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From Palmdale to Paramount, from Beverly Hills to Boyle Heights, individuals and organizations are working tirelessly to create a better future for Los Angeles County. #LAtogether was launched by the California Community Foundation to amplify L.A.’s voices of change, draw connections between diverse communities and share innovative new approaches to building Los Angeles together.

Are there standards that should be followed in philanthropy?

April 18, 2012

In the late 1990s, community foundations of all sizes and priority areas began to reflect on this question and what constitutes a community foundation.  What was the distinct value community foundations should offer, and the philosophies that should guide it?  As a direct result, the Council on Foundations and a group of community foundation practitioners […]

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It’s Nice to be Nice

April 11, 2012

I got my first lesson on giving in L.A. unexpectedly and from a surprising source – my step grandparents, Grandma Willie and Grandpa John. I was in my late 20’s, they were in their early 80’s.  They would call me once a month or so asking if I’d come for a visit.  They’d welcome me […]

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The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Boards

April 4, 2012

In my work with foundations over the past decade, it has become clear to me that, while there are lots of effective and well-intentioned board members out there, it’s easy for foundation boards to get lulled into complacency and slip into bad habits. Here are what I regard as the 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective […]

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How Wirtz Elementary Got Its Murals

March 28, 2012

Harry Wirtz Elementary became a canvas for a group of renowned contemporary artists who created four murals on the campus’ walls earlier this year. Wirtz Elementary is a Title I school with a high percentage of students on free/reduced lunch, located in Paramount Unified School District. It’s been an Arts for All school since 2006 […]

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Rebirth of an Old Idea

March 21, 2012

One of the key findings of CCF’s Transfer of Wealth report was the need to enable non-profits to adopt a planned giving strategy for no cost and little effort. The term “Planned Giving” conjures many reactions among non-profits — it sounds complicated, expensive, not essential, time-consuming, we don’t know any rich people, we’re not interested […]

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Angels at Work in L.A.

March 14, 2012

They say that the key to success is “location, location, location.” And that is why the Council on Foundations is so excited that Los Angeles will graciously host its 2012 Annual Conference, a gathering of some of the brightest minds and top leaders in philanthropy. Accurately nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles provides the […]

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Nonprofits Need to Start Planning for Their Future, or Else

March 7, 2012

In order to help the nonprofit community of Los Angeles and Southern California improve the financial strength and future prospects of their organizations, CCF is sponsoring a series of free seminars on planned giving which begin this Friday, March 9 at RAND Corporation in Santa Monica.  Executive directors, development directors and board members are strongly […]

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Smart Growth California

February 29, 2012

I think everyone agrees that we need to encourage more jobs in Los Angeles. Our economy and lifestyle depend on it. At the same time, nobody wants to see an increase in traffic congestion or pollution as a result of more people living far from work.  Far too many of us already struggle with long […]

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Family Values Influence Philanthropy

February 22, 2012

I just returned from the Council on Foundations Family Philanthropy Conference in Miami, a three-day event focused on education, the arts, impact investing, advocacy and family dynamics.  Amidst all of that great discussion, I was struck again by the importance of communicating family legacy.   A family’s beliefs, behaviors and messages are carried down through generations, […]

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Keep Your Hands Off of Fiscal Sponsorship's Third Rail

February 17, 2012

As the recent debacle at International Humanities Center clearly shows, there’s a right way and a wrong way to provide fiscal sponsorship services to groups getting new civic and social ventures up and running.  IHC appears to have overlooked the fact that there’s a published set of recommended best practices to guide fiscal sponsors.  If […]

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