April 24, 2010

Philanthropy's Recession Is Over, Grant-Making Leader Says

Speaking at an event for young grant makers a day before the official start of the Council on Foundations conference tomorrow, Steve Gunderson, president of the council, urged young foundation executives to help their organizations prepare now for the economic recovery.

In remarks he said he will echo tomorrow, Mr. Gunderson said if there's one thing that keeps him up at night, it's a fear that "we'll fail to prepare for what will be-and I really believe this-the incredible opportunities for growth."

Mr. Gunderson noted the stock market's recovery and legislative changes he expects Congress will make to encourage giving, such as approving a permanent estate tax. 

He said the young foundation executives in the room were not really "next-generation" grant makers anymore; they were the "now generation of grant makers." "The future is really now," he said.

Mr. Gunderson said he expects about 1,300 people at this year's annual conference. As of Tuesday, 1,092 people had registered, compared with 968 last year.