Press Release

On September 21, the United States became the first high-income nation to join Kenya, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ghana as pilot countries in the SDG Philanthropy Platform. The global SDG Philanthropy Platform, managed by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Foundation Center, and UNDP, brings together foundations and philanthropists across the world to build partnerships between philanthropic organizations, the United Nations, governments, civil society, and business to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce that Jeff West has been named its new Director of Corporate Philanthropy. Jeff joins the Council’s member relations team led by Paula Wolferseder Yabar to help advance the corporate philanthropy field and further support the Council’s corporate members and their charitable initiatives.

Data gathered in the 2015 Council on Foundations–Commonfund Study of Investment of Endowments for Private and Community Foundations® (CCSF) show that participating private foundations reported an average return of 0.0 percent for the 2015 fiscal year (January 1 – December 31, 2015), down from the 6.1 percent return reported for FY2014, while participating community foundations reported an average annual return of -1.8 percent compared with 4.8 percent for FY2014.

A new report released today by the Council on Foundations highlights the critical role that U.S. philanthropy plays in helping to realize the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The study, “From Global Goals to Local Impact,” outlines in detail how the new global development framework is universally applicable to the work of U.S. foundations, and presents concrete ways in which funders can integrate the SDGs into their domestic grantmaking.

The Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing was released jointly today by the two representative organizations. The study, believed to be the largest of its kind, provides foundations with invaluable insights into how the sector and individual portfolios are being shaped by responsible investing practices, potential hurdles to their adoption, and what the entry points are for those interested in fully engaging these practices in their endowment strategies.

New research by the Council on Foundations released today provides important benchmarking data on the salary, compensation, and demographics of U.S. foundations. The 2015 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report is the largest and most comprehensive report on foundation staff composition and compensation in 2015. The report found that racial and ethnic minorities continue to be underrepresented at all staffing levels and that significant gender and age gaps exist within the philanthropic sector.

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce that Floyd Mills has been named its Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a new position intended to advance the Council’s work to promote inclusiveness as a fundamental operating principal in philanthropic organizations. The Council affirms diversity in its many forms, encompassing, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, economic circumstance, class, disability, geography, and philosophy.

In an effort to recognize foundations that work to improve neighborhoods and the lives of the people who live in them, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Council on Foundations announced the 2016 winners of the HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships. Presented at COF's 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. yesterday, ten foundations earned the award for their outstanding partnership with the public sector. From helping students get through college, to implementing a program for seniors to stay in their homes, these foundations have made significant improvements in housing and neighborhoods. In addition to education, health and recreation, transportation, community participation, arts and culture, public safety, sustainability, and economic development across all American geographies – urban, suburban and rural.

The Council on Foundations announces the recipients of The Distinguished Service Award, Robert Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking, and the Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications. These awards recognize excellence in philanthropy and honor exemplary leaders in the field.