Families step up to meet the economic crisis

Posted by Joseph Foote on January 15, 2009

On a sunny Sunday in November, 2008, the board of the Durfee Foundation gathered in the 48-year-old foundation’s office in Santa Monica, California. The trustees already knew that the foundation’s assets of approximately $30 million had fallen 30 percent. The talk before the meeting focused on the...

An open letter to elected officials

Posted by Virginia Esposito on November 15, 2008

In these economically challenging times, it would not be unusual for the new President, Congress, governors, and state and local officials to see everything in terms of the costs they represent. Certainly there is a history of seeing private philanthropy primarily as the tax deduction donors receive or...

Notes from a senior fellow: Mothers and legacy

Posted by Alice Buhl on November 15, 2008

I had the privilege of being on a panel at the National Center’s 10th Anniversary symposium with four wonderful women in philanthropy: Judy Belk, Senior Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; Julie Fisher Cummings, Managing Trustee, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Family Foundation; Susan...

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...

What is the 5% payout rule?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on October 15, 2008

Q: What is the 5% payout rule? A: The “payout rule” refers to the fact that, by law, private nonoperating foundations must distribute five percent of the value of their net investment assets annually in the form of grants or eligible administrative expenses, with certain exceptions....

Thoughts on our symposium, the economic storm, and a sweet memory

Posted by Virginia Esposito on October 15, 2008

On September 10-11, the National Center for Family Philanthropy celebrated the culmination of the year-long initiative that marked our Tenth Anniversary. The results were more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for! The feature of this month’s newsletter offers a few glimpses into the rich and...

Tracy family foundation

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on October 15, 2008

When the Tracy Family Foundation (TFF) set out to determine its strategic vision for the next five years, the Mount Sterling, Illinois family foundation included goals for Brown County, the surrounding region in western Illinois served by the foundation, and the Tracy family itself....

The Tow foundation

Posted on September 18, 2008

When Leonard and Claire Tow created the Tow Foundation in 1988, it was like many other family foundations that base their grantmaking programs on the interests of the trustees. But by the late 1990s that had changed. Seeking funding gaps in their home states, the trustees began to focus collectively in...

Giving internationally when the dollar is down

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on September 15, 2008

Q: How can we make sure our international grants have the most impact in times when the dollar is weak? A: An increasing number of family foundations are giving internationally. Our 2008 Pursuit of Excellence survey discovered that 21 percent of family foundation respondents make such grants....

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