Splendid Legacy Online

A Companion Collection to "Splendid Legacy 2: Creating and Re-creating Your Family Foundation"

Engaging the Next Generation in Multigenerational Family Philanthropy

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.

This section provides additional reading and guidance on engaging the next generation in your family foundation. For a wide variety of additional resources on this topic, please visit NCFP’s Family Philanthropy Online Knowledge Center.

READ: Opportunity of a Lifetime 2.0: Multigenerational Family Philanthropy

Why you should involve the entire family in your giving? What strategies are available for incorporating younger generations into your foundation’s work, common challenges and expert approaches? What suggestions are available for next generation family members who are getting involved in their families’ philanthropy? This issue brief provides a variety of tips and tools to help families understand how to best involve multiple generations in their work.

READ: ‘On-boarding’ the Next Gen: The Durfee Foundation’s Spproach

Discover one family foundation’s approach for introducing next gen family members to their rich history.

READ: Igniting the Spark: Using Next Gen Boards to build and inspire a new generation of donors

Stories of families who have found successful ways to engage the next generation and youth in family philanthropy.

ACTIVITY: Find Your Passion: Information for Next Gen Donors

This special worksheet provides questions for Next Gen Donors to consider as they seek to narrow their passions into causes they can support through philanthropy.

ACTIVITY: New (and not so new!) Ways to Engage and Integrate the Next Generation

Research shows that next gen donors are eager to pursue new philanthropic strategies. Here are some practical tips to get your next gen family members engaged… and to keep them engaged.

ACTIVITY: The Hip Family’s Guide to Happier Holidays

What holiday traditions do you hope your own children and grandchildren will remember with love, and continue with their own families? This guide includes tips and tools for young families along with new insights and opportunities for families with kids of all ages.

ACTIVITY: Opportunities for the Next Generation to Learn About the Foundation

This article provides a variety of ideas that family foundations have pursued to help younger generations learn about the family and the foundation’s work.

READ: Generous Genes: Raising Caring Kids in a Digital Age

“Generous Genes” is a road map for parents, grandparents and others who want to teach kids–from 2 to 20–to live compassionately. This indispensable guide is full of practical advice, inspiring stories and resources to help adults encourage their kids to share their time, talent, treasure…and ties.

ACTIVITY: What Am I Inheriting? ($$)

This exercise enables family members to recall the stories, events, and messages handed down from previous generations by asking themselves questions such as: who are the characters in my family history? What world events comprised the backdrop of their lives? What choices did they make in light of those events? The act of writing down family history intensifies the participants’ sense of what they are “inheriting” in terms of values and legacies beyond financial inheritance and how that informs their own lives.

ACTIVITY: Conduct a Story Corps Interview of Your Grandparents and Other Relatives

The Story Corps website features a simple to use ‘app’ and sample questions for you to ask your grandparents or relatives. Create a recording as a gift for your family, and to add to the Story Corps archives.

ACTIVITY: Tell your hiSTORY exercise

Through this exercise, family members will share their unique perspectives about their involvement with the giving program.

  1. Using the flipcharts and markers, ask participants to convey images and words that describe the role of the foundation in their life. They can use a series of bullet headlines, words, or pictures that highlight major milestones, decisions, or events as it pertains to the philanthropy. Often times, those family members who have had more time and involvement in the giving will have more to include on their flipchart. That is OK. The point of this activity is to better understand where each person is in their lives and in relation to the family foundation.
  2. Give each family member 5-10 minutes for this activity. At the end of the allotted time, each person should take 2-3 minutes to share their hiSTORY. The facilitator should go first, role modeling both an awareness of the amount of time each person has to speak as well as an appropriate level of depth and authenticity. Family member should not respond to each story, but rather practice active listening.
  3. Conclude the activity by asking family members to identify anything new that they learned about each other.