Category Archives: next generation

Letter to COF Conference Attendees

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Holly Wolfe, Environmental Sustainability Program Associate at  The Russell Family Foundation.

by Holly Wolfe

Dear COF Conference Attendees,

There is a movement happening that I implore you to learn about (if you aren’t aware already). It is a body of work ten years in the making, standing on the shoulders of philanthropic institutions created and social progress achieved over the last century.

You may have heard about us. We call ourselves “Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy” or “EPIP.” The acronym might sound bubbly and light, like a bird chirping in your ear. Well, let me spell out the power behind these four letters: EPIP is more than chirping and more than making noise; we are a chorus for change.

Over the last three days a group of young, talented and diverse leaders came together for the 2011 EPIP National Conference. We traveled from all over the United States (and a few other nations) to:

  1. Wrestle with some of today’s most pressing philanthropic, public, social and institutional issues;
  2. Hear from forward-thinking leaders within philanthropy, federal government and the non-profit sector;
  3. And create a safe space of inclusivity and empowerment from which to view, discuss and analyze our work in this field and in the world.

Some of us personally paid our way to be here (on emerging salaries nonetheless!). Others of us lobbied for professional development funds to attend. A few of us received generous EPIP scholarships. Still, countless more of us logged in online and participated in the entire conference via live-stream video and interactive chat.

We heard from and networked with each other as peers. But we also heard from a collection of seasoned philanthropic leaders who served as plenary speakers. These individuals bravely tore off the veils of money, power, race, class, gender, and sexuality and spoke to us with incredible honesty and grit. They made us laugh and they moved us to tears.

We listened intently as Emmett Carson, Gabriel Kasper and Terry Odendahl stressed the difference between social change and social justice and how (frankly) not enough foundations are committed to the latter (can we get an AMEN?!). We must be patient though, they told us, it takes a while for things to change.

We sat with bated breath as Sandra Vargas, Sherece West, Sterling Speirn, Urvashi Vaid and Daniel Lee invited us into their personal leadership journeys which have culminated in the influential positions they hold today. And let me tell you, they got personal! Sexism, racism, ageism, classism, and homophobia – collectively they’ve faced every kind of fire along the way. But they pushed onward because the work of change – of social justice, of alleviating poverty, of fighting racism, of civil rights – is the work they’ve committed not only their careers to, but their lives to.

Stick together, these seasoned leaders urged us, dynamic individuals can make small changes, but a cult of individuals can lead a movement. And “stick together” we have! We celebrated EPIP’s 10th anniversary during this conference. Just a decade after EPIP was birthed by a few visionary emerging leaders during a COF conference, 11 local chapters around the nation have sprung up and now convene regularly to carry out this work. We’ve come so far, and yet we’re just getting started.

Contrary to the popular saying, we are not the next generation – we are the now generation. We are standing beside you, amongst you, next to you and behind you in this work. We are ready to build (and help you build) more open, collaborative, diverse, transparent, effective and multi-generational organizations. We are ready to lead and to follow.

In the next ten years, there will be bumps along the road. We don’t want to do things the way they’ve always been done in philanthropy. We want to challenge assumptions –yours, others, and our own. We want to learn from you, not just from your successes, but from your mistakes. Tell us about the times you’ve fallen flat on your face. Tell us what you’re most scared of. Tell us what keeps you up at night. Tell us the change you have yet to see. Tell us why you do this work.

We want to share with you; our opinions, our ideas, our experiences, our struggles and our inspirations. We want to push back on you, to manage up to you, to ask you bold questions. And we want to be challenged by you in return – to build our skill-sets, to use our voices, to take risks, to push ourselves beyond where we thought we could go.

With you, we can fund, support and lead today’s critical movements – especially those where social justice issues are at stake. With you, we can learn from the past and prepare for the future. With you, we can merge our multi-generational collective wisdom to take us all further than we’ve gone before.

