Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from the John Templeton Foundation; the Hyde Foundation; the Hill-Snowdon Foundation; the Nord Family Foundation; the McGowan Fund; the Surdna Foundation and the Andrus Family 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 John Templeton Foundation Explores the Science of Generosity

What are the biological, psychological, and social factors that encourage people to give time, money, and assistance? What effects does such generous behavior have on their well-being? Such questions have given rise to numerous studies, the results of which are described in a recent report commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation. The report provides a high-altitude overview of more than 350 studies and meta-studies published in nearly 200 refereed publications between 1971 and 2017.

Hyde Foundation Announces New Focus Areas

The trustees and staff of the Hyde Foundation took the time and space to reflect on the opportunities, needs, and challenges facing Memphis, and to identify ways the Foundation can contribute to its growth and vitality in the years ahead. Moving forward, the Hyde Family Foundation’s investment and work will fall into four impact areas: High-Quality Education; Vibrant Spaces and Communities; Thriving Arts and Culture; and Engaged Leadership and Civic Pride.

The Hill-Snowdon Foundation Unveils New Website

The Hill-Snowdon Foundation recently launched a website with an entirely new look. The foundation’s grantmaking is grounded in a philosophy of justice and fairness for some of the most vulnerable members of this society- particularly low-income families, youth of color and low-wage workers. 

Nord Foundation on a Webinar with Center for Effective Philanthropy & the Fund for Shared Insight

CEP and the Fund for Shared Insight hosted an in-depth webinar discussing the work of the Nord Family Foundation, one of the funders featured in the new CEP publication, Staying Connected: How Five Foundations Understand Those They Seek to Help. Nord, which seeks to help populations such as economically disadvantaged youth and individuals at risk of homelessness, is ranked among the top 15% of foundations when it comes to grantee ratings on questions related to understanding intended beneficiaries’ needs.

The McGowan Fund: $7.1 Million, Six Regions, 124 Organizations 

Focusing on its three pillars of giving—Education, Human Services, and Healthcare & Medical Research—plus its flagship scholarship program, the McGowan Fund sought to ease poverty and transform lives through nearly $7.1 million in grants in 2017. The grant-making program put special emphasis on organizations demonstrating strong planning, innovation, and collaboration.

Surdna and Andrus Award Grants to Build Next Generation of Social-Justice Philanthropy

The Surdna Foundation and the Andrus Family Fund want to help build the next generation of social-justice donors — and they’re putting $800,000 toward that goal. Surdna, a family foundation, created the Andrus Family Fund in 2000 as a way to get younger relatives, ages 25 to 45, involved in philanthropy. Now they are awarding two-year grants to 21 organizations across the country that train and support young philanthropists who seek to promote racial, economic, and social equity.

NCFP's Jason Born Shares His Do’s and Don’ts for Building Ties with Donors at Family Foundations

It would be a mistake for nonprofits to overlook smaller family foundations forbig players like the Bill and Melinda Gates or Ford foundations. That’s because they give out more than $4 billion each year in grants. And their assets are growing. The Chronicle spoke to several experts, including NCFP’s Vice president of Programs, Jason Born. They shared their pointers on how to connect with small but essential players in the field of philanthropy.

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