Ginny's Blog Posts

Why Your Board Chair Needs a Job Description

Posted by Virginia Esposito on February 2, 2017

Successful family foundation board chairs are able to both drive action and manage egos — and are often the difference between a foundation deftly navigating challenging situations and being tripped up by them.

2017: A Landmark Year for Family Philanthropy

Posted by Virginia Esposito on January 5, 2017

The start of a new year always inspires me to reflect on the blessings we’ve enjoyed and challenges we’ve faced together — and to think about the amazing opportunities that lie ahead for our field.

Looking for the Helpers

Posted by Virginia Esposito on September 7, 2016

My moments of reassurance come when a family funder tells me about a grant or project they’ve launched to restore and reinvigorate community. Often, these are efforts to ameliorate suffering but also to get at root circumstances and causes

A change in family dynamics signals a shift away from place-based giving

Posted by Virginia Esposito on July 4, 2016

Today’s philanthropists, however, are likely to be less connected to place. The modern economy is built less on geography and more on technology – and many of those who are earning wealth are doing so in a global marketplace.

5 questions to help you align your giving values and practices

Posted by Virginia Esposito on June 1, 2016

Today, the practice of philanthropy is under continuous review – and not just by our critics or those who look suspiciously at big endowments. Those who want the very best for our field and the greatest impact for our work are also looking beyond why we give to examine the how.

Why the choice to spend down is good for philanthropy

Posted by Virginia Esposito on April 19, 2016

For much of the 20th century, the vast majority of U.S. foundations operated under the idea that they would be in business forever. But as a new generation of family philanthropists take over — and families contemplate just how long forever actually lasts and reflect on the present needs in their communities — a growing number are deciding that they would rather grant their assets during a set period of time than manage their endowments in perpetuity.

Trends, transitions and transformation: A triumph of donor family engagement and learning

Posted by Virginia Esposito on October 28, 2015

Enthusiasm, storytelling and terrific weather were all part of the Seattle setting for NCFP’s National Forum on Family Philanthropy. More than 400 registrants and presenters gathered around current themes in effective family grantmaking. What characterizes this program from any other is the overwhelming percentage of trustees and family members. CEOs and those representing other forms of grantmaking – donor advised funds, social venture groups, family office giving and more – fill out the rest of the hallways with colleague to colleague conversations.

Grace, Gratitude and Generosity

Posted by Virginia Esposito on September 24, 2015

One of my favorite NCFP publication titles, Grace, Gratitude and Generosity, was used for our Faith and Family Philanthropy journal more than a dozen years ago. When we used it, inspired by one of the Journal’s authors, I felt it had meaning far beyond that one publication; I still do today.

Tips for philanthropic growth: Children, not dollars!

Posted by Virginia Esposito on June 26, 2015

For more than 30 years, I’ve been talking with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles about bringing up healthy, happy, productive children in a philanthropic family. What I’ve come away with – and continue to share with others – are five keys. At the risk of over-simplifying a complex responsibility, I offer the lessons I’ve learned.

Generosity of spirit: Fellowships inspire a new generation of leaders

Posted by Virginia Esposito on May 27, 2015

A few months ago, I was speaking with a small group about those who had made a difference in our careers and influenced our love of philanthropy. It doesn’t take much for me to gratefully recount all the incredible leaders who took time to support me and, in so doing, made a powerful difference not only in the trajectory of my career but in my life. Someone wondered if we still have those leaders in the field today. Oh yes, I assured them, I meet them all the time.

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