We hope your gathering is as inspiring for you as ours was for us. Enjoy your time together this week and while you do, keep EPIP in your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Holly Wolfe
The Russell Family Foundation
Seattle EPIP Chapter Steering Committee

If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe. On Twitter? Follow me @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

Fountain of Youth

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Richard Woo, CEO, of The Russell Family Foundation.

by Richard Woo

Tonight a boatload of folks celebrated the ten year birthday of EPIP: Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. I’m serious, it was a boatload because we were singing, dancing and celebrating on an historic clipper ship anchored along the Philadelphia waterfront!

If you’ve been unplugged for the past decade and haven’t yet heard of EPIP, its vision is “of a day when all generations in philanthropy collaborate effectively to build better foundations for a better world”. Its mission is to “develop extraordinary new leaders for foundations to enhance organized philanthropy and it’s impact in communities.” Rusty Stahl, EPIP’s executive director, the national staff, it’s board of directors, and throngs of EPIP members and supporters across the country can feel proud of the progress they’ve made in marching on that mission. The Russell Family Foundation is fortunate to have at least three of our staff of nine attending this year’s EPIP annual conference held in conjunction with the COF conference. I say “at least” because I feel like an EPIP conferee in spirit even though I’ve worked in philanthropy twice as many years as EPIP has existed.

During tonight’s gathering, an EPIP member asked me in all earnestness (for he had just turned 40): “What’s the secret to staying young?” Considering that I’m turning 60 next year I paused a moment, then told him about the workshop I attended earlier today on adaptive leadership for 80 foundation CEO’s and board trustees. The session is a two day pre-conference workshop designed by the Council to help folks “lead in the new normal.” I told the EPIP’er that my board president and I shared a case study from our foundation of an issue that “keeps us awake at night” in front of the rest of the workshop members–after which the audience offered feedback, critiques, and possible solutions. I told my 40 year old EPIP colleague: “Experiencing that kind of transparency and trusting 80 strangers was really scary–but I felt really enlivened by all of the questions, suggestions and differing perspectives offered up. That is the secret to staying young.”

If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe. On Twitter? Follow me @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

EPIP Provides Support and Opportunity for Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference (and many of the pre-conference events) in Philadelphia with the help of a blog team.  This is a joint post by Rusty Stahl, Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, and Kris Putnam-Walkerly, President of Putnam Community Investment Consulting, Inc.

by:  Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Rusty Stahl

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) is an affinity group of the Council on Foundations. Its mission is to develop extraordinary new leaders to enhance organized philanthropy and its impact on communities. EPIP released the findings of it’s 2011 Impact Assessment, in conjunction with its 10th anniversary and national conference held in Philadelphia.  Below we share the first of two blog posts: 7 key findings about how EPIP has provided support, opportunity, and leadership development for emerging leaders in philanthropy.  Next week we will share 6 ways EPIP has impacted the field of philanthropy.

1) Emerging leaders have benefited from EPIP’s efforts to connect new and experienced leaders in philanthropy.  Almost all survey respondents (92%) reported that they have personally experienced EPIP’s efforts to facilitate generational change, primarily by participating in forums and events that bring together established and emerging leaders in philanthropy.

Nick Scheibel explains the benefits of peer networking in EPIP

2) EPIP members value peer learning and networks gained through EPIP. Two-thirds (64%) of members surveyed reported that as a result of relationships they developed through EPIP, they are participating in new professional development activities. Half  (50%–54%) have met people they can turn to for help in performing their jobs well and regarding being underrepresented in the field.

“I’ve gotten to know so many different people in the field through EPIP. EPIP provides an amazing platform and network to new people in the field, irrespective of age.”  — Rohit Burman, Director of the Culture and Public Broadcasting Program at the Metlife Foundation

3) EPIP supports leadership development early in careers. Many members interviewed described how EPIP provided unique venues to learn, practice, and advance their leadership early in their careers. This included opportunities to propose and lead sessions at conferences, plan events, serve on steering committees, and lead chapters. Senior philanthropy leaders also noted that EPIP provides an important “alternative route to high engagement” for emerging leaders.

