When was the last time you were surrounded by people you’ve never met and then, after spending 6 hours together, realized you had found your peer group?
At the Next Generation Retreat session of the ASF 2012 National Conference, many of us departed having found ‘our people’, feeling more energized, supported, and not alone in our feelings. Held on Saturday, October 6, the retreat brought together 40 young trustees preparing themselves for involvement in their family’s foundation.
Various questions were posed to the young trustees, like ‘I’d rather volunteer time than money’ and ‘I am passionate about what my family foundation funds’, and we moved along the continuum depending on how we felt (one wall was ‘this statement is entirely true’ while the opposite wall was ‘this statement is absolutely not true’).
With this one exercise, the group began to see common trends emerge, as everyone moved along the spectrum with each question posed. Trustees began to ponder our own role within our family foundations, and within a broader culture of giving. Once we found where we ‘stood’ on a question, we struck up conversations with those nearby about why we were standing where we were, and many offered up personal anecdotes based on their experiences.
ASF member Niki Calastas is an advisory board member for the Hurliman Scholarship Foundation in Redwood City, California.