As states continue to face declining revenues, shortfalls and drastic budget cuts, the impact is too often felt in the reduction or elimination of services to our most vulnerable citizens—abused, neglected, and abandoned children who linger in foster care in every community in the United States. Philanthropy must aggressively understand and assist in what can [...]
During the Council on Foundations’ Family Philanthropy Conference at the end of January in San Diego, we pulled together a concurrent session on disaster grantmaking in light of the earthquake in Haiti. There was a small but passionate group that attended. I walked away thinking about three things: our short attention span; our lack of [...]
A family foundation CEO that I know from Australia sent an email expressing regret that she had not been able to arrange her schedule to attend the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference last week. She had hoped to talk with other families who are dealing with some of the same issues as her 50 year-old foundation.
Last week at the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference in San Diego, I reported briefly on a discussion held as a “book club” conversation among foundation trustees and staff about the Jeff Jarvis book, “What Would Google Do?” In a small breakout group, I learned from Jessamyn Lau, program leader at the Peery Foundation in Palo [...]
The parable of a sudden and growing number of babies that are found mysteriously floating in the water was used to frame the discussion on strategic philanthropy at the session Strategic Philanthropy: Vehicles for Getting it Done.
The basic premise is that a group of villagers is working to reach a consensus on how to save [...]
About two years ago, a foundation leader paid us—the Council—a compliment when he said, “This is not your Grandfather’s Council on Foundations.” The comment was meant to honor the emerging changes at the Council, as we sought to provide both sector-specific membership services and sector-wide philanthropic leadership.
Recently I realized, it’s not even my generation’s philanthropy!
Who but Ginny Esposito can accurately and appropriately quote Alexis de Tocqueville, engage an audience with humor and present facts based on primary research? Ginny did it again as she presented one of the final workshops (The Value of Family Philanthropy: For Family? For Democracy?) at the Family Philanthropy Conference and kept the audience spellbound.
As technology continues to radically transform how people shop, plan, work and communicate, some are exploring the potential impact technology could have on the philanthropic field. Our sector has not been a player in the technological transformation of the 21st century. What opportunities are we missing?
The session, Technology Task Force Town Hall Meeting, was chaired [...]
What a treat to hear Jeff Jarvis speak via Skype at the Council on Foundations’ Family Philanthropy Conference! The delivery vehicle was ideal given the topic; Jarvis navigated his talking points on his computer monitor in one window, while speaking directly to the Council’s live audience of hundreds in another.
“It’s a new world, Golda,” Tevye [...]
Differing views, opinions, approaches and predictions for the future can lead to uncomfortable conversations within families. And, too often, the outcome is deadlock—at best.
According to Harvard lecturer, author and consultant Doug Stone, these conversations—where both parties truly believe they are right—will never be productive if we continue to talk to people “as if their head [...]
This was the challenge issued by Lisa Parker, moderator of a robust discussion about the journey of women’s philanthropy, the successes and the lessons learned from both “heartbreaks” and triumphs. The session (Wind in Our Sails: Women Philanthropists Championing Women and Girls) brought together living legends in the women’s funding movement, including Tracy Gary, Linda [...]
There was something a little different about the Next Generation Retreat this year. Co-conceived by 21/64 and Resource Generation and held for the past seven years at the Family Philanthropy Conference, this half-day interactive session is geared towards those in their 20s and 30s contemplating their role—present and future—in their family’s philanthropy.
What the facilitators noticed [...]
The topic was small grants by family foundations and each of the panelists shared solid examples of successful small grants. However, the most exciting part of the Size Doesn’t Matter workshop was the new format designed and facilitated by Wendy Jaffe of The Trio Foundation of St. Louis.
The panelists, Shirley Fredericks, Matthew Hervey, Athan Lindsay [...]
The families I’ve spoken to at the conference support diverse projects overseas: from children and women to environmental issues. But many jump from project to project without clear long-term goals—for example, supporting initiatives around clean water in Bangladesh to micro-finance in Uganda. The financial support ranges from a $50 gift to buy a stove to [...]
In the family philanthropy field, we often urge families to talk about their legacies and shared values. We expect that all families will just take our suggestion and engage in healthy, helpful discussions. Some families may be able to do just that, but many avoid such discussions as long as possible.
In the Getting Aligned Across [...]
