Contributions

Changing Your Grantmaking Lens: Aging As An Asset

Posted on October 18, 2011 by Jason Born

Do you view older adults in your community as a valuable and perhaps untapped asset, or as a population in need of increased philanthropic support? Based on interviews with family funders active in this important, complex and diverse funding area, this edition of Passages makes the case that answer is a little bit of both, but more of the former than you… Read More

Philanthropy’s Role in Developing Responsible Adults

Posted on October 10, 2011 by Allison Sole, Sam Davis III

Families of wealth face unique challenges. In most cases, children cannot avoid being set apart because of the communities in which they live, the kinds of cars they drive, the vacations they take, and the affluent friends whose company they keep. They can afford to attend elite private schools and receive the support of coaches and tutors. The extent of… Read More

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

Posted on September 13, 2011 by Alice Buhl

Their stories are fascinating reminders of the many philanthropic paths available, whatever your age. Their stories fall into four categories of approaches to how they planned their own as well as their family’s philanthropic futures: senior generation members who chose to stay actively involved in leading the family’s foundation. seniors who passed on leadership but stayed active in the foundation… Read More

Measuring What Counts: Meaningful Evaluation for Family Foundations

Posted on April 4, 2011 by Anne Mackinnon

Family foundations are in business to make a difference. As one family foundation leader put it, creating a family foundation is a “powerful statement about wanting to achieve impact.” Yet family foundations often get painted unfairly as not having impact, perhaps because they aren’t always very good at understanding or describing the impact they have, even to themselves… Read More

Ready to Learn: Family Philanthropy Supports Early Learning and Literacy

Posted on January 10, 2011 by Elaine Gast Fawcett

Naturally, families that have done well in their own lives care deeply about those that don’t have access to the same resources or opportunities. In this spirit, more families than ever are drawn to helping their community’syoungest children get an early start on succeeding in school. The issues of early childhood care, school readiness, and reading have attracted a lot of attention… Read More

Managing Risk: Board Oversight of Foundation Investments

Posted on August 4, 2010 by Karen Green, Andras Kosaras

In the post-Madoff era, the foundation and nonprofit sector continues to struggle with how to invest philanthropic assets most appropriately, and how to ensure that boards and staff are managing investments prudently. This new edition of Passages, authored by two leading experts on the roles and responsibilities of foundation boards, examines the critical role of governance and how to develop… Read More

Choosing and Preparing Your Grantmaking Successors

Posted on March 4, 2010 by Mary Phillips

Family foundation donors and first generation boards should begin the continuity and succession discussion early in the foundation’s lifetime if perpetuity is the objective. In a succession plan, one trustee usually succeeds another. However, before succession can take place there should be continuity of governance where members of more than one generation are working together as peers. This Passages profiles… Read More

Logic Models: Not Just for Big Foundations Anymore

Posted on January 4, 2010 by Erica V. Ekwurzel

Logic modeling is popular with large foundations, but has not been embraced by many of the smaller ones. One reason is that foundations with few or no staff fear that producing one is complicated and time consuming. It doesn’t have to be. And it can be a crucial tool for small asset foundations looking to make sustained impact, as explained… Read More

Family Foundations as Agents of Change

Posted on September 4, 2009 by Jeffrey M. Glebocki, Joann Ricci

We often hear media reports on the contributions and impact of super-sized grants and mega-foundations. But data and experience tells us it’s the presence and consistency of small- and medium-sized family foundations that provide much of the fuel for nonprofit organizations in our communities. Family foundations are uniquely positioned to serve as leaders in community problem-solving. Because their board members… Read More

Families Step Up to Meet Economic Crisis

Posted on September 4, 2009 by Joseph Foote

The recession that began in 2008 caused philanthropic assets for most families to decline sharply. Program plans for 2009 and 2010 were disrupted, forcing many philanthropic families to cancel new initiatives, respond to pleas from longstanding grantees about cash shortfalls, and swing rapidly toward support of basic human needs. Families who operate foundations, donor-advised funds, and other formal giving vehicles… Read More

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