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Engaging the Next Generation | National Center for Family Philanthropy

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 -
9:00am to 10:15am PST
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NCG recently announced a partnership with NCFP. Members can now have free access to NCFP's webinars and resources. You can learn more about it here.
The promise of family philanthropy is fulfilled by its members—often across multiple generations, which can pose a challenge. Multigenerational families use a variety of techniques to engage the next generation in philanthropy. Successful participation depends on a number of considerations, including how to promote learning, empower next-generation family members, and offer leadership positions. In this webinar, learn how to strategically engage the next generation in family traditions, legacy, and culture, and explore when and how to promote formal philanthropic engagement at different ages and stages in the development process.

About this Series

The monthly Fundamentals of Family Philanthropy webinar series provides guidance on the core tenets of effective family philanthropy—from motivations and values to governance, grantmaking, and succession. The series equips giving families with the latest information on evergreen topics in the donor lifecycle through practical takeaways and diverse family stories that illustrate important practices. Designed for seasoned practitioners and newcomers alike, the series is available to our Friends of the Family and Partner Subscriber organizations.


Sharmila Rao Thakkar, Consultant, SRT Advising & Consulting

Sharmila Rao Thakkar, MPH, MPA, is a philanthropy and nonprofit consultant at SRT Advising & Consulting in New York City. Utilizing expertise in leadership development, program implementation, resource development, and communications, she advises clients on operations, strategy, board governance and development, multigenerational engagement, grantmaking, and community outreach activities. She is also an affiliate consultant with the Support Center, an adjunct associate instructor in the nonprofit management master’s program in the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University in New York, a 21/64 certified trainer in multigenerational philanthropy, Exponent Philanthropy peer coach, and mentor for philanthropy/nonprofit leadership development programs.

Prior, Sharmila was appointed the first non-family executive director of The Siragusa Family Foundation in Chicago, where she directed the operational, programmatic, and administrative functions of the organization, participating in all roles key to running a charitable endeavor. She guided board funding decisions and evaluated programs in health, social services, education, and the arts for youth/families, provided capacity building and technical assistance to 100+ nonprofit grantee partners, built the board’s professionalism including recruitment and assessment, engaged the next generations in their leadership development, and provided strategic direction on grantmaking and grantee outreach and community partnership initiatives. She has held leadership roles on several boards and committees involving issues of women and children, immigrant communities, education, and public health, and building philanthropic leadership and the capacity of the nonprofit sector including currently Allow Good, the Healthy Schools Campaign, Move Forward Staten Island, TrueChild and the South Asian Philanthropy Project. Sharmila is also an alum of the Council on Foundations Career Pathways leadership development program and The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Equity PLACES fellowship. She has been working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector for 20+ years.

From her early days as a grade school hospital candy-striper to tutoring children as a teenager, building programs earlier in her career, and now mentoring young professionals and guiding families & organizations, she holds a keen awareness and passion for nonprofit/philanthropy work. A native New Yorker, Sharmila recently relocated back to Staten Island, NY after spending the past 17 years in Chicago. She holds an MPH from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, an MPA from the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs, and a BA in International Relations from Brown University.


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