“EPIP has done a lot to strengthen a pipeline of leaders into and moving up through philanthropy by giving people mentoring opportunities, confidence boosters, and the chance to develop skills like serving on boards, public speaking, or social justice thinking.”  — Caroline Altman Smith, Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation

4) Participants use the knowledge, skills, and networks developed through EPIP to improve their job performance. 70% of all survey respondents who had been involved in EPIP longer than one year said that as a result of their involvement in EPIP they had established new professional relationships that have been beneficial to their work. Half (56%) described positive changes at their jobs as a result of their involvement in EPIP, including now seeing themselves as leaders in their field (26%) and improving their job performance (22%).

“We moved to a simpler grant process after I attended an EPIP conference, and that has improved our relationship with grantseekers.  — Survey respondent

5) EPIP helps members stay engaged in and advance their careers in philanthropy. Members interviewed described how involvement in EPIP helped reduce their feelings of isolation and helped them make critical choices related to staying in the field and charting their career paths.

“It was definitely motivating, inspiring, and compelling to be able to talk to others in the EPIP network when I was considering taking my first job in philanthropy.” — Christi Tran, Program Officer, Blue Shield of California Foundation

6) Participants value that EPIP is run by and for emerging leaders. Almost all (92%) of survey respondents reported that EPIP is different from other foundation associations they have been involved in, and this is primarily because it is run by and for young people (75%).

Jasmine Hall Ratliff describes how EPIP helps younger staff learn from experienced leaders in philanthropy.

7) EPIP helps grantmakers connect their daily work to broader social change. Among all survey respondents, 30% reported that they believe that since becoming involved with EPIP they can connect the ideal of social justice philanthropy to their daily job responsibilities. Sixty-four percent (64%) of members surveyed indicated that as a result of people they met through EPIP, they have established professional relationships with people with similar commitments to social justice philanthropy.

“I think a lot of people are equipped with tools to have better conversations about social justice philanthropy and being effective grantmakers, as a result of EPIP.” — Sylvia Spivey, Development & Scholarship Associate, The Philadelphia Foundation

EPIP’s 2011 Impact Assessment was conducted by Putnam Community Investment Consulting, Inc. It included a national survey of EPIP members, alumni, prospective members, and partners; in-depth interviews with 12 active members and 10 senior philanthropy leaders who have partnered with EPIP; and a review of existing EPIP data and documents. To learn more about EPIP’s impact you can read the full report.

Blog Team Coverage of the Council on Foundations Conference

Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, recently covered the 2010 Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a list of all posts published for this event.

