Member Benefits

As Council members, you and your team — including staff, board members, and volunteers — receive:

Exclusive Savings

In addition to getting unlimited, free access to our legal team* and other inclusive perks, members enjoy cost- savings to a growing roster of professional development opportunities and resources. For many, the cost of membership pays for itself through these savings including:

Legal Advice and Consultation 

Membership gives you and your institution’s legal representatives access—at no additional charge—to the Council’s distinguished legal team who have expertise in federal tax law and regulations governing foundations and other exempt organizations. Specific areas of expertise include governance, donor advise funds, scholarships and grants to individuals, lobbying and political activity, and self-dealing. If representation is needed, our attorneys can also refer you to a trusted expert.

Professional Development

We survey the landscape and develop original, high-quality programming where a void and a need exists for all our member types. Plus, Council members get first access and significantly discounted pricing to all our offerings—many of which are eligible for continuing education credits to help you earn or retain your certifications. Popular offerings include Career Pathways, Community Foundation Excellence and Legal Matters suites, and boutique convenings such as the Endowments & FinanceSummit and Public Policy Summit, alongside weekly webinars.

Peer-to-Peer Knowledge Sharing

Whether you are new to philanthropy or a seasoned professional, connecting to and networking with your peers is critically important to advancing your organization’s mission. We facilitate the forging of new connections and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing through our private, online community, the Philanthropy Exchange. Members can seek and give advice, exchange templates and resources, search our digital library, and find members funding similar issues.

Access to In-House Experts and Leading Voices

We believe our team is an extension of your team and we encourage members to contact Council staff—the nation’s leading and most connected experts in philanthropy—for help navigating thorny issues and maximizing new opportunities. This includes making requests for information and facilitating introductions to potential partners and key influencers and visionaries. 

Disaster Response Guidance 

The Council’s Disaster Internal Response Team works to provide timely and relevant connections and communications support for members affected by disaster, in the U.S. and globally, to enable more effective disaster grantmaking by our members. This includes leveraging our relationships with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and regional and global philanthropy networks, and internal systems including our DisasterNet Exchange online community.

Member Directory

Connect with peers all around the world for consultation, guidance, and other professional support through our online directory. Members can search by organization name, foundation type, country, and state. Use the directory to invite leaders to collaborate on shared priorities, request guidance, or expand your professional network. Council staff are happy to make introductions and help you get the conversation started.

Sector Issues and Updates

Members stay in-the-know on the challenges and opportunities shaping philanthropy through curated communications including our weekly members-only e-newsletter (This Week at the Council); weekly public policy update (Snapshot); and monthly corporate, community, global, and private e-newsletters—in addition to legislation and disaster response alerts. Members are also provided priority access to Council reports and resources such as the State of Global Giving by U.S. Foundations: 2011-2015 —complete with a members-only discussion guide, and are extended invitations to participate in discrete surveys, studies, and research.

Leadership Opportunities

Select members are extended the opportunity to help guide the future of the Council, contribute to advancing the field, and elevate their personal and organizational brand by serving on the Council board of directors and various committees, special projects, and convening working groups. Members also are invited to submit session ideas and present at our conference—and ideal way to elevate your organization’s commitment and showcase your expertise on the national stage.

Awards Entry Nomination Privilege

The Council Awards program acknowledges the most innovative individuals and organizations working to advance the common good—and elevates their work to the national stage helping to attract new partners, allies, and funding. Only Council members are invited to submit nominations including for The Chapman Prize which includes a cash prizing averaging between $80,000-$100,000 annually.


Membership connects you to the right people in philanthropy, business, government, and beyond—and opens doors to new professional opportunities, partnerships, personal brand building, and broader perspectives. Leverage our invite-only events, local and national convenings, salons, volunteer committees, and other offerings to propel your career and organization forward.

Government Relations Representation and Collaboration

Council government relations team is always working on behalf of our members, representing your interests in Congress and with Executive Branch agencies. We bring the voice of our sector into the deliberations on legislation and regulation that impacts your ability to achieve your goals. Through training and collaboration, we empower our members to raise their own voices in the policy arena on the issues that matter most to them.


To ensure confidence and privacy, and promote collaboration, the Council maintains strict non-solicitation and privacy policies and does not share or sell contact information. Members or guests who violate this policy may be excluded from future events and may not qualify for membership renewal.

*Access to the Council legal team is reserved exclusively for full voting members.

**Similar discount rate extended to voting and associate members for all summits including the HR Summit and Public Policy Summit.