Posts by Virginia Esposito

Celebrating the privileges of family philanthropy: Happy Holidays!

Posted by Virginia Esposito on December 15, 2010

It was about this time last year that I received a phone call from a very worried trustee of a family foundation. On behalf of her Board she had contacted her investment advisor to alert him to the fact that the trustees were concerned about all the nonprofits in her community....

You've got to have good friends (and a few truly great ones!): Honoring Anne Springs Close

Posted by Virginia Esposito on November 15, 2010

It couldn’t have been much past 7:00 in the morning. Only the faintest, early morning sun made its way through the tall trees to illuminate the small woman crossing the grounds towards me. I was staying in her family’s South Carolina home, a home that – in the morning quiet – particularly seemed to...

Creating a field one story at a time

Posted by Virginia Esposito on June 15, 2010

Every advance in our understanding of how family philanthropy begins, grows, struggles, renews, sometimes ends, and always inspires has come because of the willingness of donor families to share their experiences. Certainly everything I have ever learned about this remarkable tradition in my 30 years...

Creating a masterpiece and other everyday tasks

Posted by Virginia Esposito on April 15, 2010

When it comes to working in the philanthropic sector, it can be easy to be so overwhelmed by all the challenges that you miss celebrating the little wins much less your overall progress toward mission. There is too little time and too little money. There are too many good ideas and an uncertain path to...

It's great to have friends

Posted by Virginia Esposito on March 15, 2010

A truly glorious spring day is the backdrop and inspiration for my introduction to this issue of Family Giving News. And while I usually caution against feelings of entitlement, those of us in the greater Washington, DC area deserve this weather. All those calls we’ve received from Michigan, Minnesota...

Early experience

Posted by Virginia Esposito on February 15, 2010

Warm greetings from cold and very snowy Washington, DC! Those of us experiencing our first 70-80 inches of snow in one winter have appreciated your sympathy and support and even, occasionally, your humor at our expense! This month’s issue of Family Giving News pays attention to one of the most popular,...

A sense of community

Posted by Virginia Esposito on December 15, 2009

“Someone once said we all seek community and what we find is organization. All organizations don’t have to be regimented or impersonal, but they can be. In family philanthropy, you can have a genuine sense of community that comes from the family’s relationships and values. That is something most of us...

Common and uncommon practice

Posted by Virginia Esposito on October 15, 2009

This issue of Family Giving News gives the National Center for Family Philanthropy a chance to highlight both the common and the uncommon practices of philanthropic families. A week ago, we released the full findings of our study, Current Practices of Family Foundations. This is the first time an...

A mid-year report card

Posted by Virginia Esposito on August 15, 2009

It must be all the graduations in my family that are inspiring me to think about accomplishments, those who help us accomplish great things, and the goals we set for the next adventure. Inspired by Allison’s master degree, Erin’s high school diploma (and, perhaps, of greater relief, that college...

Pursuing excellence

Posted by Virginia Esposito on April 15, 2009

Ever since 2004, when we published our landmark research on multi-generational families called Generations of Giving: Leadership and Continuity in Family Foundations, we have been working toward the day when we could offer family foundations a tool that would help them assess their performance on the...

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