Case Study Posts

Transparency Case Study: The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota

Posted by Elaine Gast Fawcett on December 5, 2018

What choices do family foundations and funds have when it comes to transparency? And what approaches are families taking when it comes to managing transparency, communications, and privacy? NCFP's new guide, "Transparency in Family Philanthropy: Opening to the Possibilities," features a collection of five diverse funder stories exploring different takes on how families think about and act on transparency—and what they have learned as a result. This month we share the experiences and lessons learned from the The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota.

Impact Investing: The Russell Family Foundation’s Journey From a Little to a Lot

Posted by Richard Woo on November 26, 2018

The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) practices impact investing as a long game built on experiential learning, resilient risk-taking and the primacy of relationships.

Using a Donor Advised Fund to Nurture Family Philanthropy

Posted by The R. Howard Dobbs Jr. Foundation on May 22, 2017

The R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation is the legacy of Howard Dobbs, Jr., a lifelong Atlantan who was a respected businessman, a civic leader, and a generous philanthropist. He did not have children of his own but was very close to his sister’s three children. As Mr. Dobbs grew older and began making decisions about the long-term future of the family foundation he’d established in 1959, he turned to his nephew and nieces for leadership. He asked them to join the foundation’s board and tasked them with responsibility for its stewardship after his death.

FAMILY OFFICE SPOTLIGHT: The Meyerhoff Funds: Bridging Geographic Boundaries for Shared Impact

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on October 15, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is one of three “Family Office Spotlights” included in the National Center’s new report, Working Together for Common Good, available at our website at The Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds are a group of Baltimore-based family foundations whose...

A committment to place: The Springs Close foundation

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on August 15, 2010

The Springs Close Foundation is among the largest family foundations in South Carolina, and one of the oldest in the South. Assets at the end of 2009 were approximately $38 million, and over the past seven decades the foundation has invested nearly $100 million in the state – primarily in a rural...

The Ansara family fund: Partnering beyond border for long-term impact

Posted by Jason C. Born on April 15, 2010

When Karen and Jim Ansara contacted the Boston Foundation on January 14, 2010 to talk about how their family’s donor advised fund could best respond to the earthquakes in Haiti – which had happened less than 48 hours before – they were continuing both a longstanding commitment to international...

The Highland Street foundation

Posted by Susan Crites Price on October 11, 2009

Summer’s over, but for many Massachusetts families, the memories linger on. That’s because from July 3 to September 4, Boston’s Highland Street Foundation sponsored Free Fun Fridays at each of 10 museums and other attractions across the state. Thousands of children and families enjoyed a free...

The Geraldine and Howard Polinger family foundation

Posted by Rebecca Zimmerman on August 11, 2009

One Foundation’s Plan for Embracing the Next Generation Lorre Polinger and her siblings are facing a common challenge in family foundations or funds: how to engage their combined nine children in the family’s philanthropy. Founded in 1968 by their parents, Geraldine and the late Howard Polinger, the...

Finding and Fighting the Causes of Homelessness: The Melville Charitable Trust

Posted by Jason C. Born on June 11, 2009

In 1990, a family trust in Connecticut decided to pursue an audacious goal: to end homelessness in America. The board thoroughly studied the issue, and eventually committed themselves to an equally bold strategy – creating a national movement. The Melville Charitable Trust’s considerable impact since...

How to Close a Foundation: The Pottruck Family Experience

Posted by Susan Crites Price on April 11, 2009

With a tough economy comes tough decisions. That was true for the Pottruck Family Foundation board, which dissolved the foundation effective Jan. 30, 2009. As their assets shrank in the declining markets of 2008, the family decided that by shifting their philanthropy to a donor-advised fund, they could...

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