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2018 Family Philanthropy Conference: Pathways to Impact

Tuesday, June 5, 2018
8:30am - 2:00pm PDT
Center for Healthy Communities
1000 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $250.00
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Family foundations have always played a key role in philanthropy, with their focus on strong grantee and community relationships and ability to respond nimbly. Now, family philanthropy is poised to both broaden and deepen its impact as the number of family foundations continues to grow. The question is, how can we make the most of our unique strengths and opportunities?

This year’s Family Philanthropy Conference, Pathways to Impact, looks at how we as grantmakers can think outside of the box, look at innovative pathways and maximize our resources to really make a difference. 

Come join your peers to be inspired and energized. Together, we will learn about vehicles that will help you explore new pathways on your journey to impact.


Keynote Speakers


Farhad Ebrahimi   Trista Harris
Farhad Ebrahimi   Aaron Dorfman
Founder and Chair   President and CEO
Chorus Foundation   National Committee for
    Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP)
8:30 am – 9:00 am Registration, Breakfast and Networking 
9:10 am – 9:20 am Welcome: Chris Essel, President & CEO, Southern California Grantmakers
9:20 am – 10:10 am

Opening Keynote: Power Moves: Building, Sharing and Wielding Power for Impact
Aaron Dorfman, President & CEO, NCRP

10:10 am – 10:40 am Exploring Pathways: Ignite Presentations

Joe Womac, President, Specialty Family Foundation 

10:40 am – 10:50 am Breakout Sessions Preview         
10:50 am – 11:15 am Networking Break 
11:15 am – 12:30 pm Breakout Sessions  
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm  Lunch
1:00 pm – 1:50 pm Closing Keynote and Conversation: Power and Transformation
Farhad Ebrahimi, Founder and Chair, Chorus Foundation
Nike Irvin, Trustee, Riordan Family Foundation; Board of Directors, Southern California Grantmakers
1:50 pm – 2:00 pm
2:00 pm 
2:30 pm 
Closing Remarks
Reception on the “Plaza” 

                                                                                            *Times Subject to Change



Power Moves: Building, Sharing and Wielding Power for Impact

There are urgent problems facing our communities, and family foundations have an important role to play in helping people thrive. Now more than ever, it’s important to ensure that your strategies make sense given your goals, and that they are having the impact you seek for the communities you care about. Join Aaron Dorfman, President and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, as he shares information about a new toolkit to help philanthropies of all sizes assess how they’re doing and get the feedback they need to have even greater impact. This will be the first in-person presentation of NCRP’s new Power Moves toolkit anywhere in the nation.


Aaron Dorfman is the President and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), a research and advocacy organization that works to ensure America’s grantmakers and wealthy donors are responsive to the needs of those with the least wealth, opportunity and power. Aaron, a thoughtful critic, frequently speaks and writes about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy, the benefits of funding advocacy and community organizing and the need for greater accountability and transparency in the philanthropic sector. Before joining NCRP in 2007, he served for 15 years as a community organizer with two national organizing networks, spearheading grassroots campaigns on a variety of issues. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Carleton College, a Master’s degree in philanthropic studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and serves on the board of The Center for Popular Democracy.


How To Have Civil Conversations in Uncivil Times

In these ideologically-polarizing times, many of us find ourselves frustrated by the rhetoric and viewpoints of people on the opposite side of the political spectrum. And increasingly we find ourselves surprised by the views and actions of people with whom we thought we were already aligned, especially on issues of race, gender, class, and privilege. These frustrations play out on many levels—in society, in our organizations, and even in our families. Often we cannot understand how people can think or act “that way” or why they do not agree with us; but are we even entering into the conversation with a full-intent to listen and hear their truth? If we are not truly listening to others, can we really expect that they are listening to us? In this interactive discussion, we will look at what changes we might need to make to create open and honest dialogue that can lead to greater understanding, cohesion, and collaboration.


Session Designers:

  • Claire Peeps, Executive Director, Durfee Foundation
  • Shirley Fredricks, Vice President, The Lawrence Welk Family Foundation
  • Southern California Grantmakers


Panelists:                                                                                                                                                     Moderator:


      Shirley Fredricks                           Angela Oh                              Francisco Ortega                               Claire Peeps
        Vice President                       Attorney Mediator and              Director, Commissions and                    Executive Director,
    The Lawrence Welk                Zen Meditation Instructor             Community Engagement                      Durfee Foundation
     Family Foundation                                                                           City of Los Angeles


New Voices at the Table – Shaking Up Philanthropy’s Decision-Making

Traditional family grantmaking has taken a fairly narrow approach of making a grant in response to a request from a grantee. While many good proposals are made under this approach, grantmakers receive limited information about the community in which the grant is made, oftentimes perpetuating the imbalance of power between the grantee and grantmaker. Engaging community members and outside experts in the grant selection process can alter the decision-making process and result in different outcomes. Learn from a panel of innovative grantmakers who are using pooled funds, giving circles or collaboratives to include diverse community voices to help guide their choices—and how this ultimately may be changing the make-up of our field.


Session Designers and Facilitators:

                                     Mitch Singer

             Jeff Schaffer                                       Mitch Singer
        Vice President, Client                             Principal, Singer
             Services, JMC                                      Philanthropy
       Philanthropic Advisors




    Shawn Kravich                         Lauren Nichols                              Megan Thomas                                 Sarah Vaill
     Board Member,                         Program Officer,                    Vice President of Collaboration            Director of Philanthropy,  
    John N. Calley                     Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker                and Special Initiatives,                    Liberty Hill Foundation
       Foundation                            Family Foundation                      San Diego Grantmakers


How Not to See RED, When Talking About GREEN

Board members and staff of family foundations routinely engage in conversations about sensitive topics that can trigger emotional reactions. In this session, participants will use tools from 21/64, a nonprofit that provides consultation, facilitation and training services for next generation engagement. Our panelists are family foundation leaders and 21/64 Certified Advisors who are no strangers to the delicate conversations that take place in boardrooms and between family members. This session will equip you with strategies to conduct discussions about hot-button issues—including the sensitive topic of money—and to return to a state of calm when your buttons are pushed.


Session Designers and Facilitators:

                    Rachell Barchie                                                      Alexis Marion

                         Rachel Barchie                                                                   Alexis Marion
Executive Director, Moss Foundation                                      Trustee and Program Officer
                                                                                                       Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation


Power and Transformation

As a young philanthropist, Farhad Ebrahimi hopes that all foundations are using their grantmaking power in the most meaningful way—and believes that foundations have the most impact when their choices are informed by and accountable to community leadership. He believes that family philanthropy can help communities transform for the better, but he's also seen how funders can be an obstacle to truly transformational work. To that end, he is looking at how his foundation uses their power with a different lens. Join us as he challenges us to hand some of that power over to the communities that we support, and walks us through how he is sharing power in terms of developing strategy, decision making and the resources themselves.


Farhad Ebrahimi is the Founder and Chair of the Chorus Foundation, which works for a just transition to a regenerative economy in the U.S. The 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, 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? It is in this context that Chorus will be spending down its entire endowment by 2023. Farhad graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics with Computer Science.


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For more information on sponsorship opportunities, click here or contact Amanda Byrd at (213) 680-8866 ext. 226 or [email protected].

Members of Southern California Grantmakers, Northern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers: no cost to participate
Non-Members: $250

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

Please register by May 25th if you plan to attend.
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.

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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