Building Bridges: A Conversation with NCFP’s New Fellows on Racial Equity
Board members, staff, advisors, and donors in family philanthropy.
Are you breaking or bridging? We all have been affected by structural racism. NCFP’s own 2019 Fellows have dedicated themselves to getting proximate to the people, to the issue, to our families, to the field, and to thinking about how we have been impacted by racial injustice and inequity. From our Imagining the Future cross country focus groups we have heard that racial equity is a top area of concern and focus for many of you, and new NCFP Fellows Mary Mountcastle, Kelly Nowlin, and June Wilson have all independently chosen to focus their time as fellows on this topic. Come to learn with our three new fellows in a discussion moderated by inaugural NCFP Fellow Douglas Bitonti Stewart.
Doug Bitonti Stewart has dedicated his career to philanthropy serving organizations such as Michigan State University, Michigan Nonprofit Management Institute, the Arthritis Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and as Director of Development for Children’s and Women’s Health at the University of Michigan Health System.
In early 2007, Doug became the first executive director of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation. In his position Doug has the privilege of helping the Fisher family further their philanthropic legacy by working with partners making the most meaningful shared impact to strengthen and empower children and families in need.
While dedicating time to finding and instilling a new name for the sector and changemakers he’s dedicated his career to, Doug is a member of a number of for-impact (one possible name for the sector to reflect its chief aim, as opposed to what it is not) boards including the International Jewish Funders Network; Grow Detroit’s Youth Talent summer jobs initiative, is past chair of The League Michigan of the Michigan Nonprofit Association; Impact Squared Advisory Committee; and the 2014 - 2016 American Express NGen Leadership Award Selection Committees.
Doug further serves the for-impact sector on the advisory committee for the newly launched Israel Center for Family Philanthropy, as an Inaugural Fellow at the National Center for Family Philanthropy and will co-chair the organization’s 20th anniversary conference with Allison Sparks in October of 2109. Doug is grateful to also serve as a guest lecturer in the Org Studies program and the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and in the Principled Leadership Initiative at Ohio State University.
In 2014, twenty-two years after receiving his undergraduate degree in Finance from Michigan State University, Doug graduated Summa Cum Laude with an MBA from The Max M. Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University.
Mary Mountcastle is a trustee of the Z. Smith Reynolds and Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundations, a board member of Demos, and has served on the boards of numerous state and national organizations. She is former board chair of the National Center for Family Philanthropy, and in 2018 was named as an NCFP Distinguished Fellow. Previously, Mary was a senior manager at Self-Help, the nation's largest nonprofit community development lender, and served in senior positions at the Center for Responsible Lending and MDC Inc, a nonprofit policy research center as well as other private and public sector organizations. Mary holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA from Williams College.
Kelly Davenport Nowlin, a fifth generation member of the Andrus family, was elected as a Surdna Foundation trustee in 2010. She chairs the committees of the Andrus Family Program (AFP) and Centennial Working Group. As chair of the AFP, Kelly is responsible for outreach to, and engagement of close to 500 living descendants of Surdna founding patriarch, John E. Andrus. Kelly also was responsible for guiding the development of activities marking Surdna’s 100th anniversary.
Prior to her board service at Surdna, Kelly was a founding board member of the Andrus Family Fund (AFF), an independent grantmaker launched by Surdna in 2000 as a grantmaking fund for fifth generation family members. She helped develop the fund, including program areas, governance and bylaws, mission and strategic vision, and committees of the board. Kelly served as Vice Chair, then Co-Chair for four years of her seven year term.
Kelly is a board member of the National Center for Family Philanthropy, and was appointed an NCFP Fellow in 2018.
Currently, Kelly is Principal of KDN Philanthropy Consulting, and advises family foundations and non-profit organizations on next generation engagement, governance, organizational culture and communications strategies. Kelly is an honors graduate of Boston College with a BA in Communications and currently lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts with her husband and two teenage children.
June Wilson, executive director emeritus and board member of the Quixote Foundation, combines her talent as a dancer and choreographer with the operational expertise of a COO and strategic acumen of a CEO. She understands people’s physical and emotional interactions within a literal, conceptual or practical space and can quickly translate what she sees into strategic systems. Her unique approach has strengthened nonprofits like the Minnesota Dance Alliance in Minneapolis and the National Performance Network in New Orleans. At Quixote she artfully guided the design and implementation of their “Spend Up” approach to operating within a strategic lifespan and transformed the foundation’s commitment to racial equity. She looks forward to her next stage, where she’ll continue to translate movement into meaningful patterns for those working for social change. June was appointed as a Fellow of the National Center for Family Philanthropy in 2018.
What participants said:
NCFP consistently and brilliantly presents the very best education to family foundations and donor advisor funders. Though I actively participate in educational opportunities with many organizations in the philanthropic center it is those offered by NCFP that drill deeper into issues, savor the nuances of family grantmaking and produce products that motivate and inspire in an all embracing understanding of families and the dynamics that challenge them.
The Family Philanthropy Webinar series is a wonderful resource, allowing us to "attend" sessions from all over and to share materials with other members of our foundation. The transcripts of the sessions are also a valuable resource. Thank you for these Webinars.
NCFP webinars are an effective way for me to be stimulated and educated. I always expect excellent presenters and up to date information from NCFP, and have not been disappointed with these webinars. The recent one discussing women and philanthropy was very timely as women grow in their capacity and leadership roles in philanthropy. Thank you NCFP!
The National Center has been an indispensable source of wisdom, tools, and best practices for my clients on matters ranging from advancing intergenerational leadership transition strategies to building effective websites to creating discretionary grant making guidelines.
These webinar events are the most valuable as part of our SECF membership... we access current experts on the topics pertinent to family foundations...and we remain in our office!.... no travel expenses or conference fees... and we can access this information at a future time for our Board. A win-win for all of us who are so busy but are eager to stay current and networked.
I have attended many of NCFP's webinar and always walk away with new ideas that expand my knowledge of family philanthropy. The content is always amazing, well-structured and full of different perspectives. I especially love the stories told by presenters of their families journey within philanthropy and how they are impacting communities.
Creating Effective Next Gen Boards was by far the best webinar I have experienced. The material was well put together, well presented, easy to follow, and very engrossing! The youth on the webinar were very articulate and experienced and provided a unique insight into the benefits and pitfalls in involving 8 year-olds and up in family philanthropy, i.e. the younger we start, the better and easier it is for everyone! Thanks for this webinar!
I have participated for years in the Family Philanthropy Webinar Series, which has been a tremendous value-add for our subscription to NCFP Friends of the Family! This just keeps getting better and better with each passing month, and I'm so very impressed with the caliber of presentations and the organization behind them! Best webinar series in the field!