Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from The William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation; The George Family Foundation; The Barr Foundation; The McKnight Foundation; and The Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund. Also included is a link to our complete list of current NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle members. Are you a current Friend or Leadership Circle member of the National Center and have an update or 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.

The William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio is seeking a President & CEO

The William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio is seeking a President & CEO. The correct applicant for this position is a visionary leader whose passion for service to the community is demonstrated by a career-long dedication to and compassion for improving the human condition. For more information on the O’Neill Foundation, please visit Applications and nominations are being received by Kittleman & Associates, LLC. To apply, please send a current resume and letter of interest to 

George Family Foundation awards nearly $1.1 million in latest grant round

The George Family Foundation is supporting pilot projects to help food shelves offer healthier options, underwriting significant organizational development initiatives, and continuing annual operating support to select organizations, in its latest grant round announced today. Founded by Penny and Bill George in 1994, the $65 million private family foundation supports programs that promote integrative health and healing, authentic leadership, community, advancing women and girls, the environment, spirituality and youth development.

Ira Hirschfield to step down at Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund

Ira Hirschfield, a founding board member of NCFP and one of our original Friends of the Family, will step down as president and trustee of the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund at the end of 2016, leaving the Fund, which was at the forefront of the marriage-equality movement, looking for a new leader for the first time in more than two decades. After he leaves the post, Hirschfield, 64, will hold the honorary title of president emeritus of the fund. He will continue to work on a few initiatives there and direct the fund’s financial investments.

The Barr Foundation's Next Chapter

The Barr Foundation's president, James Canales, recently outlined new plans to build on the foundation's legacy of good work, including ambitious goals and a sharper focus over expanded geography. The new strategies will guide Barr’s next phase of work with a focus on investing in potential. Writes Canales,

As we articulate these strategies, we are well aware of the critique sometimes leveled at foundations for imposing their ideas upon others or, put more bluntly, treating grantees as contractors hired to execute a foundation’s strategy. This couldn’t be further from how we see our role or the kinds of relationships we seek to cultivate. At Barr, we believe effective philanthropy requires clarity about goals and priorities, which allows us to identify partners with similar aspirations and to engage as supporters, facilitators, connectors, and constructive partners in advancing impact against shared goals.

The McKnight Foundation is Working Toward Equity and Sustainability in 2016 and Beyond

Long time NCFP friend and McKnight Foundation President, Kate Wolford, reflects on the importance of addressing climate change and racial disparities in 2016 and beyond. "We already see the impacts of climate change all around us — wildfires, extreme drought, winter flooding," she writes. "We know we need to rapidly accelerate our transition to a low-carbon future." On equity, Wolford notes, "We know we need to rapidly accelerate our transition to a more equitable state with opportunity for all. Through grantmaking and our participation in collaborations that cross and connect the civic, public, and private sectors, we continue to work toward systemic change that delivers on the promise of shared prosperity."

Special Thanks: NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle members

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