What Have You Failed at Lately? Please Share it with Me!
As a young program director at the Council on Foundations (some years ago!), my bosses determined I needed less of a direct supervisor and more of a mentor. Pairing 20-something eager staff members with the wisdom and encouragement of a “senior consultant” was nothing short of genius. Not only were the results terrific for the Council, I had an experience that was nothing short of life changing. Because I was responsible for grantmaker education, my senior consultant was Paul Ylvisaker, distinguished educator, former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, preeminent foundation staff person and a trustee of every kind of grantmaking foundation – in this country and beyond. I was in awe and stunningly grateful. Like a good philanthropic groupie, I soaked up every story, anecdote, memory, and experience he was inclined to share. Candidly, I was almost as thrilled to listen as he was to have a rapt pupil. Continue reading…
A Study in Spend Down: The Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation Creates an Enduring Legacy by Effecting Community Change
This month’s Family Giving News feature article is excerpted from the newly released Passages Issue Brief detailing the story of the Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation, whose third generation board members made the strategic decision to spend down with assets of approximately $25 million. The ISMF story is different from many spend down stories in two important ways: First, the decision to spend down had not been suggested or implied by previous generation donors Nettie Sweeney Miller, Clementine Miller Tangeman, J. Irwin Miller, and Xenia Miller. Second, the decision was driven by the possibility of making a significant difference in Columbus, Indiana, the family’s historic community, even though only one of the six current generation families still lived there. Continue reading…
The National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) has elected Katherine Lorenz, President of the Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation of Texas, as a director of the organization and has announced new officers to lead the organization.
The new Board Chair is Kathleen Odne, Executive Director of the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation of Walnut Creek, CA. Claire Costello, National Philanthropic Practice Executive with US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, will serve as Vice Chair. Bruce Maza, Executive Director of the C.E. & S. Foundation of Louisville, KY will serve as Secretary and Kimberly Myers Hewlett, of the Flora Family Foundation and the Myers Family Foundation, will be Treasurer. Continue reading…
NATIONAL FORUM ON FAMILY PHILANTHROPY
Ira Hirschfield of Haas, Jr. Fund to Lead Discussion on Taking on Big and Risky Ideas
Transformation seldom occurs without risk. Learn from the experiences of Ira Hirschfield, President of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, as he describes the fund’s long and successful battle to improve opportunities for gay-marriage and the gay rights movement. From their considered values and mission to their collective reputation and business interests, we will discuss the Haas family’s experiences and be inspired by the impact they have helped catalyze on major social issues. “If we pause for a moment and reflect on where we are, the fund’s roots and mission are very much the same,” said Ira in a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. “Our mission is fairness, equality and opportunity. You see that expressed in everything we do.” Join Ira and other leaders in family philanthropy for a wide-ranging discussion on risk, return, and rewards in family philanthropy at the National Forum on Family Philanthropy on May 7-9 in Cambridge, MA.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
“Our trustees believe that you take on big challenges -
and that you are in for the long haul.”
