A Message from the Greater Houston Community Foundation 
February 11, 2016
We hope 2016 is off to a great start for you! 
Welcome to Insights - the new GHCF content newsletter that features philanthropic trends, best practices, donor profiles, and important updates from the field.    
Don't worry!  We promise not to clutter your email so please keep an eye on your Inbox and Junk Folder. We don't want you to miss out.  Please help us spread the word. At the bottom of this message, you can choose to forward this to a friend and we hope that you will.
We sincerely value your feedback and welcome an  email to share your thoughts.

In This Issue:
GHCF Donors Give More  than 
Ever Before in 2015

$112 Million to 3,444 Grantees

Changing the Global Conversation
Jim & Maureen Hackett
How did a dedicated fund at GHCF set out to tackle the world's most pressin g medical problem?

It began with one woman's commitment to Houston mental health causes. After nearly 20 years supporting local efforts, Maureen Hackett, past GHCF Board Chair, and her husband Jim, former CEO of Andadarko, decided it was time to make a broader impact. 

They were inspired by a meeting with film producers Harry Lynch and Jeff Fraley. Both had mental health tragedies in their families and were committed to changing the national conversation on mental health through film. 

In response, the Hacketts created a Field of Interest Fund at the Foundation in 2012. They pushed Fraley and Lynch to think big. If they could come up with something truly revolutionary, the Hacketts' new Mental Health Awareness Fund would support it.  Click here to view the article. 

Research shows communication breakdown within a family can fuel conflict and isolation.

To learn more about how GHCF can work with you to assist your clients in planning their charitable giving strategy, please contact Susan Zarich.

Donor Connect

Thursday, February 18, 2016

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

GHCF Office 

5120 Woodway, Ste. 6000 


Donor Connect is a new forum for GHCF donors and staff to informally gather. It is designed for donors who joined the GHCF community in 2014, 2015, and 2016. If you joined at a different time, you are certainly welcome to join us! Your response is requested by Monday, February 15, 2016.

The Texas Miracle
The "Texas miracle"- how Texas weathered the recession better than other states- has been defined by growth, business friendly policies, and prudent management. Philanthropy also shares credit for the Lone Star state's strong economy. Philanthropy Roundtable celebrates our states' generosity  
Big Bets
Why does a large gap exist between what donors say they want to achieve with their philanthropy and where they actually take their greatest risks? Stanford Social Innovation Review provides a thought-provoking explanation of "big bets"  for social change.
Global Refugee Crisis
Is it possible for one person to make a difference during a global refugee crisis? The scale of the problem is large and a solution seems unfathomable, but you can help. The New York Times provides a  few recommendations.
Zuckerberg-Chan Committment
The Zuckerberg-Chan commitment to give $45 billion away, which is 99% of their Facebook shares, definitely gives us much to talk and maybe even think about.  The Wharton School walks through a few considerations.  (Warning- it's a long- but compelling- article .)

As we begin 2016, the trends below are of interest and impact investing leads the way. What are you most looking forward to in 2016?  Are you considering impact investing? We'd love to hear from you and learn more about your interests.  

Inside Philanthropy
Trends to Watch
Top 5 Most Promising Trends in Philanthropy
National Center for Family Philanthropy
Six Family Philanthropy 
Trends to Watch
Falling Trust in Elite Philanthropy
Impact Investing
A Focus on Impact
Politicized Giving Collaborative Philanthropy Growth in Assets
Impact Investing
Sharing Data, Best Practices, Needs and Skills More Millenials
Donor Advised Funds Addressing Root Causes of Social Problems Spending Speeds Up
Lean Philanthropy* Venture Philanthropy Major Milestones
The Giving Pledge
New Opportunities to Connect and Learn

* New donors will continue to have less interest in staffing up their own foundations thanks to the rise of full-service philanthropy shops and a maturing ecosystem of intermediaries.
Making Donor's Voices Heard
GHCF engages philanthropic Houstonians in deepening their impact with various causes and issues. The epidemic of Human Trafficking plaguing our city is currently one of these issues.  At the request of GHCF donors who have consistently convened through the GHCF Anti-Human Trafficking Donor Working Group since 2014, the foundation facilitated a discussion with Mayoral Candidates Bill King and State Representative Sylvester Turner on December 3, 2015.  

The working group called for the creation of the Special Advisor on Human Trafficking position, as currently structured with Minal Patel Davis serving in this role.  The Mayoral candidate dialogue was a n opportunity to express donors' strong belief  in the importance of, at minimum, continuing this post so the work and success begun thus far within this issue does not lose momentum and efficacy.

This overview provides more details. To join or for more information, contact   Rebecca Hove .
Next Gen Become Active Grantmakers
Lacey Goossen, Anika Jackson, Ben Brown,  John Fitzpatrick, and the staff of United Against Human Trafficking
In 2015, the Next Gen Giving Circle focused their grant-making on the fight to end human  trafficking in Housto n. Twenty Next Gen alum pooled their gifts to make an $1 1,500 grant to United Against Human Trafficking.  Equally important, however, is  that the group learned about the proces s of grant-making and the unique challenges that Houston faces in the ardent battle to end human trafficking.  Participants also had the opportunity to hone their leadership skills by serving on the giving circle committee, facilitating a site visit, and providing strategic direction as an officer of the group. 

The Next Gen Giving Circle is open to all Next Gen Alum. Contact Jennifer Touchet to learn more .
New Giving Platform

We are excited to announce a partnership between DonorHouston and GuideStar! Our improved DonorHouston platform is expected to go live in February 2016. A few highlights include:
  • Improved technology
  • A robust, objective view of organizations so you can give more strategically
  • Open to the public, therefore providing a service to the entire philanthropic community
  • The ability to see if your favorite organizations have volunteer opportunities for you and your family
For questions, please contact Eileen Alexander
Local Service Honors a Legacy
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, three generations of Next Gen alum and their families spent the morning of Saturday, January 16, volunteering at Interfaith Ministries. The group labeled boxes, made Valentine's cards for homebound seniors, and packed over 100 breakfast bags for the Meals on Wheels program.  Participants learned about the needs of homebound seniors in Houston and how citizens can help. The group also had a chance to participate in learning activities which included a reading of the "I Have a Dream Speech," MLK word searches, and exploring 15 interesting facts about Dr. King's life.  What a great day!

Families represented: Schmulen, Sweetland, Wise, Weekley, Jackson, Kramer, Fowler, Steitz, Margolis, and Frankfort
"The kids got in the car and said how much fun they had and asked when they could go back to volunteer again. They even took their name tags to use next time!  Thank you."   
-Leslie Margolis
"Thanks again for organizing the event on Saturday. We had a lot of fun. Plus, it helped generate some good discussions and learning with my children."  
-Chris Weekley


Our goal is to inform and interest donors, clients and friends of the Foundation. 
We invite your feedback.  Contact us here  or through our website .