Contributions

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

Paul Ylvisaker: Ethics and Philanthropy

Posted on July 26, 1999 by Paul Ylvisaker

This chapter is excerpted from “Philanthropy: The High Estate,” part IV of Conscience & Community: The Legacy of Paul Ylvisaker, which was edited by NCFP Founder and President Virginia Esposito and published by Peter Lang Publishing in 1999. Questions addressed in this chapter include: Is there an ethical requirement to give, and if so, how mucb, and in what form?… Read More

Social Justice And The Role Of Philanthropy

Posted on July 6, 1999 by Paul Ylvisaker

Philanthropy [must] move out of fixed and safe positions into more independent, flexible, and far more exposed stances between the contradictory forces that are generating tension, and without the resolving action of some agent such as philanthropy, will otherwise tear nations and neighborhoods apart… Read More

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