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Family Philanthropy Conference 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017
8:30am - 2:30pm PDT
Center for Healthy Communities
1000 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $250.00
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SCG Family Philanthropy Conference:

Trusting Values/Navigating Disruption

Family foundations take particular pride in the way their personal values help ground and root their giving.

In times of uncertainty (shifts in family dynamics or leadership, sudden political or economic changes, changing philanthropic priorities, etc), values play an even more important role, helping to reaffirm a set course or redirect to a new approach.

Join your peers at SCG's 2017 Family Philanthropy Conference for interactive sessions and small group breakouts to explore key strategies to elevate the impact of your foundation's work:

  • Reaffirm the values in which your family philanthropy is rooted.
  • Hear inspiring examples from families about how their values guided or redirected their philanthropy.
  • Understand better how to amplify your impact while effectively navigating disruption.
  • Identify ways to develop a reflective practice.



8:30 am Breakfast & Registration

9:00 am Welcome - Nike Irvin, Vice President, Programs, California Community Foundation and Vice Chair, Southern California Grantmakers Board of Directors

9:10 am Opening Exercise: Defining Values – Jan Jaffe, Senior Partner, The Giving Practice

9:40 am Morning Keynote and Panel Conversation: Trusting Values – Henry Berman, CEO, Exponent Philanthropy

10:30 am Breakout Sneak Preview

10:40 am  Networking Break

11:00 am Breakout Sessions

Embracing Internal Disruption as an Opportunity for Greater Impact

Levee Breaks: Navigating External Disruptions to Philanthropic Practice

Personal Disruption: Becoming Your Best and Building Sector Leaders

12:15 pm  Luncheon Keynote: Building Your Reflective Practice - Jan Jaffe, Senior Partner, The Giving Practice

2:00 pm  Dessert Bar and Networking


Download the Full Program


Opening Exercise: Defining Values

When was the last time you had a conversation about how your foundation lives its values? Whether you’ve been part of a formal process to identify values or it’s been on the To Do list for a long time, this session will give you an opportunity explore how defining family foundation values is a valuable tool for aligning and disrupting strategy. We’ll also “test drive” a method to engage everyone at your foundation on which values match which strategies.    


Morning Keynote and Panel Conversation: Trusting Values

In an ideal world, circumstances would never change too rapidly.  Slow and steady evolution would allow us as funders to drive big change rather than react to it. However, this world does not exist and we are faced with new possibilities, challenges, and disruptions on a daily basis. The good news is, one of our greatest abilities as funders is to be nimble, agile, and responsive while staying grounded by our core values. Exponent Philanthropy CEO Henry Berman will offer his perspective on how values can set the course for the work of your family philanthropy. He’ll then be joined by three family foundation leaders who will share how values helped them overcome messy, disruptive situations and guided decisions that aligned with their personal and organizational principles.


Luncheon Keynote: Building Your Reflective Practice

After a day full of inspiring ideas, how can you fit some of these new strategies into your day-to-day work? Our final session is an opportunity to try out techniques for exploring and solidifying what is most important for you to bring home. You’ll experiment with some simple but sophisticated tools for becoming a more effective communicator with those who you need to lead, inform, convince, reinforce, or perhaps disrupt, with your messages.


Plus Breakout Sessions Co-Led by SCG Members!

Embracing Internal Disruption as an Opportunity for Greater Impact

There are both external and internal disruptions that compel family foundations to change their practices. In these circumstances, families can either struggle with unexpected changes or embrace disruption as a positive driver of creativity and effectiveness. In this session we’ll explore how to create a foundation culture that leverages disruption as an opportunity to rebuild, redesign, and recreate your mission-driven priorities. Panelists will provide real-life examples of disruptions with which their family foundations have dealt—as well as a three-part roadmap to engage hearts and minds, change behaviors, and create internal procedures for successful transformation.


Personal Disruptions: Becoming Your Best and Building Sector Leaders

As funders, we see the world through the lens of philanthropy and recognize how much more work needs to be done to create a truly just, equitable, loving world—and this perspective changes us. We can either use our perspective to build personal defense mechanisms or we can “get real” with ourselves and those with whom we work. In this session, we’ll explore how to use intentional personal disruptions (those that we can control) to thrive in these complex times.  With a healthy dose of inspiration, join us to explore how to hone your best self and support your family’s development. You’ll also learn strategies to enhance your leadership capacities and those of your grantees, while creating more a mindful impact on the communities around you. 