San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, October 25th
DECEMBER 12th WEBINAR
Adaptive Philanthropy: Giving that Gets Results
Most families engaged in shared philanthropy aspire to change the world – that’s why you commit your time, energy, and focus to this important work. But many families don’t feel they have appropriate behaviors and tools to maximize the impact of their giving – situations change rapidly, and new challenges are always on the horizon. Adaptive philanthropy requires a wholesale shift in thinking and doing. Adaptive philanthropists seek to stay true to a strategic direction while remaining aware of their external environments, flexibly responding to uncertain economic and political situations, measuring results, and adapting their philanthropy based on the latest available data. Join us for this exciting conversation with Jeffrey Solomon, President of The Andrea & Charles Bronfman Philanthropies; Rachel Monroe, President of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; and Bridgespan Group Partner Susan Ditkoff as we explore the experiences of family foundation leaders that have embraced the adaptive philanthropy approach. Continue reading…
The question is quite timely, given increasing community needs. The Nonprofit Finance Fund’s nationwide research found that in 2012, for the first time in the history of that organization’s surveys, a majority of nonprofits reported that they could not meet the increased demands for their services. And that was before the first round of sequestration cuts and the recent federal shutdown shifted more burdens onto nonprofits and thereby foundations. Continue reading…
VOICES FROM THE FIELD:
Implicit Bias Affects All of Us in Philanthropy
Historically, only a small percentage of philanthropic dollars goes to communities of color, goes to organizations led by people of color, or comes from people of color. For many people, the word ‘philanthropist’ itself conjures up images of elderly white gentlemen in business suits. Has this changed much in today’s society which some would call ‘post-racial’? This and similar questions were discussed during the November 5th workshop on ‘Implicit Bias’ held in Cambridge MA by The Proteus Fund, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute on Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. Continue reading…
VOICES FROM THE FIELD
Family Philanthropy and Impact Investing
The field of mission-related investing or broadly termed ‘impact investing’ continues to build momentum as investment opportunities span multiple asset classes, infrastructure improvements promote transparency, and social entrepreneurs are building sustainable, scalable companies. To date, industry growth has been driven largely by institutional investors such as public sector pension funds, banks, and private foundations. We are now seeing a growing movement by families who seek to realize their core values, and effect societal change, through their family assets. A recent paper published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper Series, “The New Family Philanthropy: Investing for Social and Environmental Change” co-authored by Lisa A. Hagerman and Daniel W. Geballe, discusses the appetite of family foundations and family offices in impact investing. Continue reading…
Greater Worcester Community Foundation – Igniting the Spark: Resources for Building Next Gen Leadership
The National Center for Family Philanthropy and Youth Philanthropy Connect, a program of the Frieda C. Fox Foundation, have teamed up on the release of our latest Passages Issue Brief entitled, “Igniting the Spark: Creating Effective Next Generation Boards.” As a supplement to “Igniting the Spark,” we have also developed a series of case studies of youth engagement strategies being used by multi-generational family foundations as well as community foundations involved in the YPC network. This month we feature strategies and lessons learned from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. Continue reading…
CONVERSATIONS WITH REMARKABLE GIVERS
Giving While Living – Carolyn and Peter Lynch
The National Center is delighted to partner in 2013 with the Bridgespan Group to share videos from its Conversations with Remarkable Givers series. In this month’s installment, we feature Bridgespan’s interview with Carolyn and Peter Lynch, co-founders of The Lynch Foundation. Under Peter Lynch, Fidelity Investments’ then-obscure Magellan Fund rose from $18 million in assets in 1977 to $14 billion by 1990, when he stepped down as manager. Average return: 29.2%. Peter and Carolyn Lynch have sought similarly outsized results from their philanthropic dollars. Using Peter’s famous dictum of “invest in what you know” – the Lynches fund startup organizations that have potential to create “dramatic change in the world.” Carolyn notes, “Peter and I are willing to take a risk. We don’t have all hundred-baggers…Sometimes they just don’t work. But when they do it’s a really exciting payoff.” Continue reading…
News and Notes from NCFP’s Friends of the Family Network
Friends Focus is a special feature of Family Giving News that highlights members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work with family foundations and advised funds. This month’s edition of Friends Focus features updates from the Weaver Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Continue reading…
FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY AND LEADERSHIP CIRCLE MEMBERS
Thanks for Your Support!
We offer special thanks to our Friends of the Family and Leadership Circle funders who support and sustain the work of the National Center. Our Leadership Circle recognizes a special group of our most generous supporters. Our Friends offer continuing support for our work addressing emerging challenges in the field, researching new and evolving philanthropic issues, and ensuring that future generations of donor families continue to have access to the best possible resources for sound decision-making in their work. See the complete list…
THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR
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IN THE FIELD
Upcoming Events for Family Philanthropy
Featured events include the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations National Conference, the National Forum for Family Philanthropy, and the Joint Affinity Groups Unity Summit, among many others.
Current Openings in Family Philanthropy
We are pleased to provide our new Family Philanthropy Job Board as a benefit to members of our Friends of the Family network, our other family philanthropy colleagues in the field, and the many talented individuals seeking new employment opportunities. If you are a member of the National Center’s Friends of the Family program and would like to post a position announcement on the Family Philanthropy Job Board, please email a .pdf of your job description to email@example.com.
TOP TEN TWEETS
The Best of NCFP’s @familygiving Twitter Feed
Can’t get enough of FGN or looking for a past article that someone told you about? See a List of Past Issues of Family Giving News here.