Community Philanthropy Update - July 2019

Friday, July 19, 2019 - 4:00 pm EDT
Brad Ward

CFUnited2020The Council is excited to work with our partners—the community foundation affinity groups AdNet, Comma, and ProNet—to host the 2020 CFUnited, Community Foundations: Power of Place, Conference.

Designed as an immersive experience for all staff at community foundations regardless of size, scale, and scope, this conference creates the space to dig into the unique role your organization plays in harnessing the power of place. The conference intends to embrace all it means to be a place-based institution creating a shared ownership of community, and explores practical support for your foundation to drive operational excellence. The Council is eager to be part of bringing you a comprehensive conference experience crafted for and by community foundations—with one significant change.

Recently, we collectively made the difficult decision to relocate the conference from Texas to Detroit due to a new discriminatory law. Read our full statement behind the relocation. We believe, under Texas S.B. 1978, the rights of our valued members, particularly those in the LGBTQ community, are not fully protected. Hosting a conference focused on advancing the philanthropic community in a state that is open to discrimination does not speak to the core values of the community foundation field.

With the planning for CFUnited 2020 fully underway, we did not make this decision lightly. However, above all else, it is imperative that we create a welcoming environment for all attendees. We are excited to announce Detroit, MI as the new location for the Sign up for the CFUnited 2020 Mailing list to receive updates and announcements

Join Now

Our direct involvement with the 2020 CFUnited Conference is a result of listening to our members and a clear desire to see the Council involved in hosting a community foundation conference. I hope this demonstrates our commitment to representing your interests and working alongside partners who care about community foundations as much as we do.

Beyond partnering to host the 2020 CFUnited community foundation conference, we’d love to hear your thoughts about how we can best impact our members and the field of philanthropy as it continues to evolve. If you haven’t heard yet, Council President & CEO, Kathleen Enright, is holding a listening tour this summer to help us Reimagine the Council. See below for in-person and virtual opportunities to give feedback and share your thoughts on how we can grow.

As we prepare for a busy fall (which will include launching our new membership model), please know we remain steadfast in our commitment to making the most of opportunities for community foundations. As always, I welcome your comments, questions, and feedback.


Brad Ward
Director, Community Philanthropy
Phone: 202-991-7612

Where's Brad?

I just returned from two  CFE Fundamentals courses offered in Charleston, SC, hosted with Southeastern Council of Foundations and Los Angeles, CA, in partnership with Southern California Grantmakers and League of California Community Foundations.

I’ll return to DC for CFE Finance (Jul 24-25) and to host a 2020 CFUnited: Community Foundations Power of Place Conference planning committee meeting in our offices next week, bringing together our partners AdNet, ProNet, and CommA.

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight

Mainstay, a growing IT and cybersecurity company, believes in driving the company forward with conscious capitalism. The idea that business can and should be rationalized to do good not just for shareholders, but for people and the planet. To make its corporate giving more intentional, Mainstay has opened a DAF at New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and they have committed to matching employee contributions into the fund 1:1 and giving lump-sum gifts quarterly.

Read more about how a grounded business ideology is fueling a relationship with the local community foundation and further embodying social impact and community awareness into the seeds of commercial interests.


Community Foundation Excellence Finance Course
July 24, 2019 | Washington, DC

For community foundation CEOs, managers, board members/trustees with fiscal responsibilities and those new to finance and fiscal administration, this course provides an understanding of the complicated aspects unique to community foundation finances.

Reimagine the Council

Throughout this summer, we are excited to hear what you think about the future of the Council. We hope you can join our leader, Kathleen Enright, at one of her listening sessions, in person or virtually, over the next few months. You can also read about what she’s hearing in our members-only “This Week at the Council,” where Kathleen is sharing the learnings and ideas she hears from the field.


San Francisco | Tuesday, July 30
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PT

RSVP today through our partner, Northern California Grantmakers

Los Angeles | Thursday, August 1
9 a.m. – 11 a.m. PT

Invitation-only through our partner, Southern California Grantmakers


July 25 Teleconference at 1 p.m. ET

August 14 Teleconference at 4 p.m. ET

National Standards Conference Call
August 14, 2019 | Washington, DC

This monthly call is for community foundations staff to connect with the National Standards staff and to ask questions related to the National Standards program.



Research and Reports

Giving in US Declines in 2018

Recent data on giving by Americans signals concerns for US philanthropy.

New research on US philanthropy shows lower levels of giving in 2018, even as our economy showed healthy growth overall. Giving USA reports less overall giving in 2018, following four years of steady growth. All in all, overall giving fell from 2017 to 2018 by 1.7%.

These latest findings reinforce sector-wide fears that recent changes to our tax code, including an increased standard deduction and fewer itemizers, will lead to less individual giving. Although the charitable deduction remains in the tax code, there were fewer tax incentives for charitable giving in 2018 than in recent years. These concerns are why the Charitable Giving Coalition, which includes the Council, is pushing for a universal charitable deduction that all tax-filers can use. Learn more about how you can help advocate for a universal deduction.

This data shows just one of many ways that our sector is evolving. What will continued changes in giving by individuals mean for the work of our foundations? What other changes are most likely to impact your work to support communities? I am always eager to hear your thoughts, reflections, and experiences.

Download the 2019 GivingUSA Infographic

Additional News articles related to the findings of the report:

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