Council On Foundations – Navigating changing seas of global philanthropy

Global philanthropy continues to expand amid an uncertain economy, devastating natural disasters and political upheaval. At the Council on Foundations Annual Conference in April, attendees showed increasing interest in the engagement and potential impact of US foundations on a global scale. Recent developments at the Council will help our sector navigate the changing seas of global philanthropy.

New leadership

John Harvey has joined the Council as managing director of our global philanthropy programme. The former executive director of Grantmakers Without Borders brings more than 15 years of experience in philanthropy, and will oversee efforts like the Global Philanthropy Leadership Initiative.

The new chair of the Council’s Global Philanthropy Committee is David Etzwiler. He was also chair of the Corporate Grantmaking Committee, which has made addressing the challenges of international grantmaking one of its top priorities. The Council is seeing similar interest from our family and community foundation members.

Global Grantmaking Institute
A new focus of our global programme is the Global Grantmaking Institute, which kicks off 1–2 December 2011 at our headquarters in Arlington, Va. Designed by experts in the field, the intensive course will provide an in-depth understanding of the opportunities and challenges in global philanthropy. The Institute will explore investment strategies, legal and regulatory requirements, collaboration and evaluation. From microfinance and sustainable agriculture to disaster relief and improving education, the Institute will cover the important topics facing the field – and help participants to chart a successful course in global philanthropy.

For many years, the Council has worked with global partners like the EFC and WINGS on global grantmaking issues. We have also worked to address challenges to international giving such as the US Patriot Act and the equivalency determinations for non-US NGOs. This work lifts up the legal, regulatory and government relations work of our organizations, and enables us to more effectively find philanthropic solutions to some of the most pressing social and economic issues in the world today.

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