  1. Kick off of Council on Foundations Blog Team, posted by Sterling Speirn, President and CEO, WK Kellogg Foundation
  2. Thoughts from the Pre-Conference Institute for Trustees & CEOs: “Insights for Philanthropic Leadership,” posted by Richard Woo, CEO, Russell Family Foundation
  3. A Lesson on Managing Risk, posted by Raymond Colmenar, Senior Program Officer, The California Endowment
  4. The New Meditation, posted by Richard Woo, CEO, Russell Family Foundation
  5. Nits Make Lice, posted by Mike Roberts, President, First Nations Development Institute
  6. Walking Around Philanthropy, posted by Mary Galeti, Vice Chair of the Tecovas Foundation
  7. 5 Things We Know, But Keep Forgetting, posted by Crystal Hayling, Winner of the 2010 James A Joseph Award from the Association of Black Foundation Executives
  8. Listen, posted by Aleesha Towns-Bain, Program Associate, Rasmuson Foundation
  9. Health, Equity, and Growth, posted by Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
  10. On Fire, posted by Rebecca Arno, Vice President of Communications, Denver Foundation
  11. Choices, Choices, posted by Kim St. John-Stevenson, Communications Officer, Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland
  12. So Many Great Sessions, So Little Time to Blog, posted by Sterling Speirn, President and CEO, WK Kellogg Foundation
  13. Thoughts on a Session – Social Justice: From Here to 2030, posted by Teri Behrens, Editor, The Foundation Review
  14. Charity AND Change; Social Innovation AND Social Justice, posted by Paul Connolly, Senior Vice President and Director, TCC Group, and member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  15. Grantmaking, Tools, and the Long View, posted by Mary Galeti, Vice Chai, Tecovas Foundation
  16. Happy Birthday AAPIP!, posted by Richard Woo, CEO, Russell Family Foundation
  17. Standing Ovation Generation, posted by Jacob Harold, Program Officer in Philanthropy, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  18. Social Justice Philanthropy, posted by Mike Shaw, Program Assistant, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  19. The “Yes-And-And” Strategy: Equity as the 21st Century Growth Model, posted by Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
  20. Celebrating AAPIP’s 20th Anniversary Year-round, posted by Sokunthea Sa Chhabra, Director of Interactive Communications, Case Foundation
  21. Information and Power – Thoughts on Al Gore’s Speech, posted by Kathleen Reich, Program Officer, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  22. Is Institutional Philanthropy Structured to Support Successful Social Change?, posted by Lee Draper, Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and CEO of the Draper Consulting Group
  23. Ah-ha Moments and Social Media (aka Why YOU Can and Should Use Social Media!), posted by Kim St. John-Stevenson, Communications Officer, Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland
  24. Wish You Were Here…Al Gore’s Keynote Speech on Climate Change, the Imperative of Civic Engagement, and Philanthropy’s Opportunity to Play a Role in Shaping the Future, posted by Lee Draper, Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and CEO of the Draper Consulting Group
  25. Blowing Up The Conference Model, posted by Sean Stannard-Stockton, CEO of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors
  26. Where Are the Arts?, posted by Lee Draper, Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and CEO, Draper Consulting Group
  27. Living History: Amanche & Sand Creek, posted by Richard Woo, CEO, Russell Family Foundation
  28. Learn Essential Skills and Strategies in Philanthropy, posted by Cole Wilbur, Trustee of the The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Steering Committee Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  29. Memorable Mentions, posted by Richard Woo, CEO of the Russell Family Foundation
  30. Afraid of Losing Control with Social Media? Guess What, You’ve Already Lost it!, posted by Sokunthea Sa Chhabra, Director of Interactive Communications at the Case Foundation
  31. A Foundation’s Freedom – And its Responsibility, posted by Kristin Ivie, Program Manager of Social Innovation at the Case Foundation
  32. What’s Next for Diversity in Philanthropy?, posted by Henry A. J. Ramos, Principal at Mauer Kunst Consulting and member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  33. Sitting at the Intersection: Affinity, posted by Colin Lacon, President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
  34. Myth Busting, posted by Rebecca Arno, Vice President of Communications at the Denver Foundation
  35. Becoming Masters of the Brand of Ourselves, posted by Mary Galeti, Vice Chair of the Tecovas Foundation
  36. Social Justice: Bringing it Home, posted by Henry A. J. Ramos, Principal at Mauer Kunst Consulting and member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  37. 5 + 3 Ain’t Small Change, posted by Colin Lacon, President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
  38. Respect & Resolve, posted by Richard Woo, CEO of the Russell Family Foundation
  39. Racial Justice is Everybody’s Issue, posted by Rosetta Thurman, President of Thurman Consulting
  40. In Search of the Mind-Blowing Conference Model, posted by Philanthropy411′s very own Kris Putnam-Walkerly, President of Putnam Community Investment Consulting, and Vice Chair of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  41. Learn Essential Skills and Strategies in Philanthropy, posted by Cole Wilbur, Trustee of the The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Steering Committee Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Special thanks to the Council on Foundations for their support of our Blog Team!  Check out their blog, re: Philanthropy, to read about their blog coverage of the conference and to stay abreast of the field!

