Emerging Leaders

For five years, I have been fortunate to work for a foundation that has implemented continuous learning and commitment into its core values. In holding to these core values, our CEO is committed to intentionally seeking out opportunities for her team to learn and develop. In October 2016, she and our Senior Director of Talent and Organizational Development informed me of the Career Pathways program.

I work in a small three-person office/private foundation in Queens, New York City. When my boss forwarded me the Career Pathways application last fall, my intent behind my application was to expand my network, reflect on my skills and experience in the sector over the past decade, and connect with colleagues who shared my commitment to the values of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Jennifer Price-Letscher, a member of the 2017 Career Pathways cohort, reflects on what she learned about leadership and philanthropic risk taking at a Career Pathways session at the Council's Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas.

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce the application period for its flagship leadership development program, Career Pathways, is open now through October 31, 2016. Through Career Pathways, the Council seeks to increase the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds in the leadership pipeline and develop a generation of diverse leaders who are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their own organizations and the broader philanthropic sector.

When leaders from approximately 48 Pennsylvania-based foundations gathered in State College in April for the Council on Foundations’ Pennsylvania Philanthropy Conference, the negative effects of the state’s infamous nine-month budget impasse on human service delivery were painfully fresh. Nonprofits, especially agencies with state and county contracts, were worn down by months of financial uncertainty. Staff and clients felt underserved by elected officials of both parties in Harrisburg.

The vote for Britain to exit the European Union took philanthropy and the rest of the world by surprise. But it raises tough new questions about how grant makers should respond to political and financial turmoil and uncertainty.

A year and a half before the historic US Supreme Court ruling ended discrimination in civil marriage rights for same-sex couples, foundations and nonprofit leaders of the LGBTQ movement came together to address a concern: While many activists anticipated the legal victory, many also worried that the larger movement for LGBTQ equality would lose momentum in the wake of a win—potentially leaving important issues unaddressed.