Council Events

Past Events

Immigration reform is a hot topic on the national scene as the 2016 presidential election looms. While no consensus legislation has emerged on Capitol Hill to date, our guests will discuss how funders can play a role in educating policymakers on the impacts of pro and con policies. Get an update on federal Executive Branch actions to implement the President's 2014 Executive Order that focused on cracking down on illegal immigration at the border; deporting felons, not families; and accountability through criminal background checks. Explore what funders can do to promote sensible policies that insure fair treatment of immigrants and their families.

Foundations have long taken a role as "neutral conveners" around controversial issues. Many foundation leaders, however, are taking strong stands on critical issues in their communities (e.g. education, health, police brutality, and more). Is this a new trend? What are the benefits and pitfalls? During this webinar, several foundation CEOs who chose to speak up on controversial issues share their experiences around what these efforts have meant for them and their organizations.

In partnership with Guidestar, this one-hour webinar covers the common areas of risk for charitable organizations and how risk can result in organizational and (potential) personal liability for officers, directors and employees. Included is a discussion and review of how liability is often based in state law, and how directors and officers insurance can help protect the organization. The discussion is led by Council on Foundations attorneys Suzanne Friday and Justin Aiken.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Act of 2010 authorizes funding for federal nutrition programs including: the national school lunch and breakfast program; the nutrition program for women, infants, and children; and other child and adult food care programs. This legislation expired on September 30 and the programs are currently under scrutiny by Congress. In this Policy Preview, the Food Research and Action Center will give an overview of Congressional deliberations and a prognosis for passage. Hear perspectives from peer grantmakers and experts about the importance of federal investment in child nutrition and how it will impact foundations' work on these issues.

Join us for a webinar on October 21st about the SDG Philanthropy Platform, aimed at helping philanthropy better engage in global development and the SDGs. Hear from partners and funders working on the new online platform SDGfunders.org, which will track philanthropic spending towards the MDGs and SDGs, as well as provide resources for funders working on issues related to the SDGs.

Foundations use a variety of models in managing their investments. But given the pursuit of higher risk-adjusted returns, many foundations are exploring different ways to access the expertise they need and to manage increasingly complex investment portfolios. During this webinar, we explore the results from the Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Investments, which provides data on how private and community foundations are using professional staff, consultants, managers, to oversee their investments. We also take a closer look at the increased use of outsourced chief investment officers (OCIOs) by a number of institutions, and the considerations that boards and investment committees must make before pursuing this path.

Operating endowments can provide stability and long term sustainability for community foundations. They can also provide resources that enable community foundation leaders to play a stronger leadership role in the community and direct resources to the most pressing issues facing the community. Developing and executing an endowment building campaign brings its own complexities and challenges and can often require a different engagement strategy with potential donors. Join this conversation with respected development and community foundations leaders with firsthand experience building operating endowments as they provide an overview of operating endowment campaigns and an analysis of a successful campaign.

The Council on Foundations, in collaboration with Mission Investors Exchange, invites you to attend a one-hour webinar discussing the implications of the new U.S. Department of Treasury guidance on mission-related investments.

Foundation endowment managers faced a host of challenges in 2014, including market volatility, economic uncertainty in the U.S., Europe and Asia, scrutiny from policy makers, and ultimately the need to generate high enough returns to fund the grantmaking practices of the foundation. The 2014 Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Foundations (CCSF) examines the ways in which endowment professionals met these challenges and positioned their institutions to take advantage of new opportunities. This webinar will review the results of the study and provide a preview of the future economic environment investors are likely to face.

Are you concerned about the state of higher education in the U.S.? This webinar features policy and foundation guest speakers who provide an overview of the status of Congressional reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. This legislation would authorize billions of dollars for Pell Grants, student loans, and other additional resources for students, teachers, and institutions of higher education. Issues that are likely to be debated include the affordability of college; access to, persistence during and completion of a college degree; better information for consumers; student loan programs; accreditation and oversight; innovation; and the burden of federal reporting and regulations. View this webinar to hear why the philanthropic sector should be interested in the outcome of the legislation.

Building viable partnerships with other funders and local government when giving in place can lead to pooled resources and wrap around services for a larger impact within a given community. However, with many voices at the table, sometimes garnering the necessary momentum and buy-in can be a slow process, or potentially a non-starter. During this webinar, we took a look at how some funders have successfully partnered with other entities in their local communities and examined how funder consortiums such as Living Cities could serve as an example for the philanthropic sector.

