Founders, donors, intent, and family legacy

A Family Legacy of Individual Initiative: The McKnight Foundation

Posted on January 5, 2021 by Deanne Stone

Note: This case study was written and released in 2001 as part of NCFP’s Living the Legacy guide; current circumstances at the foundation may be different than described here. McKnight was chairman of the 3M Company (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing). He was credited for developing the corporate culture that propelled the phenomenal growth and transformation of the company from a… Read More

Change Within Tradition: The Hattie M. Strong Foundation

Posted on January 5, 2021 by Howard Husock

  Note: This case study was written and released in 2001 as part of NCFP’s Living the Legacy guide; current circumstances at the foundation may be different than described here. Yet, the evolution of this small, family-established foundation had occurred in an atmosphere which board members themselves considered traditional and conservative. Board meetings reviewed proposals by comparing them against the… Read More

On A Donor’s Death

Posted on January 5, 2021 by Kathleen O’Grady

When a founder passes, how can you both move on from “personal favorites” while also honoring the founder’s interestst and taking into account the needs of the institutions they cared most about? This short piece from NCFP’s “Living the Legacy” Journal shares the perspectives and approach that one family took. When my husband Tom and I began the O’Grady Family… Read More

The Rebirth of a Legacy: The Lydia B. Stokes Foundation

Posted on January 5, 2021 by Deborah Brody Hamilton

Note: This case study was written and released in 2001 as part of NCFP’s Living the Legacy guide; current circumstances at the foundation may be different than described here. Lydia B. Stokes was a woman of principles. Reared as a Presbyterian, she converted to Quakerism when she married. She and her husband, a medical doctor, lived in Moorestown, New Jersey… Read More

Family Identity and Culture

Posted on December 7, 2020 by Phillip Wm. Fisher, Armando Castellano, Lisa Parker, Tony Macklin

father, son, and grandfather skipping stones - traditions, generations, family cutlure
Many philanthropic families have a strong sense of identity, defined by their traditions and culture and carried out through their commitments to one another and the public trust. A clear family identity is driven by a shared purpose and philosophy, which in turn promotes a successful collective giving effort. How do families understand their shared purpose and ensure it faithfully… Read More

Trends 2020: Founder Involvement, Intent, & Perspectives

Posted on November 19, 2020

This excerpt from NCFP’s Trends 2020 study shares data and analysis regarding various US family foundation giving trends, including adherence to founder intent, founder’s perspective on family dynamics, founder involvement, and much more. Founder Involvement Founders remain actively involved in most family foundations, yet this has declined somewhat since 2015, from 64% to 56%. Founder involvement is low among family foundations formed… Read More

Death, Legacy, and Leadership Transition

Posted on October 12, 2020 by Elaine Gast Fawcett

The death of a foundation leader or senior family member is likely the most emotional change a foundation will undergo. Suddenly, or not so suddenly, family members and the board face grief and loss, and also an onslaught of financial, legal, and organizational issues. How can you plan ahead, as a foundation and as a family? And how can you… Read More

Leading with Love and Gratitude: The David Rockefeller Fund at 30

Posted on August 4, 2020 by David Rockefeller Fund

The David Rockefeller Fund charts its history with a fascinating look into the evolution of the family and its philanthropy. The Fund’s history reflects the fact that change is inevitable and necessary, but must be rooted in the values and legacy of the family. The family’s recognition of this positions them for long-term success, encouraging them to remain flexible and… Read More

Moving Towards Social Justice Philanthropy: One Family Foundation’s Journey, Challenges, and Lessons

Posted on June 18, 2020 by Kelly Nowlin

NCFP board member and Fellow Kelly Nowlin spoke on a webinar hosted by Philanthropy Massachusetts and the Social Innovation Forum.   Five generations after being established, the Surdna Foundation has been intentional about honoring founding vision and legacy, while remaining relevant to current needs and issues in society. In 2009, the family trustees took a bold step in naming social justice in… Read More