Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from Annie E. Casey FoundationHeising-Simons Foundation; Cynthia and George Mitchell FoundationThe Ruderman Foundation; Dyson Foundation; and Castellano Family Foundation

Are you a current Friend or Leadership Circle member of NCFP with an update or good news about your foundation that you would like to share with Family Giving News readers? Please email us. Interested in learning more about the families involved in NCFP's Friends of the Family network? Go here.

Foster care can spark modest improvements in child well-being

Kids Insight, a nonprofit grantee of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows in new research that the well-being of many children in foster care improves while in custody. However, a minority of kids still struggle and agencies need to find innovative approaches to effectively meet their needs. For decades, communities have intervened to help children who have been abused and neglected, even without clear data to know which interventions, if any, have worked.

Kids Insight used the Treatment Outcome Package (TOP) questionnaire, an assessment tool on child well-being to measure how kids, on average, were doing when they entered care compared to how they were faring at defined points after spending time in care. “The insights provided by TOP are pretty amazing,” says Tracey Feild, director of Casey's Child Welfare Strategy Group. “While improvements are small, they exist and in many cases are statistically significant.”

Founders of the Heising-Simons Foundation join the Giving Pledge

Mark Heising and Liz Simons, founders of the Heising-Simons Foundation, announced their participation in the Giving Pledge on June 1, 2016 in a letter posted on their website. They share their reasoning, “The world we bequeath our children is changing in ways that we can’t predict. Mark and I have faith that our own children can pick up where we leave off and do the right thing, as they see it, with the legacy we leave them. By signing the Giving Pledge, we hope to encourage a tradition of giving that inspires generations yet to come.”

George P. Mitchell's legacy continues through an endowment for science graduate students

Three years after the death of Texas businessman, global energy pioneer, and 1940 Texas A&M University distinguished petroleum engineering graduate George P. Mitchell, one of his children is honoring one of the key Texas A&M administrators who helped him chart the course for his visionary legacy at Texas A&M and as a philanthropic leader in the future of big science.

Time is running out: apply for the 2016 Ruderman Prize in Inclusion

The Ruderman Family Foundation has opened the nomination period for its international Ruderman Prize in Inclusion, which awards companies and organizations operating innovative programs and services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities. Now in its fifth year, the Ruderman Prize shines a spotlight on the important work being done, celebrates models that can be replicated elsewhere and ensures that resources are available to allow them to continue. This year priority will be given to innovations in the fields of technology, entertainment, art & fashion, media, social businesses and advocacy.

Dyson Foundation 2015 Year in Review

The Dyson Foundation presented their 2015 Year in Review with a completely new design including a more interactive and user-friendly layout. In 2015, the Dyson Foundation awarded a total of $16.2 million in grants in the Mid-Hudson Valley and beyond. Grants were awarded to support health and safety net services, education, economic vitality, the regional nonprofit sector and public policies that benefit those most in need. Visit the 2015 Year in Review and learn more about the scope of grantmaking and some of the grantees.

Lottery winners support nonprofits and make diversity a priority

The Castellanos did more than shower money on a few favored causes; they did their homework on the nonprofit world, vetting charities carefully from top to bottom. In particular, they took a hard look at the boardrooms of their local charities, and sometimes they didn’t like what they saw. Today they will not support a charity that does not have a racially diverse board, and they push for more Latino representation on the boards of nonprofits that seek to help that population.


We offer special thanks to our Friends of the Family and Leadership Circle funders who support and sustain the work of NCFP. Our Leadership Circle recognizes a special group of our most generous supporters. Our Friends offer continuing support for our work, ensuring that future generations of donor families can access the best possible resources for sound decision-making. See a complete list of NCFP Leadership Circle and Friends of the Family. Or, for more information, please contact Maureen Esposito at 202.293.3276 or at maureen@ncfp.orgSpecial Thanks: NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle members