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Overview

The National Center for Family Philanthropy is the only nonprofit resource dedicated exclusively to families who give and those that work with them. NCFP provides research, expertise and learning opportunities to inspire our national network of giving families every step of the way on their philanthropic journey. Families learn how to transform their values into effective giving to achieve a positive and enduring impact on the communities they serve.

To discover the importance of family philanthropy in today’s world, check out our list of Important Accomplishments in Family Philanthropy and our slide show, The Value of Family Philanthropy below. We work with a broad range of individuals and institutions—find your fit in the categories below and follow the links to learn more about the programs and services we offer.

Examples of important accomplishments in family philanthropy

YELLOW FEVER VACCINE

The Rockefeller Foundation’s researchers developed the first successful vaccine for yellow fever in 1938.

YELLOW FEVER VACCINE
FREEZE-RESISTANT GRAPEFRUIT

On Christmas Eve, 1983, a devastating freeze destroyed over half of the citrus crop in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Nearly 8,000 agricultural jobs were eliminated from the region, which prompted The Meadows Foundation to support research to develop a better tasting, more freeze-resistant grapefruit. By 1987, the first commercial crops of the new fruit were harvested, and the grapefruit industry was saved.

FREEZE-RESISTANT GRAPEFRUIT
HUMANITARIAN HEROS

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awards the $1.5 million Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to alleviate human suffering. Created in 1996, the Prize helps recognize and advance the efforts of the recipient organizations, and calls attention to the worldwide need for humanitarian aid and support.

HUMANITARIAN HEROS
SOLAR-POWERED TOILETS

Through its Reinventing the Toilet Challenge, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is working to develop and deploy innovative and affordable technologies that can radically improve sanitation in the developing world, particularly in densely populated urban areas. The foundation has funded research to develop waterless, hygienic toilets that do not require a sewer connection or electricity, and cost less than five cents per user per day.

SOLAR-POWERED TOILETS
ADVANCING EQUAL RIGHTS

The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund is a leading supporter of gay and lesbian equality. In 2001, the Haas, Jr. Fund became the first foundation to support the freedom to marry. Since the launch of the Gay & Lesbian Rights program, the Haas, Jr. Fund has made grants totaling more than $60 million to support equality for gay people.

ADVANCING EQUAL RIGHTS
ROCKET SCIENCE

What do the moon landing and modern satellite communications have in common? Both were "launched" by physicist Robert H. Goddard and the Guggenheim family. Goddard’s early rocket launches caught the attention of the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, which funded his pioneering work for more than a decade.

ROCKET SCIENCE
POLIO VACCINE

In 1948, Jonas Salk’s research laboratory was established and equipped with a grant from the Sarah Scaife Foundation. He developed the polio vaccine in 1953 and saved many lives.

POLIO VACCINE
HIGHWAY SAFETY

In the 1950s, Dr. John V. N. Dorr noticed that drivers followed the white lines in the middle of the highway when driving at night or in rain or fog. Dorr believed this increased the risk of accidents and suggested painting lines on highway shoulders as well. Thanks to the publicity efforts of the Dorr Foundation, those lifesaving lines are a part of every major highway in America.

HIGHWAY SAFETY
PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Between 1883 and 1929, Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie funded the construction of more than 2,500 Carnegie libraries. Nearly all of Carnegie's libraries were built according to "The Carnegie Formula," which required financial commitments from the town that received the donation.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES
THE GREEN REVOLUTION

In the 1960s, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation established research centers that developed new varieties of wheat and rice, which improved food production in the developing world, helped end hunger and incited the so-called Green Revolution.

THE GREEN REVOLUTION
HOSPICE

In the 1970s, support from family foundations like the Van Ameringen Foundation spurred the hospice movement and revolutionized the comfort and care of terminally ill patients.

HOSPICE
GUINEA WORM ERADICATION

Since 1986 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter have led the international campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease through The Carter Center which  works closely with ministries of health and local communities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and many others. Guinea worm disease is set to become the second human disease in history, after smallpox, to be eradicated. It will be the first parasitic disease to be eradicated and the first disease to be eradicated without the use of a vaccine or medicine.

GUINEA WORM ERADICATION

The value of family in philanthropy

Families are dedicated to achieving results.

Family philanthropists are committed to a shared vision. They have worked hard, often over generations, to make a lasting impact on their community. Investing time and resources together helps families focus on achieving long-term goals.

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