Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

Strategies for Scaling Philanthropic Impact Through Values-Aligned Investing

Posted on May 2, 2024 by Daniel Gould

The Marguerite Casey Foundation (MCF) updated its investment policy statement to align its endowment with its grantmaking work. The foundation’s endowment continues to grow, beating industry benchmarks, while supporting the mission of the organization. Dan Gould, vice president of investments and operations at MCF, outlines four pillars that inform MCF’s values-aligned investing, including diversifying asset managers and engaging in shareholder… Read More
From NCFP, Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

Know Your Neighbors: Building Trusting Relationships in Family Philanthropy

Posted on April 1, 2024 by Erin Borla, Sokol Shtylla

Collaboration and partnership are the cornerstones to accomplishing meaningful impact on pressing social issues. But both are difficult to come by due to the inherent power imbalance that exists in philanthropy, where funders control resources needed to support the wellbeing of communities. Trust is required to foster collaborative partnerships between funders and grantees. But how can trust occur if you… Read More
Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

Declining Applications and Inquiries: How Funders Can Do Better

Posted on March 6, 2024 by Peter Marks

Peter Marks, executive director of The L.B. Research and Education Foundation, received positive feedback from grant seekers who were not selected to move forward in the foundation’s application process. The feedback affirmed Peter’s own experience as a nonprofit grantseeker: funders often fail to provide helpful information in their declination letters. Here, Peter shares a template for other funders to employ… Read More
From NCFP, Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

Improving Philanthropic Practice by Prioritizing Reflection & Learning

Posted on February 6, 2024 by Emerald Adeyemi, Don Chen

Family philanthropy done well can achieve lasting and meaningful change in the world and within the families themselves. To be effective, NCFP believes funders must employ four principles: accountability, equity, relationships, and reflection and learning. Despite being essential to impactful funding, a commitment to reflection and learning is often the first practice to be left behind when the day-to-day is… Read More
Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

How PRIs Can Help Maximize Impact and Approaches for Getting Started

Posted on December 5, 2023 by Mary Ann Weiss

In 2018, Mary Ann Weiss wrote a post for NCFP about program-related investments (PRIs), their advantages, and the barriers to using them. Since then, the philanthropic landscape has shifted and Mary Ann has built her own experience with PRIs. Learn more about use cases for PRIs and how to get started using the tool to amplify your impact. In the… Read More
Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

Collectively Reducing Nonprofit Burden through Data Standards

Posted on October 24, 2023 by Aleda Gagarin

As more and more funders request demographic data from their nonprofit partners to ensure that they are funding equitably, grantee burden to provide the data has increased. In an effort to centralize data and mitigate grantee burden, Candid’s data1x initiative has introduced Demographics via Candid. To understand the makeup of the nonprofits they support, individual funders increasingly request demographic information… Read More
Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

How to Interrupt the “Vicious Cycle of Inherited Wealth:” A Conversation with Iris Brilliant

Posted on October 17, 2023 by Britt Benavidez, Iris Brilliant

Vicious cycle of arrows in a circle
For wealth inheritors, having access to a large sum of money they did not earn is a privilege, but often comes with mixed emotions and a deep sense of responsibility. Acknowledging and building a healthy and transparent relationship to wealth can help improve personal and family relationships, deepen connections in community, and ultimately promote greater, and more equitable redistribution of… Read More
From NCFP, Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

The Benefits—and Challenges—of Adding an Equity Lens to Philanthropy Practices

Posted on October 10, 2023 by Diana Tyler Heath, June L. Wilson

Philanthropy is rooted in and continues to operate within inequitable systems and structures. Philanthropists have long sought to address these inequities in their grantmaking, and in recent years many have begun to examine how they can further address inequities in their practices. At NCFP, we see equity as a core principle of effective family philanthropy. We believe that equity begins… Read More
Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

Fostering Connection for More Effective Philanthropy

Posted on October 2, 2023 by David Weitnauer

Colleagues collaborating and laughing around a table
NCFP Distinguished Fellow David Weitnauer notes the importance of personal connection among family, board, and staff members in the context of their philanthropy and introduces his research on the concept of giving related. In the drive to improve our philanthropy practices and contribute to greater impact, we often overlook the very characteristic that sets our field apart: family ties. Cultivating… Read More
Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

Family Foundation Finds Focus in Grantee Relationships

Posted on August 31, 2023 by Prentice Zinn

Growing plant put into focus by a magnifying glass
In recent years, GMA Foundations has worked with the Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation to define and hone its grantmaking focus. The process involved deep listening and learning and strengthened grantee relationships.  Cohesive family giving across geography and generations is patient work. Trustees’ willingness to listen to one another and to invest time in grantee relationships translates… Read More