January 2020: News and Notes from NCFP’s Friends of the Family Network

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Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and The Russell Family Foundation.

Are you a current Friend or Leadership Circle member of NCFP with an update or good news about your foundation that you would like to share with Family Giving News readers? Please email us. Interested in learning more about the families involved in NCFP’s Friends of the Family network? Go here.


The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Celebrates 75 Years

Sunday, December 22, 2019 marked the 75th anniversary of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. In a press release, the Foundation recalled the first grant of $100, made in 1945 “to the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis, later renamed the March of Dimes, an organization founded in 1938 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and one that today remains a thriving nonprofit working to improve the health of mothers and babies.” When Hilton died in 1979, he left 97% of his wealth to the Foundation, which seeks to “improve the lives of people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage.”

Richard Woo, Longtime Russell Family Foundation CEO, Reflects in Exit Interview

Richard Woo, who led The Russell Family Foundation in Washington for 20 years, spoke with the Interim CEO Kathleen Simpson about his favorite memories and lessons learned from a long career in philanthropy. Woo shared advice he learned from the Foundation’s co-founder, Jane Russell:

Jane’s comments about risk-taking, success, and failure also stuck with me. At my first annual performance review, Jane complimented me on a great year filled with many successes.  She then said: “Richard, for all these achievements, we don’t see any failures. If you’re not making mistakes, then maybe you’re not taking enough risks and pushing beyond your comfort zone.  Take risks, make mistakes, learn and move forward.” These leadership lessons that come not from a book but from building something together are some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

Woo formally retired at the end of 2019.


Special Thanks: NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle Members

We offer special thanks to our Friends of the Family and Leadership Circle funders who support and sustain the work of NCFP. Our Leadership Circle recognizes a special group of our most generous supporters. Our Friends offer continuing support for our work, ensuring that future generations of donor families can access the best possible resources for sound decision-making. See a complete list of NCFP Leadership Circle and Friends of the Family. Alternatively, please contact Maureen Esposito at (202) 293-3276 or at maureen@ncfp.org.

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