FRIENDS FOCUS: News and Notes from the National Center’s Friends of the Family Network (August 2012)


Friends Focus is a special feature of Family Giving News highlighting brief updates and announcements on the cutting edge work of family foundations and advised funds that are members of our Friends of the Family network. Are you a current Friend of the National Center and have an update you’d like to share with Family Giving News readers? Email us. Interested in learning more about Friends of the Family? Go here.

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund gives fruits and vegetables flavor! They developed a recipe book in partnership with another foundation and the New York City Department of Health’s Green Cart Initiative to go along with the fresh local produce the carts sell.  The green carts can be found on street corners all over New York City providing a healthy and convenient food option to New Yorkers. This new book has 20 tasty recipes (some from celebrity chefs) to encourage more people to add more fruits and vegetables to their diets. Read more…

The Rasmuson Foundation celebrates the life of Mary Louise Rasmuson, an Alaska philanthropist & armed services pioneer who died at age 101. “Mrs. Rasmuson spent her life breaking barriers, challenging conventions, and seeking to improve opportunities for those around her. She was a trailblazer for women and left her mark across the country and the state of Alaska through her leadership, philanthropy, and the family foundation that she helped lead with her late husband Elmer.  We are fortunate to have had Mary Louise in our family,” said Ed Rasmuson, step-son and chairman of Rasmuson Foundation. “We are also fortunate that she loved Alaska.” Read the press release…

The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund is addressing the question “How can foundations help build movements for opportunity and social change… and win?” An innovative partnership of 10 foundations working in four California counties to increase civic participation in communities of color and among low-income populations. A case study on the effort explores what’s unique about this funder collaborative aimed at collective impact, what it’s accomplished so far, and where it’s going. Read the Full Case Study…

Friends of the Family and FP Online Subscribers can also check out what has been successful for other family foundations in this month’s webinar on Advocacy and Family Giving: Leveraging Limited Dollars for Impact now in the knowledge center.

The Surdna Foundation is expanding its program team! They are seeking three new Program Officers to join the Foundation. Created by John E. Andrus in 1917, the Surdna Foundation is a family foundation based in Manhattan. The Foundation seeks to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States – communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy and sustainable environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Read more…

Helen Bader Foundation Funds $1.1 Million in Grants in New Approach to Address Jobs for Milwaukee.
The Helen Bader Foundation has announced grants totaling $1,147,500 to 24 local workforce development projects. These funds are intended to advance collaborative models of successful workforce development for Milwaukee’s diverse population of unemployed. “We not only want to get people back to work as soon as possible, but we also want to make sure that our efforts are sustainable for the long-term,” said Dan Bader, president of the foundation and son of the foundation’s namesake.  Read more…

The Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, Tarsaida Foundation, The Lumpkin Family Foundation & The National Center all supported the 2nd annual Youth Philanthropy Connect Conference this summer in Disneyland. This was a unique opportunity to educate youth (8-24) serving on nonprofit junior, alumnae, or advisory boards in a meaningful way about their role in philanthropy. Said one 15- year-old participant: “Attending this conference was one of the most insightful experiences that I’ve had in my life. Being in a space with so many energetic, young philanthropists was amazing, and we gave each other perspective on things I hadn’t reflected on before.” Read a complete wrap-up of the event from National Center consultant Susan Price, and  find more testimonials here.

The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation has hired a new executive director. David A. Jackson will begin in November 2012 as Gayle Williams departs after 19 years at the helm.  Kathy Babcock, the current board chair, said in her letter to the field “we think David’s more than 25 years of leadership experience in workforce development, affordable housing and community economic development spanning government, philanthropic and non-profit sectors make him the ideal candidate to step into the Babcock Foundation Executive Director role.  His enthusiasm and commitment to learning and listening matches an existing staff and board culture around learning and listening to our partners.  We are excited about what the future holds for our collective work together.”

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