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SCG Family Philanthropy Newsletter: Winter 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020

IN THIS ISSUE:  Recapping Traditions of Giving | 2020 Policy Forecast | Family Philanthropy Member Updates | Upcoming Events | What We're Reading 



Rekindling Our Connections: Recapping Traditions of Giving

How can we improve our personal and professional habits to better hear, understand, and learn from each other? How can stronger connections improve our grantmaking? 

On December 4, 2019, SCG’s Family Philanthropy Advisory Council hosted Traditions of Giving, an annual gathering of friends and colleagues dedicated to exchanging the inspirational stories that shape our giving. This year, the Advisory Council chose to take a different approach to the convening by centering human connection and dialogue at the heart of the program.  

“We all navigate a thousand points of communication daily, some are enriching, some less so,” said Traditions facilitator Michael Kass, Founder of Story & Spirit, an organization dedicated to working with people, organizations, and communities to co-create a more just, equitable, and vibrant future for all beings. “What happens when we’re challenged to simply listen, to take in another person’s story without any agenda of our own other than being present?” 

The approach was simple: create a space intended for active listening and deep empathy. Over a shared meal, Michael led Traditions attendees through a guided conversation around the power of interchange. In tables of five to eight, members were handed a list of meditative and frank questions to choose from and were encouraged to share at the level they felt most comfortable. The list included questions like: Where do you go, a place or a community when you need to release and restore? What is something you came across recently that gave you hope or inspiration? What is a moment in the past year that you knew, at a visceral level, that you had made a positive impact in someone’s life?

The result was a room full of people who were not only willing to engage but who were enthusiastic to share openly about themselves and their experiences. Grounding the space in intention and empathy allowed participants to experience a renewed sense of connection with themselves and everyone in their group. By the end of the program, attendees not only left with new modes of listening and understanding each other, but they also left with a renewed sense of purpose in their work.  

As Mitchell Singer, Principal at Singer Philanthropy, reflected after the program, “Traditions of Giving is one of the rare opportunities we have as grantmakers to connect to why we do the work we do. Much of what we learn all year from SCG focuses on what we need to know and how we can do our jobs better. But Traditions is different—it allows us to appreciate anew our values, our relationships, and our collective vision for a better world.” 

In an effort to continue the conversation, Michael Kass has shared resources on the transformational power of listening and facilitating your own story and conversation circles. View Resources


2020 Policy Forecast: Increased Regulations, Greater Community Needs, and Ballot Box Politics

This year, SCG is committed to tracking the policy trends most likely to impact our members' grantmaking strategies and their ability to fulfill their missions.

As we start 2020, we have identified three trends likely to impact the philanthropic sector: more proposed state regulations on philanthropy, increasing pressures on vulnerable communities, and a focus on housing policy at the ballot box. Read our full trends analysis below, and keep an eye out for our continued coverage of these issues in 2020. 



The Tarsadia Foundation welcomes Priya Bery as their new CEO. Prior to joining Tarsadia, Priya was the President and CEO of SOHO Impact, a foundation focused on fostering a creative economy and reinventing education through creative play. 

The Conrad Hilton Foundation’s President and CEO, Peter Laugharn, has joined the board of directors for the Council of Foundations. On December 22, 2019, The Conrad Hilton Foundation also celebrated their 75th anniversary. 

Tony Pritzker of the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Foundation was recently featured in the LA Business Journal. His approach to philanthropy was featured, he was credited with bringing an engineer’s problem-solving ability to his philanthropy. Read Article. 

SCG Board member Connie Malloy, formerly of the James Irvine Foundation, has joined the Panta Rhea Foundation as its Executive Director. The foundation is devoted to building a just and sustainable world.

The Herb Alpert Foundation is sorry that longtime Grants Manager & Executive Assistant to the President, Nancee Enyart, is retiring after fourteen years at the foundation. They welcome Jimmy Montoya as the new Grants & Operations Manager.  

The Jewish Community Foundation is pleased to welcome Lori Klein as its Vice President, Center for Designed Philanthropy, works closely with donors to help them explore their interests and identify their passions.

Emiko Ono from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has joined the board of directors for Grantmakers in the Arts. 

The Goldhirsh Foundation is celebrating its largest and most ambitious effort, LA2050, by giving $1M to this initiative with the goal of driving and tracking progress toward a shared vision for the future of Los Angeles. Learn More. 

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce recently honored two SCG members at their annual Inaugural Dinner. Former ambassador and family philanthropist Frank Baxter received the Civic Medal of Honor recognizing his many contributions to our community most notably in education and the arts. Evan Spiegel, co-founder of Snapchat, was recognized as the Distinguished Business Leader for his work at Snapchat and the Spiegal Family Fund which is dedicated to the arts, education, housing, and human rights.


FEB 11 | Trust-Based Philanthropy 101

What if funders started grantee relationships with a deliberate focus on building trust and mutual learning? A growing number of funders are embracing trust-based philanthropy as a way to alleviate power imbalances and make it easier for nonprofit leaders to focus on their work.


FEB 13 | Tying Grantmaking Practices to Shared Values (NCFP Webinar)

Shared values can help family givers develop a grantmaking strategy that ties their vision and mission to real impact. As your family considers its own philanthropic strategy, how do you begin to think about your values and put them into practice?


MAR 12 | The Power of a Name: Considering Privacy, Publicity, and Transparency (NCFP Webinar)

Using your name in philanthropy can carry a lot of weight: the power, responsibility, publicity, and hesitance to experiment and potentially fail. In this webinar, hear from families who have considered the power of their name and learn ways to be thoughtful about your own voice.



Why We Place Our Family Foundation Assets in Socially Responsible Investment Vehicles

Officers of a third-generation successor family foundation share why they've begun moving their inherited portfolio of investments into funds that will be beneficial to society. 

Embracing Complexity: Towards a Shared Understanding of Funding Systems Change

Ahsoka and McKinsey have released a report for the social sector funding community to develop practices to better support systems change leaders. 

Addressing Racially-Biased Financial Analysis

This report from the Nonprofit Finance Fund addresses the ways social-sector funders sometimes exacerbate injustice and provides specific actions that can be taken to more accurately understand a nonprofit’s strengths and opportunities. 

Trust-Based Philanthropy Guide

The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project will work over the next five years to bring more accountability and equity to the field and has created a guide with concrete steps for building radically different relationships with grantees.

Trust-Based Philanthropy: The Durfee Foundation

Hear first-hand from the Durfee Foundation on their “trust-based philanthropy,” and how they make this funding strategy work. 

NCFP Launches Trends 2020 Report

The NCFP report explores emerging family philanthropy trends including foundation giving identity, foundation effectiveness, impact investing, and engaging the next generation. 





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