Preconference Session

Building on the conversations from our inaugural Public Policy Summit in 2018, the Council on Foundations is convening a preconference to further explore how foundations can, should, and might engage in effective advocacy and public policy work. This preconference will offer a space for foundation leaders to share and learn from each other’s experiences in support of a broader conversation about how the philanthropic sector makes use of public policy tools to further their charitable missions. The conversation will equip participants with the means and network of colleagues to support these efforts.

Does U.S. philanthropy fare better at helping sustain local civil society organizations around the world than official development aid? Foundations have a plethora of options for how to fund programs overseas – from making grants to US-based international NGOs implementing programs overseas or working with intermediary US-based partners to directly funding grassroots groups around the world. As global grantmaking continues to increase, what innovations are helping US foundations improve their impact globally? Join us for this half-day pre-conference where we’ll hear from organizations that are exploring new approaches to international giving. Funders will leave this pre-conference with concrete examples for how to effectively work with grantees in the US and around the world, including in challenging situations with rapidly closing space for civil society and increased foreign funding restrictions. From veteran global grantmakers to those new to the process of global giving, this session will have valuable insights for any US foundation working internationally.

Over the last several years, many U.S. communities have experienced crises that have had a physiological effect on neighborhoods and traumatized children, youth and families. The violence in Parkland, Las Vegas, Charlottesville, Pulse Night Club, Flint, Detroit and Sandy Hook, among others, propels us to attempt to solve the intractable problems our communities are facing today. But what exactly is the role of philanthropy in responding to communities in crisis? In situations like the violent situations listed above, philanthropy played a pivotal role in responding to tragedies and civil discourse. Around the country, foundations are convening communities and bridging divides on some of America’s most pressing issues: race, politics, religion and social economics. This pre-conference will feature case studies and best practices on how to take a leadership role and partner with your local government and will breakdown the different aspects of crisis response: immediate, preparedness to resiliency and long-term recovery.