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NCFP and Threshold Group launch exploratory study to help private family foundations


The National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) and Threshold Group have created a collaborative initiative designed to explore and improve working relationships between private family foundations and family offices.

This new initiative, sponsored by Threshold Group, will encompass research, publicised reports and social media outreach, all aimed at identifying “best practices” for how family foundations and family offices can effectively work together to maximise respective impacts.

NCFP will form an advisory committee to guide the process, conduct research and publish a report for families involved in both family offices and philanthropic efforts. Threshold will provide funding and offer assistance in both the research and education phases of the initiative. The work will occur during the second half of 2012.

“This is a unique and truly meaningful opportunity to reach out directly to families to identify how they are using family offices to support and manage their family foundations and philanthropic efforts, and, in turn, how the family offices are helping them make the differences they are seeking in the communities they care about,” says Virginia Esposito, President of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. “The scope of our work will delve deeply into issues of structure, of engaging younger generations, and how to close the gaps ‒ real or perceived ‒ between family foundations and family offices.”

The hope of both organisations is that this initiative will lead to an annual survey in 2013 on the family philanthropy field and its trends. As part of the 2012 study, NCFP will engage an advisory committee of family foundation stakeholders and family office leaders and advisors to inform a comprehensive paper on the relationship between the family office and family foundations.

“We see this as a rare opportunity to put aside all our assumptions and continue uncovering better ways for family offices and philanthropies to work together,” says Threshold Group’s Craig Muska, Director of Investment Management for Foundation Services. “Family foundations are visionary and creative – they aren’t content to just colour between the lines. They want to do the responsible thing with their investments, but they also see themselves as vastly different from the broader universe of corporate or community foundations.”

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