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Funder Collaboration: It’s Not Always What You Think

At Common Counsel Foundation, we support, advise and manage donor advised funds and family foundations. It’s clear that an individual funder (and a small-staffed one no less!) won’t solve the world’s intractable problems alone. In fact, it will take a whole network of funders at the same table if we want to make progress. As... Read More

Thinking Critically While Investing Responsibly

Responsible investing is at the heart of how philanthropy can further systemic changes needed in our economy, society and environment. Forward-thinking foundations and families have invested this way for years, but it’s becoming more mainstream.  A growing number of philanthropic organizations and individuals see investments as a way to expand impact beyond grantmaking. Mirror the... Read More

Beyond Governance: Training Foundation Board Members for Leadership

This article was originally published in the July/August 2021 issue of Taxation of Exempts, a Thomson Reuters journal. In the philanthropy and nonprofit field, training and development for boards of directors has traditionally focused on basic, fundamental roles and responsibilities. Common topics include: the duties of board members; legal compliance; providing strategic direction; hiring and... Read More

Foundation’s DEI Progress Reflects Its Place-Based Grantmaking

This post originally appeared as a GMA Foundations case study. The Theodore Edson Parker Foundation has a history of prioritizing its commitment to underserved groups in Lowell, Massachusetts, the city in which the foundation was established in 1944. But in order to really effect change and to more closely reflect an evolving and increasingly diverse... Read More

Spring Cleaning Your Investment Portfolio

It’s that time of year again—the days are getting warmer, daffodils and tulips in bloom, and for many, a bit of spring cleaning. Now, have you considered the same for your investment portfolio? This ten step checklist can help: 1. Has the organization’s risk tolerance changed? Think about the time horizon of your organization, an... Read More

Investment Management Oversight: Preparing To Invest for Impact

For many years, small-staffed foundations have been at the heart of the impact investing movement, joining with, and at times leading, larger philanthropies. Small-staffed foundations tend to be more agile than their larger, staffed counterparts; they often have more knowledge on needs in certain issue areas and geographies; they’re better positioned to deploy a greater... Read More