Posts by Katherine Lorenz

Standing Together: Exciting Ways Family Philanthropy Can Come Together in 2018

Posted by Katherine Lorenz on January 30, 2018

2017 was a challenging and frustrating year for many of us who work in family philanthropy. The nation’s political climate—characterized by intense partisan polarization and accompanied by a parade of troublesome public policy changes—has undone years of hard work and placed new burdens on the nonprofits we support and the communities we serve.

It’s Time for Grantmakers to Embrace Failure

Posted by Katherine Lorenz on October 5, 2016

Philanthropy often encourages grantees to take risks, to be innovative, to find new solutions to old problems. Indeed, many refer to philanthropy as “risk capital,” providing funding that can help society create innovative, new models for addressing the world’s most intractable social issues. But risk and innovation often bring an uncomfortable consequence: failure.

To make a difference, family philanthropy must take more risks

Posted by Katherine Lorenz on May 24, 2016

Many of us in family philanthropy are driven by a grand vision of a better world. We are motivated by bold ideas, and finding ways to use our philanthropy to make a difference and leave a lasting impact. And, at the same time, we are too often hamstrung by a fear of failure.

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.

Planning for an influx of assets

Posted by Katherine Lorenz on September 24, 2015

“The big thing is to not feel rushed, and to look to peers and to experts for advice, and it's not that anyone can tell you everything you need to know, or there's any one person who can lead you through this, but I think the more people you talk to, the more you start to realize what will and what won't work for your specific situation, the specific challenges that you face. And then, to talk all that in the aggregate, and apply it to your own family, and where you are in the process. ” -- Katherine Lorenz, President, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation Source: NCFP September Webinar, Planning for an influx of assets

Reflections from the Trustee Education Institute: A bootcamp for stewarding your family’s philanthropic assets

Posted by Katherine Lorenz on November 18, 2014

The National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) has been an invaluable resource for me as I navigate the tumultuous waters of helping to direct my family’s foundation. I was first invited to participate in the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation in 2004, soon after I turned 25....

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