How we give

Posted by Virginia Esposito on October 15, 2007

There is a lot of justifiable attention paid these days to some of the BIG questions about philanthropy and the philanthropic process: Why give? How much to give? What to give to? What difference does it make? In my conversations with donor families, I have discovered a question that gets less public...

The Laird Norton family

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on September 15, 2007

With a family business that goes back 152 years, the Laird Norton family has a lot of history to chronicle. That’s why they’ve chosen several ways to do it, including some novel approaches. In 1855, two brothers, Matthew George Norton and James Laird Norton, and their cousin, William Harris Laird,...

Telling your family's story

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on September 15, 2007

Family philanthropies are intimately connected with the past that shapes them. As stewards of both a public trust and a family legacy, philanthropic families are constantly drawing on their history for wisdom, energy, and focus. That’s why growing numbers of families are recording their stories to...

Reflection and imagination

Posted by Virginia Esposito on September 15, 2007

“So the future may learn from the past” As I began to type this message, I had to catch my breath when I keyed in “September 2007.” Knowing that this is our 10th anniversary month, I might have been more prepared for the shock of the startling passage of time. It’s striking to realize that in September...

The Harman Family Foundation: Learning Leads to Focus

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on August 15, 2007

Wellesley College Professor of English Barbara Harman awaited the release of her book The Feminine Political Novel in Victorian England. The year was 1998, and when it arrived, after 10 long years of research and writing, she experienced something she assumes many authors discover upon the publication...

The Charles A. Frueaff foundation

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on July 15, 2007

It’s moving day at the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation. It’s a hectic but exciting time. After 10 years in the same three-room office space, the Frueauff Foundation is moving to a new 4300-square-foot headquarters complete with board rooms and conference space in Little Rock’s booming River Market...

Privacy and publicity: First steps in creating a communications strategy

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on July 15, 2007

Family philanthropy is at once an intensely private and a very public enterprise where personal principles meet public obligations. It is often difficult to find a compromise between these competing values. Many giving families opt to keep a low public profile, preferring to remain largely out of the...

Summer, sharing, and vacations: Activities for children

Posted by Virginia Esposito on July 15, 2007

It’s summer and a young person’s fancy turns to …philanthropy? Well, perhaps more than you might think. I ran into a friend recently and she told me her college freshman daughter was off to Nicaragua. Sarah belongs to a group that organizes charitable field trips for young people – giving them the...

The Andrea and Charles Bronfman philanthropies

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on May 15, 2007

Charles Bronfman returned from a trustees’ meeting of the Mount Sinai Medical Center with an idea. Bronfman, Chairman and co-founder with his late wife Andrea of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, had heard of the Medical Center’s efforts in the emerging field of personalized medicine. Dr....

Motivations for board service: Why many family members want in and some don't want to leave

Posted by Virginia Esposito on May 15, 2007

Many of the requests for help that come to me directly or as referrals from colleagues or National Center staff are about governance. When it comes to the fundamentally important issue of effective trusteeship – and appropriate foundation governance – the range of questions is startling and no question...

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