Voices from the Field Posts

Ready: Invest! Set: Customize! Go: Impact!

Posted by Adam Simon on May 27, 2015

What would it take to create a core of exceptional leaders equipped with the tools and capacity to be effective change agents, networked to maximize the reverberation of their leadership and committed to doing so for their entire lives? At the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, this question is at the core of our mission to empower young people to make a positive impact in their communities. In all of our focus areas, we create and support initiatives that invest in strengthening the leadership potential of individuals, as we believe the key to solving our most intractable societal issues lies in the strength of the leaders that spearhead such changes.

Fearless philanthropy: Engaging in conversations with your grantees

Posted by Allison Fine on April 22, 2015

Family foundations bring passion, good will and, of course, money to their philanthropy. Another asset they can bring to their efforts is the art of online conversation. Social media takes down the barriers between people and institutions. Anyone can be online, anywhere, and in conversation in real-time about causes and issues. Rather than hide from these conversations, family philanthropies, not necessarily as institutions, but as individuals, can engage with grantees, and potential grantees, on, say, Twitter, and learn more about the work in real-time. I call the deepening of the relationship between grantees and philanthropies wherein each is listening and learning from the other Matterness.

Four lessons for effectively engaging youth

Posted by Daniel Horgan on April 22, 2015

I remember my first summer volunteering at the age of 12 for my local YMCA summer camp. Being the youngest of three and seeing my older siblings head off to work each day as camp counselors, I was determined to get in on the action and not be left at home alone. I managed to convince the camp director to let me join the team as a volunteer that supported activities for the 6 year olds. That experience, coupled with many others including serving as a youth representative on a national board and launching a nonprofit at the age of 18, opened my eyes to a number of key lessons on how to effectively engage youth as volunteers, partners, and problem solvers.

Family-ness: A clunky word that says it all

Posted by Phillip Henderson on March 25, 2015

Surdna is a family foundation. A simple statement, but one that carries deep meaning for us -- meaning that shapes much of what we do. At our most recent board meeting, we continued our examination of potential changes to the way we invest our endowment, we discussed some important modifications to the role of the board in our grantmaking process, and we breathed new life into a conversation between Surdna and the Andrus Family Fund, a grantmaking fund we created just over 15 years ago.

I am Family Philanthropy: Chris & Sarah Miller

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on March 25, 2015

Every day we see committed and generous families making positive impacts on the communities and issues they serve. We want to share their stories and are delighted to announce our new I Am Family Philanthropy video series. Each month, we will share a new compelling profile in their own words. In this month's video, we are delighted to feature NCFP Board member Sarah K. Miller and her husband Chris Miller of the RGK Foundation.

Establishing a Day of Caring to build engagement

Posted by Bryn Mars on March 25, 2015

One of the hardest things for any family, but especially a family of wealth, to accomplish is engaging multiple generations in a meaningful way. I’m convinced that one of the best ways to do that is through shared Philanthropy.

Alliance magazine interviews Ridgway White, fourth president of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Posted by Caroline Hartnell on February 25, 2015

At the start of this year, Ridgway White became fourth president of the Mott Foundation, taking over in that role from his father, Bill White, who nevertheless remains actively involved in the foundation. Alliance magazine shares their interview with the new Mott Foundation president about the benefits and challenges of being a placed-based funder with a national and international dimension, and on the need to play to your strengths, while seizing opportunities and being alert to new ways of tackling old problems.

I am Family Philanthropy: Carmen Castellano and Carmela Castellano-Garcia

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on February 25, 2015

Every day we see committed and generous families making positive impacts on the communities and issues they serve. We want to share their stories and are delighted to announce our new I Am Family Philanthropy video series. Each month, we will share a new compelling profile in their own words. In this month's video, we are delighted to share the dynamic mother-and-daughter tandem of Carmen Castellano and Carmela Castellano-Garcia of the Castellano Family Foundation.

I Am Family Philanthropy: Shirley Fredricks, Lawrence Welk Family Foundation

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on January 29, 2015

Everyday we see committed and generous families making positive impacts on the communities and issues they serve. We want to share their stories and are delighted to announce our new I Am Family Philanthropy video series. Each month, we will share a new compelling profile in their own words. In this inaugural video, we feature NCFP founding board member Shirley Fredricks of the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation.

10 general guidelines for greater foundation transparency

Posted by Rick Cohen on December 15, 2014

Given the immense diversity of foundations, it is a challenge to talk about any aspect of foundation behavior that goes beyond the minimum required in law and public policy to reach prescriptions for the behavior of foundations across the board. In truth, when discussions occur around issues of accountability, transparency, and disclosure, despite some 100,000 extant foundations, the conversation is implicitly about the larger, higher profile foundations, omitting scads of less visible philanthropic entities that in many communities constitute the philanthropic arena.

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