Category Archives: Council on Foundations

7 Strategies of Highly Effective Conference-Goers

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time in philanthropy-related conferences. Just this year, I’ve either attended or presented at seven of them. Conferences can require a significant investment of time and money on your part. They also can be highly worthwhile or a complete waste of time, depending on your mindset and your plan for making the time spent as productive as possible. Here are seven strategies that will help you get the greatest return on your conference investment. Know who’s there. Most conference registrations will allow you to see who’s coming. Before you go, scan the list to identify any potential partners, people you’d like to network with, folks who can offer a particular kind of … Continue reading 7 Strategies of Highly Effective Conference-Goers

read more >

3 Lessons on Evaluation in Foundations

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Mayur Patel, Vice President of Strategy and Assessment at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. by Mayur Patel On Sunday afternoon at the conference, I had the chance to participate in a panel discussion on the intersection between strategy and evaluation. The conversations that followed with participants from private foundations, corporate philanthropy and local community foundations was fascinating. Here are three key themes that emerged: Where you sit matters: Over the past few years, new foundation titles have increasingly emerged to describe the position of individuals involved in evaluation. We now have strategic assessment officers, performance … Continue reading 3 Lessons on Evaluation in Foundations

read more >

Leadership Under Duress

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team. This is a guest post by Richard Woo, CEO of The Russell Family Foundation  by Richard Woo My board chair and I attended a very provocative seminar for CEOs & Trustees the weekend prior to the COF conference. The session entitled—Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis—was facilitated by Marty Linsky, a faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School and co-author of the book, Leadership on the Line. Here are some memorable nuggets that captured my attention during the workshop and highly-interactive exercises between CEOs and trustees. Both my board chair and I are feeling our frames of reference shifting. You have to stand in your … Continue reading Leadership Under Duress

read more >

Reflections from a Millennial

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team. This is a guest post by Chanelle Gandy, Program Associate at The Funders’ Network.  by Chanelle Gandy As a newcomer to philanthropy and Council On Foundations (COF), I departed the COF annual conference in Philadelphia with a renewed sense of purpose and urgency for my work.  But what’s more, I sincerely enjoyed myself while interacting with some of the best and brightest practitioners our field has to offer. When I was employed in a different sector, I attended my share of conferences that weren’t so Millennial-friendly, as evidenced by low attendance by the “under 30” professionals, a clear lack of programming and networking receptions … Continue reading Reflections from a Millennial

read more >

The Experiences of An Emerging Leader at National Philanthropy Conferences

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Maisha Simmons, Program Associate at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by Maisha Simmons While attending my first Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) national conference in Philadelphia, I did not know what to expect. I figured it would be a group of eager, early career professionals trying to understand this world of philanthropy — how to find our path and make our mark. I found it to be all of that and more. I easily wove through sessions examining how to understand philanthropy, manage power dynamics, and think about creating social impact. Each session was more and more intriguing … Continue reading The Experiences of An Emerging Leader at National Philanthropy Conferences

read more >

Law and Dis-Order

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Richard Woo, CEO of  The Russell Family Foundation by Richard Woo The COF conference’s closing plenary on April 12th was provocatively titled: “Philanthropy on Trial: Innocent or Guilty.”  This session was sponsored by Microsoft Community Affairs and introduced by Seattle’s own Akhtar Badshah of Microsoft.  Before an audience of a thousand conference attendees a.k.a. “jurors,” the entire field of philanthropy was put on trial, charged with not fulfilling its mission of advancing the common good.  Ralph R. Smith, executive vice president of The Annie E. Casey Foundation and former chair of the COF board, served as the defense … Continue reading Law and Dis-Order

read more >

Bringing A Narrative Eye to Philanthropy – Part 3

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Jorge Cino, Social Media Fellow, at the Levi Strauss Foundation. by Jorge Cino Note: You can access the first part of this post here, and the second part here. Throughout the recent annual conferences of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) and the Council on Foundations (COF), I noticed that grant makers are placing striking emphasis on how to communicate our stories in new and better ways. While many leaders are still (understandably) looking for ways to measure the impact of their organization’s social media efforts (Beth Kanter discussed this in a recent Philanthropy411 post), content quality remains a … Continue reading Bringing A Narrative Eye to Philanthropy – Part 3

read more >

Grits Ain’t Groceries. They’re Hope.

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Vincent Robinson, Managing Partner of The 360 Group. by Vincent Robinson These days, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about the future of the social sector. I don’t mean to gloss over the past, certainly, but as our society continues to evolve and change, it’s hard not to be focused on what’s to come. This led me to hang around the Career Pathways program at the Council on Foundations. From what I could tell, the 15 Pathways participants arrived on Thursday, well in advance of the conference. On Friday, they had mock interviews with executive search consultants … Continue reading Grits Ain’t Groceries. They’re Hope.

read more >

Be at the Policy Table (or be on the Menu)

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Robert Eckardt, Executive Vice President of The Cleveland Foundation. by Robert Eckardt I just attended the “Washington Update” session at the Council on Foundations (COF) conference, presented by Andrew Shultz (vice president, Legal and Government Relations at COF) and Chatrane Birbal (associate director, Government Relations at COF). We heard the litany of fiscal problems facing the federal, state and local government. Most striking to me was the fact that the $38 billion federal spending cut package just announced on Tuesday roughly equals the total spending by all foundations. That, combined with bigger fiscal fights to come and a … Continue reading Be at the Policy Table (or be on the Menu)

read more >

D5 Initiative – Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team. This is a guest post by Roger Doughty, Executive Director of the Horizons Foundation. by Roger Doughty So what is it about the mention of “diversity” that sends so many people in our field heading for the exit? Lots just don’t want to hear any more about it. Some feel that they’ve paid their dues,  having already sat through too many diversity-focused conversations, meetings, and task forces leading to not much change. Others? Well, let’s be honest, others simply don’t care or see it as relevant to their own work. But here’s the problem: the issues are still very much alive. The promised land … Continue reading D5 Initiative – Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

read more >