Posts by Virginia Esposito

Tips for philanthropic growth: Children, not dollars!

Posted by Virginia Esposito on June 26, 2015

For more than 30 years, I’ve been talking with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles about bringing up healthy, happy, productive children in a philanthropic family. What I’ve come away with – and continue to share with others – are five keys. At the risk of over-simplifying a complex responsibility, I offer the lessons I’ve learned.

Generosity of spirit: Fellowships inspire a new generation of leaders

Posted by Virginia Esposito on May 27, 2015

A few months ago, I was speaking with a small group about those who had made a difference in our careers and influenced our love of philanthropy. It doesn’t take much for me to gratefully recount all the incredible leaders who took time to support me and, in so doing, made a powerful difference not only in the trajectory of my career but in my life. Someone wondered if we still have those leaders in the field today. Oh yes, I assured them, I meet them all the time.

So many differences, so much in common

Posted by Virginia Esposito on April 22, 2015

Planning for the 2015 National Forum on Family Philanthropy (Seattle, October 14-16) involves a wild ride through all the many interests and choices donor families bring to their giving. Based on evaluations from the 2014 National Forum and all the many topics submitted for consideration for 2015, the range of topics you want to discuss span governance, grantmaking, management, and family dynamics. After culling through the topics in preparation for last week’s meeting of the National Forum Advisory Committee, we know that high on your priority list are impact investing, non-family/community trustees (when, why and how), effective issue collaborations, perpetuity or not (and how does a foundation lifespan choice support your goals for giving and family participation), assessment and evaluation tools, and how do boards and board chairs function at the highest level. We know you want to hear about the grantmaking strategies of creative and risk tolerant donor families. You also want to hear about how family participation – particularly leadership choices and next generation involvement – supports great giving in meaningful ways.

How does the role of a family foundation chair differ from that of other non-profit entities?

Posted by Alice Buhl , Kelly Sweeney McShane and Virginia Esposito on April 22, 2015

This month we are delighted to feature a question recently asked in our April webinar, The critical role of the board chair in family philanthropy. This wide-ranging conversation on the critical role of the board chair in family philanthropy featured international family foundation experts Virginia Esposito and Alice Buhl along with two experienced and thoughtful family foundation leaders.

Having new eyes: Transitions in family philanthropy

Posted by Virginia Esposito on February 25, 2015

For more than two years, I have been researching, interviewing, and thinking about transitions in the life of a family philanthropy. I’ve listened to anyone willing to talk to me about their experiences with philanthropic transitions. Occasionally, I have been on the road speaking about my early findings and impressions. I am delighted that my paper, Family Philanthropy Transitions: Possibilities, Problems, and Potential, is the newest addition to our Passages Issue Brief series and can be found in the Family Philanthropy Online Knowledge Center

‘Tis the season to reflect and renew

Posted by Virginia Esposito on December 17, 2014

‘Tis the season …to reflect back on the year and think about what has been accomplished, learned, left undone, and perhaps most brutally, what didn’t work out as planned. I had a hefty bucket of things I wanted to do in 2014.

Family transitions: Yours, mine and ours

Posted by Virginia Esposito on November 19, 2014

Every presentation and family meeting in which I participate invariably turns to transitions. In moments of change – within your family, governance, giving programs, or something else – so much more is affected than just the source of the change. We’ve been experiencing transitions pretty personally here at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.

Transitions: Opportunities and Challenges for Family Philanthropy

Posted by Virginia Esposito on September 19, 2014

Even if your family foundation or fund is very new, chances are you have already experienced at least one transition in the lifecycle of your giving program. Family giving programs are subject to changes both in family composition and the lifecycles of organizations, and these changes bring both challenges and opportunities for the family's philanthropy.

Renewal: You and your giving

Posted by Virginia Esposito on July 29, 2014

It’s the middle of summer and, hopefully, you’ve taken some vacation time or have a week or more in August blocked out. Our study of family foundation CEOs revealed that few regularly plan vacation. I hope the same is not true of trustees and fund advisors. Given that almost all of you do your...

Valuing family AND strategy – leaders discuss strategic family philanthropy at #ncfp14

Posted by Virginia Esposito on May 28, 2014

I may not be a regular on Twitter, but when it comes to summarizing the first National Forum on Family Philanthropy held in Cambridge, Massachusetts from May 7-9, a sampling of tweets from leading family foundation members, trustees and prominent business, academic and philanthropic leaders who were in...

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