Council on Foundations 2013 Annual Conference



The Council on Foundations 2013 Annual Conference was held in Chicago on April 7-9.  Here are some my favorites resources coming out of the conference:

The Opening Plenary, A National Philanthropic Dialogue on Safe and Healthy Communities, was accompanied by the following Session Materials: The History of Violence as a Public Health Issue from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The session Coalition Building and Collaboration  examined the role of foundations in building coalitions and fostering collaboration in communities. See Early Learning Challenge Collaborative Presentation Slides.

Monday's Breakfast Plenary, Food Justice: An Issue for All, sparked an array of tweets emphasizing that food justice is social justice. "Our food system is based on exploitation of land and labor" – LaDonna Redmond. See Promoting Sustainable Food Systems Through Impact Investing.

One of my favorite speakers Emmett Carson spoke at the session Major Social Justice Issues of the Day: How Can Philanthropy be a Leader in Tackling Them? Carson instructed attendees to examine their mission and vision statements and see that they're all social change organizations. He also stated we need to get past the language; social justice is about systemic fairness, equity, opportunity and access. Community foundations can provide social justice leadership and raise funds.

Tuesday's Breakfast Plenary, Risk Taking, featured the Case Foundation's What it Means to Be Fearless video. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, emphasized that the question isn't whether to take the risk, it's in managing the risk. Due diligence on the front-end and real-time monitoring are the keys. Rodin also noted that the risk is not about losing the money, it's about not realizing the potential. Also, foundations should aspire for a balanced portfolio; everthing can't be risky.

The Conference's Closing Lunch Plenary – Activist Philanthropy: Challenging the Status-Quo—Change the Questions, Change the World – featured a panel including Paul Farmer, Chief Strategist and Cofounder, Partners In Health, and Eve Ensler, Founder , V-Day Foundation. While you consider that 1 out of 3 women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, check out the One Billion Rising livestream.

Some favorite tweets and blogs from the Conference:

Every $1 invested in civic engagement & policy provides a return of $115 in community benefits: [@urbandata]

Learning: The “Third Heat” of Impact Investing—and All Grantmaking? #impinv #COF13 @chriscardona [@COF_]

Gov Pat Quinn @COF_ annual conference announces IL Social Impact Bond prgm to bring effective programs to scale; improve innovation [@COF_]

"Risk tolerance and embracing failure requires a long term view." Kelly Ryan, @incourageCF [@msmithDC]

Why Journalism Matters to PhilanthropyRick Cohen

Why Should Foundations Communicate? Make Your Mission ViralRegan Gruber Moffitt

Dispatch From the Frontlines: Council on Foundations' 2013 Annual ConferenceMichael Seltzer

Media Policy: think globally, act locally – Knight Foundation