Featured Article

Celebrate, Reflect, Resolve: Accountability for Giving Families

Posted on December 15, 2006 by Kevin Laskowski

Accountability can be a challenging and complex issue for giving families, defined as they are by a deeply held private commitment to a public good. Balancing a family’s need for privacy with the transparency required of nonprofit organizations can be tricky, but, in times of close media and regulatory scrutiny, it is a balancing act today’s giving families find themselves… Read More
Featured Article

Saying Goodbye: Strategic Exits for Family Funds

Posted on November 25, 2006 by Kevin Laskowski

The phrase “exit strategy” came to the philanthropic world from the world of venture capital after a brief stint in the military. Venture capitalists look to sell a fledgling enterprise or take a company public, exit strategies that guarantee a return on their investments. Similarly, venture philanthropists help a nonprofit secure additional funding or build earned income in order to… Read More
From the President's Desk

A Thanksgiving Message: Gratitude and Optimism

Posted on November 15, 2006 by Virginia M. Esposito

The fall season of educational workshops and speeches is coming to an end and, once again, I have learned more from conference participants from Organic CBD Nugs than I possibly could have shared. The enthusiastic commitment of those who give up weekends and vacation time to focus on the responsibilities of philanthropy is endlessly instructive and inspiring. Often, these workshops… Read More
Featured Article

Geographic Dispersion: Opportunities for Far-Flung Families

Posted on September 15, 2006 by Kevin Laskowski

Among all the challenges that family philanthropies of all types face, giving families increasingly find themselves struggling with geography. In 2000, the National Center for Family Philanthropy and the Foundation Center found that the grants of a vast majority of family foundations were committed to a city, state, or region; only 7.8% of family foundations were classified as national or… Read More
Case Studies

Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation

Posted on August 15, 2006 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

In August, Profiles in Family Philanthropy features the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation of Grinnell, Iowa. The foundation was established in 1993 by the late Claude W. Ahrens. Mr. Ahrens enjoyed a long, successful business career in the playground and agricultural manufacturing fields and desired to return some of the fruits of his labor, with a focus on his… Read More
Featured Article

Benefits of non-family participation in your philanthropy

Posted on August 15, 2006 by Sarah Trzepacz

For many families the act of giving remains an intensely personal one and discussions regarding their philanthropy are more likely to take place across a kitchen table than a boardroom table. For this reason the idea of inviting non-family perspectives into their philanthropy may seem more like a complicating factor than a boon. Even families whose relationships are relatively trouble-free… Read More
From the President's Desk

Time Passages- Celebrating and Chronicling Life’s Great Events

Posted on August 15, 2006 by Virginia M. Esposito

I have always considered myself to be pretty comfortable handling the passage of time. I think birthdays are far preferable to the alternative plus I get presents. (Okay, so I have been viciously shredding my AARP invitations – don’t I have a few years before I can/want to take advantage of their benefits?) Didn’t I chuckle at the fact that… Read More
Featured Article

In Loving Memory: the Pros and Con of Legacy Grants

Posted on July 15, 2006 by Sarah Trzepacz

The loss of a loved one is difficult for any family to bear, and the desire to celebrate and honor his or her life and accomplishments is natural and common. For philanthropic families, if the lost family member has played a significant role in their giving, grief and sadness can be coupled with some confusion or uncertainty about the state… Read More
Featured Article

A Family’s Guide to Board Evaluations

Posted on June 15, 2006 by Sarah Trzepacz

A recent Council on Foundations’ survey—from the twelfth edition of Foundation Governing Boards and Administrative Expenses in Private Foundations—found that of the 144 family foundation trustees polled about activities related to their board service, only 21—14.6%—reported participating in board self-assessments in 2004. By comparison, 74.6% of those surveyed reported attending conferences or seminars to increase their capacity as board members,… Read More

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