Community Philanthropy Update - April 2022

Thursday, April 21, 2022 - 2:30 pm
Kathleen Enright

If you live in or near Washington, D.C., as I do, you know how easy it can be to imagine Congress and the president as the center of our political world. But in truth, so much of our lives is shaped by what happens at the local level: in state senates, governor’s offices, and even school boards. In many cases, big changes are initiated by small groups of people united around a passion for improving their communities. That's because ultimately, policy and advocacy are about relationships, and building trusted relationships with your representatives—both federally and locally — is a critical part of helping them better understand philanthropy and the impacts of policy decisions on nonprofits and communities.

As a community foundation leader, you likely already share close relationships with local politicians. Still, the thought of leveraging those relationships to impact policy or advocate on key issues might be intimidating or an area you want to explore further. That’s why I’m excited to share that we have partnered with our friends at CFLeads to launch a new training curriculum for community foundation leaders to advance their policy and advocacy work. We will have one offering this year and look forward to regularly offering this course in the future. Stay tuned for more details in the months to come.

In the meantime, I also hope you’ll take full advantage of our publication Public Policy and Advocacy for Grantmakers, which was released last year. It offers 10 action steps to ignite or deepen your foundation’s engagement in public policy and advocacy, including how and why you should provide flexible, long-term support and strengthen your nonprofit partners’ capacity to advocate; and how you can educate, advocate, and work to influence lawmakers on key issues as a grantmaking public charity.

We look forward to continuing to help you make a difference in your communities on all the issues where you can leverage your voice to advance the greater good. It’s an honor to do this work alongside you.

With gratitude,


Kathleen Enright
President & CEO

Upcoming Events

Council Events

Human Resources Virtual Roundtable
April 27

Join a peer-to-peer conversation with human resources leaders from across the sector to discuss best practices and new ideas related to organizational culture, operational management, and more. This event is presented in partnership with the Disability and Philanthropy Forum. 
Register Now >>

Uniting Americans Through Service: The Power of Americorps and Philanthropy Working in Partnership
May 16

Join us for a conversation with Michael D. Smith, the newly appointed CEO of AmeriCorps! This discussion will focus on opportunities for philanthropy and AmeriCorps to collaborate and advance the Biden Administration's priorities for national service.
Register Now >>

Community Foundation CEO Virtual Roundtable
May 24

Are you curious about cryptocurrency, but not sure where to start? Both member and non-member community foundation executives are invited to attend a peer roundtable conversation about crypto-philanthropy.
Register Now >>

Community Foundation Excellence Fundamentals
July 27-28 and August 3-4

Well-trained staff and an informed board are critical to the success of community foundations in our fast-changing world. This traditionally in-person two-day course, adapted to a virtual format in four half-day sessions, helps new and growing community foundation staff build the essential skills they need to balance governance and management with the broader understanding of community foundations within the philanthropic sector. 
Register Now >>

Partner Events

CCA Virtual Gathering: Addressing Pressing Questions in a Transnational World
May 26-27

The first day of this event consists of four sessions: one on drawing new voices into organizational decision-making, one on building a new generation of philanthropists, one on inclusive communication, and one on starting conversations about organizational change with your Board. The second day, May 27, features Andrew Selee, President of the Migration Policy Institute, and a panel of community foundations from Mexico and the U.S.
Register for May 27th Event >>

Member Spotlight

Community First Foundation

Many staff members at small nonprofits are suffering from burnout as they continue to wear multiple “hats” within their organizations. In Arvada, CO, the Community First Foundation recently launched the Take a Hat Off grant opportunity for nonprofits in Jefferson County. Strengthening nonprofit capacity and resilience is a key priority for our sector and for local communities.


Erie Community Foundation

Partnering with United Way of Erie County, the Erie Community Foundation has established #ErieUnitedforUkraine, a humanitarian campaign providing relief to refugees and others affected by the crisis in Eastern Europe. The campaign supports United Way Worldwide and will specifically direct funds and items to Lublin, Poland, which is Erie’s sister city.


Fairfield County's Community Foundation

After over 10 years of service as President and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Juanita T. James has announced her forthcoming retirement. The foundation’s assets nearly doubled during her tenure, and she was instrumental in creating FCCF’s first strategic plan. Congratulations, Juanita!


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News & Resources

Currently Recruiting: Community Foundation Excellence Fundamentals Faculty

The Council is seeking new voices to bring in as faculty for the Community Foundation Excellence (CFE) Fundamentals course. Appealing to a broad audience of new and growing community foundation staff, CFE Fundamentals builds essential skills that balance governance and management with a broader understanding of community foundations within the philanthropic sector. We are looking for experienced community foundation leaders, eager to share their expertise and to connect with others in the field. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please email Jill Gordon, Manager of Training.

Trending Philanthropy Exchange Conversations

News and Resources

  • In this anonymous 30-second survey, share your data to contribute to basic benchmarking as part of the Guide to Integrated Community Foundations. The survey is only three multiple-choice questions.
  • Trust-based philanthropy means much more than providing general operating support. Co-founders of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project bust myths about the practice in a new article from Alliance Magazine.
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