Posts tagged to 'Advocacy and policy'

Four ways family philanthropies can support social movements

Posted by Derrick Feldmann on March 29, 2016

Social movements are at the core of who we are as a society. People participate in these social movements because those who can’t stand up for themselves need the voice of strangers to be there for them. It’s the real reason most of us get behind a cause – an inspirational story, a symbol or a vision inspired us.

Why we must stand up for overhead

Posted by Katherine Lorenz on March 3, 2016

It is critical that donors invest in the long-term health and sustainability of the institutions we are asking to tackle the world’s most entrenched social problems. Starving organizations of strong strategic plans or essential technology—often viewed as overhead and therefore superfluous—actually prevents their ability to use the limited resources they do have most effectively.

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?

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?

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.

Motivation for giving

Posted by Lauren Amos on June 25, 2015

"My mom, growing up, always told me that to whom much is given, much is expected. That [saying] really resonated with me, so I wanted to give back to the community in which I lived in." - Lauren Amos, fund advisor, Wish Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Narrow and Deep

Posted by Jay Ruderman on June 25, 2015

I was once told that “when you’ve seen one foundation, you’ve seen one foundation.” Every foundation, public or private, is different. Each foundation is passionate about the issues they support but the way they “do business” differs vastly. Some foundations solicit applications, distribute funds and this is the extent of their involvement. Others are very private about their funding while some are very public. Since I became President of the Ruderman Family Foundation, I have pursued a path of going “narrow and deep” for the main issue we advocate for: the inclusion of people with disabilities in our society. Twenty percent of the U.S. population has some form of disability and it’s the only minority group almost all of us are guaranteed of joining at some point in our lives...

Where there is community, there is fellowship

Posted by Angie Hong on May 27, 2015

An increasing number of family foundations, community foundations, and regional associations are utilizing fellowship programs as a complementary strategy for meeting their charitable giving missions, while also seeking to expand local philanthropic leadership by building capacity in individual community members. Family foundations may decide to start a fellowship program for any of a number of reasons, including...

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