What’s Trending with Family Philanthropy

I may not be a regular on Twitter, but when it comes to summarizing the first National Forum on Family Philanthropy held in Boston earlier this month, a sampling of #ncfp14 tweets from leading family foundation members, trustees, and prominent business, academic, and philanthropic leaders who were in attendance truly captures “what’s trending.”

  • Surdna Foundation: “In #philanthropy, to get quality work, requires some discomfort” @philliphenderso #ncfp14
  • Haas Jr. Fund: “Your idea of what’s right might not be the same as mine. That’s the point. #Philanthropy’s about getting behind what you believe in.”
  • NCFP: “Jennifer Buffett says I lost my voice b/c I wasn’t using it. I started using it & my life & partnerships changed (for the better)”
  • Mary Phillips: “Most family foundations at Forum concerned about growing economic inequality above other issues #ncfp14 #GMAFoundations
  • JuliaSattiCosentino: @Surdna_Fndn teaches us so much about longevity, incl. importance of humility and remaining true to values #ncfp14
  • Haas Jr. Fund: “Pivot when you have to, but darn it, stay in the game”
  • Surdna Foundation: “Next gen transitions essential, says Trustee L. Andrus but expect them to be uncomfortable #ncfp14
  • Gioia Perugini: “Discussion of false dichotomy between upholding family values and being strategic in your giving at #ncfp14 You can do both @familygiving”
  • NCFP: “Susan [Packard Orr] mentions in the early days they always talked about grants and now they talk about strategy” #ncfp14 @DLPFexplore
  • Haas Jr. Fund: “Sometimes doing this work means being willing to publicly take a controversial or “unpopular” position. #ncfp14 #boldphilanthropy”

Bold philanthropy.  Next gen. Upholding family values AND being strategic. With this Forum, the National Center for Family Philanthropy created a place where those committed to ethical and effective family giving could discuss these issues and other trends affecting their leadership and ability to make a positive and enduring impact on the communities they serve.  Both attendees and speakers – many of them family members themselves – came eager for ideas and inspiration. This sampling of tweets demonstrates the participants took away that and so much more.

Like me, you may not know the difference between a hashtag and a Twitter handle, but you undoubtedly understand this tweet from the Haas Jr. Fund: “So much good food for thought! Thanks #ncfp14 for a great conversation.”

In the months ahead, we will be conducting the first Trends in Family Philanthropy research survey—providing a benchmark of trends in the field—to inform conversations like these and others in our field. If you’d like to be involved, please let us know at Lauren@ncfp.org.

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