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2015 Family Philanthropy Conference

Monday, June 8, 2015
8:00am - 1:30pm PDT
Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard
11461 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $250.00
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Monday, June 8, 2015

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Values and deeply held beliefs can serve to guide and structure family philanthropy; however, they can also get in the way of progress. And while our orthodoxies are often unstated, they can have significant impact on everything from deciding focus areas for grantmaking to determining who and when the next generation joins the board.

This year’s Family Philanthropy Conference will help you examine your assumptions, determine which ones might be standing in the way, and look at ways to flip them in order to increase the impact of your giving. There will also be plenty of time to network and learn from your peers! 


Flipping Orthodoxies
Gabriel Kasper, Senior Manager, Monitor Institute (@MntrInstitute
Monitor Institute’s Gabriel Kasper will give a special presentation on the shifting world of philanthropy. Drawing on his nearly two decades of helping funders and nonprofits understand the changing context for their work, Kasper will outline how major shifts may change what family foundations do and how we do it. He'll give us a breakdown of how a variety of changes, including demographics and new technologies present opportunities and challenges for family philanthropy.

Next Kasper will take us through an interactive exercise about breaking down orthodoxies—exploring how some ideas we choose to hold on to ideas that create barriers to doing our best work, and how we can identify and move past those obstacles to make our family giving even more impactful. 


Case Studies from SCG Members: Questioning Assumptions to Increase Impact
Melissa Berman, President and CEO, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (@RockPhilanth
RPA’s Melissa Berman will lead a fascinating panel discussion with leaders of SCG member organizations that exemplify different strategies for foundations to challenge their own orthodoxies. Our panelists will explore such issues as redefining your mission, onboarding the next generation, succession planning, and sun-setting a family foundation. 

  • Blair Carty, Executive Director, The Adams Legacy Foundation 
  • Maya Patel, President, The Tarsadia Foundation (@TarsadiaService)
  • Lois Mitchell, President, Orfalea Foundation (@Orfalea)


The Theory of the Foundation
Following our lunch break, Melissa Berman will return to the podium to deliver our closing keynote address on the Theory of the Foundation—a research project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors examining how donors can look at their giving, the environments in which they operate, and their core competencies with fresh eyes and renewed commitment. Together we'll consider potential ways to set a new course for our philanthropic strategies and increase the impact of work.


#SCGFamily #SCGEvents

About Our Speakers:

Melissa Berman
President and CEO, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc.

Melissa Berman is the President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc., an innovative nonprofit philanthropy service founded by the Rockefeller family. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ mission is to help donors create thoughtful, effective philanthropy throughout the world. RPA develops strategic plans, conducts research, and manages foundations and trusts, structures major gifts, coordinates donor collaboratives, and provides regranting and fiscal sponsorship services. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors annually manages or facilitates about $200 million in giving to more than 20 countries. It has offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Berman has led Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors since January 2001. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President, Research and Program Development at The Conference Board, a nonprofit, independent business research organization. She oversaw all research and publications on management practices, including global corporate citizenship and governance. A frequent speaker, Ms. Berman has been profiled in the New York Times and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Her ideas and views are featured regularly in the Economist, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Business Week, Financial Times, USA Today, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. She has been interviewed on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, NPR, CNBC-TV, and Bloomberg TV.  Berman is a Director of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and an adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Business School, where she also serves on the Advisory Board for the Social Enterprise Program. She is a member of the International Council of the New Israel Fund and a director of the Foundation Center. Ms. Berman holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Gabriel Kasper
Senior Manager, Monitor Institute

Gabriel Kasper has spent nearly two decades helping leading funders and nonprofits understand the changing context for their work and make sense of what those shifts will mean for both what they do and how they do it. He tracks emerging trends inside and outside the field and translates cutting-edge commercial innovation methods into new approaches for addressing pressing philanthropic and social-sector challenges. 

Kasper's work with funders at Monitor Institute is grounded in first-hand experience, both as the program officer for philanthropy at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where he was responsible for directing how the foundation used its resources to increase the effectiveness of philanthropy as a field, and as a manager of neighborhood programs at a local affiliate of the East Bay Community Foundation. He has more than fifteen years of experience as a consultant, providing applied research, program design, and strategic advising services to foundations, nonprofits, corporations, and international agencies. (Monitor Institute is a part of Deloitte Consulting LLP.)  Kasper co-authored the Monitor Institute publications What's Next for Philanthropy: Acting Bigger and Adapting Better in a Networked World, On the Brink of New Promise: the Future of U.S. Community Foundations, Intentional Innovation, and Working Wikily: Social Change with a Network Mindset. He has also published and spoken widely on topics including social media tools, diversity and identity-based philanthropy, social investing, and foundation collaboration. He is the designer and creator of several innovative tools for improving philanthropic practice, including the Strategy Landscape™ tool for visualizing foundation funding flows and the Foundation Sidecar Funds platform for helping individual donors piggyback on the grantmaking choices of established foundations. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University and holds a master's in city planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

Thank you to our conference sponsors!


Gold Sponsor: 


Silver Sponsors:

The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation





Flora L. Thornton Foundation


Bronze Sponsors:



Josephine S. Gumbiner Foundation



No cost to attend for SCG members
$250 for non-members

Who May Participate:
Current SCG members and other grantmakers eligible for membership.

SCG members: register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
Eligible non-members: If you already have an SCG account, log in to register online. If you do not yet have an account, contact us.