts, media representatives, and elected officials in important conversations around the policy issues that are critical to ensuring philanthropy can flourish.

This exciting and engaging event is an opportunity to learn, shape, and be heard. Plus, you will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and influence the positive impact that philanthropy—including the good work done by your organization—has on communities across the country and around the world.

Who Should Attend?

The Public Policy Summit is ideal for senior foundation leaders, including organization heads and general counsels, board members, and public policy and advocacy-focused staff.

Why Attend?
  • Engage: Connect with your colleagues, elected officials, and other experts on ways to unleash philanthropy’s political capital to further your charitable mission and influence policymaking around shared interests.
  • Amplify: From issue-specific policy, to broad-scale advocacy strategy, we will discuss how foundations can amplify their voice in policy conversations at the local, state, and federal level.
  • Discover: Learn about the latest regulatory and policy issues and their emerging impacts, and develop a solid understanding of how the 2018 midterm elections may affect the sector and charitable giving.


If you’re interested in submitting a blog about your work, what you’re learning, or any thought-provoking questions with your colleagues, feel free to contact me at for the guidelines.

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