2014 Year in Review

A Year of Action
Monday, December 15, 2014

Friends and Colleagues,

Over the last year, the Council on Foundations has taken action on behalf of philanthropy and our members. We have launched new efforts to connect colleagues with each other. We have released significantly improved information and research, like our new Board Compensation Tables, to help the field increase its impact. We have moved meaningful policy reforms farther than they've been in almost a decade.

We have many reasons to celebrate the work we've done on your behalf in 2014. Throughout the year, we have celebrated the Community Foundation Centennial and helped our members pave the way for the next century of community foundation success. We launched the Philanthropy Exchange, a cutting edge tool for facilitating grantmaker collaboration, with the help of Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. We built our network team to ensure that our members are meaningfully engaged in everything we do and to ensure we know more about the aspirations of our members.

As with every year, the work of the Council is made possible thanks to the support, dedication, and hard work of you, our members. None of our efforts can succeed without your partnership and insight!

It would be impossible to capture everything we did this year, but we tried to highlight some of the key stories and important moments in our Year in Review presentation.

View this presentation below, and help us relive this milestone year at the Council.

This interactive tool includes pictures, videos, and stories from the Council and around the field. I hope you'll take a moment to look back with us at a year full of new connections, collective impact, and a drive to advance the common good.

All the best,

Vikki Spruill
President and CEO
Council on Foundations 

Getting Started:
1. Click "Start Prezi" and wait a moment for it to load.
2. Navigate forward and backward through the Year in Review with the arrows below the presentation.
3. Click on text, photos, or videos to zoom in.
4. To zoom out again, click an arrow to resume the presentation.

Helpful Tips:
1. For the best experience, use full screen mode by clicking on the button at the bottom right.
2. If you hover your cursor over the right edge of the presentation, you'll see buttons to zoom in, zoom out, or restart the Year in Review.
3. You can use your keyboard arrow keys to go forward or backward through the Year in Review.
4. Click and hold to drag the screen and explore the timeline on your own.
5. The scroll wheel of your mouse also works to zoom in and out.

If You're Viewing on an iPhone/iPad:
You will need to download the free Prezi app.

If you have any questions contact john.cochrane@cof.org.


Selected Highlights of 2014


Philanthropy Exchange

In 2014, the Council offered its members an exciting new way to connect with their peers. Through the Philanthropy Exchange, members can now join a private online network that allows them to ask questions, share resources and engage in conversations with peers on topics of common interest. Through this unique virtual benefit, our members gain instant access to the expertise of our community and forge lasting and meaningful connections with each other.

Community Foundation Centennial

The Council joined The Cleveland Foundation, the world's first community foundation, in commemorating 100 years of community foundation excellence. With the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, we used a blog series, a video contest, and a variety of social media to broaden public understanding of community foundations and the unique role they play in enhancing communities everywhere.

Philanthropy Joining Forces

Last May, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden joined the Council and leaders from more than 30 organizations in launching the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge. All together, the efforts of the Council and its partners helped raise $200 million for programs that support service members, veterans and their families – at a time when the needs of our veteran community are more pressing than ever. 


Global Youth Community Philanthropy Summit

In June 2014, more than 50 leaders, organizers and participants from 14 nations gathered for the inaugural Global Youth Community Philanthropy Summit, co-hosted by the Council of Michigan Foundations. In addition to giving members of this community a chance to network, share best practices and discuss what’s next for the field, the event provided new templates for engaging youth around the world.

Salary and Benefits Report

The Council’s annual Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report lets our members benchmark their compensation against their peers in the field and offers extensive information on benefits policies and practices. In 2014, for the first time, we included compensation tables for trustees.

Other2014 Research and Publications

10 Things Every New Foundation Board Member Should Know
Guideposts for Growth and Aspirations - the 2013 Columbus Survey
2013 Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Investments for Private Foundations (CCSF)


Protecting Charitable Giving

The recent introduction of comprehensive tax reform legislation has sent disquieting signals that many of our nation’s policymakers question the value of endowed philanthropy. The Council set about educating members of Congress and the general public about the vital part that these organizations play in our society. In a major legislative victory, we helped secure House passage of the America Gives More Act, which would provide a permanent extension of the IRA charitable rollover and a simplification of the private foundation excise tax.   With the help of our members, these proposals have advanced further than ever before and we remain hopeful for the future.

Inaugural Philanthropy Week in Washington

To help underscore even further the importance of philanthropy, the Council mounted its first-ever Philanthropy Week. From March 3 to 7, some 250 philanthropic leaders came to Washington, DC, to speak with their members of Congress. Through a series of in-person and media events, we were able to raise public awareness of the sector’s success stories – ranging from expanding access to education and supporting military families to creating jobs and fostering innovation.

Streamlining of National Standards Revisions

Every five years, the Community Foundations National Standards and the accreditation program are reviewed and updated. In the past, one of the most common complaints from foundations was that the revision process took too long, consuming as many as 100 hours of staff time. In response, our Standards Action Team helped enact a streamlined new process that could cut the time spent on accreditation by half or more. The new process will take effect in January 2015, applicable to your next accreditation cycle.