By Chris Cardona
Many thanks to Sean for creating this platform, and to my fellow blog-team members for what is sure to be a stimulating conversation.
This will be a very different experience of the CoF conference for me than in past years. Not only is it looking to be the biggest philanthro-palooza of them all, but before, I was on staff at a philanthropy affinity group, and now I come as representative of a giving circle, the NYC Venture Philanthropy Fund. We’re a group of nonprofit and corporate professionals who support social entrepreneurs in the 5 boroughs of New York City. So my interest in the conference, along with catching up with old friends, will be discussions of giving circles, social entrepreneurship, and the next generation of philanthropic leadership. Something tells me I’m going to have my hands full!
I hope to learn a lot, share VPF’s emerging story, and bring back lots of interesting ideas to my colleagues as we work toward making our first grant this year, which will be to a NYC-based social entrepreneur working on the environment.
VPF is one example of the many non-traditional giving vehicles that have emerged in the past few years, and I’ll have a critical eye open during the conference as to how welcome we are in the halls of “mainstream” philanthropy.
Given that critical ambition, in the spirit of full disclosure (and good manners like my mama taught me) I’ll say thanks to EPIP (my blog-team colleague Rusty’s organization) and the Council for a Next Generation Scholarship—underwritten by the Marguerite Casey Foundation (hi Luz!), the Lumina Foundation for Education, and anonymous donors—that’s allowing me to attend the conference.
Next stop, Maryland!