Community connections: Place-based family philanthropy
Families interested in strategies for engaging in place-based philanthropy, i.e., dedicating the majority of their giving and personal involvement in a specific community.
While some families pay particular attention to the family’s legacy of giving, and some focus on a particular issue or cause, many choose to limit their grantmaking to a specific city, state or region. Hometown serves as both the family’s sense of place and commitment. Gratitude to a supportive community and a desire to give back mean developing giving interests along geographic lines. A growing number of family foundations have taken this commitment to geographic location to another level, and made the strategic decision to engage in place-based philanthropy, dedicating the majority of their giving and personal involvement in a specific community. This webinar will feature the stories of families who have created place-based giving strategies at both the community and regional level.
Valerie Jacobs Hapke is the founder of Valerie Jacobs Consulting, a group dedicated to providing consultation support to individual philanthropists and family foundations. A nationally recognized speaker, Valerie has created a series of workshops and conferences for women of wealth and wealthy families, which she has presented throughout the country. She has been featured in numerous books and publications including Forbes, Ms. Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The London Times, The Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune. Valerie has served on her family’s foundation board since 1988 and is currently board chair. The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation’s work has become a model in place-based philanthropy known for its resident-led approach to neighborhood revitalization. Valerie, her husband, and two children created their own family foundation in 2007 focusing on international development. She is a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in the effects of wealth on relationships and personal well-being.
Reginald Jones, President of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation since 2011, joined the foundation in 2003 as Executive Director. Prior to joining JCNI, Jones served as President of Chicago-based Steans Family Foundation, a philanthropy committed to revitalizing North Lawndale, a disinvested community on Chicago's west side. Jones worked extensively with culturally diverse residents and partner organizations to undertake ambitious neighborhood revitalization efforts, including plans for a multi-million dollar school and family services campus. As the leader of the Foundation, Reginald worked with community residents and organizations, political leaders, and private entities to foster understanding of the organization’s intent, seek input, and build collaboration for neighborhood improvement. He worked with land-use planners, housing and retail developers, human service agencies, and other entities to foster comprehensive community improvement activity. He guided the Board of Trustees in the development of plans that enabled the Foundation to understand the present and future needs of the community and to make prudent decisions in the use of the Foundation’s resources.
Frank Wideman is president of the Self Family Foundation located in Greenwood, SC. The foundation was established in 1942 by James C. Self, the founder of Greenwood Mills, and is presently governed by third and fourth generations of the donor. He has been active in organized philanthropy as a founding member and first board chair of the South Carolina Grantmakers Network and board chair of the Southeastern Council of Foundations. Frank is a former member of the Council on Foundations’ Family Philanthropy Committee, and chaired the Council’s 2009 Family Philanthropy Conference. He currently serves on the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s Board of Directors, co-chairs the Development Committee and Chairs the Friend of the Family Subcommittee.
What participants said:
This webinar validated our approach that it will take persistence, patience, presence, and a community that is very engaged in the initiative. Hearing others talk about this was reassuring that we are on the right path and not alone in some of the frustrations we have encountered. I also appreciate the resoures that you provided.