Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from The Wilson Foundation; Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; The Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation; The McKnight Foundation; William G. McGowan Charitable Fund; and J.M. Kaplan Fund

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 Wilson Foundation Supports a Trauma Informed Care Network

The Wilson Foundation and the Rochester Area Community Foundation are working together to raise awareness about Trauma Informed Care as a way to help fight generational poverty.  As the SHIFT Study shows, underlying issues relating to traumatic experiences prevent barriers to self-sustainability. For more information on the intersection of generational trauma and poverty please click here.

The Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund Announce New Leaders

The Board of Directors of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund recently announced appointments to top staff positions. Jennie Lehua Watson, formerly the Fund’s vice president of special initiatives and communications, will serve as interim president of the Fund for the next two years. Cathy Cha, formerly program director for immigrant rights, is now vice president of programs and will become president of the Fund in January 2019.

Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation is Looking for an Executive Director

The Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation is in search of a new Executive Director (ED) dedicated to improving the lives of Contra Costa County residents through engaged and informed philanthropy. As a private funder focused exclusively on impact within the county, the role of the ED and the Foundation occupy an important place in the fabric of philanthropic support and regional leadership. The ED will support the Lesher family, specifically the Board of Trustees, by informing their philanthropy with knowledge of nonprofit organizations and local issues, and an understanding of philanthropic best practices. Working together with a small staff (currently one Senior Program Officer) the ED will be both a strong community asset and hands-on grant maker providing the steady, informed leadership that has defined the Foundation’s style for the last two decades.

J.M. Kaplan Fund Offers Grants to Nonprofit Publishers

The J.M. Kaplan Fund’s Furthermore program supports nonfiction book publishing about the urban experience; natural and historic resources; art, architecture, and design; cultural history; and civil liberties and other public issues. The Furthermore program seeks work that appeals to an informed general audience; demonstrates evidence of high standards in editing, design, and production; promises a reasonable shelf life; and many other things. Grant awards range from $1,500 to approximately $15,000 and may be used to support writing, research, editing, design, indexing, photography, illustration, and/or printing, and binding.

McKnight’s Pathway Schools Initiative to Sunset

In 2011, McKnight adopted an ambitious goal — to dramatically increase the percentage of third grade readers in the Twin Cities. Since then, the Foundation has partnered with a select group of district and charter schools in the Twin Cities, the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute, and an independent evaluator, SRI International, to meet this goal by aligning and improving the quality of school leadership and literacy instruction from PreK-3rd grade. The effort was dubbed the Pathway Schools Initiative, and after careful consideration, McKnight’s board of directors has made the difficult decision to sunset the initiative at the conclusion of their partners’ current grant periods — the 2017-18 school year for most.

William G. McGowan Charitable Fund is Seeking a Communications Manager

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund is seeking a part-time Communications Manager, contributing 24 hours weekly.  The Communications Manager will be an expert in the field who will participate in strategy for all online and offline media relations; consistently and clearly articulate and promote the work of the Fund; and set a tone of excellence, humility, and authenticity in all communications.  He or she will be responsible for the creation and development of print and online collateral, web site management and content development, video production, press releases, and white papers. The Communications Manager will report to and work closely with the Executive Director.


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