Keith Swayne, Founder of The Keith and Judith Swayne Family Foundation, and Shelley Hoss, Orange County Community Foundation Executive Director, recently participated in a webinar with the National Center For Family Philanthropy. The webinar featured examples of community foundations that have developed partnerships with family foundations to create lasting impact in the communities they care about. Also discussed were tips for both families and community foundations that seek to develop, maintain, and maximize partnership opportunities to make grant dollars go farther and create lasting impact in their community.
Keith and Shelley discussed the development of the Family Foundation Alliance. The Family Foundation Alliance is a group of local family foundations committed to learning and sharing together in order to maximize their philanthropic impact. Keith explains, “The Family Foundation Alliance was founded by a convergence of two initiatives. First, The Swayne Family Foundation started to host local convenings with the idea of facilitating networking, exposing funders to issues, and sharing best practices. This was in response to the fact that there was no such forum in the county. In the course of holding those convenings we realized that this was filling a void.” Keith and Shelley go on to explain that at the same time The Orange County Community Foundation was having inquires from donors and foundations about creating some networking group. They were getting the indication that there was an interest and absence of such a group. The Orange County Community Foundation then stepped forward and was willing to be the catalyst to get the group started.
The benefits of The Family Foundation Alliance soon became apparent. The group created a peer network where relationships are built and initiated during the quarterly meetings. Other benefits include peer learning and support, individual and collective knowledge being broadened, and the sharing of best practices in a venue where people feel safe about talking about these things. When asked why The Orange County Community Foundation would want to participate, Shelly responded “This was an expression of our mission to encourage effective and impactful philanthropy and to do that you have to know the active philanthropists in your community.”
For more information about the Orange County Family Foundation Alliance, please click here Family Foundation Alliance