Leading Together Conference | Miami, Florida | April 29-May 1, 2019

Philanthropic Practice Concurrent Sessions

Effective philanthropy requires leaders that are well versed in the business model, legal and regulatory framework, and political climate in which grantmaking organizations operate. This philanthropic practice programming will provide attendees with knowledge on both emerging and best practices in domestic and global philanthropy on diverse topics like learning for strategic impact, emerging forms of philanthropy in a post-tax itemization climate, adapting to new laws and a new tax code and building and using political power as a sector. These sessions will equip attendees with the knowledge and tools they need to be change agents in their organizations and the communities they serve.


Strategy and Tactics for Leading Systems Change Amidst Complexity

Tuesday, April 30 — 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Does your foundation have the strategy and systems in place to effectively address the complexity of the challenges you aim to impact? Join a conversation with leading funders and thinkers who have developed frameworks and approaches that enable creative thinking around how to effectively change systems. Exploring applications to a range of issues that are relevant to funders today, we’ll hear about (and try out) strategic and tactical approaches that foundations can leverage when taking a systems approach to your work, even amidst the increasing complexity of the world we live in. 

Speakers: Heather Grady, Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; Tony Mestres, President and CEO, Seattle Foundation; Lauren Smith, Co-CEO, FSG


Culture Shift: Building Learning Organizations and a Learning Sector

Tuesday, April 30 — 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

In recent years, a growing number of foundations have worked to transform their institutions into learning organizations equipped with the skills to create, acquire , analyze, and transfer knowledge. What can we learn from those who have intentionally designed their systems and processes to be effective learning organizations? What have they found to be the key ingredients in creating learning cultures? Moreover, what can be done to help the philanthropic field change its insular and independent orientation to become a more open and collaborative one resulting in the creation of a learning sector, one that is transparent about successes and failures and that understands that such shared knowledge will ultimately drive innovation and impact more quickly? Learn how the new #OpenForGood movement, which is designed to encourage foundations to openly share their knowledge to accelerate the good they want to see in the world, provides resources and tools to help your foundation make the shift. This session will share newly available tools and resources and explore the principles of open knowledge as well as, inspiring examples of foundation leaders who are pushing their institutions to be more open for greater equity and the greater good.

Speakers: Janet Camarena, Director, Transparency Initiatives, Foundation Center; Daphne Moore, Communications Director, Walton Family Foundation; Joi Ridley, Director of Communications and Marketing, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO)


Change Management Strategies for Effectively Transitioning Legacy Grants & Programs

Tuesday, April 30 — 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Have a legacy program whose objectives no longer aligns with your latest funding priorities? Have you funded the same nonprofit organizations over the years but want to invest resources elsewhere? Are you in the process of changing the strategic direction of your corporate giving program or foundation grantmaking strategy and not sure how to best communicate that shift to partners? While change is inevitable, the management of that change is not always easy as a grantmaker. Whether you are reinventing matching gifts programs into a larger employee engagement plan or restructuring your corporate giving program to invest in key societal solutions, there’s a skill behind managing longstanding grantee relationships and reputational risks while moving away from historical commitments. Join us for an interactive group learning experience with corporate philanthropy leaders as we share best practices and change management techniques to tackling transition and legacy programs

Speakers: Steven Pearson, Manager, IBM Corporate Citizenship, IBM; Jennifer Chavez Rubio, Director, Corporate Community Relations, Lockheed Martin; Walter Woods, CEO, Humana Foundation


Unrelated Business Income Tax

Wednesday, May 1 — 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 increased the unrelated business income tax (UBIT) liability for many tax-exempt organizations by imposing a tax on the cost of providing certain employee benefits such as parking, transportation and fitness facilities, and by changing how unrelated business taxable income is calculated across different business activities. While these changes may seem minor for some, the change and the potential costs for tax-exempt employers could have a significant impact on the finances of many tax-exempt organizations, including foundations. The entire nonprofit industry has expressed serious concerns about the application and enforcement of these new rules. This session will review the new provisions, explain Congress’ reasoning behind the rules, discuss how the rules are currently being implemented and enforced, and explain any changes that have occurred since the effective date of January 1, 2018. The session will also look at how the Philanthropic Enterprise Act of 2017, signed into law on February 9, 2018, has opened the door for more philanthropic businesses.

Speakers: Frank H. Smith, CPA, National Leader, Nonprofit Tax, Marcum, LLP; Karen I. Wu, Partner, Perlman & Perlman, LLP
Moderator: Bryan Del Rosario, Staff Counsel, Council on Foundations


Prepping for Policy: Philanthropy in the Digital Age

Wednesday, May 1 — 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

What do education, human service, or social justice funders need to know about digital policy? How does digital policy connect to philanthropic missions? Our ability to mobilize resources for positive change requires understanding issues including intellectual property, telecommunication infrastructure, data protection, and privacy rights in regard to both government and corporate surveillance. Join Lucy Bernholz of Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab for a participatory workshop on what digital policies matter, why, and how to get and stay informed. Civil society and philanthropy must become as fluent in the policies, actors, tradeoffs and options for protecting their rights to association, expression and privacy in digital spaces as they have been about the tax, corporate and charitable codes.

Speaker: Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar, Director, Digital Civil Society Lab, Stanford 


What’s Up in Washington?

Wednesday, May 1 — 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

The 116th Congress has started with new political dynamics, new legislative priorities, and new opportunities to pursue our sector’s goals. Hear from two of our sector’s top public policy and advocacy experts for a peek inside the workings of Washington’s political apparatus. Get an update on legislative and regulatory action and what the lead-up to the 2020 election can mean for philanthropy and our charitable sector.

SpeakersSandra Swirski, Partner, Urban Swirski & Associates; Jorge Castro, Partner, Miller & Chevalier


Giving without Getting

Wednesday, May 1 - 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Organized by Perlman & Perlman, LLP

The charitable deduction has been a part of American life since World War I, but in today's philanthropic landscape, many high-net-worth individuals are setting up charitable institutions without receiving tax benefits.  One example is Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a limited liability company (LLC) owned by the couple, which means they can’t claim a charitable tax deduction for stock or other assets transferred to the organization. At the same time, CZI isn’t constrained by tax law restrictions regarding how assets are distributed and doesn’t have to annually report on how resources are spent via a publicly accessible 990-PF. Public benefit corporations (501c4), certified B Corps, L3Cs and crowdfunding platforms are also emerging as alternative vehicles for individual and corporate giving and have been embraced by a new generation of philanthropists. This session will explore the legal framework and current trends for alternative foundation structures and discuss how changes in giving may impact the sector, with perspectives from proponents and skeptics of these new models. 

Speaker: Allen Bromberger, Partner, Perlman & Perlman, LLP