This year’s Council on Foundations Annual Conference, which will take place in Seattle 29 April–1 May, will be the first time the Council has co-hosted a conference with a regional association, Philanthropy Northwest.
The conference will be the culmination of year-long conversations focusing on four specific areas: poverty, public health, the environment and disaster preparedness/response. These topics represent some of the most urgent and intractable challenges confronting society. They also offer a wide array of opportunities for philanthropy to play a transformative role. Each issue will have a dedicated ‘track’ that offers a combination of plenary and concurrent sessions and site visits.
Confirmed speakers for the conference include Melinda Gates (co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Brian Gallagher (President and CEO of United Way) and Dr David Satcher (Surgeon General of the United States). Dr Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, an international health and social justice organization, will deliver the Van Leer Foundation Lecture on International Philanthropy as part of the conference.
Withdrawal of Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines requested
The Council on Foundations has formally requested the US Treasury Department to withdraw the latest version of its Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines and endorse in their place the Principles of International Charity developed by a Council-led working group of US charitable sector organizations, advisory groups and advisers.
While the newest version of the Guidelines does address some of the working group’s previous concerns, it remains troubled chiefly by three things: the Treasury’s insistence that US charities provide a significant source of terrorist financing without providing concrete evidence; the high level of information collection recommended by the Guidelines – while it isn’t clear how it will deter terrorism, it is chilling the environment for international giving; and the fact that the voluntary Guidelines are being referenced by other government agencies as if they had the force of law.