Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation; Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation; Collins Foundation; William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund; Raikes Foundation; Rasmuson Foundation; Satterberg Foundation; Tracy Family Foundation; and the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers.

Are you a current Friend or Leadership Circle member of NCFP with an update or good news about your foundation that you would like to share with Family Giving News readers? Please email us. Interested in learning more about the families involved in NCFP's Friends of the Family network? Go here.

Doug B. Stewart Publishes Impact Investing Op-ed

Doug B. Stewart, Executive Director of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, wrote a letter to the editor in the Chronicle of Philanthropy that defended impact investing. The letter describes impact investing as a “critical evolution of investing.” Stewart is the chair of the 2019 National Forum Planning Committee and a former NCFP Fellow.

Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation Establishes Respect Big Bend Coalition

The Respect Big Bend Coalition was established and launched with support from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, a Texas foundation that seeks innovative, sustainable solutions for human and environmental problems. The coalition is dedicated to collaborating with communities and landowners to maximize the benefits of responsible energy development while sustaining the communities, land and water of the Big Bend region. CGMF works as an engine of change in both policy and practice in Texas, supporting high-impact projects at the nexus of environmental protection, social equity and economic vibrancy.   

Three New Trustees Join the Collins Foundation Board

Jaime Arredondo, Serena Cruz, and Kimberlee Pierce Sheng will join the Collins Foundation board. Arredondo serves as the executive director of the CAPACES Leadership Institute, which prepares leaders and a network of organizations with the capacity and political consciousness to lead and support social justice work. Cruz is the executive director of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation and oversees fundraising, public affairs, and community partnership efforts in support of Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. Pierce Sheng is the executive director of the American Leadership Forum of Oregon (ALF-Oregon), overseeing the organization’s work to strengthen leaders across the state to better serve Oregon, and serves on the national board of directors of the American Leadership Forum.

William Caspar Graustein Memorial Funds Offers New Grant Opportunities

The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund is seeking grant applications that address one or more of its Program Focus Areas: Building Community Power grants will support groups that are investing in communities of color living in poverty to build power and lead a broader coalition to confront racism and poverty in our schools and society; Disrupting Institutional Inequity grants will support groups that are disrupting narratives, practices and structures typical of the ways education and other institutions perpetuate racial and economic disparities; Transforming Key Systems grants will support work that is providing new solutions and methods for changing educational structures needed for the success, and ultimately liberation of marginalized communities. Applications are due by the end of June, with a board decision in September.

Jeff Raikes Explains the Fallacy of Colorblindness in New Piece

Jeff Raikes of the Raikes Foundation wrote for Alliance Magazine about how “I don’t see color” does not alleviate, but aggravates, racism. He writes “[a]s I grew older, I came to realise how insidious the concept of colour-blindness could be and that ignoring the way racism shapes the social problems we grapple with doesn’t make them go away – it just makes the solutions we attempt to implement less effective.”

Rasmuson Foundation Elects Two Board Members

The Rasmuson Foundation is proud to announce that a village corporation leader and an airline executive are joining the board of directors. Curtis McQueen, chief executive officer of Eklutna Inc., and Marilyn F. Romano, Alaska regional vice president for Alaska Airlines, have been elected to three-year terms.

The Satterberg Foundation Hosts Seattle Equity Summit

The Satterberg Foundation will host the Seattle Equity Summit on April 26, 2019. The summit will include125 civic, business, and philanthropy leaders with practitioners, advocates and experts to share strategies for advancing equity in education, housing and economic mobility for people of color and other marginalized groups. The overarching aim of this summit is to contribute to a new model and set of best practices for systemic change in Seattle and Washington State, for a future where prosperity is broadly shared.

Tracy Family Foundation Plans Early Childhood Center

The Tracy Family Foundation is taking steps to meet a growing need for childcare in Brown County, Illinois. The Brown County Early Childhood Education Center will open by the end of 2020 at a still-to-be-determined site in Mount Sterling to serve 80 to 90 young children -- infants, toddlers and preschoolers -- with programs promoting healthy development and establishing a foundation for success in kindergarten.

Maria Vizcarrondo Named President of Council of New Jersey Grantmakers

The Council of New Jersey Grantmakers named longtime social sector leader Maria Vizcarrondo as its president. “Maria has been a trailblazer throughout her career,” said Board Chair William V. Engel. “We turn to her to help the state’s diverse and dedicated philanthropies to be even more effective in their quest to make this a better place.” CNJG is a nonprofit organization of over 130 members representing the philanthropic community in the state. Members include family, private, community, independent and corporate foundations, and corporate giving programs.

Special Thanks: NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle Members

We offer special thanks to our Friends of the Family and Leadership Circle funders who support and sustain the work of NCFP. Our Leadership Circle recognizes a special group of our most generous supporters. Our Friends offer continuing support for our work, ensuring that future generations of donor families can access the best possible resources for sound decision-making. See a complete list of NCFP Leadership Circle and Friends of the Family. Or, for more information, please contact Maureen Esposito at 202.293.3276 or at