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Limited Life Foundations: Lessons from CEOs | National Center for Family Philanthropy

Thursday, October 21, 2021 -
10:30am to 11:15am PDT
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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.

Philanthropic purpose, impact, and perpetuity are on the minds of giving families more than ever before. Many are reconsidering the lifespan of their giving effort with a fresh lens as community needs increase and the sector evolves. Yet the opportunities of limited lifespan are often not clear or not fully understood, and neither are the potential challenges. In this webinar, hear lessons learned from foundation executives who are leading their foundations through implementing the decision to have a limited lifespan and why giving families should reflect more critically on perpetuity. Panelists will share reflections on how being a limited lifespan foundation influences all aspects of the foundation’s operations and share insights from the upcoming GVSU publication Limited Life Foundations: Lessons from a CEO Peer Group.

This webinar was developed in partnership with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy.

About the Series

Community Conversations are topical webinars on issues and trends in family philanthropy and are available to the field at large. These events lift up experts in the field, challenge philanthropists in their thinking and practices, and share timely stories and strategies in the family philanthropy community.


Joe Del Guercio, President and Chief Executive Officer, A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation

With nearly two decades of experience in venture capital and private equity, Joe brings an investor’s sensibility to his role. He leads strategic direction for the Foundation and works closely with grantees, staff and the Board of Directors to ensure alignment between the Foundation’s vision, grant-making and impact. But Joe’s favorite part of the job is meeting the students whom the Foundation supports. As a son of Italian immigrants who understood that education and hard work would be the keys to their family’s future success, Joe most enjoys meeting the students who exemplify that same grit and ambition.

Joe also serves as President of Clark Enterprises, the private investment firm founded in 1972 by A. James Clark. Joe lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College. Outside of the philanthropic work he leads with the Foundation, he serves on the Investment and Grants Committees for the U.S. Soccer Foundation and is actively involved with the National Youth Baseball Academy and Cycle for Survival.

John Esterle, Trustee and Co-Executive Director, The Whitman Institute

Prior to his current role as Trustee and Co-Executive Director, John began working at The Whitman Institute in 1988 as a Research Associate. In 1999, he became TWI’s Executive Director. In 2004, following the death of TWI’s Founder, Fred Whitman, John led TWI’s transition from an operating to a grantmaking foundation. The former board president of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, John has also served on the boards of The Germanacos Foundation, LeaderSpring, and Images and Voices of Hope.  Currently, he is an advisory board member of The Beat Within, Civity, and the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies. Through 2001-2002, John was the PTA president of Rooftop Alternative K-8 Elementary School in San Francisco. Prior to joining TWI, John directed Crime and the News Media, a pilot project that featured a series of dialogues between Bay Area journalists and proponents of alternatives to incarceration. He received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University and his M.A. in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State University.

Teri Behrens, Executive Director, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Teri Behrens joined the Johnson Center in 2009 and currently serves as the executive director. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of The Foundation Review, the peer-reviewed journal on philanthropy published quarterly by the center. Teri is focused on embedding equity in the center’s work, building bridges between funders and nonprofits, and creating new career pathways in the sector.

Previously, Teri was the director of evaluation for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, providing leadership for the foundation’s overall evaluation program. Her early career included roles in a nonprofit organization, state government, and private consulting. Teri holds a doctorate in psychology from North Carolina State University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and English from Case Western Reserve University.

Teri’s intellectual and research interests include boundary-spanning organizations, interorganizational relationships and time-limited foundations. Outside of work, her interests include biking, yoga and euchre. She splits her time between Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, where she lives with her husband.

Glen Galaich, CEO, Stupski Foundation

Glen Galaich joined the Stupski Foundation as CEO in 2015. Glen leads the overall strategy of the Foundation and oversees the programmatic focus areas and operations. Glen previously served as CEO of The Philanthropy Workshop, whose mission was to educate, inspire, and activate a peer network of effective, engaged, and innovative philanthropists. His career in strategic philanthropy started with the founding team of the Global Philanthropy Forum, where he was responsible for launching the first and second Conferences on Borderless Giving. He also served at Human Rights Watch as the deputy director of development for North America, where he had strategic oversight of the Human Rights Watch Council, a network of supporters and opinion leaders committed to raising money for, and awareness of, human rights in five major cities.

Ellen Friedman, Executive Director, Compton Foundation

Ellen Friedman is the Executive Director at the Compton Foundation, which seeks to ignite change toward a sustainable, just, and peaceful future. The Foundation’s program strategy supports transformative leadership and courageous storytelling in the areas of peace, environment, and women’s reproductive health, rights, and justice.  The Compton Foundation is an original signatory of the Divest/Invest pledge and has transformed its endowment to be 100% mission invested. Ellen led the Foundation board’s decision to spend out its endowment after seventy five years of operation. Previously, Ellen served as the executive vice president of Tides where she worked with high net worth donors and other social change activists on a range of domestic and global issues. She a member of the Steering Committee of Peace and Security Funders Group, the Management Team for Divest/Invest Philanthropy, and a board member of Rockwood Leadership Institute and the Center for Whole Communities. Ellen holds an MBA from UCLA and is the proud mother of two adult children and sings, hikes, and cooks for friends and family whenever she can.