Socialize With Us

Scaling for Success | National Center for Family Philanthropy

Thursday, September 9, 2021 -
9:00am to 10:15am PDT
Add to Calendar

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 success of family philanthropy is largely dependent on the operations and management of the people and processes that underpin the goals and activities of the effort. Giving families often reach an inflection point where they must consider bringing in outside professionals to manage their philanthropy for greater impact; however, it is often challenging to understand the practices that promote success. How do you develop the strategy and systems needed to maximize impact? When does a philanthropic effort require staff and what are the considerations for hiring? And what is necessary to build effective operations and reporting? In this webinar, learn how families have scaled their operations strategically for impact.

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.


Alexa Cortes Culwell, Co-founder, Open Impact

Alexa Cortes Culwell is the co-founder of Open Impact and a longtime philanthropy advisor, speaker, and facilitator. For the past 25 years she has built and managed foundations and philanthropic initiatives for successful entrepreneurs, including serving as the founding CEO of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation. She recently completed a four-year appointment as a visiting practitioner at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Prior to Open Impact, Alexa founded the strategic advisory firm Philanthropy Futures in 2011. She has served on the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s board for more than a decade and has been a long-standing board member of New Door Ventures. Her work has been cited in Harvard Business Review and Stanford Social Innovation Review. Alexa earned her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and a Master of Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.

Kate Seng, Senior Director, GHR Foundation
Kate Seng oversees GHRs grants management, supports GHR’s governance work including serving as the Secretary to GHR’s Board of Directors, manages GHR’s client relationships, and oversees family engagement.  In addition, Kate oversees GHR’s higher education funding, including grants to the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health at St. Catherine University, the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, and the Opus College of Engineering at Marquette University.

Prior to joining GHR Foundation, Kate served as a consultant for the Minnesota Community Foundation, the Saint Paul Foundation, Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation, and others. She was a senior manager at the Greater Twin Cities United Way, where she developed and managed community-wide initiatives focused on affordable housing, workforce development, and anti-racism efforts. Seng was the district director for Minnesota’s Congressman Bruce Vento, where she directed the Congressman’s Minnesota efforts. Kate earned a master’s degree in public affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Catherine’s University. Kate serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Council of Foundations (MCF), is Chair of MCF’s Program and Conference Committee, and serves on the Catholic Community Foundation Grants Committee.

Carolyn Wall Sakata, Chief of Staff, Baszucki Family Foundation
Carolyn Wall Sakata is Chief of Staff of a newly formed family office that supports the work of the Baszucki Family Foundation. For the past 15 years, she has worked in philanthropy with family foundations at varying stages. Prior to her work with the Baszucki family, Carolyn served as Managing Director of Sunlight Giving, a family foundation created in 2014 with annual grantmaking of approximately $25M. During her tenure, she helped ramp up the private foundation, including hiring and managing staff, creating grantmaking and financial procedures, and representing the foundation externally among the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. In addition, Carolyn helped launch Acton Family Giving and Solidarity Giving, two affiliated donor-advised funds within the Sunlight Giving grantmaking portfolio.

Carolyn’s previous experience includes working with multiple family foundations at Pacific Foundation Services, a brief stint at the City and County of San Francisco in the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families, and work as a program officer at the Medina Foundation. She has spent most of her career in the nonprofit space, including working as a clinical social worker in community mental health settings. Carolyn has a MSW from Smith College and a BA in History and Hispanic Studies from Vassar College.


Find More By

Event type