Council on Foundations Council on Foundations COF _54045456-5c19-49e8-b297-59592bfa58d6 A vibrant, growing and responsible philanthropic sector that advances the common good. _5f0f280e-cf66-4ad9-919d-b5fa4f53d84a The Council on Foundations provides the opportunity, leadership and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. _7e0fb3cf-5829-448d-8937-370ab6b53f41 Philanthropy Organized philanthropy is a powerful tool for creating and sustaining societal benefit. Partnership Nonprofit provider organizations are key partners with our members, and without them foundations could not do their work. However, the Council’s focus is on issues and organizations that affect organized philanthropy, rather than on the entire third sector. Collective Action The common good is enhanced when philanthropists come together for collective action to increase their impact and effectiveness. Stewardship and Accountability To be effective, organized philanthropy must operate with the highest degree of stewardship and accountability. Diversity Organized philanthropy can enhance its ability to contribute to the common good in a changing society by including in its work a range of perspectives, opinions and experiences from people representing diversity of ethnicity, race, gender, economic circumstance, sexual orientation, disability and philosophy. Participatory Democracy It is the responsibility of governments of nations that value participatory democracy to encourage broadbased and robust philanthropy through policies that create a supportive environment. MEMBERSHIP VALUE Allocate resources in ways that best support essential services to customers _d9187301-7a7c-4d5f-bb61-62d5e8e927e6 1 The Council on Foundations offers its members and the field of organized philanthropy the opportunity to learn, practice effectively and take pride in philanthropy’s contribution to a better life for people and communities across our country and beyond. The Council’s role is based on the strength of its members’ collective voices and actions. Through its membership, the Council stands for principles of stewardship, accountability and effectiveness. Collectively, we must continually earn the public trust and maintain the supportive policy environment in which we can do our best work. This framework defines the Council’s primary customers as its members and potential members. The criteria for membership will change as additional forms of organized philanthropy are developed. The Council will continue to ensure that its primary customers receive a range of highquality and pertinent services, so there are clear advantages of membership to both current and future members. The Council will supply more meaningful knowledge, skills and tools for determining and meeting higher levels of effective philanthropy and for demonstrating accountability, both directly and through partnerships with other infrastructure organizations. As a philanthropic leader, the Council also will promote and preserve the ability of its members and potential members to work in a policy environment that allows them to provide and demonstrate societal value—a service that provides the roots from which effective philanthropy flows. The Council will allocate resources in ways that best support essential services to customers. This may entail developing new kinds of partnerships with other infrastructure organizations to have a more coherent and rational system of supports for organized philanthropy, and to judiciously avoid duplication of costs or roles. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION WITH A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE As an association of members primarily from across the United States that is networked with colleague organizations, the Council benefits from a broad perspective from which to take actions that benefit organized philanthropy as a whole.We do so with a voice and efficiency that draws on our members’ combined resources. The Council’s efforts on the policy climate and on standards and accountability are specifically applicable within the United States, as similar efforts in other countries are tailored to their own policy and societal environments. The Council concentrates primarily on serving U.S.