Well, here it is, at long last: The GPK Foundation
What is it? Glad you asked. It's a 501(c)3 family foundation, started by my parents with a portion of my father's retirement money. They told us about their plans roughly a year ago, and it's been gradually coming into focus since then.
There are nine of us on the board: my parents, my grandmother, senssuzy
and myself, my brother Peter and his wife, my sister Kati (wyvernmoon
) and her husband (rebelowl42
). The name is formed from the initials of myself and my siblings, Greg/Peter/Kati. This hints at one of the exciting things about it: the Foundation is intended to be long-lived, and to be handed down to succeeding generations.
Each year, the Foundation will be selecting one or more charities to receive a grant. Board members can nominate charities they'd like to support. As the end of the year approaches, we'll get together to decide how much money goes to each organization. For this first year, we'll be disbursing $5,000.00. Next year, and in succeeding years, we expect that figure to be ten times what it is today.
All of us are taking this project very seriously. We've formed half a dozen committees to focus on various areas important to keeping the Foundation running. For example, I'm a member of the Finance Committee, responsible for investing the nest egg to keep the organization funded. I'm also the chairman of the Public Relations Committee, which makes it very appropriate that I'm posting this message. (I'm as surprised as anyone at being able to say that I'm the head of Public Relations of anything
As head of Public Relations, and also as a member of the Logistics Committee, it has fallen to me to set up our website. Through the miracle of Freecycle
, we acquired a machine which we've dedicated to that purpose. We've already been using it to coordinate among ourselves. Now, the public portion of the website is live as well.
Looking at the site, you'll note that it's pretty sparsely populated. There isn't much information to convey at the moment, since our model is not to solicit grant requests from anyone who comes across us. As time goes on, we'll be documenting our funding decisions, and our direction will become clearer to everyone. In general, all of us are interested in addressing education, research, health care, poverty, and other humanitarian causes. Our value systems are well-aligned; when we disagree, it's usually on the specifics.
You'll also notice the site is, so far, unadorned. We'll be having someone from outside the organization apply a coat of style to it, as none of us are website designers.
As you can probably tell, I'm very excited that we're launching this project. We're not about to make dramatic and sweeping changes to the world, but it's immensely satisfying to know that we'll be doing our part to make a difference. As an added benefit, it has provided us with a common goal, and a reason to stay in touch as a family. I'm extremely grateful to my parents for their generosity and vision in establishing this project. We will all strive to nurture and maintain it, so that in years to come, we can look back with pride at what we've accomplished.