Contributions

Supporting Young Leaders & Next-gen to Develop Philanthropic Identities

Posted on January 14, 2021 by Marshall Hill, Thalie Waters, Duncan McLaren, Brendan Adams

Family members of all ages strive to balance their individual identities—who they want to be and what they stand for—with their connection to their family’s identity, values, and culture. Youth and next-gen especially need time and space to define and act on their philanthropic goals through peer groups, youth grantmaking programs, family conversations, and more. What can families and their… Read More

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

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

Engaging the Next Generation

Posted on December 8, 2020

young child and grandmother knitting - engaging the next generation
The promise of family philanthropy is fulfilled by its members—often across multiple generations, which can pose a challenge. Multigenerational families use a variety of techniques to engage the next generation in philanthropy. Successful participation depends on a number of considerations, including how to promote learning, empower next generation family members, and offer leadership positions. In this webinar, learn how to… Read More

Impact, Measurement, and Evaluation

Posted on December 7, 2020

hands around a table reviewing charts - graphs, evaluation, assessment
Impact is often an elusive concept in philanthropy. What is the most effective way to monitor grants? How do families define and measure success? What is the burden on grantee partners and how might it be mitigated? Successful family philanthropies employ a formative framework for impact that typically involves a process to define the sought-after change, an alignment of grantmaking… Read More

Grantee Relationships and Power Dynamics

Posted on December 7, 2020

man holding out hand - agreement, relationships
Power dynamics are inherent in traditional philanthropy: a funder gives and a grantee receives. This imbalance has the ability to inhibit productive, honest partnerships and stymie successful outcomes. It is often difficult for a grantee to discuss their needs and concerns when their financial future is on the line. Funders must acknowledge these dynamics with grantee partners and learn how… Read More

Building a Social Impact Strategy and Approach

Posted on December 7, 2020

stacks of coins - grantmaking
Grantmaking is the fundamental element of a family philanthropy effort. The practice of grantmaking actualizes the motivations of a donor, advances their values, and accomplishes their aims and objectives. However, it requires careful planning and consideration. A family must decide on focus areas, articulate desired outcomes—near- and long-term—and identify the appropriate partners. And how you fund matters just as much… Read More

Demystifying Decision Making

Posted on December 7, 2020 by Ann Shulman

feet on an arrow pointing different directions - decision, choice, option
Philanthropic families employ a wide range of models to make decisions—from unilateral authority to consensus. However, identifying the appropriate structure is often a challenge and can serve as a barrier to effective philanthropic practices. Developing an appropriate decision-making framework for distinct situations allows families to rely on an established and agreed-upon process to find a solution smoothly and expediently. Learn… Read More

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