Press Releases
Saving Philanthropy:
JCF Convenes Group of Country's Leading Philanthropic Innovators
Mergers & acquisitions, better collaboration
and capacity building among key discussion themes

January 31, 2012
Patrick Collum (415) 225-2012
Lori Warren (415) 512-6218

SAN FRANCISCO - Thursday night, a packed house - a diverse crowd within the philanthropic spectrum - played witness to a one-of-a-kind event exploring the future of philanthropy at the Contemporary Jewish Museum's Goldman Hall in San Francisco. Hosted by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma counties (JCF), guests were treated to a private screening of a critically acclaimed documentary called, Saving Philanthropy, and an insightful panel discussion thereafter - featuring some of the top philanthropic professionals in the country.

"We organized this film screening to start an on-going dialogue with the philanthropic community to bring all parties together - foundations, grantees and individual donors - to collaborate with the intention of bringing greater innovation to our work, or to our philanthropy," said JCF CEO Jennifer Gorovitz, who kicked-off the evening's program.

Bringing these themes into play was a panel discussion featuring: Daniel Lurie of The Tipping Point Community, Carla Javits from The Roberts Enterprise Development Group (REDF), Heather McLeod Grant of the Monitor Institute, and Adin Miller of the JCF. See photos from the evening.

To spark discussion, guests were treated during the first portion of the event to a special 30-minute screening of Saving Philanthropy. Introducing the film were the documentary's filmmakers, Kate and Robby Robinson, a brother and sister duo from Austin, TX who have traveled across the country for the past year promoting their film. Saving Philanthropy, which recently premiered on PBS, has garnered much attention for its candid portrayal of the challenges nonprofits and funders face in the pursuit of real change.

Following the film screening, the event concluded with an engaging panel discussion informed by the diverse perspectives in the room on challenges and opportunities facing nonprofits and the philanthropic sector as they re-position themselves for greater impact in the 21st century. Some of the highlights from the discussion:

  • Like many financial institutions, panelists predicted that there will be mergers and acquisitions, especially among large national charities.
  • The future of philanthropic organizations will bring more collaboration, information sharing and group-think among non-profits as they try to tackle widespread issues together for better results.
  • The demand for capacity building requires funders to invest in "back of the house" items such as new database systems and other overhead. In order for these organizations to effectively gauge their impact, funding also needs to be spent on the basic forms of an organizations infrastructure.

"Having worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade, our film sought to educate people on the innovative ideas and programs many philanthropic organizations are implementing," said Kate Robinson. She continued, "We're humbled by the response the film has received, but even more energized to travel across the country and see organizations such as the JCF embracing this movement."

"You're here, for the same reason that the JCF is holding this event: because you are involved in some way in making life better for others, and you want to ensure you can continue with your mission or your giving strategy in a time of extraordinary change and uncertainty," said Gorovitz.


For 2012, this is just one of many events the JCF will convene over the coming months. As part of its effort to collaborate and find innovative solutions among its colleagues and peers throughout the Bay Area's philanthropic community, the JCF will soon announce events in Silicon Valley and in San Francisco.




Carla Javits is President of the Roberts Development Fund (REDF), a Bay Area based venture philanthropy organization that invests in non-profit run businesses called social enterprises. Under her leadership, REDF, has gained the attention throughout the country for pioneering a model to employ individuals who are overcoming chronic poverty, homelessness, criminal history, substance abuse, and mental illness.


Daniel Lurie has quickly made a name for himself in the Bay Area as CEO and Founder of The Tipping Point Community, which he founded in 2005. After working in politics and the financial sector, Lurie eventually worked for the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City - ultimately leading to his passion for giving. He returned to his native San Francisco and created the Tipping Point where they have raised more than $38 Million to employ, house, and support nearly 150,000 Bay Area people in need.

Heather McLeod Grant is Senior Consultant at The Monitor Institute and co-author of Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits named a Top Ten Book of 2007 by the Economist. Heather also serves as an advisor to the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, and the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

Adin Miller is Senior Director of Community Impact and Innovations at the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation. Prior to joining the JCF, Miller worked as a consultant providing a wide variety of services to national and international non-profit organizations and foundations. With over 17 years of work focusing on strategic philanthropy, his career has included work at the American Legacy Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Points of Light Institute. 

Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
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