Reasons for Hope


Our country is facing a defining moment. Recent violence in communities across the country have stirred feelings of discord and despair, leaving many Americans wondering how we’ll find a way forward.

From our History, Hope

On August 1, more than three dozen foundations kicked off a nationwide campaign, #ReasonsForHope, to encourage people across the country to break through the darkness and find a path toward our ideals of dignity, equality, and justice.

Already, this campaign has given voice to thousands of stories of optimism. On social media, the campaign’s hashtag #ReasonsForHope trended on Twitter as people responded enthusiastically. Some saw hope in efforts to curtail violence. Some saw hope in a push for a more inclusive society. One person saw hope in the smile of her godson.

These are the stories of inspiration that animate philanthropy and build a better, stronger society. The Council is proud to join our colleagues in this campaign because, every day, foundations get to work with remarkable, inspiring community leaders who are looking to create hope. We are now supporting the campaign by keeping the momentum of the day and spreading this message to a wider national audience.


The launch of the campaign was phase one. We are now asking you and other charitable sector colleagues to join us in calling for more bridges of dialogue and fewer barriers of division.

1. Sign On

Please email to let us know if you’d be willing to put your name on this message. We will be gathering signatories to increase the reach of this important message.

2. Spread the Word

Please consider encouraging your grantees and networks to share their #ReasonsForHope. We also encourage you to download and share these images on your social networks:

3. Share Your Reasons

Foundation leaders have a unique ability to catalyze action within their communities. As a foundation leader, your story matters. Please consider sharing your own reasons for hope using #ReasonsForHope on social media and/or leaving your stories in the comments section below.

#ReasonsforHope Original Signatories

Randy Royster
Albuquerque Community Foundation

Earl Lewis
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Patrick McCarthy
The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Kevin Jennings
Arcus Foundation

James Canales
Barr Foundation

John Davies
Baton Rouge Area Foundation

Antonia Hernández
California Community Foundation

Robert Ross
California Endowment

Judy Belk
The California Wellness Foundation

Vartan Gregorian
Carnegie Corporation of New York

Ridgway White
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Sherry Ristau
Community Foundation of the Great River Bend

Mariam Noland
Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Vikki Spruill
Council on Foundations

Mary Jalonick
The Dallas Foundation

Carol Larson
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Edward Henry
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Darren Walker
Ford Foundation

Sue Desmond-Hellmann
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Larry Kramer
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Ann Stern
Houston Endowment

Sherry Magill
Jessie Ball duPont Fund

Ellen Alberding
The Joyce Foundation

La June Montgomery Tabron
W. K. Kellogg Foundation

Alberto Ibargüen
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Rip Rapson
The Kresge Foundation

Daniel Lee
Levis Strauss Foundation

Jamie Merisotis
Lumina Foundation

Julia Stasch
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Kate Wolford
The McKnight Foundation

Linda Perryman Evans
The Meadows Foundation

Javier Soto
The Miami Foundation

Sharon Alpert
The Nathan Cummings Foundation

Lorie Slutsky
New York Community Trust

Stephen Heintz
Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Eric Jolly
The Saint Paul Foundation & Minnesota Community Foundation

Tony Mestres
Seattle Foundation

Emmett Carson
Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Tonya Allen
Skillman Foundation

Phillip Henderson
Surdna Foundation

Additional Signatories

Cali Brooks
Adirondack Foundation

Aleem Walji
Aga Khan Foundation USA

Nancy L. Sasaki  
Alliance Healthcare Foundation

Jane Wales
Aspen Institute

Jen Ford Reedy
Bush Foundation

Sandra Hernández
California Health Care Foundation

Kirk Windus
Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation

Melissa Curtin
Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County

Cathy Barrett
Community Foundation of Cleveland and Bradley County

Georgina Tegart
Community Foundation of Dunn County

Maryam Elahi
Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut

Jane Alexander
Community Foundation of Greater Jackson

Brian Fogle
Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Linda Philipp
Community Foundation of San Joaquin

Elizabeth Brown
Community Foundation Sonoma County

Stephen P. Warren 
Community Foundation of West Texas

Rand E. Morgan
Community Foundation Serving Greeley and Weld County

Lukas Haynes
David Rockefeller Fund

Daniel Templin
DeKalb County Community Foundation

James Head
East Bay Community Foundation

Jamie F. Dixon
Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation

Karen Neely Revels
Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership, Rollins College

Gretchen Veihl

Farhan Latif
El-Hibri Foundation

Monique B. Jones
Evanston Community Foundation

Sabeen Perwaiz
Florida Nonprofit Alliance

Sandi Roehrig
Fond du Lac Area Foundation

David L. Heymann
Fondation Merieux USA

Dave Biemesderfer
Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers

Carla Roberts
Fremont Area Community Foundation

Melissa Diers
Fremont Area Community Foundation

Amy Goldman
GHR Foundation

Terry Simmers
GiveWell Community Foundation

Jane Wales
Global Philanthropy Forum

Diana Sieger
Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Vern Henricks
Greater Manhattan Community Foundation

Laura Glawe
Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Deborah M. DiCroce
Hampton Roads Community Foundation

Michael Rawl
Horizon Philanthropic Services, Inc.

