Building bridges: COF leader Vikki Spruill meets with local foundation heads

By Tamara Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Yesterday, CEOs from WRAG member organizations gathered to meet with Vikki Spruill, the new president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.

Even though the Council is housed right across the river in Crystal City, this was the first time that anyone could remember when the leader of the national voice for philanthropy had formally met with local philanthropic leaders here in metropolitan Washington. While Vikki shared a lot about her plans for the organization, much of her focus can be distilled into two points.

First, she will be shifting the Council from what she characterized as a transaction-based organization to a relationship based one. Second, a new equation will constitute the core belief of the Council: relevance + networking + speed + member stewardship = greater impact.

WRAG member CEOs were glad to have the opportunity to meet with Vikki in an informal setting in which they could connect with her personally and share their ideas on what might contribute to a stronger voice at the national level and a more connected local-national partnership.

This was the second in WRAG’s Coffee and Conversation series for CEOs following an inaugural event last month with former D.C. mayor and current CEO and executive director of the Federal City Council Anthony Williams. These gatherings are designed to build a stronger sense of community among funder CEOs, give them a venue to share knowledge with each other, and an opportunity to meet with key community leaders.

And, they’re just one way in which WRAG is working toward its mission to promote increased, effective, and responsible philanthropy to improve the health and vitality of our region.