  • Angel Roberson Daniels, Vice President, Grants, The Angell Foundation
  • Vera de Vera, Philanthropic Leader


Levee Breaks: Navigating External Disruptions to Philanthropic Practice

Whether they are rooted in changes to cultural norms, advances in technology, new public policies or natural disasters, many of the disruptions to the practice of philanthropy are out of our control. What we can control, however, is the way in which we reinterpret and assert the values that guide our giving in the face of these "external" disruptions. This session will engage in a series of "case studies" to better understand how foundations and nonprofits alike have navigated some of the signature external disruptions of recent times: The digital communications revolution, the financial crisis of 2007-08, the Affordable Care Act, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss how some of the lessons learned from these engagements might help us to approach our philanthropy more thoughtfully given the external disruptions we presently face.

  • Marc Moorghen, Communications Director, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Eli Veitzer, Vice President, Prototypes
  • Casey Rogers, Philanthropic Leader
  • Joe Lumarda, Senior Vice President and Investment Counselor, Capital Group Companies
  • Joe Womac (Session Co-Leader), President, Specialty Family Foundation
  • Brad Myers (Session Co-Leader), Senior Program Officer, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation


Speaker Biographies

Download the complete list of speakers and speaker biographies here.


Featured Speakers:

Henry L. Berman
CEO, Exponent Philanthropy (formerly the Association of Small Foundations)

Henry Berman leads Exponent Philanthropy using his wealth of experience managing people, projects, and budgets in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. He was instrumental in helping the Association of Small Foundations (ASF) evolve into Exponent Philanthropy. In his formal philanthropic career, he has served as a foundation president and co-trustee, gaining significant experience working closely with grantees and evaluating funded programs. In his continuing role as a foundation trustee, Berman has been a dues-paying member of Exponent Philanthropy since 2003. He served on the Exponent Philanthropy (then, ASF) board from 2008–2010 and was appointed CEO in 2011. Through his experience as a member and a leader within the organization, he brings to the CEO role a firsthand understanding of the needs of philanthropists with few or no staff. Before joining the staff at Exponent Philanthropy, Berman had a long career in educational media and technology. He also served as a board member, volunteer, fundraiser, and/or marketer for several organizations including the American Society for Training and Development, the American Occupational Health Association, and the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation. He is a founding board member of the Museum of Broadcast Technology and also currently serves on the boards of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the National Council of Nonprofits. Berman earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Ithaca College, a master’s and doctorate in education from Boston University, and a certificate in business and management from the Harvard University Extension School.


Jan Jaffe
Senior Partner, The Giving Practice

Jan Jaffe's consulting work focuses on strategic planning, onboarding and professional development program design and facilitating collaborative groups. In addition, she does coaching with foundation executives and staff. As a lifelong student of how professionals learn on the job, Jaffe has developed a broad set of reflective practice tools that help philanthropists bring curiosity and creativity to the dilemmas that emerge in our work. She spent 30 years at the Ford Foundation with a wide range of assignments: making program related investments, running a planning and learning unit for the Program Division and creating GrantCraft which helps philanthropists across the globe exchange tools and skills for supporting social change. Prior to working in philanthropy, Jaffe served in city government and helped create the first urban homestead program in Philadelphia. She has degrees in urban and regional panning from University of Pennsylvania and business administration from Wharton. She also serves on the board of a development organization in the Catskill region of upstate New York.


    Special thanks to our conference sponsors.


    Gold Sponsors





    Anonymous Foundation


    Silver Sponsors




    Bronze Sponsors


    The Reissa Foundation         

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

    If you have questions, please contact us.

    Who May Attend
    This conference is designed for trustees and staff of family foundations, but other SCG members and grantmakers eligible for SCG membership are welcome to attend.

    Members of Southern California Grantmakers, Northern California Grantmakers, and San Diego Grantmakers: no cost to participate
    Members of Exponent Philanthropy receive a special rate. Contact Dave Sheldon for more information at [email protected].
    Other grantmakers eligible for SCG membership: $250

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