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.


  • Berit Ashla, Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  • Carrie Avery, President, Durfee Foundation
  • Doug Bitonti Stewart, Executive Director, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Iris Brilliant, National Organizer, Resource Generation
  • Larry Brilliant, Chairman, Skoll Global Threats Fund & Former Executive Director,
  • Carmela Castellano-Garcia, President, Castellano Family Foundation
  • Susan Chamberlin, Founder, Chamberlin Family Foundation
  • Deborah Cullinan, Executive Director, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
  • Quinn Delaney, Chair, Akonadi Foundation
  • Moy Eng, Executive Director, Community Arts Stabilization Trust
  • Julie Fisher Cummings, Vice Chair, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Douglas Goldman, Co-Founder, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund
  • Jason Goldman, Trustee, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund
  • Caitlin Heising, Vice Chair, Heising-Simons Foundation
  • Kristin Hull, Founder, Nia Community Fund
  • Christina Hurvis, Featured Donor, 826 Valencia
  • Renee Kaplan, Chief Strategy Officer, Skoll Foundation
  • Robert Maxfield, President, Maxfield Foundation
  • Cindy Mercer, Co-Founder, Planet Heritage Foundation
  • Bita Nazarian, Executive Director, 826 Valencia
  • Kelly Nowlin, Trustee, Surdna Foundation
  • Kathleen Odne, Executive Director, Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation
  • Steven Oliver, Featured Donor, Community Arts Stabilization Trust
  • Kris Putnam-Walkerly, President, Putnam Consulting Group
  • Jeff Raikes, Co-Founder, Raikes Foundation & Former CEO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Deborah Rappaport, President, Rappaport Family Foundation & Co-Founder, Minnesota Street Project
  • Valerie Rockefeller Wayne, Chair, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • Kevin Salwen, Author & Philanthropist
  • Christine Sherry, Trustee, Swanson Foundation
  • Lateefah Simon, President, Akonadi Foundation
  • Claire M. Solot, Managing Director, Bigglesworth Family Foundation
  • Rick Williams, CEO, Sobrato Family Foundation


The 2017 Summit was organized by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy in cooperation with Northern California Grantmakers.

Advisory Committee Members

  • Berit Ashla, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  • Carrie Avery, Durfee Foundation
  • Lisa Barr, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Kyle Caldwell, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Armando Castellano, Castellano Family Foundation
  • Rob Collier, Council of Michigan Foundations
  • Paul Connolly, Bessemer Trust
  • Caroline Cummings Rafferty, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Christine Elbel, Fleishhacker Foundation
  • Julie Fisher Cummings, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Jason Franklin, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Laura Frey, Frey Foundation
  • Nelli Garton, Wilson Foundation
  • Sharna Goldseker, 21/64 and Goldseker Foundation
  • Dottie Johnson, Johnson Family Fund
  • Cindy Mercer, Planet Heritage Foundation
  • Michael Moody, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Kimberly Myers Hewlett, Flora Family Foundation
  • Kathleen Odne, Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation
  • Diane Parnes, Go Within Foundation
  • Phuong Quach, Northern California Grantmakers
  • Christine Sherry, Sherry Consulting and Swanson Foundation
  • Bruce Sievers, Stanford University
  • Neil Sumilas, National Center for Family Philanthropy

Organizing Task Force from Grand Valley State University

  • Tara Baker, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Stephanie Adams, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Andrew Claucherty, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Karen Hoekstra, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Paul Stansbie, College of Community and Public Service