FAQs on the National Center for Family Philanthropy

Have a specific question about the purpose, programs and funding structure of the National Center for Family Philanthropy? See below for answers to some of our most frequently asked questions, or see our Top Trends in Family Philanthropy slideshow.

When and why was the National Center for Family Philanthropy founded?

NCFP was founded in 1997 in response to the need for a national resource center dedicated to serving the needs of donors and their families.

What does NCFP do?

NCFP is a catalyst for the greater good by providing unparalleled resources and expertise as well as compassionate support, which inspires families to transform their values into charitable giving that makes a positive and enduring impact on the communities they serve.

Our resources, expertise and support inspire effective family giving, which ultimately transforms lives and communities.

How is NCFP funded?

NCFP is supported by a mix of private contributions, foundation grants, subscriptions, program and consulting fees and an annual fund known as our Friends of the Family network. Currently, approximately 65% of our annual budget comes from subscriptions and fees, and 35% percent comes from foundation grants and other contributions.

Why should I support NCFP?

Your generosity is the driving force behind our mission to advocate for the value of family philanthropy. You empower us to provide the resources and support that are essential to helping families achieve their charitable goals, and ultimately, to improve the quality of life for all.

Does NCFP match grantees and nonprofits with prospective funders?

NCFP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We are not a grantmaking organization, and we do not recommend grants from family foundations and funds to specific organizations or interest areas.

Where can grantees and nonprofits looking to identify prospective funders look for additional information?

If you're seeking a grant, you may wish to check out these resources: 

  • Contact family philanthropies directly to inquire about programs, grants, and application guidelines. For contact information, visit the Foundation Center.
  • Subscribe to Family Giving News, the nation’s most widely read e-newsletter for giving families. This publication connects you to important new trends and the latest research in family philanthropy and provides a unique window into the world of family giving and the concerns of family donors.
  • Contact your local Community Foundation or Regional Association of Grantmakers to identify and connect with prospective funders in your area.

Is NCFP a membership organization?

NCFP is not a membership organization. While we are not a membership organization, organizations that invest in the field of family philanthropy can access special resources and benefits offered to NCFP partners. Family foundations with an interest in accessing and supporting our programs and services are invited to become a Friend of the Family (see below). 

Is NCFP a grantmaking organization?

NCFP is not a grantmaking organization, and we do not recommend grants from family foundations and funds to specific organizations or interest areas. However, as a fellow grantee, these are our go to resources when doing prospective funder research.  

How is NCFP different from other organizations or affinity groups?

While we work closely with a number of organizations on common concerns, we are different in several ways. Unlike associations of funders, or groups built around a set of grantmaking goals, what distinguishes NCFP is our deep and overarching commitment to the power of giving as a family. We are committed to our role of being a trusted resource for giving families, and we understand and value the personal commitment made by giving families. This value shapes our response to the challenges and opportunities of family giving with wisdom, insight, and sensitivity.

Who is eligible to be a member of NCFP’s Friends of the Family network?

Those eligible for the Friends of the Family Network include family foundations, donor advised funds, and individual philanthropists who give grants of $100,000 or more per year. Friends share our commitment to the value of family philanthropy and our belief that it should be encouraged and sustained.

Are there ways for those not eligible to be a Friend to access NCFP’s resources and programs?

Yes, many organizations, networks and individuals qualify to be a Family Philanthropy Partner Subscriber. Eligible Family Philanthropy Knowledge Center subscribers include other entities and individuals looking to supplement their educational offerings to their members and donors or to assist in their professional work. These subscribers include: community foundations, regional associations of grantmakers, financial and legal advisor firms, philanthropic advisors and consulting firms, and other organizations working to support the growth of effective family philanthropy.

Is NCFP affiliated with other centers for family philanthropy at community foundations and academic centers around the U.S. and the world?

NCFP is an independent institution with no formal connection to other centers for family philanthropy. However, many of the centers were created following the establishment of NCFP as a testament to the important role that family philanthropy plays in communities and countries around the world. NCFP works closely with many of these other centers, and over the years has advised hundreds of organizations working to promote family philanthropy.

Does NCFP offer interviews to members of the press?

Yes! To schedule an interview with a senior member of NCFP’s staff, please contact our offices at 202.293.3424 or ncfp@ncfp.org.