The Center for Effective Philanthropy recently released “Shifting Winds: Foundations Respond to a New Political Context,” survey results from 162 foundation CEO’s across the country on their reactions and responses to the recent shift in national political context.
The data shows that 48 percent of foundation CEOs believe the change in presidential administration will have a negative effect on their ability to achieve their goals — while 24 percent say they anticipate a mix of positive and negative effects, and 17 percent say it is too soon to tell. Additionally, almost three-quarters of foundation CEOs responding to the survey report making, or planning to make, some change in their work as a result of last year’s election, and about two-thirds of CEOs report planning to increase their emphasis on at least one practice in response (the most frequently cited being collaborating with other funders, advocacy/public policy at the state and/or local level, and convening grantees).
Phil Buchanan, CEP president and co-author of the report, presented the findings during his plenary presentation at the 2017 CEP Conference earlier this month in Boston, which you can watch here. Buchanan also introduced and contextualized the study in a post on the CEP blog, and the report’s findings were covered earlier this week in a piece in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Exponent Philanthropy, a network of small foundations, conducted a survey of 324 small foundations and found that more than three-quarters of them expect philanthropy to play a more important role in society given the changes in Washington.
Those changes, Exponent said in a statement, include an “aggressive congressional agenda, the potential for sweeping policy changes, and the unconventional style of the new administration…This administration is a disaster for essentially every aspect of our agenda, but the very egregiousness of its behavior is laying the basis for a new social movement…This is a very different transition,” said Henry Berman, Exponent’s chief executive. “It’s not business as usual.”
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Mr. Berman said that some grant makers planned to increase their giving because they saw the government receding from spending and policies that support their missions. Others, anticipating a surge in financial markets under President Trump, planned to use increased earnings from their endowments to distribute more money to causes where they believe the federal government should limit its involvement.