If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe. On Twitter? Follow me @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

Your Team at the Council on Foundations Conference

I’m thrilled to announce the 2010 Philanthropy411 Blog Team for the Council on Foundations annual conference in Denver! This year’s  Team is organized in collaboration with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers.

We’ll be blogging from Denver starting with the pre-conference sessions on Saturday, April 24th.

As many of you know, Sean Stannard-Stockton’s Tactical Philanthropy Blog Team covered the conference in 2009 and 2008.  This year Sean has generously passed the blog baton to Philanthropy411. The Council on Foundations will also be blogging from the conference, so definitely check out their conference posts as well. You can also follow the conference by using the hashtag #cof10.

Here is your Philanthropy411 Blog Team:

Rebecca Arno
Vice President of Communications, Denver Foundation
Board Member, Colorado Nonprofit Association
Board Member, The Communications Network;      Twitter: @tdfcommunity

Teri Behrens
Editor of The Foundation Review
Adjunct Faculty, School for Public and Nonprofit Administration, Grand Valley State University

Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
Co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future
Commissioner, RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America

Ray Colmenar
Senior Program Officer, The California Endowment
Vice Chair, Zero Divide

Paul M. Connolly
Senior Vice President and Director, TCC Group;  Twitter: @tccgroup
Author, Navigating the Organizational Lifecycle: A Capacity-Building Guide for Nonprofit Leaders; Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Lee Draper
CEO, Draper Consulting Group
Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Mary Galeti
Vice Chair, Tecovas Foundation
Member, CoF Next Generation Task Force
Twitter: @tecovasfound

Jacob Harold
Program Officer, Philanthropy, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Board Member: Guidestar
Twitter: @jacobcharold

Crystal Hayling
Winner, 2010 James A Joseph Award ; Association of Black Foundation Executives
Former CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation;
Twitter, @CHayling

Kristin Ivie
Program Manager of Social Innovation, Case Foundation
Blogger, Social Citizen
Twitter: @Kivie

Colin Lacon
President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
Board Member, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers

Kris Putnam-Walkerly
President, Putnam Community Investment Consulting, Inc.
Vice-Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
Board Member, Community Fdn. of Lorain County;       Twitter @Philanthropy411

Henry AJ Ramos
Principal, Mauer Kunst Consulting
Lead Consultant, Diversity in Philanthropy Project
Founding Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Kathleen Reich
Program Officer, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Twitter:  @kdreich

Mike Roberts
President, First Nations Development Institute
National Advisory Committee Member, National Center for Family Philanthropy
Member of the Tlingit Tribe of Alaska

Sokunthea Sa Chhabra
Director of Interactive Communications, Case Foundation
Chair, Metro DC Chapter of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
Twitter: @Sokunthea

Mike Shaw
Program Assistant, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Board Member, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
Twitter: @mikebaileyshaw

Sterling Speirn
President and CEO, WK Kellogg Foundation
Advisory Council Member, Global Philanthropy Forum

Sean Stannard-Stockton
CEO, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors
Member, Alliance for Effective Social Investing
Columnist, Chronicle of Philanthropy; Twitter: @tactphil

Kimberly St. John-Stevenson
Communications Officer, Saint Luke’s Foundation
2010 Communicator of the Year, International Assoc. of  Business Communicators  Greater Cleveland Chapter;  Twitter: @saintlukesfdn

Aleesha Towns -Bain
Program Associate, Rasmuson Foundation


Rosetta Thurman
President, Thurman Consulting
Adjunct Professor, Trinity University
Twitter: @rosettathurman

Cole Wilbur
Trustee, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Steering Committee Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
Board Member, Institute for Global Ethics

Richard Woo
CEO, The Russell Family Foundation
Board Member, Council on Foundations
Board Member, Philanthropy Northwest

Looking For A Philanthropy Job? 20 Resources To Help You

When I was searching for my first foundation job, the CEO of a prominent family foundation told me:

“Philanthropy is a closed world, but once you’re in, you’re in. Take any program officer job you are offered, even if it’s a different content area than what you are interested in. Once you are working at a foundation, you’re seen as an “insider” and can network with other funders.”

