Ask the Center Posts

How do we help the leaders of our grantees find the peer support they need?

Posted by Pierce Family Foundation on April 15, 2013

JJ Hanley faced a situation well known to nonprofit executives: the number of volunteers that wanted to help was outstripping the agency’s capacity to manage them.  Operating with a small staff, volunteers were key to the success of JJ’s List – which connects people with disabilities with community...

How Can We- and Why Should We- Use Facebook to Engage Family Members?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on March 15, 2013

By Kelly Medinger Whether you are a Facebook neophyte or a self-proclaimed Facebookaholoic, there is no doubt that Facebook and other social media platforms have changed the landscape of why and how we communicate. So how does this landscape affect a private family foundation?  Especially when the...

What questions should we ask our auditors?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on February 15, 2013

Once again everyone’s favorite time of year has arrived, audit time! For many, this can be viewed as a daunting and even arduous process.  A family foundation in NCFP's network of Friends who no longer cringes at audit time shares this list of questions to ask your auditor to ensure...

What are easy ways to involve my children in giving this year?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on January 15, 2013

Editor’s Note: Many families anticipating a generational board change ask the National Center for Family Philanthropy how to involve the next generation in their giving as they are getting ready to ascend to the board. Many families have begun to ask about easy ways to involve their children in...

How Do I Know If I Have a Great Collaboration?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on December 15, 2012

The National Center hosted a special webinar on the topic of “Avoiding Leaky Pipes: Enhancing Donor-Grantee Collaboration” this past October. On the webinar Susan Wolf Ditkoff, a partner in the Boston office of the Bridgespan Group,  provided a “litmus test” one can use to determine if you have an...

Does NCFP recommend any special holiday gift giving guides for family philanthropy?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on November 15, 2012

We would like to share tips and tools with our family and friends about giving and family philanthropy during the holidays. Can you recommend any good resources on this topic? The Hip Family’s Guide to Happier Holidays Lisa Parker of the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation says in her guide: “The single...

What is a family council and when should a family considering establishing one?

Posted by Patricia Angus on October 15, 2012

What is a family council and when should a family considering establishing one? Many families with multiple branches may elect to set up a Family Council. While the particular roles and responsibilities of Family Councils vary across families, they typically function as an oversight committee that...

Can Family Foundations Play a Role in Elections?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on September 15, 2012

Can family foundations play a role in presidential or local elections? Well, sort of. The long answer is more complex than you might expect and private foundations who want to enter this arena must do so with care.  The role you and your grantees can play in issues that might have heightened public...

Can I use my vacation home to make a substantial charitable gift?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on July 15, 2012

Question:  I would like to make a meaningful contribution to my alma mater – my 50 year reunion is coming up. I have also decided, reluctantly, that the time has come for me to part with the family vacation home in Maine that has meant so much to me and my late husband over the past 40 years....

How do I set priorities as the new CEO of a family foundation?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on June 15, 2012

Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from the new NCFP CEO Guide, Performance Review: The Complete Guide to Evaluating the Family Foundation CEO, volume 3 of our Family Foundation CEO Leadership Series. Setting priorities can be challenging for a new CEO, what with the myriad responsibilities of...

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