Patrick Cleary
Humboldt Area Foundation

Kelly Ryan
Incourage Community Foundation

Daniel J. Cardinali
Independent Sector

Jess Ruzz
inNateGiving Project

Anne McEnany
International Community Foundation

Jacqueline Garcel
Latino Community Foundation

Barbara Bartle
Lincoln Community Foundation

Trista Harris
Minnesota Council on Foundations

Michael Dively
Mukti Fund

Gigi Hyland
National Credit Union Foundation

Yvonne Goldsberry
New Hampshire Endowment for Health

Judy Sjostedt
Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates

Eric P. Avner
People's Liberty

Elizabeth Powell
Racine Community Foundation

Lynn Bohart
Renton Community Foundation

Dennis E. Noll
San Antonio Area Foundation

Edgar Villanueva
Schott Foundation for Public Education

Daniel Pitasky 
Schultz Family Foundation

Chet Hewitt
Sierra Health Foundation

Eric P. Avner
The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./ U.S. Bank Foundation

Brandee McHale
The Citi Foundation

William W. Ginsberg
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Janice Black
The Foundation for Enhancing Communities

Becky Foerster
The Hagerman Foundation

Don Howard
The James Irvine Foundation

Mark J. Spalding
The Ocean Foundation

Kathlyn Mead
The San Diego Foundation

Fred Blackwell
The San Francisco Foundation

Judith Shapiro
The Teagle Foundation

Kriss Deiglmeier 
Tides Organizations

Keith Burwell
Toledo Community Foundation

Andy Carey
U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership

Chris Mkhize
Uthungulu Community Foundation

Colleen Willoughby and N. Elizabeth McCaw
Washington Women’s Foundation

Conny Bogaard
Western Kansas Community Foundation

Diana Spencer
William G. McGowan Charitable Fund

Ginny Gasink
Williamsburg Community Foundation

Lee Roper-Batker
Women’s Foundation of Minnesota


Hope is a powerful thing. For credit unions, whose motto is "People Helping People", hope means helping people improve their financial lives, one credit union member at a time. The National Credit Union Foundation is proud to work every day to inspire and support credit unions to make people's hope for a better financial future a reality.

Flint Forward is a movement inspired by the resilience of the people of Flint, MI. People are passionate about disrupting the current narrative surrounding the city. It's proving that, together the people of Flint can make it through seemingly insurmountable perils and come out the other side, stronger, prouder, better than ever. FlintFwd's mission is to inspire the community of people who call Flint home, to revitalize Flint and to prove that together we can move Flint Fwd. #Reasonsforhope #FlintFwd

Engaging people across all sectors to enhance what our community has to offer, especially in the areas of early childhood, employment skills and innovation, is what our community agenda, Prosper Lincoln, aims to do. This gives me hope. #ProsperLincoln #ReasonsForHope

Across the US, 12 million students attend school in rural areas. While charger education has helped event the playing field in many urban areas, it has not yet made a significant difference for rural students, 25% of our total US student population. In many states, up to 70% of rural students live in poverty, compared to 50% in urban areas. In rural southern Delaware, for decades, students have been inadequately prepared for college, and fewer than 24% attend a four-year university. Sussex Academy was formed as a public charter school for grades 6-12 in 2012 to address this inequity. Funded by $32 million, half of which are private donations, and led by visionary philanthropist Joseph M. Schell, this school is proving that rural students are just as capable as any others, when challenged. Today, our students rank at the top statewide in every testing component, and in 2015 SA was ranked the best school in Delaware by the Delaware DOE. We are hopeful that Sussex Academy will be seen and used as a model for other rural areas. We cannot afford to waste the potential, values and strength of our rural students. This is a tremendous unmet opportunity for national foundations and the US DOE which, heretofore, has focused its attention and funding almost primarily toward urban charters.

The Bush Foundation works to inspire and support creative problem solving. That means we spend a lot of time thinking about problems. Thinking about problems can be dispiriting and painful. That is particularly true when the problems directly affect the lives of our staff and their communities. But we also get to spend a lot of time with people who are taking on tough problems and working to make our communities better for everyone. That energizes us and it gives us hope. Through our fellowship work, we are reminded of the power of individual action. We see people who are finding creative ways to share stories of immigrant experiences. working to build a new movement of youth leadership among the people of Native nations. translating personal experience as a gang member and felon to help others see new possibilities for their lives. using music to bring people together across religious differences and find peaceful approaches to countering extremism. This gives us hope. Through our grant programs, we see institutions coming together in new ways to address community challenges. We see organizations that are working in radical collaboration to transform communities, from Northfield, Minn. to north Minneapolis. committing to bold collective goals, like eliminating homelessness, ending generational family violence and transforming the foster care system. incorporating Native language and traditions to make education and other systems more relevant and more effective. forging alliances of cross-sector leaders within cultural communities to advance larger community agendas. This gives us hope. We are glad to be part of the #ReasonsforHope campaign. When it is hardest to find hope is when we need it most.

31 talented college-aged students employed in PAID, meaningful summer work and engaging in their communities this summer in learning about issues, needs and action. The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF)’ Civic Leaders Fellowship Initiative is #reasonforhope. Hope that we can provide our next generation with #reasontostay by providing them with experience and helping them to build personal networks to strengthen their possibilities for success. In a state that has led the nation in population loss in recent years, this is #reasontohope that we can retain and gain population in the coming years. See

The world’s governments and foundations will never be able to build trust as long as government regulations continue to favor the elite and their monopolies.