Avila Kilmurray

Dr. Avila Kilmurray, then President of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, presented a lecture titled "Philanthropy in Northern Ireland – Bridging Divides, Bringing Peace, Building Community" on November 13, 2012. She shared the distinctive and often overlooked role that private and community philanthropy now plays in places like Northern Ireland, South Africa, Rwanda, Bangladesh and other war torn societies. Kilmurray’s comments set the stage for an interactive discussion as part of Philanthropy Forum’s speaker series on The Future of Philanthropy in Uncertain Times. Her comments offered a roadmap of how philanthropic investment can bridge divides, re-build communities and bring lasting peace.

Responses to Kilmurray’s comments were offered by Gregg Behr, President of the Grable Foundation; Joyce Rothermel, community leader and retired CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank; and Dr. Taylor Seybolt, Assistant Professor of International Affairs. Their comments, which tied Kilmurray’s remarks to experiences in Pittsburgh and beyond, sparked an audience-wide conversation about peacebuilding and conflict transformation from Belfast to Braddock. 

To watch a video of the lecture, click here.

Emmet Carson

Emmett Carson, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, presented the Philanthropy Forum lecture in March 2012: “The Future of Philanthropy in Uncertain Times.”  During the lecture, he addressed the current challenges facing the field of philanthropy. He focused on the question of philanthropy’s “social contract,” or moral obligation, to the organizations and communities it financially supports.

“We talk around the issues, and we don’t handle criticism very well. We have to be more candid,” he declared. He went on to discuss his perception of philanthropy’s lack of response to the nation’s economic recession, admitting that philanthropy has remained silent.

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Peter Frumkin

On April 10, 2012, the Philanthropy Forum hosted a Guest Lecture Peter Frumkin, professor and Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the University of Texas, Austin . His lecture was titled "The Essence of Philanthropic Strategy.”

Frumkin has authored numerous articles and books on all aspects of philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship. His 2006 book, Strategic Giving: The Art and Science of Philanthropy has been called the “benchmark text for the field.”

His additional books include On Being Nonprofit, a discussion of the changing roles and responsibilities of nonprofit organizations in American democracy and Serving Country and Community an examination of national service programs AmeriCorps and VISTA. The Essence of Strategic Giving: A Practical Guide for Donors and Fundraisers written for philanthropic practitioners was also published in 2010.

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Sally Osberg

According to Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, social entrepreneurship is all about investing in good people who are doing good things. In her April 2012 Philanthropy Forum lecture, “Partners and Possibilities: Our Journey with Social Entrepreneurs,” Ms. Osberg shared the story and vision behind the Skoll Foundation’s model for innovative global social change.

She said the organization embodies Carnegie Corporation President John Gardner’s advice on effective philanthropy: “You want the best people with the best ideas to walk through your door, and then you get behind them to help fuel and power up their visions."

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