An Invitation to Participate in New NCFP Study on Complex Multigenerational Families

A little over a decade ago, NCFP and Lansberg Gersick and Associates (LGA) partnered to develop and publish Generations of Giving: Leadership and Continuity in Family Philanthropy. In a follow-­up to that landmark study, and to a pilot study presented at the 2019 NCFP Forum on Family Philanthropy in Chicago, NCFP is now sponsoring a research project with LGA to explore how multigenerational philanthropic families are using a variety of vehicles (including, but not limited to, family foundations) to manage the increasing complexities of their families.

The Tarsadia Family

Over time, families become more complex: more branches, more people, more diversity. An ongoing dilemma in family philanthropy is how to manage the inherent tension between collaboration (the role of the philanthropy to bring the family together in a shared pursuit) and individualism (the role of the philanthropy to express the interests of individual members). This research study explores how families navigate this tension over time—and we are specifically interested in looking at families that use multiple giving vehicles to do so. This often includes one or more “legacy” foundations created by earlier generations, newer foundations created by siblings and cousins in later generations, donor-advised funds, and corporate giving programs in family­owned businesses.

Our research intends to define the practices that enable giving families to manage these dilemmas successfully; better understanding these practices will help families plan and execute philanthropy that best meets their goals for social impact and family participation.

Participate in the Research

We welcome volunteers from NCFP’s network of philanthropic families. We are looking for families where leadership is beyond the founding generation, who engage multiple generations, and that make use of multiple philanthropic vehicles. The research process includes a confidential survey and interviews with participants in the family’s philanthropy. Results will be reported in aggregate and identities of participating families will not be disclosed. If you are interested in participating, please contact the LGA Research Project Directors: Ashley Blanchard at and Wendy Ulaszek at

LGA looks forward to continuing our strong partnership with NCFP toward understanding and supporting family philanthropy in all of its forms. We would like to gratefully acknowledge David Haas and the Haas family for funding this NCFP research project and to the team of independent reviewers who are committing time to provide input into this project.

The LGA Research Team

Ashley Blanchard, MPP, leads LGA’s philanthropy practice. LGA is a research and consulting firm that serves family businesses, family offices and family foundations world-­wide. Ashley is an expert on family philanthropy governance, working with families to create foundations that enable them to come together to realize meaningful change.

Wendy Ulaszek, Ph.D. is Partner at LGA. Wendy is an expert in the design and implementation of sustainable governance for enterprising families and their family philanthropic systems, with a focus on succession planning, family systems, leadership coaching and the development of the next generation.

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