That was accurate advice ten years ago, and I think it continues to be true. Although I think foundations are generally more open and accessible today than they were then, it can be difficult for someone to “break into” the field.  I was lucky enough to land a position at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which was tremendously helpful in training me to be a strategic grantmaker, and introduced me to many amazing program officers and foundation leaders.  I learned about this position the old-fashioned way – by networking – but in this economy no stone should be left unturned in a job search.

With that in mind I wanted to share some resources to help you land your next foundation job:

7 Websites With Foundation Job Listings

  1. The Council on Foundation’s Career Center provides national job listings at foundations. Anyone can search for positions, and for $25 you can post your resume (free to members).
  2. The Foundation Center’s Job Corner provides listings of current full-time job openings at U.S.-based foundations and nonprofit organizations. You can also search by organization type, job function, and state.
  3. Grantmakers Without Borders offers job listing with a focus on global issues and social change.
  4. Regional Associations of Grantmakers are great resources for local job listings.  For example, Ohio Grantmakers Forum and Philanthropy Northwest both have job listings on their websites. The Giving Forum lists jobs available at other regional associations, and you can also search for grantmaker associations near you.
  5. OnPhilanthropy’s Dot.Org.Jobs site includes some foundation jobs, although primarily lists nonprofit positions
  6. OpportunityKnocks lists foundation and nonprofit jobs nationally. You can post a resume and also get advice through their Nonprofit Jobs Resource Center.
  7. If you are looking for a nonprofit position, the Donor’s Forum provides a list of over 30 websites posting nonprofit jobs.

Most foundations also list their job openings on their websites. Some, like the Ford and Gates foundations, allow you to apply online.

Search Firms

Larger funders often turn to executive search firms to help them identify qualified candidates. Some popular firms include The 360 Group, Martha Montag Brown & Associates, DHR International, Bridgespan, and Phillips Oppenheim.

Anthony Tansimore, Executive Vice President of the search firm DHR International, offers this advice to job seekers:

It’s not easy to get a job in a foundation and there are many paths. The first thing I do is issue a caution. I talk to quite a lot of people who want to make the jump into a foundation from a nonprofit or from the corporate sector. They think the work is easier and they will make more money.

Second, think about what you’re passionate about. Think about what kind of difference you want to make in the world, and investigate the foundations that are doing that work. Get to know the program officers and ask for an informational interview.

Third, ask about fellowships that encourage people to pursue careers in philanthropy or the nonprofit sector. The San Francisco Foundation, for instance, has a fellowship program to encourage more people of color to enter philanthropy, and the typical fellow is younger in age and career.

Fourth, become informed and share your knowledge. If you know a lot about an issue, write and speak about it so that you are seen as an expert and someone to whom foundations will turn to gain more knowledge on the subject.

Lastly, when you reach out to a search consultant, know that that person’s client is the organization that wishes to hire staff. Do not expect the consultant to serve as an agent to place you in a terrific position, so limit your expectations to meeting someone new and sharing your resume.

If you are under forty years of age and new to philanthropy work, you should check out Emerging Practioners in Philanthropy, which provides terrific networking and educational opportunities. And if you prefer to hang out your own shingle you should check out two of my earlier posts, “So, You Want To Be A Philanthropy Consultant,” and “Starting A Consulting Business? 15 Things To Do Right Now.

