Posts tagged to 'Collaboration'

Walking the talk: Striving for authentic partnership with our grantees

Posted by Laura McCargar on February 23, 2016

In November, PFF Program Officer Laura McCargar joined Michael Moody of the Johnson Center for Family Philanthropy and NCFP Fellow and Board Member Katherine Lorenz of the George and Cynthia Mitchell Foundation at the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations conference in Houston, Texas to talk about collaboration in the context of family philanthropy.

Five essential practices to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at your family foundation

Posted by Audrey Haberman and Sindhu Knotz on February 16, 2016

Last October, we had the pleasure of hosting a conversation with a group of ten family foundations attending the National Forum on Family Philanthropy in Seattle. The session was focused on how foundation leaders can begin to address the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with your staff and trustees. Through storytelling about successes, and a discussion about mistakes and anxieties related to DEI, the group identified five essential practices any family foundation should consider to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Good governance: How should family foundation boards spend their time?

Posted by Phillip Henderson on February 9, 2016

Checks landing in the mailboxes of nonprofit organizations with foundation return ad-dresses have long been considered philanthropy’s most important currency. Reflecting that view, family foundations have tended to focus their operations, self-image, and their very reasons for being on getting the dollars out the door...Lurking behind that 90 percent, though, is another story—it’s the natural tendency to conflate family governance of a foundation and strategic control of its mission with control of the grantmaking function.

The 5 Dysfunctions of Philanthropy

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly on January 6, 2016

In 2002, Patrick Lencioni wrote a book called, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team." It explains the interpersonal aspects of teambuilding in a professional setting and how they undermine success. Although Lencioni’s team is in a fictional company, his lessons also are entirely relevant to grantmakers. We're pleased to share this recent blog post from NCFP Content Partner Putnam Consulting Group on five common dysfunctions that can affect philanthropy generally - and family philanthropy specifically.

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.

What are some tips for creating virtual site visits?

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly on September 24, 2015

This month we are pleased to feature philanthropy expert, speaker, and advisor, Karen Putnam Walkerly's 8 handy tips for creating effective and meaningful virtual site visits.

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.

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