Voices from the Field Posts

What is Overhead, Anyway?

Posted by Kylie Musolf on March 15, 2017

Overhead is one of the first concepts any philanthropist learns. It includes all of those administrative and fundraising costs that we secretly wish our nonprofit colleagues didn’t have to worry about. But what exactly is overhead, anyway?

"Change Happens at the Speed of Trust"

Posted by Patrick Troska on March 13, 2017

We knew we had to change the dynamic. We began by changing how we show up as individuals and as an institution.

Funders’ Role in Protecting Marginalized Communities During the Next Four Years

Posted by Vu Le on March 8, 2017

An insidious result of injustice is that it isolates us from one another, and it allows those of us not directly affected to intellectualize, to think about it in the abstract. To combat it, we must be intentional about listening to those most affected, and we must make time to reconnect with and recommit to one another, even before taking action.

Donor Collaboratives: Maximizing Your Philanthropic Impact

Posted by Rachel Ogorek on February 22, 2017

NCFP’s 2015 Trends in Family Philanthropy study found that more than 90 percent of respondents cited the “impact of their giving” as the top motivation for their participation in family philanthropy. This same study found that just 45 percent of family foundations participate in efforts with other funders. If grant makers are interested in increasing the impact of their giving, they should give serious consideration to participating in a donor collaborative.

Extending the Invitation: Non-Family Junior Board Members

Posted by Sahar Afrakhan on February 16, 2017

My friends who’ve inherited philanthropy as part of their family life have an amazing opportunity, but there’s little effort to extend an invitation outward. If we can involve our youth, then what’s stopping us?

The Giving Pledge for the Rest of Us

Posted by Bruce DeBoskey on February 13, 2017

The Giving Pledge has been successful in encouraging philanthropy among the ultra-wealthy. However, this good idea should not be restricted to billionaires. Each of us can make a personal, achievable pledge to receive less — and give and do more to help address society’s urgent problems.

Mission Engagement with the “Other 95 Percent”

Posted by David Farren on February 9, 2017

With help from our advisors and grantees, we will continue to explore how we can maximize strategic deployment of the Foundation’s resources to support healthy ecosystems and sustainable, vibrant communities.

From Paris With Love: A Reminder for Family Philanthropists

Posted by Yvonne L. Moore on February 6, 2017

Reflecting on bits of wisdom to ground what will be my eighteenth year in the philanthropic sector, I didn’t want to defer to words such as strategy, impact, risk, and collaboration, which frame most conversations in our workplaces.

LLC vs. Foundation: Which is the Better Option for Philanthropists?

Posted by Susanna Poon on January 26, 2017

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC raised the question about why some philanthropists choose a limited liability company (“LLC”) instead of a private non-operating foundation (“foundation”) to carry out their mission.

For Sunsetting Foundations, a Limited Life but a Perpetual Contribution

Posted by Fred Smith on January 23, 2017

I have been talking with families and executives lately about the growing number of private foundations deciding to “sunset” after a predetermined number of years. The primary reason for this is the concern about the mission and values of the foundation shifting away over time from the original intent of the donor.

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