Engagement Norms and Usage Guidelines

Engagement Norms and Usage Guidelines (scroll down to accept)



Thank you for being part of the Philanthropy Exchange, a peer-to-peer community exclusively for Council on Foundations members and invited guests. The Philanthropy Exchange is a great platform from which to seek the advice of your peers, benefit from their experience and resources, and participate in ongoing conversations. 


The Council on Foundations is committed to providing a robust, engaging, friendly, and safe peer-to-peer experience for all. The value of the Philanthropy Exchange leans on the value of our large community and the insights, learnings and resources shared among peers 

To create the most conducive environment for such engagement to flourish, we have four “norms of engagement”: 

Sharing: Come ready to share what you know, what you’ve tried, what’s worked and what has not. Seek to learn from others’ perspectives and experiences. Embrace that we all come from different contexts and communities, and we can all learn from others.  

Understanding: We are learning and growing together. Ask for and extend grace. Be deeply appreciative of others’ help, and do not hesitate to seek support. With that being said, do not attack or challenge others in a disparaging manner. Remember that discussions and comments are meant to stimulate conversation, not create undue contention.  

RespectThe Philanthropy Exchange is a support network, not a marketing platform. Please refrain from posting commercial messages for any product or service that you, a family member, or friend are trying to promote. Do not post any defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, discriminatory, or illegal materials or comments. Do not post any material that is protected by copyright without written permission of the copyright owner.    

Friendliness and Inclusivity: Do your best to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. Be mindful of what you saysharedo in the space.    


The Council on Foundations reserves the right to deactivate aaccount at any time, at its sole discretion, if it concludes that any of the rules have been violated by that individual. We also reserve the right to reject any message if it goes against our community norms or is flagged as inappropriate. We understand that people make mistakes, and we would prefer not to ban someone from the Community for minor violations, so we’ve adopted the following enforcement policy: 

  • First Violation: A warning email will be sent. 
  • Second Violation: You will be advised that all your postings for the next 30 days will be monitored for compliance with these rules. You will also be advised that any further violations will lead to removal from the Community.  
  • Third Violation: You will be removed from the Community indefinitely. Reinstatement will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 


  • Include a signature tag on all messages with your name, affiliation, and location. 
  • State concisely and clearly the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject. 
  • "Reply to Discussion" when your post contains information that everyone can benefit from. 
  • "Reply to Sender" for messages such as "Thanks for the information" or "Me, too" or other messages intended only for one individual. 
  • You have control over your administrative settings and can change or add to your community subscription at any time by going to “My Account”. If you email address changes, simple make the update in your settings 
  • When you post a message, please disclose any relationship that you or a family member might have that could reasonably be seen as influencing the objectivity or impartiality of your post. 


This site is provided as a service for Council on Foundations members and invited guests, however we are not responsible for the opinions and information posted on this site by others. In no event shall the Council on Foundations be liable for any damages resulting from any post on the Community. 

We hope that members and invited guests will use this Community to facilitate discussion and connection with peers, and we welcome any questions that you have.  Enjoy the Community! 

If you have questions about our engagement norms and guidelines, please contact membership@cof.org. 

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