Update From the Foundation

New Website, Leadership & Plans

August 8, 2011

– Foundation Update from Compton Foundation President of the Board, Rebecca DiDomenico –

Dear Colleagues,

“Whatever you receive, wherever it comes from, cherish the desire to give it back in full measure.” Swami  Chidvilasananda

It is with great joy that we launch the new Compton Foundation website! The site will share what we are learning through our community of grant partners, what we are thinking about our work, and allow us to learn from you about your work in the world.

As many of you know, our new executive director, Ellen Friedman, joined us in August 2010. Ellen is not only experienced and qualified but a wonderful fit for our foundation at this unique moment in our history. She joins our existing strong staff and is building a team dedicated to continuing Compton Foundation’s tradition of thoughtful and engaged grantmaking.

In December 2010, I became board President. This is the first time there has been a female President at Compton Foundation in 60 years. I am an artist by profession, a mother of two, and a partner in marriage, as well as a philanthropist. Even though, at times, I feel challenged to address all of these roles adequately, I know that each aspect of my life informs the others, so that the whole of my work is expanded—made better and more whole—through my diverse experiences.

I am proud to be part of the Compton Foundation and its work through all the generations. The foundation began with my grandparents’ vision of uniting human beings through peace, grew with my mother and uncle’s deep commitments to the fields of reproductive rights and the environment, and has explored a variety of critical social and sustainability issues as the third and fourth generations have navigated a variety of shared interests with a great sense of consideration and respect.

With new leadership, the Compton Foundation is in a position to evaluate its work. Although the foundation has occupied a valuable place in the world of philanthropy, it is time to take a current look at the greatest potential impact we can have to bring more equity, equality, sustainability, and joy into the world right now.

Change can be challenging. It is something to which some people need to be gently exposed. Others are comfortable with the natural unfolding of life, and some creative souls actually thrive on change. But the truth is that you can’t escape change in your own life or in the world at large.  If you embrace change, as we aim to do in this transitional moment, you can do so with the artfulness necessary to facilitate meaningful and purposeful transformation.

At the Compton Foundation, we hope to be a bright lantern illuminating the best work toward positive social and environmental change in the world, respecting the old while being open to the new, acting decisively, yet with discretion, honoring the changing tides, and embracing a willingness to learn.

As we continue our strategic planning and evaluation process, we will be sharing the results with you. We invite you to share your thoughts with us by commenting on the posts on our new website or contacting us at info@comptonfoundation.org.

“Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two.” — Octavio Paz


Rebecca DiDomenico
President of the Board
Compton Foundation


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