Family philanthropy history was made last month when approximately 30 young people ages 8 to 18 from four family foundations met at Disneyland for the first ever retreat for next generation boards. Convened by the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, based in Los Angeles, the event was also supported by the Lumpkin Foundation of Mattoon, Illinois, and the Tarsadia Foundation of Newport Beach, California. Joining them for the retreat was the teen board of the Gaines-Jones Education Foundation from Novato, California.

Planned by the youth themselves via Skype and email with able assistance from Fox Executive Director Dana Marcus, the retreat provided a venue for these groups of young grantmakers to explore models used by other youth boards and to make a plan for staying connected with each other and including other foundations’ youth in their network.

Holding the retreat at a Disneyland hotel provided opportunities for downtime for the families after the meetings adjourned. A team scavenger hunt in the park in late afternoon of the retreat’s first day helped the kids get to know each other better and promoted team building.

The retreat was deemed so valuable to their work that the youth are already planning a second event next summer that can accommodate more foundations. At the retreat, the youth began creating a Facebook page to share models of policies and news of interest to next gen boards.

They are also working with the National Center to develop a survey to gather data from the field on next gen boards. Results of the survey will be summarized in a new Passages paper by NCFP Summer Intern Katie Marcus Reker.

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Request for Materials: Next Gen Boards

NCFP is seeking sample policies, bylaws and other information that foundations are willing to share on how their next gen boards operate. If you have such documents or policies, please email them to Jason Born, senior program director, at jason@ncfp.org. Recent additions to the Family Philanthropy Online Knowledge Center include two documents prepared by Annie Hernandez, program officer at the Lumpkin Foundation, on how their 6th Generation Committee, their youth grantmaking group, operates and also a list of age appropriate books and other information sent by the foundation on each birthday of each participating child. (Please note that access to FP Online materials is open to all members of the National Center’s Friends of the Family network, as well as members of our FP Online Subscriber networks).