Case Studies

The Evolution of Family Philanthropy: The David Rockefeller Fund

Posted on August 4, 2020 by Maggie McGoldrick

The name Rockefeller often conjures up images of wealth and influence. The founders of Standard Oil and magnates of the banking industry, the family is known worldwide for generations of success in business and politics. However, since 1855 when John D. Rockefeller, Sr. gave his first philanthropic gift, the family has harnessed its name for a far greater legacy—social impact… Read More
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Trust-based Philanthropy: Satterberg Foundation

Posted on January 13, 2020 by The Whitman Institute

The Satterberg Foundation recently decided to transform its processes in an effort to build greater transparency and alignment with their core values. One of the most dramatic changes was a shift to multi-year general operating support. The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project’s Shaady Salehi sat down with Executive Director Sarah Walczyk to get the scoop on why they did this and what… Read More
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Transfer Decision Making and Wealth: Chorus Foundation

Posted on January 7, 2020 by Elaine Gast Fawcett

Cover of the Passages Issue Brief, Bridging the Power Divide, with a person teaching a few others in a room
As a family funder, how can you acknowledge and responsibly navigate the power of your position? How does the power and privilege you hold affect those you interact with and support? How can you use your power for good—to make lasting impact? This Passages Issue Brief features stories, perspectives, and practical tips on power, and suggestions for how family funders can work… Read More
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Using a Donor-advised Fund to Nurture Family Philanthropy

Posted on May 22, 2017 by The R. Howard Dobbs Jr. Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

The R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation is the legacy of Howard Dobbs, Jr., a lifelong Atlantan who was a respected businessman, a civic leader, and a generous philanthropist. He did not have children of his own but was very close to his sister’s three children. As Mr. Dobbs grew older and began making decisions about the long-term future of the family foundation he’d established in 1959, he turned to his nephew and nieces for leadership. He asked them to join the foundation’s board and tasked them with responsibility for its stewardship after his death. … Read More
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The Meyerhoff Funds: Bridging Geographic Boundaries for Shared Impact

Posted on October 15, 2012 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

Editor’s Note: This is one of three “Family Office Spotlights” included in the National Center’s new report, Working Together for Common Good. The Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds are a group of Baltimore-based family foundations whose philanthropic contributions have had significant impact not only on the city of Baltimore, but nationally and internationally as well. Joseph Meyerhoff, a premier… Read More
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The Ansara Family Fund: Partnering Beyond Borders for Long-term Impact

Posted on April 15, 2010 by Jason Born

When Karen and Jim Ansara contacted the Boston Foundation on January 14, 2010 to talk about how their family’s donor advised fund could best respond to the earthquakes in Haiti – which had happened less than 48 hours before – they were continuing both a longstanding commitment to international philanthropy, as well as a more recent commitment to Haiti in… Read More
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Finding and Fighting the Causes of Homelessness: The Melville Charitable Trust

Posted on June 11, 2009 by Jason Born

In 1990, a family trust in Connecticut decided to pursue an audacious goal: to end homelessness in America. The board thoroughly studied the issue, and eventually committed themselves to an equally bold strategy – creating a national movement. The Melville Charitable Trust’s considerable impact since then was recognized recently when its long-time executive director, Robert Hohler, received the Council on… Read More