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Family Philanthropy


The Future of Family Philanthropy: Positioning Families for Greatness,

Thursday, December 10, 2020
9:00am - 10:15am

Philanthropic families are expanding their impact, knowledge of the field, and becoming increasingly sophisticated in their giving. There is further demand for philanthropic guidance and resources as donors and their families leverage multiple philanthropic vehicles, engage the next generation, and look to increase their payout rates or even spend down. NCFP President and CEO Nick Tedesco has spent the last year on a listening tour connecting with giving families and listening to their needs and suggestions for the field. Join Nick and NCFP board members as they share reflections, discuss the future direction of the field and how we can position our community of giving families for even greater success in the years to come.


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Family Philanthropy Town Hall Encore Program—Putting Your Assets to Work: Using the Power of the Next Gen

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm

Over the past six months, during this unprecedented time of uncertainty, our foundations have felt significant pressures to act and experienced shifts within the dynamics of our boards and families. For so many family foundations, this moment has presented both questions and opportunities; it has not been business as usual. This is a time when family foundations are more able than ever to put all their assets to work, including the often overlooked “next gen” members of the family. 

But engaging the talents of the next gen requires families to reconsider their status quo and business as usual practices. How can foundations navigate family power dynamics in this “new normal?” What roles can next generation voices play in these imperative conversations that share decision making and planning? To involve our next gen members truly and effectively, we must engage in these conversations that were once tabled for the future. Not doing so risks losing a vital asset for years to come.

Southern California Grantmakers invites you to join Farhad Ebrahimi, Founder and President of The Chorus Foundation and Shawn Escoffery, Executive Director of the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation for this dynamic conversation.



Farhad Ebrahimi

Founder and President, The Chorus Foundation

Farhad Ebrahimi is the Founder and President of the Chorus Foundation, which works for a just transition to a regenerative economy in the United States. The Chorus Foundation supports communities on the front lines of the old, extractive economy to build new bases of political, economic, and cultural power for systemic change.

Through his work with Chorus, Farhad is most interested in the question of how philanthropy might play a role in putting itself out of business. Which is to say, how can the redistribution of consolidated wealth support the transition to a world in which such wealth is no longer extracted and consolidated in the first place? It is in this context that Chorus will be spending down its entire endowment by 2023.

Farhad’s family history has been defined by multiple cultures, nationalities, political revolutions, and refugee experiences. To say that his parents talked politics at home when he was growing up would be an understatement, and the experience of being a first-generation Iranian American throughout the 1980s had a profound impact on Farhad in ways that he’s still unpacking. These early experiences – combined with a lifelong love of punk and subversive art in general – have defined a political trajectory that’s informed both his personal and professional outlook.

Farhad is also a musician, a lover of film and literature, and a lapsed bicycle snob. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics with Computer Science, and he currently lives in Brooklyn.

Shawn Escoffery

Executive Director, Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation

Shawn Escoffery is the Executive Director of the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation, where he leads a team committed to social justice and addressing the historical inequities that plague many lower-income communities. Since joining the Foundation 2018, Shawn has led the organization through a strategy revisioning process, created a fellowship for someone who was formerly impacted by the Justice System, and launched an Impact Investing portfolio with a 10% carve-out of the endowment. The Foundation now focuses on Criminal Justice Reform, Environmental Justice, and Affordable Housing Preservation with a trust-based approach that is centered in place and emphasizes lasting partnerships as well as capacity building. With assets exceeding $120 million, Shawn oversees a $5 million annual grantmaking budget and is responsible for sourcing impact investments ranging from $250,000 to $1 million aimed at advancing racial and gender equity. Prior to joining RPDFF, Shawn directed the Inclusive Economies portfolio at the Surdna Foundation – a nationally focused family foundation with over $1 billion in assets. In this role, Shawn worked to support the development of robust and sustainable economies that include a wide range of businesses, equitable economic policy, and access to quality jobs. Shawn managed a $9.5 million annual grantmaking budget and an impact investing portfolio over $10 million. As an urban planner with over 20 years of experience, Shawn has worked on community economic development and affordable housing projects across the country.

Shawn holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English Literature from Rutgers University and a Master’s of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds certificates in Communications and International Relations, Urban Redevelopment, and Effective Leadership from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Duke University, respectively. Shawn currently sits on the board of directors of The Funders Network and Hispanics in Philanthropy.

No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and SDG members and eligible non-members

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & SDG members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

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NCFP Webinar: Balancing Purpose, Payout, and Permanence

Wednesday, September 2, 2020
11:00am - 12:15pm

“How much should we spend?” It’s an essential question for all funders, and an especially complex one for endowed private foundations. The answer of “around 5%” was never universal as foundations sought creative means of ensuring that assets would serve mission rather than the other way around. In recent times, the pressure to revisit payout has increased. Endowed foundations have responded with everything from “stay the course with 5%” to “dive in with 20%” and all points in between.

Based on a Strategy Guide of the same name, this webinar will help you revisit your foundation’s role as an investment steward. It will introduce the surprisingly wide spectrum of equally valid choices endowed foundations have made in balancing permanence, purpose, and payout. And it will provide ideas for helping your own board or family thoughtfully answer “How much should we spend?”

The Council on Foundations and National Center for Family Philanthropy are co-sponsoring this webinar and the related Strategy Guide, with special thanks to the other co-signers of the Statement Encouraging Increased Giving in the Time of Crisis.


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