Articles of Interest

Some articles about philanthropy that we think will find interesting and informative

Thrive at Five: The Secrets of Long-Term Family Philanthropy

If you are a newer family foundation with one or two generations on the board, five generations may seem far away. Yet in family philanthropy, quite a few foundations have been operating and thriving for 50, 75, even 100 years.

What’s the secret of these family philanthropies that make it five generations or more? How do they stay united over time, over generations, and across family branches? How do they successfully attract and engage younger family members?

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Family Culture Creating a Resilient Family Tree
Family connectedness, not money, has the greatest influence on multi-generational family continuity. But when many think about legacy, it’s often in the context of multi-generational financial wealth. Money, though, masks what people are really interested in passing to future generations of their family. Instead of being the primary focus, financial assets should be  viewed as an enabler to the bigger objectives: HAPPINESS and COLLECTIVE CONNECTION.

Isn’t that what we really want for ourselves and for our family? But happiness and collective connection are intangible and
can be very challenging goals to manage. So, rather than focusing on happiness when we think about our personal or family legacy, we put most of our attention on passing along financial wealth and hope that, due in part to whatever monetary boost we pass to our heirs, it will help them find happiness on their own.

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Engaging the Next Generation in Your Philanthropy
Over the next forty plus years, experts predict over $59 trillion will pass into the hands of the next generation, a large proportion of which will be dedicated to charitable purposes. Whether the senior generation is ready or not, the next generation will have unprecedented financial resources and become the major donors of this century. Secondly, Goldseker and Moody’s research indicates that the next generation of donors already have big plans for how they want to wield their financial power. “They want to change giving in ways that will fundamentally transform philanthropy. And they want to do it now rather than wait until they accumulate all the wealth they can…”

The senior generation can help influence and shape how this next generation approaches their philanthropy based on how and when they engage them.

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What the Next Gen Really Wants
Ask any philanthropic family about their biggest challenge or concern, and one of the answers you’re most likely to hear is how can I better engage the next generation?” In fact, NCFP’s 2015 Trends Study pointed to the changing leadership of family
foundations – specifically to the engagement of younger generations on foundation boards – as a major factor that will shape the future of family philanthropy.

Forty-three percent of family foundations expect to add or increase the number of younger family members to the board, and this number goes up to more than half among foundations formed after 1990. Add to that the exponential increase in donor-advised funds used by families, and the emergence of other new philanthropic vehicles established by next gen donors themselves, and this primary challenge in our field becomes even more momentous.

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