How did you land your first foundation job? Do you recommend other resources for finding a position in philanthropy?  Leave a comment and let us know. If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe! On Twitter? Follow Philanthropy411 at @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

How to Involve Young People in Philanthropy

There are many ways to engage young people in philanthropy. By cultivating an early interest in “giving back”, we have the power to inspire the next generation to become active, informed and generous members of society. The bottom line? It’s never too early to start – and never too late to make a real impact on how young people view the world!  Below are resources and information I have compiled to help you support the next generation in philanthropy.

Strength in Numbers: A Growing Trend Toward Family Foundations

It has been said that “charity begins at home” and today, there are more family foundations in the United States than at any other time in recent history. According to the Foundation Center, 38,700 family foundations in the United States awarded $16 billion in 2006 – a 13 percent increase in giving from 2005. When a family creates a foundation, it’s natural for them to explore ways to engage their own children in their philanthropic efforts.

8 Great Ways to Get Young People Involved

When you want to engage a young person in philanthropy, it’s wise to match activities with the child’s individual interests. Here are a few ways to capture the interest of tweens and teens:

1. Put kids on the receiving end with a regular allowance, then divide it into three categories: Spend, save and share.

2. Accompany a child on a site visit to a local agency or nonprofit so they can learn first-hand about the people who create solutions and the issues they face.

3. If you have a family foundation, let your child review proposals, final reports and thank you letters from grantees.

4. Have regular family meetings to discuss which issues and organizations are most worthy of philanthropic support.

5. Encourage young people to volunteer their time with local agencies and organizations.

6. Invite children to serve as junior board members, or let them take minutes at regular board meetings.

7. Donate a set amount each year to an organization of your child’s choice.

8. Enlist your child’s technology skills in developing a website or PowerPoint presentation for your family foundation – or let them write a blog or create a Facebook page.

5 Tough Questions: Explore the Answers Together

Remember that young people whose families have foundations face unique challenges. Many feel guilty about their wealth, and hesitate to turn to their peers for support. You can help by talking together to answer questions like these:

1. How do I infuse my personal values into my family’s philanthropy?

2. How can I bring new topics to the table and have a voice?

3. Where do I start looking at issues like family history, legacy and mission?

4. Who am I to make funding decisions when I lack “real-world” experience?

5. How can I make a lasting impact through my family’s philanthropy?

Join the Club: Young People Need to Belong to a Bigger Cause

With the emergence of family foundations, a whole new landscape of support resources has sprung up to help young people to align personal values and family wealth with social change. Online communities like Resource Generation, Grand Street, the Society of Young Philanthropists, and YES! provide support and information through various workshops, listserves, conferences, and social events. Young people can also take part in annual convenings such as Making Money Make Change and Leveraging Privilege for Social Change Jam. Young people may also enjoy the book Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy: The Next Generation by Alison Goldberg, Karen Pittelman, and Resource Generation.

Evaluation of youth philanthropy programs, as described in Changing the Face of Giving and Best Practices in Youth Philanthropy has found that they:

  • Encourage young people to improve their skills, knowledge and confidence
  • Help participants to understand community and youth issues, share opinions more openly, and become better at planning and facilitating meetings
  • Promote greater interest in attending college
  • Enable young people to view themselves as leaders who can make a difference in their communities
  • Allow participants to develop language, budgeting, critical thinking, and public speaking skills
  • Promote positive youth development

Perhaps most revealing is that young people continue to volunteer and donate money to charitable causes at higher rates than the general population long after they stopped participating in these programs.

Digging Deeper: More Resources on Youth Philanthropy

Learning To Give provides field-tested K-12 curriculum about youth philanthropy. Additionally, the Youth Leadership Institute and Youth Philanthropy and Service at the Mandel Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio helps organizations establish youth philanthropy programs. To find a youth philanthropy program near you, search the Youth Grantmaker DatabaseEmerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and Future Leaders in Philanthropy are terrific resources for young professionals.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly  © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2009