The National Forum for Family Philanthropy is the premier gathering for giving families.

Join us October 18-20 in Washington, DC, for three days of world-class speakers, intimate networking, and candid conversations that will help your family make a lasting impact through philanthropy.

Registration is now open!

Please note that there are significant discounts available for NCFP’s Friends of the Family and members of the Community Foundation Family Philanthropy Network. Register today and secure your spot.

Check-in opens Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. The opening lunch plenary will begin at 12:30 p.m. The National Forum will conclude on Friday, October 20 at 2:30 p.m.

Plenary Topics and Speakers

National Forum plenaries feature leading voices in the field and society at large discussing the pressing issues of our time. A full list of confirmed speakers is available here. Plenary topics include:

  • The Power of Storytelling: Our 2017 National Forum kicks off with an interview of the celebrated American documentarian and filmmaker Ken Burns by the award-winning media commentator and author Cokie Roberts. They’ll discuss the power of storytelling and the media in shaping communities and civil discourse, his upcoming series on Vietnam, and much more.
  • Race, Equity, and Family Philanthropy: It is tough work to face our unintentional biases and the systemic biases around us, and to turn new understanding into action. Several of your peers have bravely chosen to discuss their own journeys of learning and adaptation. They’ll share how their organizations got started discussing racial equity challenges, how their journeys have progressed, and the results so far for their families, organizations, and philanthropy. Note: This special opening evening event will be held at the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
  • Responding, Recovering, Rebuilding, Becoming Resilient: What can families do weeks, months, and even years after community crises to help victims and communities recover and rebuild? And, how can they help rebuild trust in a community to ensure it is more resilient when the next crisis comes? Facilitated by Lori Bertman, President & CEO of the Irene W. & C.B. Pennington Foundation, this session will feature perspectives from a few of your generous peers describing how they faced crises head-on, dug in for the long run, and improved both their communities and their philanthropy.
  • Fireside Chat with Jean Case, CEO, Case Foundation: Digital pioneer Jean Case was an early signer of the Giving Pledge, with her husband Steve, promising to “use all the tools available to us, to have the greatest impact, and achieve the greatest good.” As they look ahead to their next 20 years, they’re challenging themselves, and all of us, to “get in the arena” to address the world’s most pressing problems.
  • Bringing New Power to Family Legacy: Younger generations are often attempting to forge their own paths while honoring family traditions and values. They’ve grown up wired for new ways of learning, volunteering, working, giving, and living. This special session, facilitated by Phil Gwoke from BridgeWorks, will share stories and tips on how families successfully bring young, new power to longer-standing institutions and hopes.
  • Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis: Professor Robert Putnam, renowned social scientist and author of the New York Times bestseller Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, will discuss challenges described in his bestselling book, solutions developed by an interdisciplinary group of foundations and experts, and the special roles he sees philanthropic families could play.

Concurrent Session Topics and Titles

In addition to the plenaries listed above, the Forum will showcase dozens of concurrent sessions highlighting new trends, pressing issues, and perennial challenges in family giving. These smaller seminars and workshops will feature the perspectives of board members, donors, and other leaders in family philanthropy, along with plenty of time for audience participation and small group interaction, ensuring that attendees are able to take home practical strategies for dealing with their most pressing issues. Current sessions planned include*:

  • Achieving Equity…How Exactly?
  • Civil Conversations in Uncivil Times
  • Dimensions of Transparency and Communication: A Case Study of The Russell Family Foundation
  • Capacity Building and Investing in Leadership: What Does it Mean for Effectiveness and Impact?
  • Putting Wealth to Work: Philanthropy for Today or Investing for Tomorrow?
  • Avoiding Avoidance: Managing Family Dynamics
  • Impact Investing: Achieving Both Financial and Social Returns
  • Money and Wealth: Values and Meaning
  • Giving While Living: Founders at the Table
  • Thrive at Five: The Secrets of Long-Term Family Philanthropy
  • Collaborating Across Power Differences
  • Pride of Place: Foundations Sustaining a Commitment to Place in a Rapidly Changing World
  • What’s Your Strategic Lifespan: Spending Up for Impact
  • Mission Investing: A Deep Dive into Current Strategies for Aligning Investments with Mission
  • Bringing in New Voices: Nonfamily Trustees, Community Advisory Boards, and Other Tools
  • Philanthropy in a Time of Dramatic Policy Change
  • Pursuit of Excellence: A Tool for Board and Foundation Assessment
  • Transparency and Accountability: Private Responsibility, Public Trust
  • Telling Your Story: Family Philanthropy and Media Perceptions
  • Imaging the Future: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Philanthropy
  • Putting Risk on the Table: Expanding Your Comfort Zone
  • Tech Tools: Virtual Site Visits, Data Analysis, and Board Activities
  • Legacy Planning: Preparing for the Founder’s Passing (combine with Leadership Transitions During Times of Grief)
  • 21st Century Geographic Dispersion: Supporting a Global Family
  • Beyond the Advised Fund: Partnerships Between Family Donors and Community Foundations
  • Funding Institutions for Innovation, Not Ennui
  • Joyful Impact: Sustaining Enthusiastic Family Giving
  • Tools for Family Engagement
  • Family Philanthropy in Times of Crisis
  • Effective Board Chairs: Roles, Responsibilities, and Realities
  • Bridging the Power Divide
  • Investing in Volunteer Engagement: Data, Strategies, and Tools for Success
  • Setting Expectations for Participation

*Please note that all session titles and topics are subject to change.

Pre-Forum Workshop for Community Foundations

NCFP is also hosting a Pre-Forum Workshop for staff from our Community Foundations Family Philanthropy Network. The workshop runs from 1:00-5:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 and 9:00-11:00 a.m. on Oct. 18. There is no registration cost for the workshop; you pay for your own meals and travel. Multiple staff are welcome to attend and you can attend even if you don’t attend the National Forum.

Courtney Pullen, M.A., will kick things off with a skill-building session on Supporting Resiliency in the Rising Generation. He’ll discuss tools for helping families navigate life transitions, supporting rising generations in finding their voice, best practices of legacy families, and more. Courtney is a nationally-recognized trainer of professional advisors, coach and consultant to wealthy families, and author of Intentional Wealth: How Families Build Legacies of Stewardship and Financial Health. The Workshop will also feature time spent on peer learning and other skill-building to help you deliver effective services to generous families.

Open registration begins June 1. But you can secure your spot today by becoming a member of NCFP’s Friends of the Family community. Registration for Community Foundation members of the NCFP network opens April 1. Join the Community Foundations Family Philanthropy Network to attend the National Forum.