Community Philanthropy Update - July 2023

Thursday, July 27, 2023 - 5:06 pm
Natalie Ross
Community Philanthropy Update

Greetings Friend,

Thank you to the more than 850 philanthropic leaders who joined us in Denver for Leading Locally last month, as we connected around the power of place-based philanthropy. I wanted to share an update on an announcement we made in Denver, in case you missed it:

During the opening plenary, we announced that CF Insights is coming home to the Council on September 1, 2023.

Both Candid and the Council hope this transition will help more community foundations access and add to the sector’s leading benchmarking dataset, providing more comprehensive information about sector trends and better insights to inform your organizational practice. With this transition, David Rosado also joined the Council on June 1st as our new Senior Advisor, Community Philanthropy.

We joined with Candid earlier this week to present the findings from the most recent CF Insights survey. If you missed that conversation, watch the recording.

Have questions about what this means for your community foundation? Check out our FAQs about the upcoming transition to learn more.

If you couldn’t make it to Denver, we just launched a Leading Locally All Year Long webinar series, where we’ll hear directly from local partners on topics that matter, including how to implement trust-based grantmaking in disaster contexts, catalyze affordable housing, and host courageous conversations in your community. Leading Locally All Year Long webinars are free for Council members (not a member? Find out how to join today.) and Leading Locally attendees can register with a discount.

You can register now for our first set of webinars in August and September, and stay tuned as more are announced throughout the year.


Natalie Ross

Natalie Ross
Vice President of Membership, Development, and Finance

Upcoming Council Events

Trust-Based and Equity-Focused Disaster Grant Evaluation; Sharing Power when Stakes Are High

August 8 | Virtual

Our first Leading Locally All Year Long webinar. Join us to learn strategies for trust-based and equity-focused evaluation for grantmaking in disaster contexts!

National Standards Monthly Zoom Session

August 9 | Virtual

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.

Catalyzing Affordable Housing: Building Funds for Community Partnership

August 15 | Virtual

Learn how your foundation can help be a part of the solution by developing a housing trust fund! Like many places across the country, the Black Hills in South Dakota are seeing a massive lack of affordable housing. After convening a Housing Summit in 2018, the leaders at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation developed a public/private/philanthropic model to address this need.

SDG Learning Circle for Foundations

August 15 | Virtual

Connect with foundation peers to learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This community is primarily focused on expanding the SDGs in the United States through philanthropic action, but all nationalities are welcome.

Legal Matters for Community Foundations

August 16-17 | Virtual

Led by the Council's legal team, this workshop is designed to answer your broad legal and practical questions on administering funds, grants, and community foundation activities.

Retreat for New Community Foundation Executive Leaders

August 23-24 | Hartford, CT

This retreat equips new community foundation executives with the skills and relationships needed to be successful in their early years, including the work of bridging across differences and building common ground in communities and philanthropy.

How To: Hosting Courageous Conversations for More Equitable Communities

September 6 | Virtual

Hear how the Barry Community Foundation created space to explore diversity and equity with their community. We’ll learn from their experience on how you can implement this strategy in your community.

Public Policy Action Network

September 18 | Virtual

Join this members-only interactive and informal virtual meet up for the Public Policy Action Network. In this meeting, we'll share legislative updates and invite your questions about recent developments in public policy for grantmakers.

Values Aligned Philanthropy: Implementing Policies at Community Foundations

September 19 | Virtual

Join us for an interactive session exploring how to implement Values Aligned Philanthropy at your organization! Part of the Leading Locally All Year Long series.

2023 HR Summit

September 21 | Virtual

Join your philanthropic HR and talent peers to explore today's most pressing issues. Hosted in partnership with Change Philanthropy, the 2023 HR Summit is a must attend event for all who lead the human resources function at a philanthropic organization. Registration is now open!

New Member Spotlight

Welcome to the community foundations that have joined as new Council members since our last newsletter! We're excited to have Community Foundation Tampa Bay, and The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation as new members.






Resources You Can Use

Retreat for New Community Foundation Executive Leaders

It's hard to take over the reins at a community foundation. That's why the Council is excited to announce a retreat for new community foundation leaders this summer. The retreat will be hosted in person by Hartford Foundation for Public Giving President Jay Williams in Connecticut on August 23 and 24, 2023.

This retreat will equip new community foundation executives with the skills and relationships needed to be successful in their early years, including the work of bridging across differences and building common ground in communities and philanthropy.

Find more information and register for the retreat on our website.

Essentials of Policy Advocacy for Grantmakers

The Essentials of Policy Advocacy for Grantmakers course will help foundation staff use their resources effectively to advance public policies that support the greater good. This training is designed for private foundations staff with a basic understanding of policy, but it is also applicable for staff at all experience levels whose work touches policy advocacy.

Register for Essentials of Policy Advocacy.

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

Question: We have received a request from someone who is interested in opening a fund to benefit a church that does not have 501(c)(3) status. Can a designated fund be used for that purpose?

Ben McDearmonAnswer: Churches benefit from unique treatment under the Tax Code in that they don’t need to apply exemption under section 501(c)(3) in order to qualify as a public charity. Any organization that meets the rather broad definition of a church is automatically considered to be a public charity under IRC section 170(b)(1)(A)(i), although many churches also elect to file for 501(c)(3) status. That means as long as you can determine that the organization is in fact functioning as a church, you can establish a designated fund for it the same way you would any other public charity. The IRS provides guidance on determining whether an organization should be considered a “church” for federal tax purposes.

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.

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