For more than 16 years, the National Center for Family Philanthropy has sought to serve the vast and diverse community of donor families. We seek to advance ethical and effective family philanthropy often with three goals in mind.
- Inspiration: Our work is constantly inspired by your experience and example. By sharing your stories, we inspire others to join you. They might get more involved in philanthropic giving. Perhaps they’ll take your idea and develop it to suit their values and goals. And, because I’ve seen it time and time again, they might use the inspiration to sustain their own work or even pass it on to their next generation.
- Revelation: We ensure you have the most current and groundbreaking information available. Seminal studies like our studies on generational succession, the value added by family participation in philanthropy, the critical role of executive leadership, the relationship between donors and their advisors, and many others have helped us develop resources and programs. The Family Philanthropy Online Knowledge Center (the largest searchable database on family giving in the world) and our annual Trustee Education Institute, CEO retreats, national symposia, and countless workshops with and on behalf of our colleague organizations in the field have been key results of that work. I have you to thank for these resources; none of them would have been possible without your willingness to be interviewed, fill out a survey, or reveal a special insight.
- Transformation: Both inspiration and revelation are not enough in their own right. Our work must enable you to transform your own giving: to transform your values into mission; your mission into grantmaking priorities; your grantmaking into success in making a real difference in the causes and communities you care about.
All three of these goals – inspiration, revelation, and transformation – will come together in the National Forum on Family Philanthropy next May 7-9, 2014 at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As we hope you’ve come to expect, this will be no “conference as usual.” There will be special retreats and seminars within the Forum. You might prefer to learn by doing – and a case study track could be perfect for you. You may have been looking for more unstructured time with colleagues and fewer panels – and open conversations among those with like interests are on the program.
Revelation will be on the agenda as we share early findings of our exciting new national survey on trends in family philanthropy. Our partners at the Urban Institute will help us with the launch of this monumental research project. And what would a National Center for Family Philanthropy event be without the inspiration of your giving? Donors, family members, trustees, donor advisors, and key staff will tell stories of what they’ve been doing and learning. I’m particularly privileged to announce that the National Forum will feature the presentation of the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s first ever Distinguished Fellow. Our Distinguished Fellow will be a remarkable – and, yes, inspiring – leader in the field and will share his or her experiences over the course of their Fellowship beginning with a session at the Forum. And so much more.
In the meantime, if you have ideas for the Forum, don’t hesitate to let me know. After all, it is your inspiration and revelations that have transformed the way we serve you and your philanthropy. The National Forum on Family Philanthropy is the next example of our commitment to that service. I know it is going to be an amazing one.
President, National Center for Family Philanthropy