As the nation’s premiere source for leading information about family philanthropy, the National Center takes close notice of good research from around the country on this topic.

The last two years have been a momentous time for the global economy, and a time of continued innovation and discovery in philanthropy. Listed here are some of the best new resources and articles on family philanthropy published during 2009-2010… items listed here must be available to the general public.

The National Center for Family Philanthropy

The Power to Produce Wonders: The Value of Family in Philanthropy, September 2010. Based on two years of research, this new report from the National Center for Family Philanthropy is the first-ever in-depth examination of the value of family philanthropy to the family, to communities and to democracy.

Current Practices in Family Foundations, September 2009. This report is the first-ever random survey of family foundation governance and management practices. The research findings provide benchmarking information to help foundations assess their own practices with those of their peers.

The Foundation Center

Perpetuity or Limited Lifespan: How Do Family Foundations Decide?, April 2009. This study benchmarks the intentions, practices and attitudes of nearly 1,100 active family foundations in 2008, finding that 12 percent of family foundations plan to limit their lifespan or are in the process of spending down, and a quarter are currently undecided.

Key Facts on Family Foundations, April 2010. Giving by America’s family foundations rose 14.4 percent between 2007 and 2008, far surpassing the 5.4 percent increase for foundations overall.


The Minnesota Council on Foundations

Family Philanthropy: Deepening Connections, Building Legacies, Strengthening Shared Values, Fall 2010. This in-depth overview of family philanthropy in Minnesota (and beyond!) features data, stories, and perspectives from leaders in the state’s expansive family philanthropy network are included.

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

The 2010 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy: Issues Driving Charitable Activities among Affluent Households, November 2010. This study reveals significant shifts as well as consistent trends in the giving behaviors of wealthy donors, including the nonprofit sectors they support, how they direct their largest gifts, motivations for giving to and discontinuing support for a nonprofit organization, volunteerism, and who donors turn to for advice about philanthropy.

Understanding Donors’ Motivations, October 2009. This analysis reveals that regional variations in the motivations selected for charitable giving can be explained by regional differences in income and education, not underlying values specific to the region. No matter where they lived, donors in different income groups identified similar motivations for their giving.

The Philanthropic Initiative and Nonprofit Quarterly

“What do donors want?”, September 2010. This article sought to answer two not-so-easy questions: Do donors want more information about nonprofits and, if so, what kind? And if they have it, will it change their minds about what they support? [Interested in this topic? Be sure to sign up for the February 2011 Family Philanthropy Teleconference featuring the two co-authors of this article.]

Hope Consulting and Guidestar

Money for Good: The US Market Opportunity for Impact Investments and Charitable Gifts from Individual Donor and Investors, May 2010. The Money for Good initiative provides a comprehensive understanding of the behaviors, attitudes, and motivations of affluent Americans with respect to impact investing, charitable giving, and international entrepreneurship.

Your Turn!

So what are we missing? What was the best piece of writing you read over the past two years related to family giving? Let us know and we’ll publish additional suggestions in next month’s issue of Family Giving News.