Here at the National Center for Family Philanthropy, as spring continues to scratch and claw its way to the surface, we are eagerly awaiting and fastidiously preparing for our first-ever National Forum on Family Philanthropy to be held next week in Cambridge, MA. This inaugural Forum on Family Philanthropy is the result of ongoing work by NCFP’s Board and staff to reinterpret and recommit to the founding vision, values, and mission of the organization. NCFP, almost 17 years after that founding, still stands as a vigorous advocate and resource for the charitable giving of philanthropic families. We are dedicated to ensuring that the very best, most groundbreaking research, resources, and educational events are available to those contemplating, managing, and renewing family giving programs.

With this Forum, we create a place where those committed to ethical and effective family giving can discuss the issues and circumstances affecting their leadership and service to charitable causes.

The Board of Directors and the Advisory Committee that have guided this Forum intended that the very highest quality programming, presenters, and formats be available to you. Within the Forum program, you’ll find a retreat, colleague briefings, case study sessions, discussion groups, and informal spaces for the collegial conversations that often make these gatherings so meaningful. Further, we intended that the title of this program, Inspiration, Revelation and Transformation, be the guiding framework for our conference. We trust you will find new ideas and solutions, inspiring stories, and the encouragement to go home with a new sense of possibility – truly a transformative experience.

This inaugural event is just the beginning of a number of extraordinary new services and resources from the National Center for Family Philanthropy. At the Forum, we’ll announce a new research partnership with the Urban Institute to articulate and benchmark critical trends in the practice of family philanthropy. We’ll showcase the beta version of our brand-new website and the new Family Philanthropy Online Knowledge Center that go live in June. And we’ll share our fresh new visual identity. Our new look and logo signal a lively reinterpretation of our values and our vision for serving the field. We are excited to renew – through bold new programming and dynamic visual appeal – the vitality of our mission and advocacy on your behalf.

It takes the commitment of many generous and dedicated individuals and organizations to make this Forum and all of our work possible. The NCFP Board of Directors regularly demonstrate their willingness to try new things, even to take bold risks, while prudently managing a small, if ambitious, organization. The Advisory Committee for this Forum offered both intellectual leadership and encouragement for the development of a convening that is both personal in its approach and sophisticated in its development – both the hallmarks of family giving.

And, as with any such great venture, there is inherent financial risk. We required sponsors who had the vision to see the Forum’s possibility and ultimate accomplishments while it was only in the conceptual stage. Our sincere gratitude to U. S. Trust and all our sponsors.

Finally, the National Center for Family Philanthropy is here to serve donor families only because of the faith and generosity of our supporters: our Friends of the Family, including our Leadership Circle. To all who helped bring this Forum to you and to all of you who also took a chance on a new idea by registering to participate, my most sincere admiration and gratitude.

This month’s edition of FGN features a sneak peek at the exciting and inspirational plenary sessions at the Forum, thoughts on the event from several Forum advisory committee members and plenary speakers, and tips and advice from a veteran conference-goer on how to make the most of the event.

It promises to be a magical few days in Cambridge, and I very much look forward to seeing many of you there!


Virginia M. Esposito
President, National Center for Family Philanthropy

P.S. For those of you who can’t join us as well as those who can, please follow along and participate in the live Twitter conversation using #ncfp14.