Contributions

Special grantmaking: A purposeful, flexible resource for foundations

Posted on January 8, 2021 by S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Many foundations that are guided by a long-term commitment to move the needle in a finite set of issue areas also hold “special grantmaking” funds. These program dollars can be flexibly deployed for nascent opportunities, innovative ideas, emergencies, local causes, and/or areas of high interest to their leaders. Little has been written about special grants as a vibrant resource for… Read More

Rehearsing the Future: An Introduction to Developing and Using Scenarios

Posted on January 8, 2021 by S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Scenarios are stories about different future environments in which today’s decisions might play out. We cannot predict the future. However, by thinking creatively and rigorously about a range of scenarios, we can rehearse future possibilities and prepare for what might be next. In the summer of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, job losses mounted, and the movement for racial… Read More

Strategic Lifespan Peer Network: A Conversation with the Hazen Foundation

Posted on January 7, 2021 by Cristina Jiménez, Lori Bezahler

Join President Lori Bezahler and Board Chair Cristina Jiménez from the Edward W. Hazen Foundation, a private foundation established in 1925 that is committed to supporting organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class. Learn from the board and staff of this spend down foundation committed to equity and… Read More

Sooner Rather Than Later, Chapter 3: 2018-2020

Posted on January 7, 2021 by S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

In 2009, following five decades of Foundation growth and impact, the Board of Directors for this family philanthropy chose to spend down all assets. In the words of its founder, this decision reflected a commitment to finding lasting solutions to California’s critical challenges “sooner rather than later.” The spend-down horizon was initially set for eight years and then adjusted to… Read More

Sooner Rather Than Later, Chapter 2: 2014-2017

Posted on January 7, 2021 by S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

In 2009, following five decades of Foundation growth and impact, the Board of Directors for this family philanthropy chose to spend down all assets. In the words of its founder, this decision reflected a commitment to finding lasting solutions to California’s critical challenges “sooner rather than later.” The spend-down horizon was initially set for eight years and then adjusted to… Read More

Spending down: Laurie Dachs answers questions for family philanthropies

Posted on January 7, 2021 by S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Courtesy of Jonathan Petersson from Pexels In October 2020, Nick Tedesco, president and CEO of the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP), talked with Lauren B. (Laurie) Dachs, president and vice chair of the board at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, about spending down all assets. The Foundation was founded in 1957; in 2009 it became a limited-life philanthropy… Read More

Scaling for Success

Posted on December 8, 2020

four plants at different stages of growth - scaling up, professionalizing
The success of family philanthropy is largely dependent on the operations and management of the people and processes that underpin the goals and activities of the effort. Giving families often reach an inflection point where they must consider bringing in outside professionals to manage their philanthropy for greater impact; however, it is often challenging to understand the practices that promote… Read More

Adopting Equity Practices

Posted on December 8, 2020

man putting sticky notes on white board
There is an increasing recognition and understanding of the deep-seated structural inequities upon which the philanthropic sector and many other systems were built. Donors are moving away from the idea of racial equity and social justice as funding areas, and instead conceptualizing equity as a lens that spans grantmaking, governance, and management and operations. In this webinar, learn how to… Read More

Succession Planning and Family Transitions

Posted on December 8, 2020

hand giving set of keys to another hand - succession, passing the baton, transition
Change is inevitable and can be especially complex in family philanthropy. There are a number of questions to explore to ensure the success of a collective giving effort. What are the anticipated moments of transition? What are the plans to navigate accordingly? Who is best suited—and prepared—to lead the family philanthropy effort moving forward? Is there a clear plan for… Read More

Get Involved

Search Knowledge Center for Resources!

We’re here to help you on your philanthropic journey. Contact NCFP for support!

Get Assistance

Keep up with trends in family philanthropy. Subscribe to our newsletter!

Signup

Family philanthropy improves the quality of life for all. Join our family!

Join Now