Contributions

Difficult Discussions at Difficult Times

Posted on March 4, 2002 by Deanne Stone

This Passages Issue Brief offers suggestions for preparing for and responding to the effect of crises of different magnitude on philanthropic families. These include personal crises such as death, illness, and interpersonal conflicts, as well as community and national crises — including natural disasters, riots, economic recession, and terrorism… Read More

At the Crossroads: a Lost Opportunity

Posted on October 5, 2001

Developing a donor legacy statement can be a difficult and emotional process. This is particularly true when the donor knows that his wishes may conflict with those of his heirs. Stan Alexander, founder of the $75-million Alexander Foundation, inherited a large part of his wealth from his father, Joseph, a businessman and politician with a life-long interest in primary education… Read More

Discretionary Grants: Encouraging Participation… or Dividing Families?

Posted on August 5, 2001 by Jason Born

The practice of discretionary grantmaking brings out a wide variety of responses. This Passages Issue Brief looks at the common reasons that families use or opt not to use discretionary grants, and the typical process that is used to make these types of grants. The paper also examines how different approaches to discretionary grants can support or hinder the work… Read More

Board Compensation: Reasonable and Necessary?

Posted on April 5, 2001 by Jason Born

Deciding whether to compensate or reimburse family foundation board members can be a difficult and complex decision. This Passages Issue Brief provides guidance on the legal regulations regarding compensation, suggestions for how to initiate a conversation among your board members about whether or not compensation is appropriate, and suggestions for how to develop a written policy based on this conversation… Read More

Ground Rules for Family Retreat Working Sessions

Posted on April 18, 2000 by Mark Gerzon

Objective: To create a safe environment for open conversation No personal attacks Arrive on time Equal time for speakers Speak briefly, time is limited When others speak, listen—don’t prepare your remarks Listen with intent to understand Be open to others points of view; to outcome; to each person regardless of seniority Treat sessions as confidential Outside the retreat do not… Read More

Guidelines to Help Prudent Investment Committees

Posted on October 29, 1999 by John E. Craig Jr.

Seven guidelines for prudent investment committees emerge from this analysis of the determinants of a foundation endowment’s performance: 1. Delegate responsibility for as many investment decisions as possible to professionals. It is unreasonable to expect a part time, voluntary committee to deliver the same level of performance achievable by full-time investment professionals. The economies-of-scale of investment management are such that… Read More

Philanthropy in a Favorable Climate

Posted on July 29, 1999 by Paul Ylvisaker

My concern is whether philanthropy may be straying too far from its humanists and altruistic origins. The trend toward more professionalized philanthropy has in most respects been a goof thing, but not when it stiffens into bureaucracy and loses the spontaneity and compassion of the one-to-one… Read More

Family Foundations: High Risk, High Reward

Posted on July 29, 1999 by Paul Ylvisaker

Foundations are a remarkable human invention. They provide private persons a free-wheeling opportunity to be socially and publicly influential. Without having to meet the tests either of the market or the ballot box, private persons can independently determine what the needs of society are and how best to go about meeting them… 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