From the President's Desk

Summer, Sharing, and Vacations: Activities for Children

Posted on July 15, 2007 by Virginia M. Esposito

It’s summer and a young person’s fancy turns to …philanthropy? Well, perhaps more than you might think. I ran into a friend recently and she told me her college freshman daughter was off to Nicaragua. Sarah belongs to a group that organizes charitable field trips for young people – giving them the chance to help those considerably less fortunate while… Read More
Case Studies

The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies

Posted on May 15, 2007 by Kevin Laskowski

Charles Bronfman returned from a trustees’ meeting of the Mount Sinai Medical Center with an idea. Bronfman, Chairman and co-founder with his late wife Andrea of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, had heard of the Medical Center’s efforts in the emerging field of personalized medicine. Dr. Jeffrey Solomon, President of the Philanthropies, recalls, “He came back to the foundation… Read More
From the President's Desk

Motivations for Board Service: Why Many Family Members Want in and Some Don’T Want to Leave

Posted on May 15, 2007 by Virginia M. Esposito

Many of the requests for help that come to me directly or as referrals from colleagues or National Center staff are about governance. When it comes to the fundamentally important issue of effective trusteeship – and appropriate foundation governance – the range of questions is startling and no question is insignificant. How do other foundations structure their boards? Should we… Read More
Case Studies

The Theodore R. & Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation

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

“Mr. Johnson felt he had been ‘lucky.’ Those were his words: ‘You know, we’ve been lucky with money.’” Theodore “Ted” Johnson returned from service as a gunnery officer in World War I and took a job with Merchants Parcel Delivery, a private messenger and delivery service. Johnson would work his way through college and up in the company, obtaining an… Read More
Featured Article

Program and General Support: Choices for Giving Families

Posted on April 15, 2007 by Kevin Laskowski

In an ongoing salvo in the decades-long debate surrounding program and general operating support, a 2007 report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy charges: The grantmaking practices of a significant part of the foundation sector may be crippling small community-based and other nonprofit organizations because of one significant factor—the unwillingness of most foundations to provide general operating support to… Read More
From the President's Desk

Project Vs. General Operating Support: Need it Be Either/Or?

Posted on April 15, 2007 by Virginia M. Esposito

With reports from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and the Center for Effective Philanthropy, among others, focusing on program vs. operating costs, I am often asked how donors and family funders are dealing with this debate. I remember the passionate debate that followed a major paper on this issue by Michael Seltzer and Michael Cunningham – and I am sure those… Read More
Case Studies

The Hill-Snowdon Foundation

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

Arthur B. Hill, a pharmaceutical salesman with no formal education who worked his way to the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson, created the Arthur B. Hill Foundation in 1959. For years, the foundation would operate as a “kitchen table” philanthropy with volunteer family members managing the assets and supporting personal interests. Ashley Snowdon, Arthur Hill’s great-granddaughter and now… Read More
Featured Article

Mapping Change: Discovering Your Giving Niche

Posted on March 15, 2007 by Kevin Laskowski

Effective and meaningful family philanthropy channels a family’s passions, interests, beliefs, values, and resources for a social good. Maintaining this delicate balance between private values and public virtue can position giving families for their most inspiring and innovative grants, but it also places them at the sometimes confusing intersection of a number of public and private initiatives. Whether your giving… Read More
From the President's Desk

A Happy Anniversary

Posted on March 15, 2007 by Virginia M. Esposito

Given that I am tired, exhilarated, challenged, inspired, frustrated, and charged up, it can mean only one thing: I have just returned from spending time with donors, family members and others involved in family philanthropy. In this case it was the 2007 Family Foundations Conference. It was a special year for the National Center for Family Philanthropy and the Baltimore… Read More
Case Studies

The Durfee Foundation: Supporting Sabbaticals for Nonprofit Leaders

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

Stan and Dorothy founded what would become the Durfee Foundation in 1960. In those days, it bore the Avery name as did their flourishing business. As the company became more successful, though, the family suggested taking on Dorothy’s name Durfee to distinguish between the company’s philanthropy and the family’s philanthropy. In 1977, the family foundation became the Durfee Foundation and… Read More

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