Alice Buhl is Senior Fellow to the National Center for Family Philanthropy and its Board of Directors. She was a founding board member of the National Center for Family Philanthropy and led the development of the “Pursuit of Excellence” assessment process. She also is a frequent contributor to National Center publications.

Alice is a Senior Consultant for Lansberg, Gersick & Associates and has
extensive experience in philanthropy and nonprofit management. Born and raised outside Chicago, she earned her MBA from Washington University (St. Louis). Alice has served as executive director of the Conference on Education and of the Metropolitan Association for Philanthropy in St. Louis, and senior vice president of the Council on Foundations in Washington, DC. Since 1990, Alice has been a consultant in philanthropy to many American and Canadian family foundations and prominent private foundations, specializing in assisting families as they manage critical challenges affecting their grantmaking. Alice and her husband live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

NCFP Passages Issue Briefs by Alice

The Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation: A Study in Spend Down

A Letter to Seniors (and will be seniors): Planning for Your Future in Philanthropy

Current Practices in Family Foundations: A study in support of the pursuit of excellence process

Passing the Baton: Generations Sharing Leadership

NCFP Blog Posts by Alice

The Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation Creates an Enduring Legacy by Effecting Community Change

Positioning your board for proactive, positive, transitions from senior leadership to the next generation

A Letter to Seniors (and will be seniors): Planning for your future in philanthropy

CEO transitions in family foundations

Family involvement: The spectrum of options

Family philanthropy or family foundation philanthropy?

Governance as leadership in tough times

Notes from a senior fellow: Mothers and legacy

Passing the baton: Generations sharing leadership

NCFP Webinars Featuring Alice

Becoming a Successful Board Chair: Tips and Advice from Your Peers (February 2017)

Trends in family philanthropy: Identity, leadership, and the future of family philanthropy (December 2015)

The critical role of the board chair in family philanthropy (April 2015)

The power of urgency: Advantages and options for spending down and limited life foundations (November 2013)

Current practices in family foundations: New benchmarking research (January 2010)

Passing the baton: Generations sharing leadership (July 2008)

Family business, family philanthropy: Strategies for success (January 2007)

Board compensation: Reasonable and necessary? (May 2005)

Contributions

2018 Trustee Education Institute: the Signature Seminar for Family Foundation Board Members

Posted on March 6, 2018 by Virginia M. Esposito, Andrew Schulz, David Grant, Hahn Le, Holli Rivera, Alice Buhl, Leticia Peguero, Lindsey Griffith, Mary Phillips, Nat Chioke Williams

NCFP’s Trustee Education Institute provides a comprehensive introduction to all of the key legal, investment, ethical, grantmaking, and family dynamics issues facing family foundation board members. Featuring a faculty made up of NCFP’s senior staff and highly respected philanthropy experts, this three day, intensive seminar typically covers: What does it mean to be a steward of both the public’s trust… Read More

Becoming a Successful Board Chair: Tips and Advice from Your Peers

Posted on February 9, 2017 by Alice Buhl, Susan Briggs, Nancy Cable, J.H. Dow Davis

Board chairs play an important and indispensable role in family foundations. Much more than just an honorary title, serving as board chair requires extra preparation, time, and specific skillsets. Join NCFP as we learn from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation Board Chair and President about the wide range of tasks and responsibilities facing board chairs, including overseeing board meetings, succession… Read More

2016 Trustee Education Institute: a Comprehensive Seminar for Family Foundation Trustees

Posted on March 9, 2016 by Virginia M. Esposito, Susan Crites Price, Andrew Schulz, Bruce Kahn, David Dodson, David Grant, David Neal, Alice Buhl, Jan Jaffe, Kelin E. Gersick, Ph.D.

NCFP’s Trustee Education Institute provides a comprehensive introduction to all of the key legal, investment, ethical, grantmaking, and family dynamics issues facing family foundation board members. Featuring a faculty made up of NCFP’s senior staff and highly respected philanthropy experts, this three day, intensive seminar will cover: What does it mean to be a steward of both the public’s trust… Read More
Ask the Center

How Does the Role of a Family Foundation Chair Differ from That of Other Non-Profit Entities?

Posted on April 22, 2015 by Virginia M. Esposito, Alice Buhl, Kelly Sweeney McShane

This month we are delighted to feature a question recently asked in our April webinar, The critical role of the board chair in family philanthropy. This wide-ranging conversation on the critical role of the board chair in family philanthropy featured international family foundation experts Virginia Esposito and Alice Buhl along with two experienced and thoughtful family foundation leaders… Read More

The Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation: a Study in Spend Down

Posted on November 20, 2013 by Alice Buhl

[Photo: The New Commons Mall in Columbus, Indiana, a centerpiece of the Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation’s neighborhood revitilization project.] This is the story of the third generation members of the Miller family who chose to spend down the Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation, with assets of approximately $25 million. Their story is different from many in two important ways. First, the… Read More
Featured Article

The Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation Creates an Enduring Legacy by Effecting Community Change

Posted on November 15, 2013 by Alice Buhl

This month’s Family Giving News feature article is excerpted from the newly released Passages Issue Brief detailing the story of the Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation, whose third generation board members made the strategic decision to spend down with assets of approximately $25 million. The ISMF story is different from many spend down stories in two important ways: First, the decision… Read More

The Power of Urgency: Options for Spending Down and Limited Life Foundations

Posted on November 14, 2013 by Alice Buhl, Joseph W. “Joe” Clark, Tony Proscio

This conversation will provide a fascinating look at the advantages and disadvantages of the limited life approach, both for the community of grantees and for family members themselves. Even if your family is not currently considering the limited life option, the strategic approaches taken by the boards of these foundations to achieve their goals will offer many valuable lessons and insights… Read More

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