Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Identifying Opportunities for Peace and Sustainability
As a result of its merger with the Culpeper Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund inherited an arts grantmaking program with a national reach. WolfBrown was brought in to help the Foundation’s senior staff think about how this program could reflect RBF’s special interests — peace and sustainability. Working together, the staff and consultant identified opportunities right in the Foundation’s back yard: in the diversity and variety of New York City, where so many world populations make their home. Here the Foundation’s grants encourage expression of the city’s cultural vitality, while drawing on the experience of Foundation staff who work with those same cultures around the globe.

Democratic Practice
Having successfully assisted the Fund in realigning its cultural grantmaking program with other RBF priorities, WolfBrown was asked to help the Fund’s board and staff construct a new program focused on "Democratic Practice". Over a period of nine months, the consultants profiled other foundations and government aid agency activities in this area, and then talked to practitioners on the front lines, to find the right niche for the Fund – one that ultimately emphasized the integration of sustainable economic reform, access to the ballot box, and security in a few “pivotal places" around the world.

Envisioning the Possibilities of Pocantico
With his bequest of the Rockefeller family homestead in upstate New York to the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), Gov. Nelson Rockefeller launched a process by which much of the entire Pocantico estate will ultimately come to benefit the public, even as its historic collections and world-class park-like environs are preserved by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), which leases several of the facilities for its Pocantico Conference Center. RBF engaged WolfBrown to work with outside experts and board members in envisioning potential uses for new portions of the estate as they are bequeathed to the NTHP in the future. Over the course of two years, the consultants facilitated and documented meetings of representatives from a variety of fields, as well as members of RBF’s Pocantico Committee, shepherding a process that ultimately produced a long-range planning framework and guidelines for developing specific programs. As opportunities arise, these programs will seek to leverage and magnify RBF’s grant-making programs, explore the family’s commitment to philanthropy, and provide for greater public access.

For other services WolfBrown has provided to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, see Enhanced Facilitation , Program Planning , and Organizational Assessment .

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