-based organized philanthropy, including providing support for those United States organizations that give internationally. However, we recognize the importance of being a participant in the global arena, and we will continue to welcome members from outside the United States, be a resource for building philanthropic capacity in other countries and provide guidance for requests related to international grantmaking. We also will continue to learn from philanthropic efforts internationally and will coordinate with philanthropic support organizations in other countries and share their ideas with our members. Such work will keep us grounded in the global perspectives that shape how decisions are made in the face of increasing globalization. LEADERSHIP FOCUS Since 1949, the Council on Foundations has promoted responsible and effective philanthropy and served as a common voice for the shared needs of its members and the organized philanthropic field. During the past decade, we have encouraged our own organization, our members and our field to embrace inclusivity and diversity in their many forms as fundamental aspects of the responsibility and effectiveness of organized philanthropy. These core roles remain central to the Council’s future. However, in order to address today’s challenges and convert them to opportunities, the Council must alter the way it determines and carries out its leadership roles. As the legislative and regulatory interest in accountability continues, and as new challenges to the vitality of the field appear, the Council needs to alert its members to threats and opportunities, help members determine how they will take their own positions, be prepared to take principled stands and vigorous action if needed, and embrace rather than avoid controversial issues. Supporting a favorable regulatory environment (“protecting the franchise”) is the Council’s top priority. Accordingly, the Council needs to become a stronger advocacy organization that is vigilant and proactive. It is well positioned to be extremely effective with legislators and regulators and to be a stronger advocate for the field. In the future, the Council could initiate as well as support legislation. This significant change in role means that the Council will not always have the luxury of vetting issues to the point of complete consensus. As a leader, the Council will need to communicate with and consult its members, and know the “pulse” of the field. However, in the end, the Council will need to make decisions and select compromises that maximize the value of philanthropy and the “greater good.” It may be advantageous for the Council to partner on legislative and regulatory matters with other entities in the nonprofit sector, beyond those that have been its partners in the past. The Council on Foundations will focus its resources and leadership on matters essential to the vitality of organized philanthropy within three primary functions. Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy Advocate for legislative and regulatory support for organized philanthropy. _3560ead3-0a47-4239-ab45-b670d95cbadc 1.1 The Council will advocate to maintain and enhance a public policy environment supportive of organized philanthropy.We will represent organized philanthropy in legislative and regulatory settings to strengthen and enhance the climate for philanthropy, and will be prepared to act on situations that threaten the independence or vitality of the field. 74d68841-1dd0-4509-9b7e-531d58433b52 ee586f96-1edc-48c0-a5bc-e7e0c0cd212b Contributions to the Common Good Maximize opportunities for organized philanthropy to best contribute to the common good. _a2aba1fa-1ddd-45a9-8140-a114782df7a5 1.2 The Council will be at the forefront of emerging issues relevant to the field of organized philanthropy so that it can inform the development of new strategies. Along with other organizations, the Council will constantly seek, welcome and disseminate ideas to propel organized philanthropy to make the most of its resources.We will emphasize the skills necessary to yield innovation, creativity, wisdom, vision, boldness, integrity and influence.We will make decisions with sensitivity and responsiveness to members’ current and anticipated needs in the context of the Council’s capacity and strategic position. 63756df7-cfa5-4ded-80e0-55225ae330c0 dc6e90aa-49b5-470f-822f-4cbb27a06ed7 Stewardship, Effectiveness and Accountability with Diversity Ensure development and achievement of higher levels of stewardship, effectiveness and accountability, with inclusivity of diverse experiences and perspectives. _74825030-1359-4d68-b5f5-f5d0a73f11b8 1.3 The Council is playing a major leadership role in supporting the development of standards and principles for organized philanthropy.We also will support effective and reasonable enforcement to bring into line organizations that do not voluntarily comply with legal requirements. The Council will intensify educational offerings, training and technical assistance efforts that create a spirit of reflective practice in grantmaking, including higher levels of stewardship, effectiveness and accountability. ff40b709-9a04-401c-b187-79162ccab2ae cca57831-6cd7-428c-98bd-dd55c08d8a60 CUSTOMERS AND AUDIENCES Provide tools and information to support foundation officials and advocacy in the field of organized philanthropy. _fa0008a3-53f5-4ef6-bb72-2d2c30215ecb 2 Customers. The Council’s primary customers (those who most benefit from its services) are people in key positions within member organizations and potential member organizations. The Council’s priorities are to