Blog | Featured Article

A Family’s Guide to Board Evaluations

June 15, 2006 | Sarah Trzepacz
A recent Council on Foundations’ survey—from the twelfth edition of Foundation Governing Boards and Administrative Expenses in Private Foundations—found that of the 144 family foundation trustees polled about activities related to their board service, only 21—14.6%—reported participating in board self-assessments in 2004. By comparison, 74.6% of those surveyed reported attending conferences or seminars to increase their capacity as board members, Read More
Blog | Featured Article

Six Simple Steps to a Successful, Stress-Free Family Meeting

May 15, 2006 | Sarah Trzepacz
Like so many other things preparation for a family meeting is vital to its success. With a little planning you can orchestrate and carry off a family meeting that accomplishes your philanthropic goals, strengthens your family’s commitment to effective governance of your giving vehicle, and is more enjoyable than you thought possible. By taking time to think through why, when, Read More
Blog | Case Studies

The Nickle Family Foundation

This month we profile the Nickle Family Foundation, based in Alberta, Canada, which is the product of two earlier foundations, one founded by Samuel Clarence Nickle, Sr. and the other by his son, Carl O. Nickle. The Foundation, which is currently governed exclusively by members of the third and fourth generations, funds a wide range of causes throughout its home Read More
Blog | Featured Article

4 Tips for Building Bonds, Improving Communication, and Encouraging the Next Generation

April 15, 2006 | Sarah Trzepacz
As nice as it would be to believe that a family’s unique dynamic— composed of individual and collective histories, experiences, memories, and modes of communication—remains firmly outside the discussions in which philanthropic decisions are made, the truth is that these factors can influence a family’s giving. Because a family philanthropy is built on a family’s values, identity, passion, and energy, Read More
Blog | Featured Article

Maximizing charitable returns: Mission-related and socially responsible investing

March 15, 2006 | Sarah Trzepacz
In last month’s issue we explored several ways to expand your philanthropic agenda to include new giving vehicles and new ways of thinking about effective giving. Among the giving options we explored was the idea of program-related investing, wherein philanthropies use their financial resources to support ventures or projects whose mission complements their own. This month we’ll look more closely Read More
Blog | Featured Article

Increasing Impact with Innovation: Creative Giving Options for Families

February 15, 2006 | Sarah Trzepacz
Foundations do not need a lot of money to be effective. If, indeed, they were to exploit only a fraction of the strategies available to them, their individual and collective impact on American life would be vastly and beneficially expanded. -Paul Ylvisaker, “Small Can Be Effective” As families become more hands-on in their philanthropy and their personal stake in its Read More
Blog | Featured Article

Gathering Year Round: the Power of Collaborative Giving

December 15, 2005 | Sarah Trzepacz
The holiday season is a time of the year that brings families together: around dinner tables, lighted candles—for Hanukkah and Kwanzaa—Christmas trees, and fireplaces. It’s a time of year that inspires people to send out cards and well-wishes, exchange gifts with loved ones and strangers alike, and to reconnect with the spirit behind their philanthropic endeavors. Much of the holiday Read More
Blog | Case Studies

The Gallagher Foundation

This month features the story of the Gallagher Foundation of Minneapolis. Founded in 2001 by Ellen and Jerry Gallagher, the foundation’s mission is to “promote peace and prosperity through education.” The foundation accomplishes this mission by providing scholarships to academically talented young people in Turkey, Mexico, and South Africa. To find out more about the Gallaghers, their foundation’s work, and their experiences Read More
Blog | Featured Article

Disaster Giving: The Role of Families in Relief, Recovery, and Rebuilding

November 15, 2005 | Sarah Trzepacz
Although many families establish their philanthropies with a specific mission in mind which governs their grantmaking focus and decisions, many can’t help but feel a strong desire to contribute when natural disasters and other tragedies hit both close to home and across the globe. Past natural disasters have not only rallied the support of America’s giving families, but have also Read More