Ginny's Blog Posts

Wrapping Up a Wonderful Year for the National Center

Posted by Virginia Esposito on December 15, 2011

What a wonderful month to have Family Giving News focus on the practice of discretionary grantmaking!  Highlighting our new edition of Passages on this topic, this issue explores the reasons for and the cautions involved in offering this privilege to board members or others. It also includes the best...

Transitions Bring Both Joy and Sadness

Posted by Virginia Esposito on November 15, 2011

Fall is in the air and the transition to cooler weather and the holiday season is not the only one we in family philanthropy are experiencing. Every family philanthropy experiences the joy, the sadness, the complexity, and the energy of transitions.  We welcome new generations of family members and new...

Returning to Family Philanthropy

Posted by Karen Green on October 15, 2011

As my professional life in family philanthropy resumes, I contemplated metaphors for return. Springing first to mind were bad pennies, prodigal sons, recurring nightmares, boomerangs – scarcely inspiring. My goodness, I worried, are our cultural associations with return so negative?...

Embracing and Engaging the Senior Generation

Posted by Virginia Esposito on September 13, 2011

This month’s Family Giving News features a topic of special importance to me – how we take best advantage of the wisdom and experience of family philanthropy’s senior leaders.  Doing so is important on so many levels. Professionally, the role of senior family leaders is fundamental to who we are as...

Rowing the Philanthropic Boat Together: Reflections on Consensus and Civility

Posted by Virginia Esposito on August 15, 2011

A foundation needs trustees who can work together productively, but it does not require that they be unanimous in their opinions or uniform in their outlook. …A foundation’s extraordinary potential for good springs from its board’s ability to act as a collective, to be cohesive in fulfilling its public...

Qualities of a Good Trustee

Posted by Virginia Esposito on July 15, 2011

“As I see it, there is no other way that as few people can raise the quality of the whole American society as far and as fast as can trustees and directors of our voluntary institutions, using the strength they now have in the positions they now hold.” ~ Robert K. Greenleaf Recently, I had a wonderful...

Family Giving and Fairness

Posted by Virginia Esposito on June 15, 2011

Many of the philanthropic families who call on me for help in doing their best possible work in the best possible way invariably reach a point where they say they want a system that is fair to the family. Most start by wanting family fairness as a means to doing good grantmaking....

Renewing Your Commitment

Posted by Virginia Esposito on May 15, 2011

The process of emerging from a long, gray winter is a cause for celebration. Extra sunlight and the reintroduction of the stunning colors of nature are also extraordinarily energizing. I suppose that is why some take to spring cleaning. Since I am rarely inspired to clean, I personally prefer to take...

A generosity of spirit drives today's generation of family foundation CEOs

Posted by Virginia Esposito on April 15, 2011

What do lawyers, ministers, a whole lot of teachers, military officers, nurses, government officials, investment advisors, Peace Corps and Vista volunteers, a public relations executive, and many, many fundraisers have in common? They are all now chief executive officers of family foundations and were...

Leadership and Family Giving

Posted by Virginia Esposito on March 15, 2011

Leadership will be a prominent theme this month here at the National Center. It is a complex and sometimes sensitive topic in the field of family philanthropy. Who is the leader? Is it the family or the board? Why do so many boards embrace and others are more cautious about staff leadership?...

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