Tag Archives: “family philanthropy”

Three Things That Local Organizations Know But Foundations Often Miss

The Putnam team recently authored two case studies for Casey Family Programs about their Communities of Hope initiative. In Hagerstown, Maryland and Gainesville, Florida, we explored collaborations among local agencies to improve conditions and opportunities for families and children. These projects were wide-reaching and complex – just like the myriad of issues they seek to address. But in both, we saw three common threads that we believe are making these successful efforts for the community and successful investments for Casey Family Programs. These aren’t aspects of success that you can measure with metrics or data, and they are things that many funders often either take for granted or completely overlook. Yet, when they are present, we believe they make a night-and-day difference in effectiveness:  1. Personal … Continue reading Three Things That Local Organizations Know But Foundations Often Miss

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Isn’t This Supposed to be Fun? 5 Ways to Put the Joy Back in Philanthropy

We all know the feeling. When that sense of excitement and possibility on the drive to work is replaced by stress, dread or boredom. What’s a grantmaker to do? It’s natural to face burnout and frustration from time to time. Processes and routines get old. Results are less than hoped for. Grantees approach you with an air of resigned diligence – or worse, apathy. You watch them jump through hoops your foundation has created and wonder what compels them to soldier on. When that happens, it’s easy to lose the big picture and remember why what you do matters – and what drew you to philanthropy in the first place. Fortunately, there are ways to put the joy back into … Continue reading Isn’t This Supposed to be Fun? 5 Ways to Put the Joy Back in Philanthropy

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Too Much of a Good Thing

Have you ever looked around on Christmas morning after the gift-opening frenzy is over and realized that perhaps you went a little overboard? It’s a feeling I get every year about this time, and one you think I’d have learned to anticipate by now. What begins as a surety that I’ve not bought enough presents for my five kids ends up with the realization that instead, I bought way too many and there’s now chaos on my living room floor. Too much of a good thing may be a nice problem to have, but it can still be a problem – especially if you’re the one left to manage the excess once it’s strewn about or realize that perhaps funds … Continue reading Too Much of a Good Thing

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1 Mistake Family Foundations Should Avoid

A new, large family foundation is about to hire its first executive. The foundation board thinks “any manager”, a bank executive, or a business consultant would be perfectly qualified for the job – no philanthropy experience necessary. Sound familiar? Too often smart and talented people are extraordinarily successful in business, and then fail to apply their smarts to their philanthropic giving. I advised them to ask the following three questions: 1 – What is the business that allowed the donor to create so much wealth that he or she could start a foundation? Whatever it is, how successful would it have been if they had handed the role of CEO over to a banker or “any manager” with no experience … Continue reading 1 Mistake Family Foundations Should Avoid

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