Council on Foundations Launches Values-Aligned Philanthropy Initiative

Monday, September 13, 2021
Washington, DC

In response to a rise in anti-democratic extremism and hate groups in the U.S., the Council on Foundations (Council) today released Values-Aligned Philanthropy: Foundations Resisting Hate and Extremism. The report and accompanying online resource hub are part of the Council’s efforts to prevent hate funding within the philanthropic sector.   

The philanthropy sector’s efforts to address this critical issue have increased in recent years, with many organizations considering how they can re-evaluate their giving criteria and policies in order to avoid funding hate. The Council’s report documents the growing problems of hate and extremism, explores the challenges foundations face to prevent the funding of hate, and includes eight action steps the philanthropic sector can take towards meaningful change.

“A key component of the Council's new strategic direction is to help ensure philanthropy is a trusted partner in advancing the greater good,” said Kathleen Enright, President and CEO of the Council. “Our values-aligned philanthropy efforts examine core issues related to the funding of hate and extremism and provide foundations with the knowledge and capacity-building tools to engage in ethical giving." 

The Council’s work on values-aligned philanthropy includes interviews with representatives from 24 foundations, philanthropy-serving organizations, and experts with specialized knowledge of hate groups and how they are funded. The report also includes case studies with best practices from organizations that are effectively engaging in values-aligned philanthropy. 

“We heard clearly from grantmakers and experts that need to formulate a policy proactively before a difficult situation arises,” said David Kass, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Council. “This report provides concrete steps for philanthropy to ensure that funding achieves its planned effect of building communities and bringing people together.”

In addition to the report, the Council's new online resource hub, which includes information and resources from across the sector, aims to build foundations' awareness and capacity to prevent hate funding. The Council will also host a webinar on October 5, 2021, to further explore the report’s key findings and recommended action steps.  

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About the Council on Foundations

The Council on Foundations exists to help philanthropy be a trusted partner in advancing the greater good. Building on our 70-year history, we are charting a course where funders earn and maintain the public's trust by advancing equity, operating with high integrity, collaborating on broadscale challenges and serving as ethical stewards. Learn more about the Council and becoming a member by visiting www.cof.org.