Better Together: Stronger Collaboration
for Smarter Philanthropy

June 15–16, 2015  //  New York, NY

In June 2015, family donors from around the country gathered in New York City for the third National Summit on Family Philanthropy. This Summit was held at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park with a focus on the theme: Better Together: Stronger Collaboration for Smarter Philanthropy. Experienced family philanthropists know that smart giving is often collaborative. More and more family donors are looking to create strong, long-lasting partnerships of many kinds. Such collaboration can both expand and extend the impact of their philanthropy, leading to more robust and sustainable outcomes. The 2015 Summit explored the benefits and challenges of collaboration from many angles, all with an eye toward the distinctive advantages and concerns of collaboration in today’s rapidly changing family philanthropy space:

  • Partnerships among funders
  • Multi-sector collaboration
  • Collaboration between grantmakers and grantees, and among grantees
  • Collaboration within family foundations

Speakers Included:

  • Karen Ansara, Ansara Family Fund
  • Caroline Avery, Durfee Foundation
  • Andrew Bentley, Global Health Corps
  • Sam Bonsey, The ImPact
  • Barbara Bush, Global Health Corps
  • Robert Collier, Council of Michigan Foundations
  • Julie Fisher Cummings, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Tuhina De O’Connor, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  • Abigail Disney, Daphne Foundation
  • Kathleen Enright, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
  • Robin Ferriby, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Melinda Fine, NEO Philanthropy
  • Phillip Fisher, Mission Throttle and Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Jason Franklin, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Nelli Garton, LeSar Development Consultants and Wilson Foundation
  • Phyllis Glink, Irving Harris Foundation
  • Jim Greenbaum, Greenbaum Foundation
  • John Hawkins, Surdna Foundation
  • Annie Hernandez, Youth Philanthropy Connect
  • Emily Tow Jackson, Tow Foundation
  • Miki Kashtan, Bay Area Nonviolent Communication
  • Sarah Koch, Case Foundation
  • Maria Jobin-Leeds, Access Strategies Fund
  • Darcel Madkins, PNC Enterprise Risk Management
  • Cindy Mercer, Planet Heritage Foundation
  • Nancy Meyer, Piper Fund Donor
  • Amir Pasic, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
  • Elizabeth Sak, Cricket Island Foundation
  • Surita Sandosham, Synergos
  • Jonathan Soros, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation
  • Melissa Spatz, Piper Fund
  • Clara Vondrich, Divest-Invest Philanthropy

Special thanks to our 2015 Summit sponsors:



May and Samuel RudinFamily Foundation, Inc.



Johnson Center for Philanthropy
Philanthropy New York

Advisory Committee Members:

  • Mark Bodden, Vice President and Program Director, Rudin Foundations
  • Rob Collier, President/CEO, Council of Michigan Foundations
  • Aditi Davray, Director of Learning Services, Philanthropy New York
  • Tuhina De O’Connor, Director of Donor Services, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  • Christine Elbel, Executive Director, Fleishhacker Foundation
  • Julie Fisher Cummings, Vice Chair, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Jason Franklin, W.K. Kellogg Chair in Community Philanthropy, Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Nelli Garton, Trustee, Maria C. and Joseph C. Wilson Foundation
  • Sharna Goldseker, Executive Director, 21/64
  • Annie Hernandez, Executive Director, Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation and Youth Philanthropy Connect
  • Dorothy Johnson, Trustee, F. Martin and Dorothy A. Johnson Family Fund
  • Dori Krieger, Director of Client Experience, Foundation Source
  • Katherine Lorenz, President and Treasurer, Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation
  • Michael Moody, Frey Chair for Family Philanthropy, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Elizabeth Sak, Executive Director, Cricket Island Foundation
  • Kathey Whelpley, Executive Vice President (former), National Center for Family Philanthropy
  • Gay Young, Vice President of Donor Services, The New York Community Trust

Organizing Task Force from Grand Valley State University:

  • Stephanie Adams, Marketing and Communications Manager
  • Tara Baker, Project Coordinator
  • Katie Kirouac, Graduate Assistant
  • Paul Stansbie, Associate Dean, College of Community and Public Service