provide top-notch tools and information to foundation presidents and chief executive officers, board members or trustees, and other staff of foundations or philanthropic vehicles. These individuals have the most influence over whether their organizations are ethical, accountable and effective. Audiences. The Council’s priority audiences (those the Council most wants to influence) on grantmaking issues are the field of organized philanthropy, legislators, regulators, the media and potential partners. These are the groups to whom our advocacy efforts and communications will be addressed. Tools and Information Provide top-notch tools and information to foundation presidents and chief executive officers, board members or trustees, and other staff of foundations or philanthropic vehicles _52b2539e-ba0b-48dd-a52c-d69a7d1102af 2.1 0f2c337a-4e4b-4526-8d3e-5742bb74029e 9384d191-b009-452b-b997-d4e8456ca4ab Advocacy Influence the field of organized philanthropy, legislators, regulators, the media and potential partners _326f7368-fd02-46c1-8d69-f9e60db95e28 2.2 e1111886-c833-4b93-bf8c-4c11db1ed7a0 016653f4-5c0c-4ac2-b608-893e0f483305 STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE ORGANIZATIONS STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE ORGANIZATIONS _f4bced93-ae7d-42e9-9e8f-271401990a23 3 In our own work and in discussion with other support groups, we will carefully consider which activities are best performed by the Council. In some instances, the most prudent course of action for the field will be to defer to other organizations to carry out certain activities and develop referral or co-sponsorship relationships as needed on behalf of Council members. The Council will: - Form new working relationships with other philanthropic support organizations, where each contributes its core strengths in complementary ways. - Test ways to better facilitate regional and local service delivery, networking and identification of emerging trends or issues. - Adjust existing working relationships to ensure that organized philanthropy receives services effectively and economically. The Council will cooperate with and be a “good citizen” in the overall third sector infrastructure and will encourage its members to form effective relationships with nonprofit service providers related to their work. The Council’s primary connection with the third sector will be with other infrastructure organizations, as the Council must focus its energies on organized philanthropy. As the Council on Foundations looks to sharpen its focus and concentrate on areas where it can add the most value to its customers and have significant influence on its audiences, it is logical to look externally to other organizations within the philanthropic infrastructure network to help ensure access to the services required for the Council and its members to achieve excellence. In addition, those organizations are a source for other philanthropic services and resources that the Council does not, and perhaps should not, offer. The Council will seek partners to jointly test some mutually beneficial initiatives that will provide members with advantages beyond what either organization could offer on its own. The Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the Council’s Affinity Group Network and established philanthropic support organizations external to the Council are logical potential allies. Other colleague organizations may be identified during the life of this framework. Regional Associations of Grantmakers. The regional associations of grantmakers are logical allies because of their complementary activities and scope of customers. In reality, many organizations are members of both the Council and of one or more regional associations. Potentially changing the nature of the Council’s relationship with regional associations represents an opportunity for the future to both streamline and expand services to members, nationally and locally. Absent some rationalization of the “system” of services to member foundations, there will continue to be confusion and some consternation about duplication of efforts. A logical starting point is entering into discussions with regional associations to examine the possibilities for a substantial overhaul of this key relationship. Areas for potential exploration include forming joint membership structures, combining membership structures, helping to create regional associations where none currently exist, helping to build the capacity of existing regional associations where such help is needed, partnering or contracting with regional associations to deliver programs and services, sharing legislative agendas and responsibilities, and consolidating administrative functions. We recognize that each regional association has different strengths, capabilities and levels of interest in working with the Council, and we will target pilot efforts to strong and motivated associations