President's Welcome

So many things may have brought you to philanthropy. Your sense of gratitude and responsibility might be part of it. Your wish to do something meaningful with your family might also. Perhaps you want to support a cherished institution or a make a difference for a cause or a community. Maybe you're interested in the public policy that encourages work toward the public good and offers tax advantages.

As to what brought you to the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s website, I can only speculate—and hope. My experience tells me you sought us out because of your desire to be the best possible steward of precious charitable resources. You recognize a need to learn, and you’re enthusiastic about seeking new knowledge. And, if you didn’t know it before you arrived here, you will soon discover that the National Center offers unmatched expertise as well as sincere respect and sensitivity to the special circumstances of donor families.

Whatever your giving circumstances and interests, whether you are new to or renewing your philanthropy, I know you will find a rich array of educational resources on our site. If you are a member of our Friends of the Family network or if you are with one of our partner subscribers, I hope you will check out the Family Philanthropy Online Knowledge Center, the companion site available to our supporters. That site offers the world’s most comprehensive searchable database on family philanthropy.

If you are visiting this site to better understand the world of family philanthropy, I hope you will come to see why we are so dedicated to supporting those who give, their families, advisors, and all their remarkable grantee partners. Our communities—local and global—are well served by their generosity, their passion, and their industry.

Giving families embody the value of community. You choose to share the philanthropic experience with those you love—your community of the heart. You do this work on behalf of a community of concern. I am pleased and proud to welcome you to the community of your philanthropic family colleagues who have shared their experiences with us so you might benefit. Also, on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, I welcome you to the community of the National Center for Family Philanthropy.


Virginia Esposito


The first recorded mention of the word from which "philanthropy" is derived occurs in the play Prometheus Bound, written around 430 BCE by the Greek tragedian Aeschylus.  It refers to the Titan Prometheus' "love of humanity" that drove him to steal fire from the gods and give it to humans.