Rob Collier is President & CEO of the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF), a nonprofit membership association of more than 330 community foundations and private family, independent and corporate foundations and corporate giving programs with a shared mission to grow the impact of Michigan philanthropy. When he’s not traveling between CMF’s offices in Grand Haven and Detroit, you can likely find Rob at Michigan’s capital in Lansing or in Washington D.C., where he works tirelessly to build relationships with legislators and advocates for philanthropy.
Rob has worked in the philanthropic field for 38 years. The growth and impact of philanthropy during this time are truly remarkable. He’s experienced big-name private foundations coming on the scene (think Gates Foundation), he’s been part of the global explosion of community foundations, and he’s seen first-hand the positive impact of public-private partnerships.
In this episode, Rob shares nine trends he’s observed in philanthropy over his tenure. Giving circles, donor advised funds and impact investing…it’s all here. Rob leaves us with a few of his recommendations for the future of philanthropy.
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Rob’s path to philanthropy (2:39)
- A day in the life (7:25)
- The explosion of philanthropy in the 90’s (13:00)
- Public policy: Charitable tax credit first in Michigan (16:55)
- Public-private partnerships (18:04)
- Development of donor advised funds(22:21)
- Impact investing (26:16)
- Giving circles(28:36)
- Online giving continues to rise (30:50)
- A look into the future (32:39)
- Some favorite resources (40:29)
- Bonus question (42:32)
Rob Collier has served as President of the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) since 2000, however has been involved with CMF as a volunteer throughout his career in philanthropy, which includes: founding director of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, Executive Director of Rotary Charities of Traverse City, Grants Director of the Gannett Foundation and Program Officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. His 38 years of experience covers every type of organized philanthropy and help to Michiganders in creating family and corporate foundations as well as many donor advised funds at community foundations.
Rob continues to be involved in leadership positions with state and national organizations that serve the charitable nonprofit sector and philanthropy, such as being a Board Member for the Michigan Nonprofit Association and a member of the Public Policy Committees for the Council on Foundations and the United Philanthropy Forum.
Rob serves on many special task forces and Boards and has received appointments by the Governor to the Michigan Community Service Commission and the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from Central Michigan University and came to Michigan as a VISTA Volunteer having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Hobart College.
Notable & Quotable:
Every American can be a philanthropist. —Rob Collier #successfulgenerations #philanthropy #CMF
In the 1990s we saw philanthropy grow from 30,000 foundations in America to over 80,000 foundations. —Rob Collier #successfulgenerations #philanthropy #CMF
Michigan philanthropy gives away $1.6 billion in grantmaking dollars a year. —Rob Collier #successfulgenerations #philanthropy #CMF
Donor Advised Funds have become the coolest giving tool—easy, flexible, high impact, low overhead, recognition and quick setup. —Rob Collier #successfulgenerations #philanthropy #CMF
We see a lot of 20 and 30-somethings saying we don’t want a donor advised fund yet, but we want to be involved with our friends, peers, associates in business, or our neighbors to make an impact. —Rob Collier #successfulgenerations #philanthropy #CMF
A balancing act for philanthropy now is to use technology wisely but be sure we don’t lose that sense of community that’s so special about giving. —Rob Collier #successfulgenerations #philanthropy #CMF
Philanthropy and civility are a muscular public practice. —Rob Collier #successfulgenerations #philanthropy #CMF
I focus on being an effective listener. Listening is not just being quiet, but also being present. —Rob Collier #successfulgenerations #philanthropy #CMF
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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