Splendid Legacy 2: Table of Contents and Order Form
Splendid Legacy 2: Creating and Re-Creating Your Family Foundation is your guide to marshaling the forces of family and charitable intentions for your own magical experience. There will be times you will need to summon the insight and courage to make dramatic shifts and subtle adjustments. You will need to figure out what and where your treasure is and just how much risk you are comfortable taking on. But, as Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about our early American voluntary spirit, the effort has the “power to produce wonders.”
You may have already decided to create a private foundation or may still be weighing which charitable vehicle is best for your family. One of the significant differences between this completely rewritten volume and its early 21st Century predecessor is the variety of vehicles available to you and your family, donor-advised funds chiefly among them. Today, it is also common for families to give through the family office or business. There are also a number of lesser-known vehicles that might be perfect for your aspirations and circumstances.
If you have determined a private family foundation is for you, you are likely motivated by working with your family and advisors to make bold decisions on behalf of cherished causes and communities. There will be opportunities to be involved in governance, financial investment, and succession planning that may not be part of other vehicles but, as with Antelope Canyon, high risk, high reward.
When we were developing the first edition of this volume, the Internet had not yet transformed the practice of giving. And we are taking best advantage of that resource to support the users of this guide. A special website, www.splendidlegacy.org, has the sample policies, forms, job descriptions, and a wealth of other relevant material designed to complement this guide. It features the best thinking and practice of your colleagues who have generously made their work available to those who might benefit. By making it part of the website rather than this printed volume, we can ensure the material is constantly updated to be as current and useful as we can possibly make it.
On behalf of the National Center for Family Philanthropy, it is my honor to dedicate Splendid Legacy 2 to giving founders and families everywhere. With grateful hearts, generosity of spirit, and deep wells of optimism, you are making a personal commitment to a cherished tradition born of public trust. Many will benefit from your stewardship – and some of us will be privileged to support you. Please know you have our heartfelt gratitude, our profound hopes for your success, and our sincere promise to be there as you need us.
Module 1: Values, Mission, and Legacy
In family philanthropy, the term “family values” means the common characteristics that align you and your board members. Values are not endeavors, such as feeding the hungry or housing the homeless. They are the qualities of being that lead you to these actions; the underlying virtues that the founders and/or current board of a foundation hold most dear. It is often values that bring the family together and the foundation into being—and your funding areas into focus. Through this module, you’ll ground yourself in these vital topics:
Values instilled in childhood translate directly into philanthropy, how a family business operates, and how we live our lives.
Mission and Goals
The opportunity and the possibilities of a family foundation are both energizing and daunting. Here you will find perspectives and tips for defining mission and goals for your family’s philanthropy.
Taking time to reflect on ethics will help to clarify the values propelling your good work and to sharpen clear-sighted responsible decision-making.
Donor Legacy and Intent
Whatever their form, statements of donor legacy (or intent) can be a source of inspiration and commitment among extended family members and others, now and well into the future.
Getting Started - Sample Policies and Practices
Included here are a variety of sample forms and agreements used by donors and families setting up a family philanthropy.
Module 2: Governing, Managing, Finances, and The Law
Section 2: Governing, Managing, Finances, and The Law
Nothing is more vital to a family foundation’s overall success than good governance. A great board sets the tone for achieving your charitable goals and working with the family to realize those goals. You need the vision and oversight of a capable, highly functioning governance team to set the vision for quality grantmaking, management, communications, and financial performance. And, as effectiveness is the result of attention to governance, so too is the joy that comes from the effort.
Through this section, you’ll ground yourself in these vital topics:
When you decide to create a family foundation, you will confront a number of important legal issues.
Funding Your Family Foundation
The decisions of when to fund a foundation and how much to fund it with will depend not only on a founder's available assets, but also on how the founder plans to use the foundation.
Governing Your Family Foundation
Nothing is more vital to a family foundation’s overall success than good governance. A great board sets the tone for achieving your charitable goals and working with the family to realize those goals.
Finance and Investments
As a foundation board member, you will be making important financial decisions for a legal entity that is regulated by the Internal Revenue Service and state agencies.
Governing and Managing a Family Foundation - Sample Policies and Practices
Here you will find a collection of sample policies and practices related to governing and managing a family foundation.
Module 3: Grantmaking and Communications
Section 3: Grantmaking and Communications
Regardless of your other motivations behind starting a foundation, building an effective and satisfying grantmaking program is likely at the heart of your goals. And whatever purpose you may choose for your foundation — improving education, advancing science, preserving the environment, or any other mission — media and communications activities can amplify your message and accelerate philanthropic impact. Through this section, you’ll ground yourself in these vital topics:
In this unit, you will find articles and resources on strategic grantmaking, taking risks and learning from mistakes, considering general operating support and other strategies.
Communications and Transparency
This unit provides additional reading and guidance on the considerations around foundation communications in a media-driven world.
Grantmaking and Communications - Sample Policies and Practices
This unit provides a collection of sample policies and practices related to grantmaking and communications in a family foundation.
Module 4: Engaging the Next Generation
Families with the most success in engaging new philanthropists are those that prepare younger family members for philanthropy in general—not for a specific role within it. Not all family members will want or be able to serve as a board member, but they can always be charitable. Equip your next generation, then, with the values and the skills for effective family philanthropy, however they may serve.
Engaging the Next Generation
This section provides additional reading and guidance on engaging the next generation in your family foundation.
Module 5: Assessment and Renewal
Effective assessment begins by looking inward. While many foundations understandably spend a lot of time finding ways to assess the impact of their grantmaking, it’s also vitally important to take stock of their internal governance and operations. This module provides additional reading and guidance on assessment and board renewal in your family foundation.
Assessment and Renewal
This section provides additional reading and guidance on assessment and board renewal in your family foundation.
Module 6: Considering the Question of Perpetuity
Considering the Question of Perpetuity
This section provides additional reading and guidance on how to consider the question of perpetuity and identify a strategic lifespan for your family's foundation.