Community Philanthropy Update

Greetings Friend,

Over the last three years, the Council has developed a suite of resources to help foundations embrace Values-Aligned Philanthropy (VAP), including a toolkit designed specifically for community foundations. We started this work because we repeatedly heard that community foundations were experiencing challenges with balancing donor interest and organizational values. Since we began this work, one question has consistently been asked: 

“How do I get my board to support this?”

Our new VAP Board Discussion Guide can help you answer that question and ensure buy-in at every level of your foundation.

The guide lays out tips for communicating the concept of Values-Aligned Philanthropy to your board of directors and suggested answers to real-world concerns that other organizations have faced.

Read our new blog post to see how two community foundations, the Delaware Community Foundation and the Community Foundation for Monterey County, have engaged with Values-Aligned Philanthropy.

We also have opportunities to connect and learn with your peers. Next week (September 19), we’re hosting a VAP Webinar, where you’ll pick up practical tips as you explore, design, or implement anti-hate funding policies at your foundation.

If you’re looking to go deeper, please reach out to Nidale Zouhir to join our Values-Aligned Philanthropy Peer Learning Circle. In addition to bimonthly meetings with peers that are engaging in Values-Aligned Philanthropy or looking to get started, registering gives you access to a Philanthropy Exchange community where you can connect with other community foundation staff and share resources and strategies about preventing hate funding.

Community foundations have been driving this important work from the very beginning, and the Council is excited to provide the resources you need to ensure that your work lifts and strengthens your communities.



Natalie Ross
Vice President of Membership, Development, and Finance

Upcoming Events

Public Policy Action Network

September 18 | Virtual | Peer Discussion

Values Aligned Philanthropy: Implementing Policies at Community Foundations

September 19 | Virtual | Leading Locally Webinar

SDG Learning Circle for Foundations

September 19 | Virtual | Peer Discussion

2023 HR Summit

September 21 | Virtual | Summit

How To: Amplifying Community Engagement to Address Common Issues

September 21 | Virtual | Leading Locally Webinar

September Public Policy Update: What’s Happening in Congress?

September 22 | Virtual | Webinar

Community Foundation CEO Roundtable

September 26 | Virtual | Peer Discussion

Virtual Meet-Up: Community Foundation Donor Services

September 27 | Virtual | Peer Discussion

Philanthropy Supporting Ukraine

September 28 | Virtual | Webinar

National Standards Monthly Zoom Session

October 11 | Virtual | Conversation

Small and Mighty: Spearheading DEI Initiatives for Small Teams

October 18 | Virtual | DEI Roundtable

Centering Community Voice for Health and Economic Equity

October 24 | Virtual | Leading Locally Webinar

New Member Spotlight

Welcome to the community foundations that have joined as new Council members since our last newsletter! We're excited to have The Community Foundation, East Tennessee Foundation, and Washington County Community Foundation as new members.

The Community Foundation
East Tennessee Foundation
Washington County Community Foundation

Additionally, we'd like to welcome the 21 CF Insights members who joined when CFI came to the Council on September 1! 

Resources You Can Use

Legal Question of the Month with Ben McDearmon, Director of Legal Resources

Question: A donor has recommended a grant to an organization that is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate group list, but the organization is a 501(c)(3) public charity in the IRS records. How should our foundation handle this request? 

ben-mcdearmon-2018-500x500Answer: The approval or denial of a grant recommendation to a group like this—technically a permissible grantee as a 501(c)(3) but which has been labeled as an extremist or hate group—can be tricky to handle, which is why we’ve recommended community foundations adopt a values-aligned philanthropy policy to help frame their decision making. Instead of relying on a designation by any single watchdog organization to vet potential grantees, community foundation boards can set a policy that aligns with what they believe to be the unique values of the communities they serve and represent. Grant recommendations are then evaluated to determine whether the prospective grantee engages in activities that are not consistent with those stated values. 

Council members are able to send their questions to our Legal team for expert advice and analysis. You can take advantage of this member benefit by becoming a member today.

Community Foundation Excellence (CFE) Fundamentals Course

A well-trained staff and an informed board are critical to the success of community foundations in our fast-changing world. This course helps new and growing foundation stakeholders build the essential skills they need to balance governance and management with the broader understanding of community foundations within the philanthropic sector.

The next CFE Course will be held virtually on October 4-5 and 11-12, and you won't want to miss it! Sign up for the October CFE today.

Career Pathways 2024 Applications Now Open!

Career Pathways, founded by the Council on Foundations in 2010, is a selective leadership development program that cultivates bold, representative, and inclusive decision-makers to lead the philanthropic sector. The program is rigorous, highly personal, and built for mid- to senior-level philanthropic professionals looking to advance their careers and contribute to a more equitable society.

Applications for the 2024 Career Pathways Cohort are open now! Join us for an info session on October 3 to learn more.

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