Blog Archives

Council on Foundations Summit Recap

Posted May 12, 2008 10:36 AM by Dylan Miyake

I recently returned from the new National Harbor development and the Council on Foundations annual summit in Washington, DC. It was a great opportunity for me to learn more about issues facing community, family, and corporate foundations and to hear from leaders in the field on key strategic problems.

One of the key takeaways for me was the clear and evident need for foundations to embrace performance management systems to address the growing call for transparency and responsibility in the non-profit space.

Phil Buchanan, the president and CEO of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, gave a very good session on the importance of strategy for foundations and highlighted how few foundations are actually pursing strategy, let alone strategic management or measurement.

Kathleen Enright (of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations) shared the stage with Phil Buchanan in another presentation and eloquently made the case that knowledge management and evaluation (both keys, in my opinion, to the success of the Balanced Scorecard) are critical focus areas for foundations.

A pleasant surprise at the event was the level of dialog about strategy -- even though the problems was not yet solved (or even acknowledged at all levels), there were a great number of foundation leaders and program officers who were really trying to implement strategy and measure results.

We look forward to attending future COF events and are now looking forward to creating our first "Mission Focused" Balanced Scorecard conference, where we can bring many of these speakers together and focus the conversation on the Balanced Scorecard.