Donor Intent and Real Impact: Can your family have both?

February 20–21, 2017  //  San Francisco, California

Convened every two years, the Summit brings together donors from around the country – and those who work closest with them – for a highly interactive, candid, peer-to-peer dialogue, informed by the latest research and innovative best practices. The Summits provide a space for family donors to network and learn together, to share challenges and take home practical suggestions.

The 2017 National Summit on Family Philanthropy was held in San Francisco, a vibrant city with both a long legacy of family philanthropy and a cadre of highly active new donors deliberately disrupting traditional models of giving.

Read the 2017 Summit re-cap by Michael Moody, Ph.D.


2017 Summit Theme

In the Bay-area, a place on the cutting edge of family giving, some of the country’s most experienced and entrepreneurial donors joined with national thought leaders for a deep-dive dialogue about a perennial push-pull in family philanthropy:

  • How can family donors pursue their visions, passions, and interests while also having meaningful social impact?
  • How can your family be strategic and active, honoring family legacy while also meeting evolving beneficiary and community needs?

Navigating these tensions means confronting many of the core questions of effective family giving – questions about power, freedom, transparency, loyalty, collaboration, and the engagement of diverse voices inside and outside the family. And recent trends are adding new layers of complexity to this philanthropic push-pull, as more strategic and engaged donors have both more active control of their giving and closer engagement with beneficiaries.


Insights from the 2015 Summit

Better Together: Realizing the Promise of
Collaboration in Family Philanthropy

Unique challenges arise, and unique opportunities open up, when family donors get involved in collaborative work in philanthropy. This report explores those special challenges and opportunities, and offers a set of recommendations for how to realize the promise of working better together. The insights here are based primarily on in-depth dialogues about family philanthropy collaboration that occurred during the third National Summit on Family Philanthropy, held in New York City in June, 2015, and hosted by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center on Philanthropy.