Program Recap: Philanthropy New York Hosts its First Next Generation Retreat

Friday, October 30, 2009

21/64 Resource Generation  Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Council on Foundations

By Allison Sole, Deputy Director, 21/64

On October 9th, an intimate group ranging in age from 22-30 gathered for a next generation retreat, a half-day of conversation and interactive exercises and skill-building. What they all had in common was either current or future involvement in their family’s philanthropy. They came seeking others doing this work—to figure out where their motivational values animate or will animate their philanthropy and where those values fit in with their family’s legacy.

The retreat was led by two members of the next generation, Sharna Goldseker(Vice President of the Andrea & Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, where she directs the consulting division 21/64) and Ashley Blanchard (a senior consultant at TCC Group), who are themselves actively involved in their own families’ foundations. Developed by 21/64 and Resource Generation for the Council on Foundations, the retreat has been a feature of CoF’s annual family philanthropy conference for many years, but made its debut at Philanthropy New York thanks to the support of its co-hosts, CoF and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The group initially talked about how to align their values with their giving and how they might bring their next generation strategies to bear; one twenty-something man said, “I don’t just want to give someone a fish or even teach him how to fish—I want to revolutionize the fishing industry.” The notion of systemic change was echoed by another participant whose desire to work on “food justice” entails shifting the paradigm of production from one controlled by “big food” to local, community-supported growers, which is not only a healthier way to eat but healthier for a local economy. A third participant described how his family’s foundation made a program-related investment in Habitat for Humanity to create a multi-faith community of homeowners in his hometown. Addressing international needs was also a consistent theme throughout the morning.

The discussion transitioned into an examination of how one’s values might show up in their investments. Tactics for mission-related and socially-responsible investing were shared by Claire Costello, National Foundation Executive for Philanthropic Management, and Stephen Campisi, Director of Institutional Investments, both from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Before parting, participants learned of additional resources to help them on their philanthropic journeys.

The next retreat will be held at the 2010 CoF Family Philanthropy Conference in San Diego. For more information, email

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