How to Successfully Engage in Your Family’s Philanthropy as an Adult

Posted on April 25, 2024 by Cara Binder-Kopchick

In our recent publication, A Guide to Meaningfully Engaging Next-Generation Adults in Your Philanthropy, we explore ways for those who are currently managing a family’s philanthropy to thoughtfully welcome next-generation adults. While so many of the formal transition responsibilities lie with the philanthropy’s current leaders, the incoming adult leaders also have several opportunities position themselves for success and to actively… 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

Navigating Philanthropy and its Shifts: Insights from Philanthropic Advisors

Posted on March 20, 2024 by Shannon Jeffries

In recent years, the philanthropic landscape has evolved in response to issues of equity and justice. Consequently, many donor families seek guidance and support from philanthropic advisors to help them navigate the complexities of these shifts, ensuring that philanthropic efforts align with and are informed by the communities they serve.  As families work to translate their philanthropic purpose to impact… 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

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

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

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

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