External Resources

The Council teams with various philanthropic partners to distribute valuable professional knowledge and thought-leadership to enhance the impact of foundation leaders. If you have any suggestions on additional resources or expertise the Council should offer, please e-mail knowledge@cof.org to share your insight.

In-Depth knowledge on External Content

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Mission Possible: Emerging Opportunities for Mission Connected Investment

From the New Economics Foundation, Mission Possible considers how foundations might more effectively use a proportion of their endowment in support of the change they set out to create – their mission. Starting from the premise that paths are made by walking, it explores the potential of ‘mission-connected investment’ or MCI – defined as investment which promises a market return but also helps to achieve mission.

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Catalytic First Loss Capital

This issue brief from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) details the motivations, benefits, considerations and suitable scenarios behind the use of catalytic first-loss capital in impact investing transactions. Catalytic first-loss capital refers to socially- and environmentally-driven credit enhancement provided by an investor or grant-maker who agrees to bear first losses in an investment in order to catalyze the participation of co-investors that otherwise would not have entered the deal. Catalytic first-loss capital has gained recent prominence in impact investing dialogue as more investors look to enter the market.

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Insights and Impacts: Preventing Violence in Military Families

Since 2009, Blue Shield of California Foundation has supported efforts to prevent violence in the homes of military families. Through investments in research, prevention, advocacy, and cross-sector partnerships, these efforts have already made an impact in California.

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Hacking the Sustainable Development Goals: Can US Cities Measure Up?

This report shows that the majority of SDG targets are relevant to US cities and data are generally available to track progress locally, although gaps exist. It provides recommendations to help fill these gaps and create the conditions for better use of data to drive local progress on the SDGs.

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Compounding Impact: Mission Investing by U.S. Foundations

By FSG Social Impact Advisors, this report provides the first comprehensive analysis of mission investing by U.S. foundations and analyzes the activity of 92 U.S. foundations, which have made a combined total of $2.3 billion of mission investments.

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Basic Tips for Disaster Giving

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has an excellent primer of basic tips for disaster giving that can help funders ask the right questions about how they can help.

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Personal Strategy: Mobilizing Your Self for Effective Grantmaking

From Grantcraft, whether it's introducing new ideas into your foundation or offering constructive feedback to a grantee, grantmakers can develop personal strategies to meet the "soft" challenges of grantmaking. Effective personal strategy helps practitioners use their understanding of self and role - as learner, analyst, bridge builder - to manage the tensions that come with the job. In this guide, contributors discuss the elements of personal strategy and how it helps grantmakers to leverage their strengths in service to their objectives. The guide also explores why some grantmakers are able to think and work like "naturals" - and how the rest of us can emulate their style.

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Case Study: Expanding Philanthropy - Mission-Related Investing at the F.B. Heron Foundation

Prepared by the Southern New Hampshire University's School of Community Economic Development and available through Mission Investors Exchange, this case study explores the details of the F.B. Heron Foundation's rationale, exploration, and implementation of its mission-related investment strategy, and reviews tools (including PRIs), specific investments, interim outcomes, and lessons learned. The case study provides a walk-through of how Heron applies its Mission-related Investment Continuum to its portfolio.

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What if we treated violence like a contagious disease?

In this video from TEDMED 2013, epidemiologist Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says the issue has been misdiagnosed, and instead created science-based strategies that aim to stop violence before it erupts.

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More than Money: Making a Difference with Assistance Beyond the Grant

From the Center for Effective Philanthropy, most of foundations’ efforts to contribute ‘beyond the money’ have little beneficial impact on grantees. More than Money: Making a Difference with Assistance Beyond the Grant reveals that only when foundation staff provide assistance beyond the grant in one of two ways do grantees report a substantially more positive experience with their funders. Three exemplary foundations are profiled: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Winter Park Health Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation.