Happy Birthday: Celebrating 100 years of family philanthropy

Family philanthropy has been at the core of America’s giving landscape for more than 100 years. Many of the family foundations, community foundations, and other philanthropic institutions established by giving families in the first half of the 20th century continue to play important roles in the communities and causes they serve.

In this month’s issue of Family Giving News, we are pleased to start a new annual tradition at NCFP: celebrating milestone birthdays reached by family and community foundations in the field.

In NCFP’s 2012 Passages Issue Brief, “Celebrating Milestones in Family Philanthropy,” Zoe Lloyd Foxley, vice chair of the General Service Foundation, shared her recommendations for families planning an important milestone celebration:

“Create space for interaction, sharing, looking back, and gaining perspective about the bigger picture. Celebrate being together as a family and all of the good work being done—and that is yet to be done.”

With this timeless advice as background, we offer our congratulations and admiration to the following special funders who have been leaders in their communities while also playing a part in NCFP’s own evolution over the past 18 years!

Several generations of the Andrus family gathered at a family reunion in 2008. The Surdna Foundation will celebrate its 100 anniversary in 2017.

Established in 1916 (100 Years Old)

Rhode Island Foundation

Hawaii Community Foundation

A. C. Ratshesky Foundation

Established in 1917 (99 Years Old)

Surdna Foundation

Established in 1926 (90 Years Old)

Ball Brothers Foundation

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Established in 1936 (80 Years Old)

Ford Foundation

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Herbert H. And Grace A. Dow Foundation

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Established in 1946 (70 Years Old)

Gates Family Foundation

Seattle Foundation

General Service Foundation

Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund

Established in 1956 (60 Years Old)

Allyn Foundation

Carolyn Foundation

Dyson Foundation

The Needmor Fund

The Zellerbach Family Foundation

The Kettering Family Foundation

Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

Established in 1966 (50 Years Old)

J. A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation, Inc.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Roy A. Hunt Foundation

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation

Park Foundation, Inc.

RGK Foundation

Roth Family Foundation

Options for Honoring and Celebrating a Significant Milestones

The following suggestions are included in NCFP’s Passages Issue Brief, “Celebrating Milestones in Family Philanthropy.”

Create a special grants or awards program to highlight the work of core grantee partners

Create a special report to capture the key moments of the foundation’s history

Create a video to showcase the people, places, and organizations at the heart of your philanthropy’s work

Host a celebratory event to honor your grantees and the community in which you focus your giving

Host a reunion for your family

Include a special message in an annual report or website

Additional ideas: provide staff with small discretionary grants, redesign your letterhead or website, or add a tagline to email and print communications

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