that are willing to experiment with us. Affinity groups. The Council values affinity groups, at present a varied collection of selforganized networks composed primarily of grantmaking staff, whose work represents substantive (programmatic) content. Some affinity groups are formed around the identity of the population they serve (e.g., ethnic groups) or the identity of the grantmaking staff (e.g., grant managers). In many respects, these groups work on issues that the Council would need to take on if affinity groups did not exist. Importantly, the affinity groups attract members that the Council (and even regional associations) does not. Their collective membership represents a broader “voice.” Explicit strengthening of the relationship between the Council and affinity groups is a way to include diverse voices with greater depth and regularity. The Council’s longtime commitment to diversity in the field has been one of the most difficult issues with which we have grappled. The identity-based affinity groups of the Council are uniquely positioned to join us as partners in achieving our internal diversity goals and fulfilling our overall commitment to diversity in the field. The Council, in partnership with affinity groups, will explore developing long-term diversity strategies that will solidify the Council’s position as a leader in philanthropy on diversity issues. In some cases, the Council may want to partner with one or more affinity groups in order to pursue the agenda set forth in the strategic framework. In other cases, the Council may maintain its current relationship, characterized as neutral on the question of creation and growth yet helpful in providing resources and support. However, the Council may want to consider more explicitly working with and through affinity groups to plan and deliver the programmatic content of conferences. In still other cases, the Council may want to scale back its support and relationship, particularly if the group’s work falls outside the Council’s role, agenda and priorities. Other colleague organizations. The Council on Foundations will look for additional opportunities to work with colleagues in areas such as setting a research agenda, conducting research and development, and delivery of curricula. New Working Relationships Form new working relationships with other philanthropic support organizations, where each contributes its core strengths in complementary ways. _6649ebe9-85e0-457b-8d5b-8cbecc68c346 3.1 864a84f0-0b23-4311-be52-80de23a041c1 cfb85b2f-9d25-4010-9bba-39146824ec56 Regional and Local Service Delivery Test ways to better facilitate regional and local service delivery, networking and identification of emerging trends or issues. _ebe7a02a-be96-4aa0-89bb-85f0335452ae 3.2 f1195e5a-6007-440b-9378-9795d2f470c9 c98b6345-b80d-4dff-9330-cd00f548fa68 Economy and Effectiveness Adjust existing working relationships to ensure that organized philanthropy receives services effectively and economically. _5442b856-8b30-4175-b70a-ad3ecc6dd01e 3.3 ffd1f1ee-75ab-4131-9df5-0ec15717fbce 6436baa3-181b-4f10-b02a-6b15dd15df6a CRITERIA FOR LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE ROLES Center activities and strategies on achieving the results outlined in the specified framework. _2458c2e0-0c4b-4423-867a-ae43dd11d971 4 Council activities and strategies will be centered on achieving the results outlined in this framework. The Council will use the following criteria to assess when it will provide leadership and services. The criteria are consistent with other guidelines provided in this framework and are an integral part of bringing clarity and focus to the use of Council resources. Situations in Which We Will Lead - Fits within our new focus areas for leadership. - Is of importance both in serving our customers and interacting with our audiences. - Calls on our unique strengths and membership base. - Enhances expansion and diversity of organized philanthropy. - Restricts the autonomy or flexibility of organized philanthropy. - Affects the vitality and integrity of the field of organized philanthropy. - Directly affects our primary customers. Circumstances in Which We Will Provide Services - Fits within our new focus areas of leadership. - Is of importance both in serving our customers and interacting with our audiences. - Helps members become leaders in the primary function areas. - Responds to member needs. - Provides incentives for potential members to join. - Prepares for upcoming needs. - Assists others in providing services. - Is of national import. b53511fc-06f7-49de-8ca4-df801ea1303a 3188ba94-78de-4cf7-a2a6-7cb20c666bc5 d92fbdf9-161a-470d-9e03-4525fd41ce01 FINANCIAL VIABILITY Conduct financial analyses before a final decision is made on whether the Council should undertake any activity and if so, on what basis. _34e19331-95f7-4343-802c-2c3c180ba8db 5 Once the above criteria are met, a proposed activity or strategy will require a financial analysis before a final decision is made on whether the Council should undertake the activity and if so, on what basis. This process imposes a discipline on screening attractive ideas and in allocating dues and other revenues in logical categories. In a larger sense, this framework moves the Council in a direction needed to ensure the long-term health of the organization.We will be open to the potential of shifting the Council’s current financial model in order to avoid being overly dependent on dues and special grants for income. 