On Monday, 50 excited people from the conference gathered at the Jacob’s Center for Neighborhood Innovation(JCNI) in the Lincoln Park district of San Diego for a day-long learning experience about the power of grassroots community change.
What exactly did we learn?
Place and Perseverance: The Jacobs Family—through their family foundation—made a long-term commitment (since 1998) to focus [...]
The session, Disaster Response for Grantmakers: Resources, Tools and Lessons Learned, was an important one on how funders, in the aftermath of a disaster, charted new territory to find their role.
We heard from two funders and their different responses to two very different disasters—the 2007 fires that swept through San Diego neighborhoods and the recent [...]
The metaphor of drops in the ocean illustrates the point that the shape and movement of the ocean will never be the same when more drops are added. A drop may seem insignificant, but it’s the combination of many drops that an obvious multiplier effect occurs. Well today, a few more drops were added to [...]
How do family foundation trustees move the conversation from dollars and privilege to the impact of their work?
A small group of family foundation trustees gathered to learn from Mark Sedway of the Philanthropic Awareness Initiative, how engaged Americans, or 12 percent of U.S. adults, perceive foundations. We learned that these engaged Americans generally aren’t aware [...]
When I go home for the holidays to Dallas, Texas, I have the most interesting family experience. Let me see if I can get this straight: My mother was remarried when I was 18 to a man that makes her smile so hard that I truly believe it hurts. My little brother, who is 28-years [...]
Questions for you: How is place-based philanthropy defined? Is a time frame required to implement place-based philanthropy? What is the value of local funding collaboratives in doing place-based philanthropy? What resources and organizations can support place-based philanthropy? How do you evaluate change? How does place-based philanthropy affect systemic change?
Reginald Jones (Steans Family Foundation), Doug Diamond [...]
At this session (Creative Ways to Achieve Greater Impact Through Using a Community Foundation), funders shared the myriad ways they are working with community foundations—from the administrative support to processing grants. But the fascinating information was the following:
collaborating around place-based philanthropy
engaging the next generation
accessing deep community knowledge to help grantmakers be more strategic in giving
Sunday, January 31, was the last day of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. However, those gathered at the Council’s “Sunday Night Dinner and a Movie” conference session were not looking for the next potential blockbuster of an independent film. Instead, they came to learn how philanthropists can support the use of film as an agent [...]
Sunday morning’s informal gathering (Coffee with the On Deck Generation) for those who feel “in between”—the group that finds itself between the founders and the third generation—attracted more than 30 participants. They were polled about their core issues and given the time to meet and talk in small groups about the challenges they face.
Three issues [...]
Well, it’s the beginning of day 2 of the Family Philanthropy Conference so I guess that means the conference is fully off and running. So far, the one thing I have really been struck by, and grateful for, is that so many participants are willing to engage in the discussions, and are connecting with each [...]
Imagine an intimate gathering in your living room with a small group of book club friends discussing their latest good read. Now tweak that cozy image by a factor of five and re-imagine a conference room filled with 30 people assembled for a chat about the Jeff Jarvis book, “What Would Google Do?”
In the [...]
“Never estimate what children can do,” said both Kevin Salwen and Jenny Yancey in the workshop—Charting Their Course: Raising the Next Generation of Givers. Salwen and Yancey’s teenage children demonstrated how true this is by presenting two incredibly creative and effective philanthropic projects.
Few youngsters can convince their parents to sell their homes and use half [...]
My first few hours in the Family Philanthropy Conference bookstore and Connections Cafe have resulted in some fantastic conversations. We’re talking a lot about “Next Gen” and the ways in which this group has become involved with causes and activities.
The explosion of social media tools has allowed millennials to quickly mobilize and generate a groundswell [...]
There is a movie genre commonly referred to as the “four-hankie” film. This trite term is meant to describe films that may have an inspirational and/or sad element. Upon first glance, the title of the session I attended (Working Toward the Good: Engaging Grief, Loss and Family Philanthropy), would suggest that the content would center [...]
Oprah calls it an Ah Ha! moment. You know it. Someone says something and everything suddenly makes sense. It clicks. You get it. The missing piece comes together and now your mind, carrying your heart, can move forward.
At the Social Justice Philanthropy Collaborative’s Pre-Conference workshop on Saturday, a room of 25 philanthropic leaders came together [...]
