Family Philanthropy Playbook for Community Foundations

Unit 4: Other Expertise

Key partners beyond your typical list of professional advisors help you deliver on the rest of your business model and value proposition. They include suppliers of technology and online payment systems to your foundation and providers of allied services to your donor families. Your family philanthropy program may need a list of trusted referrals at your fingertips as you develop deeper trust and relationships with families.

Connect: Allied Professionals

Wealthy families and legacy families often face challenges beyond the capabilities of community foundation staff. These include conflict resolution, discerning the meaning of money to the family, wealth transfer techniques, addictions and mental health issues, disabilities trusts, and more.

  • Family Enterprise Exchange lists professionals (primarily in Canada) who have obtained the Family Enterprise Advisor designation. Skillsets range from coaching to succession planning and from mediation to family talent development.
  • Family Firm Institute lists its member consultants, some of whom have skills in navigating family dynamics and sibling rivalries, managing family meetings, and other non-business topics.
  • Purposeful Planning Institute is an interdisciplinary network of professionals with experience in working with legacy families and enterprising families and partnering with other advisor. Disciplines include psychology and therapy, family videography and history, and personal coaching in addition to financial and legal work.

CONNECT: Consultants and Subcontractors

Some community foundations will use subcontractors and consultants to deliver more intensive grantmaking or other services to families.

For example, since 2010, Central Indiana Community Foundation has contracted with a local consultant to manage the grantmaking of its largest, family-led donor-advised fund. And, the Community Foundation of Elkhart County contracted with a philanthropic advisor to survey the grantmaking biases and values of its largest, family-led Donor-Advised Fund and to lead a day-long family meeting.

  • National Center for Family Philanthropy has an internal list of consultants with experience in working with philanthropic families. Skillsets range from board and family dynamics to dealing with transitions in the family.
  • National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers lists individual and firms who each have had multiple foundation projects ranging from strategy to evaluation, and from next generation development to impact investing.