Leading Corporate Philanthropy

I can’t believe the month of May is almost over and I am embarking on my 60th day at the Council! I have enjoyed meeting various corporate foundations and hearing about the amazing work you are leading across the country during my first two months. This week, I met with Tiffany & Co. to learn about their leadership in coral conservation; listened to Pfzier and PVH’s innovative approaches to corporate volunteerism; and dove deep into conversation with JP Morgan Chase about their commitment to scaling global workforce development initiatives.

Earlier this week, we held a webinar on tax reform and its effect on corporate foundations, an area that many corporate members have asked about since the beginning of the year. During the webinar, the Council’s Senior Counsel, Suzanne Friday, discussed a range of issues, including a provision that was recently passed in connection with the federal budget and now provides an important exception to the excess business holding rule for private foundations.

Many businesses set up related charitable organizations for the purpose of engaging in philanthropic endeavors supported by the company. Because the funding for these charitable organizations is derived primarily from contributions from the business, these entities typically are unable to qualify as public charities and instead qualify as private foundations. This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law explores the special issues faced by corporate foundations as a result of their close relationship with their founding business.

Happy New Year! I am following news out of Davos and reading about new partnerships on critical issues, like MasterCard’s leadership to announce a new partnership on refugees and the new $50 million partnership of companies and foundations, including UBS, to scale technology to improve last-mile healthcare globally. As we kick off a new year, I’m excited to see the leadership role many companies are playing in driving social change, in the U.S. and around the world.

I know from speaking with many of you that it's been a busy fall, both at the Council and within your organizations. I want to make sure you're aware of some special meetings and calls we're scheduling in the next month so you can get these on your calendars.

Continuing this fall, the Council on Foundations is launching its fourth quarter of this virtual series focused on legal issues facing foundations. In this webinar, participants will learn how to navigate complicated decisions regarding international grantmaking, specifically how to appropriately apply expenditure responsibility and equivalency determinations when necessary.

As we mark the first week of summer, Director of Corporate Philanthropy Jeff West shares updates related to the Council's corporate members and future opportunities for corporate funders to engage with us as well as with peers in the field.