Council on Foundations – Collaboration and learning in global philanthropy

Despite often cumbersome regulatory and legal issues for US foundations around making grants to NGOs outside the country, global grantmaking continues to be on the rise. To prepare professionals in the field for the expected growth, the Council on Foundations is hosting the Global Grantmaking Institute on 1-2 December to educate foundation staff and trustees about a range of topics on global philanthropy.

These include understanding the legal and regulatory issues, the importance of relationships, collaboration, due diligence, investing in systemic change, disaster relief and response, measuring impact, and learning from evaluation. Places are still available for both members and non-members – see the website for details.

The Global Philanthropy Leadership Initiative (GPLI), a collaboration of the Council on Foundations, the EFC and WINGS, is another opportunity for grantmakers to collaborate and build solutions. Plans are under way for the next major meeting of the GPLI task force, taking place in Johannesburg in November 2011. The major goal of this meeting will be to further discuss and define recommendations for steps philanthropy can take to reduce legal and regulatory barriers to cross-border philanthropy, develop models for collaboration in philanthropy in the global context, and identify key opportunities to engage with policymakers and multilateral organizations. ‘When foundation leaders take time to sit down with their colleagues and flesh out how we could collectively bring our resources to bear on these challenges and move forward – that’s really what the GPLI is about,’ says John Harvey, managing director for global philanthropy at the Council on Foundations.

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