Posts tagged to 'Mission and values'

Trends, transitions and transformation: A triumph of donor family engagement and learning

Posted by Virginia Esposito on October 28, 2015

Enthusiasm, storytelling and terrific weather were all part of the Seattle setting for NCFP’s National Forum on Family Philanthropy. More than 400 registrants and presenters gathered around current themes in effective family grantmaking. What characterizes this program from any other is the overwhelming percentage of trustees and family members. CEOs and those representing other forms of grantmaking – donor advised funds, social venture groups, family office giving and more – fill out the rest of the hallways with colleague to colleague conversations.

The Stifler Family Foundation shares their story at the National Forum on Family Philanthropy

Posted on October 28, 2015

On October 14, 2015 at the National Forum on Family Philanthropy in Seattle, WA, Larry Stifler and Mary McFadden, founders of the Stifler Family Foundation, reflect on how their past opportunities influenced their generous giving now. Listen to their story here and follow the National Center for Family Philanthropy on

The best mistake we ever made: Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

Posted by Kathleen Odne , Karen Green and Jenifer Getz on October 28, 2015

A sure-fire indicator that we all make mistakes was the capacity crowd at the National Forum on Family Philanthropy workshop in Seattle entitled, “The Best Mistakes We Ever Made.” Using a rapid-fire format, each of ten speakers took three minutes to share a mistake they made in their family philanthropy experience. To set the context, each speaker explained the goal and framework by responding to, “What were you trying to do”? Next they explained, “What happened that was unexpected – in other words, what went wrong?” Finally, and most importantly, we asked the mistake-makers to share, “What did you learn from your mistake?” In other words, how did the foundation changes its practices as a result?

Grace, Gratitude and Generosity

Posted by Virginia Esposito on September 24, 2015

One of my favorite NCFP publication titles, Grace, Gratitude and Generosity, was used for our Faith and Family Philanthropy journal more than a dozen years ago. When we used it, inspired by one of the Journal’s authors, I felt it had meaning far beyond that one publication; I still do today.

Can't Not Do: The Social Drive That Changes the World

Posted by Paul Shoemaker on September 24, 2015

"I can’t not do this. It’s not that I can do this, it’s that I can’t not. I don’t have time to not make an impact. I could not imagine not..." I don’t remember the first time I heard someone use one of these grammatically incorrect phrases. But I hear these statements consistently, to this day, from educated and literate people. I know you have heard of “can-do” people, they are eager and willing, we admire them and hope our children become like them when they grow up. But the regular heroes you will meet in this book go way beyond can-do, they can’t not do.

Expanding your comfort zone: Managing risk

Posted by John Bare on September 24, 2015

As I sit here writing about risk, the date at the bottom of my laptop screen – September 11 – is a jarring reminder that risk analysis is both futile and indispensable. It’s futile if we use risk analysis to predict the future. Or come to believe that the act of reflection itself inoculates us against harm. So goes the temptation: Now that we have completed this risk analysis, what could go wrong?

Leveraging social sector leadership: Opportunities for family philanthropy

Posted by Lori Bartczak and Nora Silver on September 24, 2015

While the connection between strong leadership and effective organizations may seem obvious, navigating the variety of ways grantmakers can support leadership can seem overwhelming. In GEO’s recent publication, Leveraging Social Sector Leadership, the authors present research that lifts up what social sector leaders say they need to be successful and how grantmakers can support those needs.

Planning for an influx of assets

Posted by Elaine Gast Fawcett on August 25, 2015

An influx of assets is a powerful transition point in your family’s philanthropy. With rising resources comes the budding potential to do more of what you’re already doing – or, perhaps, to try something new. Either way, additional resources will often provide your foundation with new options for making a difference according to your foundation’s mission.

A journey with young philanthropists from the Andrus family: Working with the next gen to animate the principles of social justice

Posted by Alyson Wise on August 25, 2015

On a sunny summer Saturday morning, seven college-aged youth trickled into a collaboration space at the offices of the Surdna Foundation and the Andrus Family Fund to commence the yearlong Board Executives in Training Program (BETS). The organization’s commitment to this work was a long-standing pursuit of the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program (AFPP); for almost fifteen years, it had implemented innovative, inclusive, and flexible programing to engage family members of all ages and interests to get involved in the family’s philanthropies and in public service. BETS itself, had been facilitated previously for four cohorts of youth interested in learning more about the sector and the family legacy.

Learning together with the Hilton Foundation

Posted by Heather Peeler on August 25, 2015

Have you ever been the one tasked with making the plans for a vacation with a large group of people? If so, you know what it is like to juggle many different schedules, preferences and opinions. However, when everyone puts the time and work in and shares the responsibility, it can be a wonderful experience. Coming together to accomplish something results in greater payoff than going at it solo. For the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the process of intentionally fostering learning with other organizations is paramount in its grantmaking for just this reason.

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