What is the role of philanthropy in building and advancing social change?  Over the past several months, PFF’s team has been engaging in dialogue, panels, conferences and learning sessions exploring themes of transparency, trust, advocacy, and disruptive leadership.  Read through some of our highlights below:
What is the relationship between power and transparency?  Hear reflections from PFF President Laura McCargar and other members of the National Center for Philanthropy as they discuss Privacy, Purpose and the Public Trust: Finding a Balance

PFF Program Officer Amarilis Pullen wrote a blog post, “Dancing with Philathro-friends: Reflections on GEO’s 2018 National Conference by Amarilis Pullen” for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO). The piece served as a point of connection and direction for the staff team during their time in San Francisco, with the fostering of genuine relationships as one of the many goals set for the convening.


PFF Board Chair Sheila Perrin and President Laura McCargar led sessions at CCP’s 2018 Conference. The session “Lending & Leveraging Leadership Beyond Traditional Grantmaking” focused on “the ways foundations are working toward their goals and leaning into their mission beyond traditional grantmaking, including mission-related investing, public policy advocacy, and bolder communications”. Sheila Perrin spoke about challenging traditionally-held norms around philanthropic silence and neutrality through the series of public statements the Foundation has released, and the importance of institutions speaking up at critical moments. In “Disruption in the Public Square” Laura McCargar, along with funder colleagues from The Graustein Memorial Fund, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and grantee partners Hearing Youth Voices and Connecticut Students for a Dream, discussed the importance of direct action organizing and funding movements for change.


PFF President Laura McCargar participated in the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Advocacy Day. On the importance of utilizing philanthropic voice and power, Laura spoke on the necessity of foundations to use advocacy as one tool of many in authentically and effectively supporting the work of grantee partners.


Program Officer Amarilis Pullen hosted a CCP Program Officer Network session titled, “What’s Trust Got to Do With It: A Framework for Incorporating Trust and Transparency into Your Philanthropic Practices”. With The Whitman Institute’s Pia Infante as a guest speaker, the meeting explored The Institute’s principle of Trust-Based Philanthropy, a principle meant to strengthen philanthropic effectiveness in its efforts to support the field by encouraging funders to build “relationships from a place of trust, rather than suspicion”.