Ask the Center

Geographic Dispersion

Posted on December 15, 2007 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

Q: My family’s foundation has traditionally given in New England and continues to support nonprofits there, but family members live all around the country. How do we keep people engaged? A: As today’s families are more mobile than ever, geographic dispersion has become a crucial issue for family philanthropists as they try to keep distant family members involved. Consider the… Read More
Featured Article

Encouraging Young Philanthropists, Part One

Posted on December 15, 2007 by Kevin Laskowski

The holidays are a time of celebration, sharing, and enjoying the company of family and friends. They’re also a time of advertising, doorbuster sales, and conspicuous consumption. For families concerned about raising charitable children, the holidays can represent a challenge as well as a great opportunity. “Children are barraged by media messages about how buying things will make them happy,”… Read More
From NCFP

Looking to the Past and the Future for Lessons

Posted on December 15, 2007 by Virginia M. Esposito

It must be December because I am making a list and checking it twice – of all the things I promised myself I would do this year and have yet to accomplish. Taking stock is a healthy and disciplining exercise. It is also humbling and instructive. This December, I am learning new things about assessment, the value of heritage and… Read More
Case Studies

The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation

Posted on November 15, 2007 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

Clarifying the founders’ intent is an issue very close to the heart of many philanthropic families, but this concern took on special urgency for the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1986, the $17-million family foundation is located in Lehigh County where the Orphans’ Court periodically reviews the foundations established there, and has considerable… Read More
Featured Article

Creating an Effective Grant Agreement

Posted on November 15, 2007 by Kevin Laskowski

For most of its fifty-year history, the Dyson Foundation didn’t use grant agreements. The Millbrook, New York-based family foundation was concerned the contract-like letters of agreement between grantmaker and grantee would make the foundation too formal and bureaucratic. “We started using them some years go, though, with larger grants,” notes the foundation’s Executive Vice President Diana Gurieva. “It really helped… Read More
Ask the Center

Discretionary Grants Policy

Posted on November 15, 2007 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

Q: We were thinking of creating a discretionary grant policy where each board member could make some grants in their own areas while keeping the majority of the foundation’s grantmaking in our parents’ home state. How many other families do this and is this a good idea? A: Many family foundation boards allow discretionary grantmaking, that is, grants made largely… Read More
From NCFP

Gratitude and Generosity

Posted on November 15, 2007 by Virginia M. Esposito

November is a very special month for those involved in philanthropy. We set aside time to honor our traditions of gratitude. For many of us, gratitude and the chance to give back ranks high among the values that motivate our giving and volunteering. We are grateful for our own blessings and we generously want others to share in the kinds… Read More
Featured Article

Donor-advised funds: Tools for giving families

Posted on October 15, 2007 by Kevin Laskowski

Wanted: Tax-Advantageous, Convenient, Flexible Way to Give Back. Giving Family Seeks Way to Make Difference Privately. Must Love Children. Families looking for less time-consuming but still informed and effective ways to give back are increasingly turning to donor-advised funds, either exclusively or in tandem with other giving vehicles, such as private foundations. This month’s Family Giving News looks at how… Read More
Case Studies

The Lumpkin Family Foundation

Posted on October 15, 2007 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

When the Lumpkin family began, in 2005, to consider a new grant program, they encountered a stumbling block. While the family had a number of common interests—healthy food, education, water quality, nonprofit capacity-building—none of them produced enough “collective passion” to warrant the creation of a new grantmaking focus. “Rather than picking one of the program areas to work in, we… Read More
Case Studies

The Laird Norton Family

Posted on September 15, 2007 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

With a family business that goes back 152 years, the Laird Norton family has a lot of history to chronicle. That’s why they’ve chosen several ways to do it, including some novel approaches. In 1855, two brothers, Matthew George Norton and James Laird Norton, and their cousin, William Harris Laird, formed the Laird Norton Company, the first of many Laird… Read More