Current Council Initiatives & Programs

Council Programs

Career Pathways

A 12-month leadership program that prepares candidates from diverse backgrounds to compete for and earn positions as philanthropic leaders.


Community Foundation Excellence (CFE)

Developed in conjunction with Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, these courses help community foundation staff, board members and volunteers master the unique aspects of the community foundation field.

Council Awards

The Council's award programs were established to recognize excellence in philanthropy and honor exemplary leaders for their dedication in uplifting the sector.


Global Philanthropy

The Council is actively working to build connections among U.S. and global foundations that are addressing problems and advancing change around the world.


Impact Investing

The Council is participating in the conversation about unlocking new capital for social good.


Leading Corporate Philanthropy

Corporate philanthropy has an opportunity to redefine the purpose and value for corporate foundations and giving programs.


National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations™

Developed in the spirit of accountability, transparency, and continuous self-improvement, National Standards for U.S. Community Foundation are philanthropy's most rigorous standards—evidence that community foundations seek excellence for their communities and donors.

Council Initiatives

Bridging Divides

Bridging Divides Thumbnail LogoIn today’s world of growing nationalism and division, philanthropy’s role as a bridge builder is even more critical. Funders of all types and sizes are working across divides to drive social change, from strengthening democracy and civic engagement in increasingly partisan societies to facilitating interfaith dialogue and working to respond to and prevent acts of hate and violence.

HUD Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Council on Foundations, presents this award emphasizes cross-sector partnerships between the philanthropic and public sectors.

Inclusive Economic Prosperity

Inclusive Economic Prosperity ThumbnailPhilanthropy can help bridge the gap between a community’s need for growth and the people who can and want to drive that growth, but need support to do so. Foundations are able to invest in sustainable and equitable development, using innovative strategies and capitalizing on their unique role as a convener, grantmaker, and endowment builder to support workforce development, establish diverse financial tools, and encourage an inclusive entrepreneurship culture.

Opportunity Zones

Image of Town at SunsetOpporunity Zones are state-nominated, economically depressed communities that are in need of new investment. These investments could, under certain circumstances, be eligable for preferential tax treatment in an effort to help spur economic development.

Supporting Veterans & Military Families

Over the long term, the Council will be working to solidify a national leadership role for the philanthropic sector in this emergent national priority.



Sustainable Development Goals & Philanthropy

The SDGs provide a framework for foundations to lead together with governments, civil society, and the private sector to create a better world, in the US and around the globe.


Values Aligned Philanthropy

Hate-related violence has been on the rise for several years in the U.S., as have extremist groups whose work targets specific communities based on race, ethnicity, and other characteristics. Even before the recent violent attempt to take over the U.S. Capitol raised these issues to a new level of awareness, our members have been actively engaged in finding ways to make sure that their values of fairness and equity are reflected in their funding practices. 


Additional Initiatives

These are other initiatives the Council pursued in the past.