Featured Article Posts

Special book excerpt: Money well spent

Posted by Paul Brest on November 15, 2008

“The basic imperative of strategic philanthropy is to deploy your resources to achieve your goals most effectively,” say Paul Brest and Hal Harvey in their new book Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy (Bloomberg, 2008). Giving families may feel both excited by and somewhat wary of...

What is the value of philanthropy? Notes from the September 2008 symposium

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on October 24, 2008

More than 100 of the nation’s leading thinkers and practitioners in philanthropy gathered in Washington, DC last month to discuss the question: what is the unique value of family in philanthropy? Organized by the National Center for Family Philanthropy and held at the Henry J. Kaiser Family...

Five questions for effectiveness

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on September 15, 2008

A new survey by the National Center for Family Philanthropy has concluded that most family foundations are conscientious guardians of charitable legacies. They observe high ethical standards of grantmaking practices, including fiscal oversight and accountability. Are you among them?...

Passing the baton: Generations sharing leadership

Posted by Alice Buhl on July 15, 2008

The following is excerpted from the just published Passing the Baton? Generations Sharing Leadership by Alice Buhl, Senior Fellow, National Center for Family Philanthropy. Passing the Baton? is the latest entry in the National Center’s Passages white paper series, now available in Family Philanthropy...

Giving in tough times

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on June 15, 2008

The American economy is being buffeted by rising food and energy prices, housing foreclosures, a credit crunch, and falling stock prices. Nonprofits are caught between two crosswinds: surging community needs and a drop in donations from individual givers—the main source of nonprofit revenue....

Perpetuity is a long time

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on May 15, 2008

At this month’s Council on Foundations Philanthropy Summit, foundation representatives from around the world gathered to discuss of one of the hottest emerging issues in family philanthropy: the question of perpetuity. “For most of the history of private foundations, perpetuity was not a much discussed...

Strategic giving: A balancing act

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on April 15, 2008

Giving families walk a fine line balancing social impact and family unity. With scarce resources and great needs, many families want every grant to have the most impact possible. At the same time, they are collectively engaged in a family enterprise whose members often have diverse interests, live in...

Families on the hill

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on March 15, 2008

At a time of great media and regulatory scrutiny of the philanthropic sector, 300 foundation representatives from 35 states and the District of Columbia took the time to gather in Washington, DC earlier this month for the 14th annual Foundations on the Hill (FOTH). Organized by the Council on...

The 20 habits of highly effective philanthropists

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on February 15, 2008

“Foundations do not need a lot of money to be effective,” declared philanthropy icon Paul Ylvisaker in his 1989 essay Small Can Be Effective. “If, indeed, they were to exploit only a fraction of the strategies available to them, their individual and collective impact on American life would be vastly...

Encouraging young philanthropists, part two

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on January 15, 2008

Last month’s Family Giving News tackled the question of how today’s giving families encourage children to be generous. This month’s issue asks: how can charitable children become effective family philanthropists? How does a family prepare the next generation for possible roles as board members, fund...

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