A truly glorious spring day is the backdrop and inspiration for my introduction to this issue of Family Giving News. And while I usually caution against feelings of entitlement, those of us in the greater Washington, DC area deserve this weather. All those calls we’ve received from Michigan, Minnesota and Maine telling us that we were having a rougher winter than they were, I’m sure, meant to be supportive? Only good friends rub salt (road salt, of course) into the wounds. But, gifted with this weather, all is forgiven so I write today about three stories of friends.

Our feature story highlights the work of the Jacobs Family Foundation in San Diego, California. Valerie Jacobs, a family member and trustee, writes about the place-based approach to grantmaking her family has pursued since 1998. The Jacobs Family Foundation directs its human, social and financial capital in one neglected neighborhood in the San Diego area. The partnerships, progress and friendships that have resulted are stunning. We are grateful to Valerie for capturing and sharing this extraordinary commitment for Family Giving News.

The Jacobs program was featured in a site session during the 2010 Family Philanthropy Conference in San Diego. For a thoughtful blog about that experience, check out Russell Family Foundation CEO Richard Woo’s entry on the Council on Foundations’ website.

This issue also celebrates our new and renewing Friends of the Family. We usually take a moment in FGN to note those who have become “Friends” and you’ll notice that we have a particularly long list this month. In these difficult economic times, the power and encouragement of our annual Friends gifts is truly sustaining. The National Center for Family Philanthropy relies on these gifts to support services like this newsletter, our website and Knowledge Center, research, education, and the daily answering of questions from family giving programs around the country (and the world). In turn, Friends receive complimentary access to all of our services – including our teleconferences and Passages issue papers – many of which are available only to supporters.

For those of you that have become a new Friend or renewed your participation already, thank you so much! For those that have not, join today via our website or give Maureen a call at 202-293-3424 for more information. We love new Friends and I know you will love all the resources that come with being part of this very special circle.

Finally, with this issue I am delighted to welcome back an old friend, Jason Born. Many of you will remember Jason as a long-time staff member of the National Center. Jason is back with us and will be working on FGN, issue papers and the Knowledge Center, among many other things. Welcome back to the Family, Jason!

Ginny Esposito
President, National Center for Family Philanthropy