Council News & Announcements Regarding COVID-19

Council Commitments during COVID-19

Updated Tuesday, April 21, 2020

This is an important time to leverage our leadership voice on behalf of our sector. Alongside partner philanthropy networks, we’ve lifted our voice in recent weeks in calls to action around policy and philanthropic practice, including:


In-Person Council Events

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Council takes the health and safety of our members and staff seriously. While the decision whether to attend a program is a personal decision based upon current health and consultation with medical professionals when appropriate, the Council on Foundations has been actively monitoring this public health emergency to make decisions about our upcoming programs. As more is learned regarding the current conditions, the Council will share information, make decisions, and update this statement and contact registered attendees regarding whether a program will occur. All subsequent decisions regarding planned programming will be made at least 6 weeks prior to the event.

We regret any inconvenience these cancellations will and have caused to our valued members. For all of the programs that the Council is cancelling or postponing, we will not assess any penalties or cancellation fees. Cancellations for these programs will automatically be processed, and refunds will be credited to you within 10 business days to your original form of payment.

If you would like to donate your registration fees to help offset the significant financial loss incurred by canceling this event, we will gratefully add your organization to our Greater Good Circle. These members have made an additional contribution on top of their membership to ensure the Council has flexible support to respond to emerging issues. As we seek to answer member questions, share best practices, and coordinate responses to collectively act more quickly in regards to COVID-19, your support is tremendously appreciated.

Please note that for all cancelled programs that air and lodging reservations were made, attendees must cancel them directly with the appropriate entities. It is up to the individual airlines/hotels if they will waive change fees or issue credits for the entirety of tickets and/or reservations.

For more information on what we are doing at the Council, visit our Coronavirus Resource Hub and for questions or to request a cancellation directly, please email educate@cof.org.

Events Cancelled


A Message from Kathleen Enright: The Council's Response to COVID-19

Monday, March 9, 2020

Philanthropy has a long track record of responding compassionately and quickly during crises. Now is an important moment where philanthropy’s relationships, financial resources, knowledge and networks can be deployed to ease suffering and support communities. Those who are at highest risk of infection and those who will be disproportionately impacted by the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 because they are without paid sick leave, health insurance or experiencing homelessness, are particularly on our minds.

The Council on Foundations has been actively monitoring this public health emergency and will continue to connect our members to each other and to relevant resources and federal agencies.  We have heard many ways that our members are responding to community and grantee needs at this moment. Some of you are working with local public health departments to ensure that clear and accurate information is widely available, others are funding efforts to stem the spread of the virus or provide relief, still others are creating funds at community foundations to support both individuals and organizations most affected.

All of us are likely thinking through the implications for our staff and are making the appropriate adjustments. The Council is supporting our staff team and thinking through potential programmatic adjustments. In January we developed a page to assist our members and the larger field. We continue to liaise with our sector partners, our members and the relevant federal agencies and remain committed to respond to your inquiries and offer assistance, advice, and connections to help you respond effectively.

Some of you may be planning to attend upcoming Council events over the coming months. As of now, most events will proceed as planned. We understand that the context differs across the country and the situation is rapidly evolving, so we will make adjustments if appropriate to protect our members, staff and broader public health outcomes. Of course, if programs and events are changed, we will ensure you receive a refund or admission to a later event.

Please continue to reach out to us to share how your foundation is responding or with any concerns or questions you might have. We would love to hear what you are doing to include in the resource hub we are creating to provide you to with up-to-date information from the field, resources to share within our organization and a live chat forum to stay connected to trends across the country.

Sincerely, 

Signature Kathleen Enright

Kathleen P. Enright
President & CEO