Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from Siragusa Family FoundationThe Nord Family Foundation; The McKinney Family Foundation; The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; Apex Foundation and The Philanthropic Initiative.

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.

The Siragusa Family Foundation Welcomes a New Executive Director

The board of directors of the Siragusa Family Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of John E. Hicks, Jr. as its next executive director, effective March 2017. Hicks, a third generation family member of founder Ross D. Siragusa, has served on the board of the foundation since 1992, the last six years as chair of the board. Leading through generational leadership changes and streamlining of the foundation’s grantmaking, he will transition from his board role to guide the foundation through its next stage as executive director.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation celebrated International Women's Day

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation celebrated the incredible women in their network who are devoting their time and talent to empowering other women. They asked a few members of their network to tell a bit about themselves and their initiatives. This is just a sampling of the many individuals within the foundation’s network who are devoted to blazing a trail of confidence, equality and dreaming big for generations of women to come. Meet four of the remarkable women making this happen, draw inspiration from their powerful messages, and if you're moved to get involved, click this link.

The McKinney Family Foundation provides funding for the McKinney Family Philanthropic Fellows

The McKinney Family Foundation, in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, is looking for FOUR (4) ENVIRONMENTALLY AMBITIOUS STUDENTS to serve as McKinney Family Philanthropic Fellows. Those seeking to make a career out of their passion for the environment now have the opportunity to apply for a paid fellowship to pursue a Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies. Studying philanthropy at a world-class university and at the first school of its kind will allow these students to establish a unique network of nonprofit professionals, be taught by renown educators, and to understand this complex topic and sector. There is a demand for environmentally innovative and driven leaders to make their mark in this field. McKinney Family Philanthropic Fellows will be equipped to lead the way! Read more here.

Check Out the Recent Grants the Nord Family Foundation Has Awarded

The Nord Family Foundation announced the list of nonprofit organizations in the fields of health and social services, education, civic affairs and arts that have been awarded grants. Nord Board of Trustees approved a little over $2 million in grants to be disbursed in Lorain and Cuyahoga counties and other areas of interest in the country, according to a media release from Nord Family Foundation.The Nord Family Foundation has contributed more than $116 million to nonprofit organizations in northern Ohio and selected geographic areas of family interest. For a full list of grantees please visit this link.

Apex Foundation, in Partnership with the Milken Institute, Released the “Giving Smarter Guide” for Fellow Philanthropists Funding Biomedical Research

A philanthropist’s decision to invest in scientific research and development may be driven by an array of factors. Their giving may be motivated by personal experience with a specific disease, the desire to help improve health and save lives, or the aspiration to improve the status quo. Regardless of one’s motivations, strategic philanthropic investments in medical research require a careful consideration of the philanthropist’s priorities and an understanding of the current state of research to amplify the impact of their giving. With support from Apex Foundation, the Milken Institute Philanthropy Advisory Service provides a landscape analysis of current and best practices for funding scientific research, and informed by interviews with foundation leaders, philanthropy advisors, and government stakeholders.The “Giving Smarter Guide” is available free online in the form of an executive summary and a full report.

The Philanthropic Sector Mourns the Passing of Peter Karoff, Founder of The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI)

“Peter Karoff, a renowned contributor to the world of philanthropy and a business leader in Boston, died at his home in Santa Barbara on March 9. He was 79. He discovered his true calling in strategic philanthropy when in 1988 he introduced a friend, who happened to be the CEO of a major corporation looking to initiate a corporate giving program, to another friend, the film-maker Henry Hampton, who was struggling to find funding for the second installment of his civil rights documentary Eyes on the Prize II. Inspired by the idea of matching wealth to need, in 1989 Peter founded The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a pioneering non-profit consulting firm dedicated to increasing the impact of philanthropy in society. Over the next 25 years under Peter’s guidance and direction, TPI became a leading influence in the world of philanthropy. Whether working with individual donors and families or large foundations and corporations, Peter employed empathy and wisdom to align donor goals and values with historically underserved communities and populations, and with projects that sought to advance the human condition through art and culture. For more information about Peter’s passing please go here.

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