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
From NCFP

Preparing for Bold Leadership

Posted on January 26, 2024 by Nicholas A. Tedesco

watercolor pine trees
As I look back at the past few years, it’s clear that the challenges we faced as a society and as a sector have been unrelenting. It’s also been a time of great promise. Many families have shifted their philanthropic practices to respond to urgent and entrenched problems. They have taken bigger risks, leaned into trust, listened to communities, and… Read More
From NCFP

Beyond the Family: An Ecosystem Approach to Family Philanthropy

Posted on December 12, 2023 by Nicholas A. Tedesco

The success of family philanthropy is dependent on the willingness of the family to embrace an ecosystem of partners. In fact, the most effective philanthropic leaders recognize that the family operates in relationship to many others—most importantly community and staff members. Embracing an ecosystem approach to philanthropy, which focuses on building and respecting relationships to others in the system, is… 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
From NCFP

Application Processes and Effective Family Philanthropy: No easy answers

Posted on August 21, 2023 by Miki Akimoto

You don’t know who you don’t know – Jay Espy, former CEO, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation What does your application process say about you? As the philanthropic field continues to evolve and explore critical issues including equity, accountability, relationship-building, listening, and trust-based approaches, the grants application process (or lack thereof) often serves as a focal point for both discussions and… Read More
From NCFP, Effective Family Philanthropy in Action

Freedom & Effectiveness Through Accountability

Posted on July 28, 2023 by Miki Akimoto, Ashley Blanchard

Because a body of men, holding themselves accountable to nobody, ought not to be trusted by anybody. – Thomas Payne It should go without saying that families who embark on philanthropy together have good intentions—to give back to  communities where families live and have made their wealth, to make a difference in the world, and to provide a place where… Read More
From NCFP

Choosing Effectiveness as a Family

Posted on June 6, 2023 by Nicholas A. Tedesco

Effectiveness is a universal aspiration in philanthropy. It is ongoing and iterative, but it begins with making a choice. As our colleagues at the Center for Effective Philanthropy note, effectiveness requires four mutually reinforcing elements: goals, strategies, implementation, and assessment and learning. For family philanthropies, questions of effectiveness go even deeper. How do you build consensus with your family? How… Read More
From NCFP

New Research: Study Finds that Collaborative Model is Necessary for Family Foundations That Wish to Achieve Generational Continuity

Posted on April 13, 2023 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

For many, family philanthropy presents an opportunity to create a shared experience, unifying the family by working together toward a lasting legacy of impact. Family philanthropy can also give participants an opportunity to explore and cultivate their personal—and sometimes separate—philanthropic passions. There can be an inherent tension between these two goals, and many families struggle with how to address it—especially… Read More
From NCFP

Navigating Climate Change Philanthropy 

Posted on March 16, 2023

Youth march in support of the Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act . Credit Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition
Funding to combat climate change can feel overwhelming. Tony Macklin outlines pathways that families can take to having an impact on climate through learnings from the “Climate and Family Philanthropy” session at the 2022 National Forum on Family Philanthropy.  In multiple polls, most Americans say they believe in the risks of climate change and think our society needs to do… Read More