Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation; the Surdna Foundationthe Durfee Foundation; Lumpkin Family Foundation and the Tracy 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.

Stone Foundation Grantees Explore Equity at Annual Convening

The W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation hosted professor john a. powell, Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, for a series of conversations on race and equity. powell, an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, and structural racism, spoke to Chicago-based funders and Stone grantees on addressing racial inequities in their work. In his remarks, powell highlighted the concept of bridging: turning outward to connect and explicitly work with diverse groups and seeking ways to build common ground across difference. powell was also a speaker at the 2017 National Forum on Family Philanthropy.

How the Surdna Foundation Is Using its Grantmaking to Champion Impact Investing 

The Surdna Foundation continues to be a big proponent of foundation involvement in impact investing. Last year, we saw the foundation make a $100 million commitment (about 10 percent of its endowment) toward investing that directly supports its mission or otherwise aligns with its values. The funder just announced $650,000 in grants to organizations that strengthen the field by providing resources and otherwise helping institutions that want to take the plunge. 

When Being Unproductive Saves a Career: The Durfee Foundation Sabbatical Program

While sabbaticals are de rigueur at colleges and increasingly common in the private sector, only a small minority of nonprofits have official sabbatical programs. The Durfee Foundation, a family philanthropy based in Los Angeles, started a sabbatical program in 1997 after hearing of too many nonprofit leaders who quit simply because they needed space and time to think. To date, more than 100 nonprofit leaders have taken three months paid time off with Durfee’s support. 

The Lumpkin Family Foundation Supports Latest Land Acquisition by Conservation Group

A conservation group has made a 140-acre addition to the nature preserve property it owns in Coles County. The most recent purchase by the Grand Prairie Friends continues its project to acquire land between Lake Charleston and Fox Ridge State Park. The local Lumpkin Family Foundation and the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation once again provided funding assistance for the land purchase, as they have with some of the GPF's earlier acquisitions. The Lumpkin Foundation's grant for the projects fits squarely with its mission of building healthy, sustainable communities.

Junior Achievement Meets Tracy Family Foundation Challenge, Gets Match

Junior Achievement in Northeast Missouri and West-Central Illinois now has $80,000 to help support its programs for students in kindergarten through high school by meeting a challenge from the Tracy Family Foundation. The foundation in March challenged the organization to raise money locally to benefit its programs, with the promise that it would match any amount up to $40,000. Junior Achievement organizers and supporters were able to raise $40,000 on their own with the help of 87 donors who made contributions ranging from $20 to $5,000.

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