WASHINGTON, DC (July 18, 2017) — United Philanthropy Forum, formerly the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, has unveiled a new name and new visual identity to reflect a transformed organization.
“The Forum is creating a new kind of philanthropic network to lead change and increase impact in philanthropy,” said Forum President & CEO David Biemesderfer. “So we’ve changed our name and identity to more accurately reflect both the new organization that we’ve become today and the aspirations we share for a more united philanthropy field in the future. Our new identity reflects our network’s longtime spirit of generosity, inclusive nature, and passion for the common good.”
For the past 18 years, the Forum has led a vibrant membership network of 33 regional philanthropy‐serving organizations (PSOs) working to advance, inform and support philanthropy. Over the past two years the Forum engaged in a collaborative and iterative visioning process, in full partnership with its national philanthropy partner organizations, to crystallize the Forum’s role in the philanthropy field. As a result, the Forum has implemented a new vision to be the place where philanthropy’s infrastructure comes together, integrating regional PSOs' deep regional roots and connections with national PSOs' deep content knowledge and reach in a more comprehensive and strategic way.
In January 2017, the Forum opened its membership to national PSOs, primarily national issue‐ based, identity‐based and practice‐based philanthropy affinity groups. In just the first six months under this new membership structure, the Forum has nearly doubled its membership, welcoming 27 new member organizations to its network. To date the Forum network is comprised of 60 regional and national PSOs representing more than 7,000 foundations and other philanthropic organizations—making it the largest network serving philanthropy in America.
“The strong initial response to our new vision and membership structure—far exceeding our first‐year goals—demonstrates that we’re on the right track to meet an important need for philanthropy,” said Forum Board Chair Marissa Manlove, President and CEO of Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. “This is a moment in time for philanthropy to step up in new ways, and the Forum is doing its part to maximize philanthropy’s impact in our country.”
The Forum announced its new name and identity at its 2017 Annual Conference, which set new records for participation—30 percent above last year’s record. The event marked the second year in which the conference was open to staff of both regional and national PSOs.
“This new name and identity perfectly fits with the Forum’s new vision, one which aims to create a more united field of philanthropy,” said Kathleen Enright, President and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Co‐Chair of the Vision Design Group that guided the Forum’s visioning work. “Through the new Forum network, regional and national philanthropy groups can work smarter and better together, which is more important than ever. The re‐envisioned Forum will lead to more thoughtful, strategic and comprehensive partnerships among our organizations with the ultimate aim of helping philanthropy be more effective.”
“We’re thrilled to be a member of the new Forum network,” said Forum Board Member Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO of ABFE. “National philanthropy associations like ours now have a network to support our work and our professional development, and to better connect us to all of our colleagues. We’re more powerful together.”
The Forum is supported by dues and additional financial support from its members; and by current general operating and/or project grant support from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Fund for Shared Insight, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Newman's Own Foundation and The Trustees' Philanthropy Fund of Fidelity Charitable.
For more information on the Forum’s new name and identity, please visit www.unitedphilforum.org/newname.