Voices from the Field Posts

The Hewlett Foundation Program Officer Term Limits

Posted by Helena Choi on October 12, 2017

The Hewlett Foundation is pretty unique among foundations to set term limits for program staff. Many worry this system creates uncertainty for grantees or loss of institutional knowledge. But I’m convinced that term limits are absolutely great for everyone involved: the person leaving, the foundation, the grantees, and the broader field

Adaptive Leadership as a Reflective Practice

Posted by Caroline Williamson and Jan Jaffe on October 10, 2017

I wanted to explore whether philanthropy practitioners have used adaptive leadership, the framework developed by Dr. Ronald Heifetz and colleagues at Harvard’s Kennedy School, as a form of reflective practice. Those programs are funded by the B. Robert Williamson Jr. Foundation. I wanted to learn how this foundation came to support a form of reflective practice as capacity building, and that’s how I began my conversation with the foundation’s Executive Director, Caroline Williamson.

Finding the Slack: Millennials, Family Wealth, and Philanthropy

Posted by Katy Rees on October 6, 2017

As we continue to navigate the generational differences that face our society, I encourage you to explore a few insights from a millennial embracing her family’s wealth through philanthropy.

Resolution & Transformation

Posted by Robins Foundation on October 4, 2017

At Robins Foundation, our board and staff aspires to connect equity with transformational change for children and families across our region. We are reflecting on opportunities in our own organization. This includes our governance, our management and our process of funding. This includes raising our awareness and deeper understanding of the past and its influence on dialogues locally and beyond.

A Peek Into Impact Investing for Foundations

Posted by Stephanie Cohn-Rupp on September 29, 2017

We are seeing more family foundations committing their assets (both endowment and “payout”) to impact investing, regardless of asset size. The reasons are multiple and depend on the family, but we are starting to notice some trends.

6 Ways Family Foundations Can Make A Difference in Immigrant and Refugee Lives

Posted by Naomi Polin on September 27, 2017

With all the changes in the political climate over the past year, I’ve been especially concerned for immigrants and refugees. Many families in my city and community have been affected by the new executive orders and administrative actions, and I’ve read stories about many others across the country that are at risk.

Four Steps to Greater Impact for Your Family Foundation

Posted by Beth Suarez on September 26, 2017

We recognize the vital role foundations of all types play in philanthropy, and we embrace the diversity that exists across the foundation community. However, we also see how inconsistent grantmaking practices can place a burden on grantseekers and affect the impact of both foundations and the nonprofits they fund.

Set a New Table, Create a “Safe Zone” for Effective Family Philanthropy

Posted by Bruce DeBoskey on September 21, 2017

Multigenerational family philanthropy creates a unique opportunity for every family to set a new table so that all adult and young adult family members are invited to sit, share, develop and act upon common values and goals around money and philanthropy.

Want Better Advice for Donors? Build an Expert Marketplace for Philanthropy

Posted by Simone Friedman on September 12, 2017

A philanthropic-expert marketplace would take advantage of the investments foundations make in their professional staffs and in so doing would enable grant makers to have greater influence on the larger philanthropic world.

GrantAdvisor.org: Why All The Cool People Are Using It

Posted by Vu Le on September 7, 2017

GrantAdvisor.org is like TripAdvisor or Yelp, but for reviewing foundations. Anyone can provide a review, and when a foundation has five reviews, its profile will go live so everyone can see all the reviews. It’ll help foundations to get no-BS feedback and advice that they might not be able to get otherwise.

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