Ellen Remmer is President of the Remmer Family Foundation, a small family foundation focused on girls empowerment and sustainable fisheries. Founded in 1991, the Foundation Board now includes members from both the 2nd and 3rd generation.  All other family members participate on focus area committees. 

Ellen is also a Senior Partner at The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), the nonprofit philanthropic advisory firm that pioneered the field of strategy philanthropy advising and works around the globe to help donor achieve lasting social impact. Ellen has been with TPI since 1993 and served as President and CEO of TPI from 2007- 2012. She has worked directly with dozens of family, corporate and community foundations, helping them develop powerful strategies for social impact and strong governance structures and practices. Ellen has developed many of TPI’s philanthropy promotion initiatives and both writes and speaks on the subjects of strategic giving, family philanthropy, growing philanthropy, women as donors and women as impact investors.

Ellen chairs the Board of Prosperity Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that launches women-led businesses in conflict-ridden countries, serves on the Advisory Council for the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, and is a member of the Oxfam Leadership Council. 

Contributions

Valuing the Family in Family Philanthropy

Posted on January 11, 2018 by Virginia M. Esposito, Ellen Remmer, Kerry Robinson, Michael Meadows

Giving families can wear many hats. At times, families may feel like they are losing the family identity in their giving. How does one keep the family in family philanthropy? What are steps families can take to make sure they are serving the public good while maintaining the family value & legacy? Join NCFP’s president, Ginny Esposito, as she interviews… Read More

Raising Children with Philanthropic Values

Posted on April 4, 2014 by Ellen Remmer

Develop an understanding of your own values, starting with your “money values.” We all have beliefs about money. Affluent parents may have more difficulty clarifying these values since there are so many choices they can make available to their children. Wealth counselors offer a variety of tools to help people articulate their money values and assess whether their behavior is consistent with these values. Keeping a money diary, identifying “money heroes,” or creating a priority ranking of “belief statements” about money can provide valuable insights. Your understanding of how philanthropy fits into your money values will determine the way you shape your children’s philanthropic values… Read More

Making a Difference: Evaluating Your Philanthropy

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Ellen Remmer

“I want to make a difference” This simple statement often sums up the motivating impulse for both sophisticated and beginning philanthropists. However, most donors soon learn that it is very difficult to measure the results of charitable activity. Donors who come to philanthropy from business careers often expect to measure nonprofit performance by the rigorous, quantitative measures used in the corporate sector, and are surprised by the resistance to such metrics in the world of philanthropy and “social investment.”… Read More

Women’s Role in Philanthropy

Posted on May 17, 2002 by Ellen Remmer

My involvement in philanthropy, like yours I'm sure, is akin to an octopus. It includes personal giving, giving with my spouse and kids, giving with my family of origin- sisters and Mom, doing fundraising, and as a professional who advises others on effective giving. But it is my giving with my sisters and Mom that I'd like to share with you today since it has been such a "women's experience" and because I'm frankly so proud of what we've done together… Read More

Philanthropy for the Wise Donor-Investor: a Primer for Families on Strategic Giving

Posted on October 31, 2000 by Ellen Remmer

Philanthropy is fundamentally an expression of values. For it to be rewarding, we believe it should reflect the interests and passions of family members.At the same time, it should be strategic and effective. Combining these goals successfully requires careful planning, a proven process crafted for each family’s specific needs, and commitment to long-term personal involvement… Read More

What’s a Donor to Do?

Posted on August 21, 2000 by Ellen Remmer

The report is structured around the stages of a donor's evolution and growth -- beginning the journey as a passive, largely uninformed giver, and progressing up the philanthropic curve to become an energetic, high-impact donor. We conceive this developmental growth in three stages… Read More

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