New Member Benefit
The Council on Foundations launched a Senior Advisors program to provide foundation executives with practical, confidential guidance from experienced peers on critical governance and leadership issues. The Senior Advisors program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GE Foundation, is part of the Council's Building Strong and Ethical Foundations: Doing it Right initiative to encourage adherence to high ethical standards in grantmaking.
"Senior Advisors will help foundations with timely and sage advice that can make all the difference in 'doing it right,'" said Dorothy S. Ridings, outgoing president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.
The program will guide foundations facing hot-button issues, including:
Members of the Council can request this free and completely confidential service by contacting Council Senior Vice President for Professional Development Joanne Scanlan at 202/467-0475. More information also is available online at www.cof.org/Content/General/Display.cfm?contentID=2806.
Seven individuals were selected to serve as senior advisors for the next two years. Jointly, these advisors have more than 175 years of foundation and corporate grantmaking experience, and many additional years of nonprofit, civic and university leadership. They are Philip B. Hallen, president emeritus, Maurice Falk Fund; Reatha Clark King, former president and board chair, General Mills Foundation; Handy L. Lindsey, Jr., executive director, The Cameron Foundation, and former president, the Field Foundation of Illinois; Skip Rhodes, chair, Council Board Associates, and former manager, community involvement, Chevron; Robin S. Tryloff, board chair, Donors Forum of Chicago and former president and executive director, Sara Lee Foundation and executive directorCivic Affairs, Sara Lee Corporation; Colburn S. Wilbur, trustee and former president, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation; and Eugene R. Wilson, former president of ARCO Foundation and retired senior vice president, Kauffman Foundation. The advisors' full biographies are online at www.cof.org/Content/General/Display.cfm?contentID=2808.
The William T. Grant Foundation's Distinguished Fellows Program is seeking applications from policymakers and practitioners for a pilot grants competition. The program's goal is to increase the supply of, demand for and use of high-quality research in policy and practice efforts to improve youth outcomes.
The second year of the pilot is meant to help policymakers and practitioners use research in their respective fields. The foundation believes that the lives of youth will improve if highquality research shapes the policies and practices that affect them. However, such research will not be produced unless policymakers and practitioners understand what constitutes highquality research, as well as how it is designed and conducted.
The deadline for letters of inquiry is November 3, 2005. Download the RFP at www.wtgrantfoundation.org.
Checking It Twice
As part of its continuing commitment to improving the practice and self-regulation of charitable organizations, Independent Sector has released a Checklist for Accountability. The steps in the checklist, which also includes a list of resources available as models, should help charitable organizations reassure their stakeholders regarding their commitment to uphold the public trust.
Charities are called on to:
Organizations are encouraged to adapt the recommendations for their needs. Those recommendations, which build on the work of the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector convened last fall by Independent Sector, suggest practical actions organizations can take immediately. Find out more at www.independentsector.org.html.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation redesigned its website, www.rwjf.org, for a sleeker look and better organization of in-depth information about its work, team strategies and lessons learned. The site also offers new e-mail options, including weekly health policy news digests in several interest areas, plus content and funding alerts. Beginning this fall, a new monthly Advances newsletter will offer features in a timelier, more succinct electronic format.
Evaluation and Leadership
Evaluation as a Pathway to Learning helps grantmakers demonstrate the impact of their grantees and support their learning. Released by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), the report was shaped by the 2005 Evaluation Roundtable, a meeting that included the evaluation directors from some of the largest U.S. foundations.
The report, which explores the link between evaluation and grantmaking, includes suggested evaluation techniques and tips on incorporating a results orientation into foundation work without making a large investment. It also explores new concepts, such as emergence and evaluation's link to knowledge management.
GEO also released the free publication, Investing in Leadership, Volume 1: A Grantmaker's Framework for Understanding Nonprofit Leadership Development, by Betsy Hubbard. "Investing in leadership development is a sophisticated way to build high-performing nonprofits," said Kathleen P. Enright, GEO executive director.
Volume 1 reviews current literature on leadership development in philanthropy and provides a framework for using leadership as a strategy for organizational development. The second volumeto be published later this yearwill profile grantmakers supporting leadership development to increase their grantees' capacity.
Download both publications at www.geofunders.org.
The Global Greengrants Fund launched the Greengrants Alliance of Funds to expand and further decentralize its model of making small grants internationally to grassroots environmental groups through a network of volunteer advisors. The Brazil and Southeast Asia advisory boards are the first members of the alliance, whose members will be independent institutions with their own staff, trustees and grantmaking strategies.
The funds will continue to locate and monitor grassroots grantees, but will have the added capacity to do local and European fundraising and grants administration. Global Greengrants Fund Executive Director Chet Tchozewski says, "This program allows our partners to expand the model without creating a larger U.S. organization that might not be as responsive to the needs of grassroots groups."
Find out more about the new initiative at www.greengrants.org.
Philanthropy Incubator Created
The Foundation Incubator (TFI), a provider of cutting-edge philanthropic services, joined forces with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. TFInow known as the Philanthropy Incubatorwill be a program of the center's Philanthropic Services unit and provide workshops with experts, peer discussion groups, customized training and other resources.
The Philanthropy Incubator will build on TFI's previous work to provide a wide range of training and education services to support the field of philanthropy. At the same time, it will give the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, one of the premier academic institutions in philanthropy, the opportunity to expand its programs serving individuals, foundations, and professional and financial advisors.
The Philanthropy Incubator will maintain an office in Silicon Valley. Read more about the merger at www.foundationincubator.org.
Media Eye on Philanthropy
The Council on Foundations' Media Relations Department compiled articles by some of the top national publications from July 20 to August 15, 2005. Articles regarding private foundations, charitable giving/philanthropy (general pieces, trends in giving, tsunami and other humanitarian aid), tax regulation (including estate tax regulation) and community foundations dominated those headlines. In addition, news reports also focused on accountability for foundations and nonprofits.
Heightened interest in those areas may affect how the public and grantees perceive foundation activities. For further information on responding to media inquiries on these topics, contact Jeff Martin, Council on Foundations director for Media Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All articles have been highlighted in Breaking News, a free, members-only daily e-newsletter summarizing the top articles about philanthropy. To subscribe, e-mail your name, title, foundation name and contact information to email@example.com.
Charitable Giving/Philanthropy (general pieces, trends in giving, tsunami and other humanitarian aid): 20 articles
Accountability/Tax Regulation (includes estate tax regulation): 13 articles
Private Foundations: 7 articles
Community Foundations: 6 articles
Corporate Giving Programs: 4 articles