2dc5ffd7-5197-4cdc-aaac-97e32b79e184 3da01b7f-0f78-401b-8ea1-34d41c264746 0d75660c-ab1e-437f-bb55-6d1de840a0aa EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT GOVERNANCE Provide clear direction to the president and chief executive officer. _577dfe2a-c697-46d8-9d13-d20aa0293f07 6 In order to benefit from the flexibility of this strategic framework while maintaining a focus on its desired results, the Council board will provide clear direction to the president and chief executive officer. The board will be engaged in and stand firmly behind the tough decisions called for by this framework. 2be59171-312f-4689-8b74-ffc384256d80 d450601e-1ac0-4812-84de-08e47e84131c 23f9aa27-fd5e-4eb2-b447-d4e267894d3d Oversight and Accountability Exercise ongoing oversight responsibility for the strategic framework and be an active agent in assessing progress or need for adjustments along the way. _1d406537-81d9-433f-a820-a953f86ee9ab 7 The board will have ongoing oversight responsibility for the strategic framework and will be an active agent in assessing progress or need for adjustments along the way. The importance and extent of the changes for the Council on Foundations contained in this strategic framework call for the Council to develop its capacity for assessment and for demonstrating progress toward desired results. The Council will develop feedback loops to spot early indications of what is working well and what is not, and to make adjustments as needed.We anticipate that our assessment mechanisms will involve a mix of qualitative and quantitative information to gauge demonstrable results. THREE CRITICAL RESULT AREAS Based on the Public Value Scorecard model of assessing strategic performance for nonprofit organizations, the Council will monitor not only ultimate results but also the state of the relationships and processes expected to lead to the desired results. We will be gauging results in three areas by gathering data around the progress on the strategic direction in this framework and more detailed accountability indicators based on annual plans. These three areas are the ones we deem necessary to realize our vision for the field of organized philanthropy: A vibrant, growing and responsible philanthropic sector that advances the common good. Operational capacity Assess the Council's operational capacity. _57973df7-e223-4d7f-80c0-41645eac5cf0 7.1 This component is concerned with the mechanisms that convert board policy into results. Assessment will cover the following areas: - Organizational culture - Organizational learning and innovation - Relationships with potential partners - Structure (board and staff) - Alignment of processes and resources to achieve desired results - Stewardship, effectiveness and accountability - Skills/expertise - Technology - Organizational outputs - Processes for assessing end results - Alternative/new revenue streams. f3228f74-7e26-4724-beb0-d82858f4eae9 ec907a20-540f-49d6-b30a-789f573c8f9d Legitimacy and Financial Support Assess the Council's legitimacy and financial support. _1756002e-cc32-4494-819a-e1385e8b2605 7.2 This area focuses attention on the sources that confer legitimacy on the Council and provide its financial resources. Assessment will cover the following areas: - Membership levels - Membership satisfaction - Dues revenue - Funder relations and diversification - Revenue from grants - Revenue from other sources - Relations and reputation with lawmakers and regulators - Relations and reputation with other philanthropic support organizations. ff9b631e-b3a6-473c-9852-026641a88cef edd4d810-7012-495f-a11f-beca16febce7 Social Value Assess the social value of Council activities. _afcda7f4-3eee-46b4-a082-7ec9d18486ec 7.3 This area focuses on dissecting the ultimate value the organization seeks to produce into goals and objectives developed to explicitly state what contribution to the common good the Council’s activities and outputs will make. Assessment will cover the following areas: - Provision of tools to philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to further the common good - Strategic goals - Activities and outputs that create results that contribute to the common good - Alignment among goals, activities, outputs and desired results. 62a1117f-c767-4213-91a7-8e9753c35e3f fe1444d8-6353-408a-93e7-e3d0f80e020b 2005-01-01 2009-12-31 2010-02-08 Arthur Colman ( Submit error.