During this webinar Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation, and sector leaders discuss how impact investing is empowering foundation staff and leadership to take advantage of creative, cross sector partnerships and new methods to deploy larger portions of their philanthropic resources to social good. View this webinar to hear their shared knowledge and insights into the opportunities for foundations to take the first steps as impact investors.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy, together with the Council on Foundations, the European Foundation Centre, and the UPS Foundation, hosted a webinar to discuss how private funders can address the crisis at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.

The Council on Foundations and WINGS discussed the relevance of these reports to grantmakers and the Hudson Institute and CIVICUS shared insight around current trends in the regulation of philanthropy and civil society around the world.

Effectively engaging in place based philanthropy requires the need to rethink various aspects of the organizational set-up such as: the role of the program officer and other key staff, the way you develop metrics and evaluation tools to measure success, and the ways in which you involve community in the work. Listen to colleagues share experiences of transitioning from short and long term strategies to being more initiative-based, and ways in which they were able to get buy in from board, staff and community members.

The National Standards for Community Foundations online application has been live in beta testing since January- how is it going? What feedback has been received?

Learn how you can maximize the Council's network to further enhance your work in the field. Senior leaders from the Council discuss services, initiatives, and updates that have an impact on the larger philanthropic community.

Foundations looking to leverage more impact from their charitable dollars are increasingly looking to mission related investments as a key tool. But how can this powerful strategy be deployed alongside the place-based mission of a community foundation?

Building and nurturing relationships with your lawmakers is important because it provides the opportunity to share with them the meaningful work you are doing in their communities. As commentators, academics, and even some policymakers express skepticism about philanthropy, it is imperative for all of us to demonstrate the impact of philanthropy and convey its value in the lives of their constituents. In preparation for August recess, this webinar offered insight for strategically engaging with your Members of Congress—including a refreshed edition of the Advocacy Toolkit.

Governments, multinationals, businesses, and individuals are increasingly organizing to take action in response to climate change. Foundations can play an active role in this growing movement. View this webinar to hear from leaders in the Divest/Invest Movement about how you can take part.

July 2015 is the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This groundbreaking legislation provided an important keystone in America's commitment to civil rights. Despite 25 years of progress, people with disabilities still have higher poverty rates, lower employment, and poorer educational outcomes than those without disabilities. During this webinar, the Kessler Foundation and University of NH researchers reviewed what they learned from their survey of 3,000 people with disabilities who shared their workplace experiences. The learning from this National Employment and Disability Survey can provide new information and valuable insights to inform foundations' diversity and inclusion strategies for their own workplaces and for grantmaking.

On Thursday, July 16, Council Attorneys, Suzanne Friday and Bryan Del Rosario, kicked off the inaugural quarterly series, “Legal Lunch” webinar to over 30 member participants. The topics the two discussed ranged from a grantmaker’s reporting and withholding obligations related to scholarships, the legal requirements of grants to a private foundation from another private foundation, DAF grants and the public support test and explaining the intricacies of private operating foundations. Additionally, past Trending in Legal Affairs posts were highlighted.

This webinar discussed the role of a funder relative to the local community when working in place, and addressed additional challenges when initiating a place-based initiative. The webinar included lessons learned from The Aspen Institute and Neighborhood Funders Group’s Towards a Better Place Conference including how others have dealt with the various challenges involved in place-based grantmaking, and advice from the field on how to improve upon current practices.

This teleconference provided an overview for foundations on policy developments in Mexico that are impacting the flow of U.S. philanthropy into the country. On the call, expert speakers delved into the implications for philanthropy of a new anti-money laundering law, changes to the Mexican tax code, and the consequences of the U.S.-Mexico trade agreement for U.S.-based foundations doing work in Mexico. Foundation leaders joined the call to explain how this regulatory environment has impacted their grantmaking in Mexico, and how they navigate it successfully. The call also highlighted a range of new resources on grantmaking in Mexico.

Access to legal services can be essential to addressing your community's needs including domestic abuse, homelessness, and Veterans services. Thinking through the types of legal services, the distinction between civil and criminal legal aid, and how to evaluate these services can be overwhelming. This webinar offers foundation staff and board members funding strategies for tackling community issues by investing in civil legal services.