At the Sunday morning plenary (Common Goals, Different Paths: The Sea Change in 21st Century Philanthropy), speaker and economist Arthur Brooks made an important point about the nature of giving that should be good news for parents. He said it’s a myth that people are naturally selfish. Some people are indeed selfish but unnaturally so.
Mary Galeti and Audrey Jacobs, co-chairs of the 2010 Family Philanthropy Conference, kicked off our three days together with a warm welcome and powerful visual presentation of what they hope for our experience. Mary and Audrey bring different perspectives to their philanthropic work: Mary is a trustee of her family’s foundation, The Tecovas Foundation, and [...]
Here at the Family Philanthropy Conference, my roommate is Zac Russell, a third generation member of The Russell Family Foundation. Zac, a college senior in New York, showed me the contact cards he’s giving out at the conference.
The face of each card dislpays a different photo of Zac in his world-working on the family farm, [...]
[Editor’s note: With the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference set to begin on Sunday, January 31, we asked our 21 conference bloggers to tell us a question they think family philanthropy needs to explore as the San Diego conference begins. Here’s Audrey Jacob’s answer. Jacobs is director of The Center for Family Philanthropy at The Community [...]
[Editor’s note: With the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference set to begin on Sunday, January 31, we asked our 21 conference bloggers to tell us a question they think family philanthropy needs to explore as the San Diego conference begins. Here’s Amy Zell Ellsworth's answer. Ellsworth is senior philanthropic advisor and New England International Donors (NEID) program manager at The [...]
[Editor’s note: With the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference set to begin on Sunday, January 31, we asked our 21 conference bloggers to tell us a question they think family philanthropy needs to explore as the San Diego conference begins. Here’s Dien Yuen's answer. Yuen is director of Philanthropy at Give2Asia.]
I am excited about attending the [...]
[Editor’s note: With the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference set to begin on Sunday, January 31, we asked our 21 conference bloggers to tell us a question they think family philanthropy needs to explore as the San Diego conference begins. Here’s Adrienne Vargas' answer. Vargas is vice president of Donor Relations and Charitable Giving at The [...]
[Editor’s note: With the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference set to begin on Sunday, January 31, keep up with the plenaries and sessions by following our 21 conference bloggers who will share their thoughts and impressions. Blogger Kari Dunn Saratovsky, vice president for Social Innovation at the Case Foundation, will moderate the closing plenary with “What [...]
[Editor’s note: With the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference set to begin on Sunday, January 31, we asked our 21 conference bloggers to tell us a question they think family philanthropy needs to explore as the San Diego conference begins. Here’s Allison Sole’s answer. Sole is deputy director, 21/64 at The Andrea & Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.]
[Editor’s note: With the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference set to begin on Sunday, January 31, we asked our 21 conference bloggers to tell us a question they think family philanthropy needs to explore as the San Diego conference begins. Here’s Diane Miller’s answer. Miller is manager of National Standards at the Council on Foundations. She [...]
[Editor’s note: With the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference set to begin on Sunday, January 31, we asked our 21 bloggers to tell us a question they think family philanthropy needs to explore as the San Diego conference begins. Here’s Jenn Hoos Rothberg’s answer. Rothberg is a director at the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust.]
To me, the [...]
[Editor’s note: With the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference set to begin on Sunday, January 31, we asked our 21 conference bloggers to tell us a question they think family philanthropy needs to explore as the San Diego conference begins. Here’s Sam Davis’ answer. Davis is the principal at The Davis Group.]
As the philanthropic field continues [...]
As planes full of food and medical supplies sit at the airport in Haiti while hundreds of thousands of people are dehydrated, hungry and in dire need of medical aid, the challenges of helping others is made obvious to the world. The outpouring of global generosity is always impressive in emergency situations; yet, the inability [...]
I have been rapt by the devastating images coming out of Haiti. What I have found particularly interesting is the outpouring of support—not only on television, but also on Facebook and Twitter.
Organizers have created opportunities for people to give via text message. People are also posting messages and tweets about what organizations are doing and [...]
In this tough economy, one of the most frequent calls we’re receiving at the National Center for Family Philanthropy is from families re-thinking perpetuity. It’s understandable that when the needs are so great, donors would debate whether the immediate impact their foundations could have outweighs the benefit of staying in the grantmaking business to benefit [...]