Happy New Year! And it’s going to be an exciting one at NCFP.
For some 30 years, it has been my privilege and great joy to work on behalf of philanthropic families throughout the country and even around the world. Hundreds and hundreds of families have shared their powerful stories of accomplishment and challenge so that others might learn. In so doing, the field of family philanthropy has grown with new information, resources, and inspiration. My personal and professional life has been immeasurably enriched by those stories and the families who tell them. In 1995, I began to work on an idea for a center to serve these families, those to come, and the staff and advisers who work with them. That dream became a reality in 1997 with the creation of the National Center for Family Philanthropy and my adventure as its first president began. The intervening 22 years have been extraordinary. I have experienced and been humbled by the growth of this field and the National Center.
It is with that same sense of humility and privilege that I share with you that the next chapter of my family philanthropy journey is about to begin. At the end of 2019, my new adventure will be serving as the Senior Fellow of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. I am so very grateful to the Board of Directors for approving a position that will allow me to continue to research, write, and speak on the subject matter and people I love while also taking on special consultancies for individual donor families. The search is on for a new President of the National Center and our Board Chair, Katherine Lorenz of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, has announced that fellow Board member, Sandy Cardin of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, will chair the Search Committee.
This is very much a transition rather than a retirement. As Senior Fellow, I expect to be very busy supporting the development of NCFP’s body of knowledge and resources and helping individual families navigate both family and organizational transitions. I will do it from a home office overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains in a little house I am currently building near Leesburg, Virginia. Dulles will be my new airport of choice. I also expect to be enthusiastically cheering on the staff and the new NCFP President from my hillside home.
I will remain president through the year and until a new president is on board. I hope to see all of you in Chicago for the National Forum on Family Philanthropy on October 16–18, 2019. It is going to be a great gathering and a busy year. Thank you for the important role you have played in the development of this special center for giving families. On behalf of the Board and staff, I am grateful for the role I know you will play in ensuring a great future, a strong and productive transition, and a warm welcome for a new president.