Richard Woo is the former Chief Executive Officer of The Russell Family Foundation where he guided the Foundation’s strategic planning, programs and community affairs. Prior to arriving at the foundation, he spent many years working in nonprofit organizations and business in California. He is the former executive director of the Levi Strauss Foundation, and has served on the boards of the Council on Foundations, Philanthropy Northwest, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.
In impact investing, we are witnessing the flipping of the script between the old and the new. Investors are striving to transform the mental formations (mindsets, deal sheets, and return expectations) that many times collide with the limits of natural resources, the call for equitable financial outcomes, and the health and well-being of people, places, and the planet… Read More
A Conversation with New and Graduating CEOs (Live Stream of 2019 National Forum)
Posted on January 16, 2019 by Nicholas A. Tedesco, Jamie Allison, Don Chen, Richard Woo, Jim Parsons
NCFP will live stream a session from the 2019 National Forum on Family Philanthropy in Chicago, IL. From the comfort of your home or office—and with a computer or electronic device—you can listen and view the event as it happens live. Being the non-family staff leader of a multi-generational family foundation is a privilege and honor. The path to engaging… Read More
Impact Investing: The Russell Family Foundation’s Journey From a Little to a Lot
Posted on November 26, 2018 by Richard Woo, The Russell Family Foundation
The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) practices impact investing as a long game built on experiential learning, resilient risk-taking and the primacy of relationships. … Read More
20th Anniversary Symposium: Imagining the Future of Family Philanthropy
Posted on September 13, 2018 by Virginia M. Esposito, Carol S. Larson, Ayelet Baron, Sierra Clark, A. Sparks, Didier Sylvain, Farhad Ebrahimi, Kelly Chopus, Richard Woo, Mary Mountcastle
In addition to a celebration of NCFP’s 20th Anniversary, the Symposium will explore key themes, trends, and bold ideas generated over the year by the Imagining the Future initiative. We will also unveil several new NCFP research initiatives including Pride of Place, a report exploring how boards stay true to the original geographic focus of the family foundation after trustees have moved away. … Read More
The Lasting Value of Transparency
Posted on January 25, 2018 by Richard Russell, Richard Woo
Transparency enhances our ability to learn, to lead, to reach consensus, and even agree to disagree. That’s because adopting a mindset of transparency encourages deeper participation and helps us stay focused on our mission. As a result, we tend to be more successful and satisfied working together because we know more about what’s going on… Read More
Nurturing Relationships with Transparency
Posted on September 28, 2017 by Richard Russell, Richard Woo
Transparency is a powerful force when used appropriately. The trick is deciding what is “appropriate” across a wide range of contacts and interactions. In our prior blog posts, we shared our experience cultivating transparency through the lens of finding balance and sharing knowledge. This time around, we want to concentrate on ways to harness transparency for mutual benefit… Read More
Balancing Family Privacy and Public Trust: Transparency in Family Philanthropy
Posted on May 11, 2017 by Chris Rurik, Richard Russell, Richard Woo
While transparency is an important value in principle, what do you do when your foundation’s privacy is also your family’s privacy? How do we balance the need for public accountability with a family’s right to privacy? What do the tough but important questions regarding transparency and accountability mean for family philanthropy and how can foundations think strategically about these questions?… Read More
Practicing Transparency for Discovery and Learning
Posted on April 27, 2017 by Richard Russell, Richard Woo
For us, transparency is as much about discovery as disclosure. That’s because the discovery process is how we determine: (1) what we know, (2) what we don’t know, (3) where we stand, and (4) what boundaries, if any, exist for a specific topic. … Read More
Transparency, Privacy, and Trust: Finding Balance for Family Foundations
Posted on February 27, 2017 by Richard Russell, Richard Woo
As a group, family philanthropies put a lot of energy into connecting with our constituents. We do this joyfully because we know that strong, trusting relationships are vital to our success and the communities we serve… Read More
Creating a Culture of Learning for Your Family and Board
Posted on October 10, 2013 by Evan M. Hunt, Lila C. Hunt, Richard Woo, Sarah Cavanaugh, Tony Macklin
Many families find that commitment and satisfaction in their shared philanthropy is directly correlated to the efforts they take to educate and train board and family members about their roles and responsibilities -- and about the many grantmaking options available to them… Read More
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