Panel discussion and reception on December 6th

Since 1982, GMA Foundations has been engaged by philanthropists across the country to help build strategic grantmaking programs, strong operations and effective governance.   Thousands of trustee decisions – ordinary and extraordinary – have shaped so much good.

In this digital age, philanthropic giving increasingly flows to data-rich nonprofits that show measurable results.  And yet, funders do break free of the data and fund creative, early-stage, unproven ideas, despite the risk.  These bold moves have altered seemingly inevitable paths, shining light on new models and fostering systemic change.  Creativity and innovation continue to be essential to solving some of our most difficult social issues.  The philanthropic community is poised to lead.

Energizing conversation often propels us to set aside fear of failure and take bold action.  With that in mind, we celebrate our 30th anniversary in conversation with philanthropists who dare to do things differently, who have embraced risk for social good.

GMA Foundation’s 30th anniversary celebration

Thursday, December 6, 2012

4:00 – 5:30pm     Panel Discussion, Philanthropists who Dare
5:30 – 6:30pm     Reception

Space with a Soul
281 Summer Street, 7th floor
Boston, MA 02210

For more information, please contact Judy Sneath or  617.391.3084

Our discussion will be led by moderator Kara Miller, host of WGBH’s Innovation Hub. Panelists are Terry Kellogg, CEO of 1% for the Planet; Kenneth Merin, President and CEO of The Charles Hayden Foundation; and Christina Xu, founding director of the Institute on Higher Awesome Studies.

Our Panel

Kara Miller, our moderator, is the host and executive editor of “Innovation Hub” on 89.7 WGBH, an NPR station in Boston.  On the show each week, Kara talks to the nation’s most innovative thinkers, examining new ideas and potential solutions to today’s many challenges. Topics range from education to health care to green energy.  Kara is also a co-host of “Boston Public Radio” on 89.7 FM, and a contributor to WGBH-TV (PBS), appearing as a regular panelist on “Beat the Press” and as an occasional guest host of “Greater Boston.”

As a TV/radio host, Kara has interviewed Deepak Chopra, E.J. Dionne, Howard Gardner, Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, Lani Guinier, Marissa Mayer, Michael Sandel, and Brian Greene, among others. Her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, The National Journal, Boston Magazine,, The Huffington Post, The International Herald Tribune.

Terry Kellogg is Chief Executive Officer of 1% for the Planet, a rapidly growing network of companies that are committed to donating 1% for their sales to non-profit environmental organizations.  Under Terry’s leadership, membership in the 1% network has grown from 92 to over 1,300 companies in 45 countries worldwide.  Through work with both for profit and nonprofit organizations, Terry has gained a deep appreciation for the role that each can play in affecting positive change.

With a recent multiyear grant from the Jessie B. Cox Trust, 1% for the Planet’s work with New England companies is expanding while raising awareness about key environmental challenges in the region, exploring opportunities for investment and action by companies, and highlighting innovative models of collaboration between companies and non-profits that generate long term environmental and business benefits.

Kenneth D. Merin is President and CEO of The Charles Hayden Foundation which promotes the mental, moral and physical development of young people in the metropolitan area of New York and the City of Boston. The foundation’s focus is on those institutions and programs serving youth most at risk of not reaching their full potential, especially in low-income communities.

In 2002, Ken inaugurated the foundation’s funding for innovative, location-based youth violence prevention programs in Boston.  Walking through violent neighborhoods at night to more fully understand the nature of the issues faced by youth and youth workers, he was at the forefront of the city’s reinvigorated youth violence prevention efforts.  Also under his leadership, the Hayden Foundation became an early funder of charter schools, despite early public sentiment that they were anti-public education.

Christina Xu is a trustee of the Boston chapter of the Awesome Foundation and the founding director of the Institute on Higher Awesome Studies, an organization dedicated to nurturing small awesome ideas by incubating and sustaining the continued spread of the Awesome Foundation model worldwide.   The independent, self-funded foundation awards a series of $1,000 grants monthly to small projects they deem “awesome”.

“Without joy, the Awesome Foundation would be the Cheap and Efficient Foundation, which is a lot less catchy,” quips Christina in her TedxBoston talk.   With small, frequent grants, the foundation trustees willingly take on risk in exchange for an instant of joy and a long-term hope for a more awesome future.  With a recent journalism grant from the Knight Foundation, Christina has been spending time in Detroit experimenting with ways to encourage community-wide adoption of creative solutions to their information needs.